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Today I'm Going to Talk About...Underwear! Oh Yeah!

Posted on 2012.08.11 at 18:28
Tags: ,
 So, I'm a female person.  And as a female person, I have these anatomical features colloquially known as "boobies."  In fact, I have rather sizable boobies and always have, which was a source of awkwardness and shame for me throughout my growing-up-as-a-lady years.  (Short explanation: I was taught that boobies and cleavage are sinful and will Get You Raped, plus I had always wanted to be a boy anyhow.) Because of that awkwardness and shame, I never took the time to learn how to properly size myself for supportive undergarments.  My only goal was "I must hide them!  Hide them under as much fabric as possible!" because I was sorta kinda in denial about my having ladyparts at all, which probably just manifested to the rest of the world as a case of "wow, that girl does NOT know how to dress herself."  Not only did I let my mom buy me most of my bras, I also acquired them as hand-me-downs from aunts and grandmothers.  Thus it was that I entered my mid-and late-twenties with an underwear drawer full of worn out, hilariously modest and bafflingly ill-fitting bras.  I had a band size and cup size that I knew, and that was what I always got.  I never even tried them on before I bought them.  

Around that same time, however, I got my head out from under a rock and began to come to terms with my ladyness and booby-having.  I've since come around to kinda sorta liking that I'm a female person, and realizing that there are certain advantages to having a curvy figure.  I have also realized that getting the proper bra fit is every bit if not more complicated and error-prone as getting the proper fit in ANY piece of female-intended clothing.  But by the same token, finally finding a bra that fits opens up a whole new world of awesome!  For the first time in my life, I went to get professionally fitted for a bra today, and then spent the next couple of hours going from department store to department store and trying things on.  It's amazing how wrong I had the size thing.  For almost as long as I can remember having boobies, I harnessed them into 36 or 38 Cs.  I was a C cup.  Boom, end of story.  But no!  I've been getting into shape the past few years, and my clothing sizes have all changed.  And it turns out that cup sizes are not absolute, but rather a way of categorizing the proportional size difference between bust and ribcage.  My boobs have gotten smaller, yet I'm now living the sweet life with a pair of 34 DD/Es strapped to my chest.  I made the classic American woman mistake of having too large a band size, and too small a cup size.  

So, ladies of livejournal, I urge you: check your bra size.  Check it often, and get it checked professionally just to be sure.  Then try things on.  Try many things on.  I am standing straight, shoulders back and proud for the first time in years without fear of my boobies.  And they look good, to boot!  (The annoying thing is, I suspect my new bras still aren't entirely the right size, but you try finding 32DD in any department store anywhere.  I went to three places today, and found exactly one acceptable 34DD in each location.  Small bands + large cups are not a common fixture in most places, it seems!)


Evil Plotbunny
hhertzof at 2012-08-11 23:18 (UTC) (Link)
I can wholeheartedly rec Bare Essentials for a good selection of full figure bras. I'll also second the whole check your bra size thing.
An Underground Traveller
alto2 at 2012-08-12 01:19 (UTC) (Link)
Your link doesn't work. Do you mean Bare Necessities/Bare Plus instead?
Evil Plotbunny
hhertzof at 2012-08-12 01:30 (UTC) (Link)
You are right of course. Bare Necessities (And this isn't the first time I've made the same mistake).
happydalek at 2012-08-13 20:21 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, wow, I spent a good hour or two browsing this site yesterday. Thanks for the link. I really, really want a good, fitted sports bra. Just have to wait til I have a spare $70! It'd be great if I could find some of these brands in a store and try them on, because it's such a longer process when you have to order, receive, try on, send back, reorder, etc.
Evil Plotbunny
hhertzof at 2012-08-13 20:24 (UTC) (Link)
Get yourself on their mailing list. There are frequent sales.
dune_drd at 2012-08-12 10:38 (UTC) (Link)
I think I've never bought a bra I hadn't tried on before ...
happydalek at 2012-08-12 15:38 (UTC) (Link)
I had this strange misconception that stores wouldn't allow you to try on bras because of health and hygiene issues, the same way most places do not want you trying on swimming suits unless you keep your underwear on. I think I was also suffering from a case of Misplaced Modesty that made me feel totally uncomfortable with the idea of being utterly topless in a department store dressing room. But I have seen the error of my ways. Yes, trying things on is a must!

Edited at 2012-08-12 03:39 pm (UTC)
dune_drd at 2012-08-12 18:34 (UTC) (Link)
I think it's how you're brought up, mostly, as you said: When my cleavage decided to grow, my mother took me to the nearest department store, dragged me into the lingerie and asked the first assistant she met there if she could help us with my first bra - it seldomly gets more embarrassing as that, but in hindsight, it was kind of an awesome thing to do ^^
happydalek at 2012-08-13 20:17 (UTC) (Link)
Yes! Ten points to Gryffindor for your awesome mom! If I ever procreate myself a daughter, that's how it's gonna go down when she gets boobies. My folks were very tight-lipped about everything related to puberty/adolescence, and generally let the school and church handle things, with the addendum that if we had any questions, we could ask (I never did). Looking back on it, I would have resisted and felt disgusted and embarrassed by some real straight talk, but I think it would have saved me some awkwardness in the long run.
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