In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that the Girls weren’t happy in certain bra selections.  I thought I owed you an explanation, an explication, an elucidation, an education, in the world of me and my breast support issues. 

I am a small-ish woman.  With bigg-ish breasts.  I am 5’0″ tall, with a 34D.  This has resulted in much hilarity in dressing rooms, where the shirt sleeves only fit if the buttons gape, and the unwanted crop top effect results from my boobs taking up too much fabric.  And it also resulted in an amusing anecdote.  Mr. Apron was in Chelsea, Manhattan with some time to kill, so he popped into the trendy American Apparel and spied a laurel heathered hoodie I needed for my birthday.  He unfortunately didn’t have my body to try the hoodies on, so he asked the obviously flaming salesman what size to buy.  “Well,” he asked, “What size is she?”  My husband explained, “She’s small, but she’s big.” hopefully emphasizing my need for more room in the chesterly location.  As this was Chelsea, he was met with a confused stare.  He clarified, gesturing as he went.  “She’s small,” holding his hand palm-down as if petting my irrepressibly cute keppe, “but she’s big,” cupping his hands as if to be the underwire on his 34D-holding brassiere.

Thus starts my bra-saga.  I’m not sure if it’s because of my small frame, or my short stature, or my sensitivity to metal impressing against my ribcage, but I cannot wear underwire bras.  I try an underwire, from time to time, when I see my boobs drooping in their “light support” cups.  I dig out one bra or another my well-meaning mother has sent along from the bottom of my drawer or the back of the closet, or from the box helpfully labelled, “bad bras.” I put it on, I admire my perky silhouette, I sit around, I try to do my daily activities.  And then, able to stand it no longer, I yank it off and free the Girls from their bondage.  There are always C-shaped grooves beneath my breasts, once again confirming that only those who engage in bondage were meant to wear metal next to the skin.

“Oh, you just haven’t found the right cup size/band size/brand yet,” says Mom as she helpfully ships off another box of TJMaxx or Bloomie’s treasures.

“Oh, you’re just not used to their being so well supported,” said the lady at the high-end lingerie store who decided I was a 34DD, when I went looking for wedding day foundation garments.  My breasts were swimming, not even touching the cups, and the metal dug into my ribs.  Am I supposed to get accustomed to that?

In conclusion, Rule #1: No underwire.

Rule #2: Must support the girls.  I cannot buy a bra with “light support” for “lounging” or anything that comes in sizes S, M, and L.  We can’t let gravity win that easily.  Most of the wirefree bras out there are for smaller breasts.  They just do not come in a D cup.  I’ll see something cute, something in a color besides black and white, something that doesn’t look matronly or resemble a quonset hut, and I’ll scan the racks or the pull-down menu only to find: 32A, 32B, 32C, 34A, 34B, 34C, 36A, 36B.  Where’s the 34D!!!  Oh, yeah, big girls don’t want pretty bras.

Big, you ask?? No, not hardly.  Not into realm of F and G and 40 and 42!  For “full support” bras you end up starting with 36DD.  So I’m not big, just relatively so, compared with the norm, but not big enough to move into the full-figured demographic.  They have a powerful lobby, let me tell you.  But what about me?  What about the “kinda-large-figured”?  What about those falling right outside the standard deviation?  Where do we fit in?

Rule #3: I’m still 5’0″ tall.  For a while, I tolerated the standard Victoria’s secret underwires, because they were cotton and they came in pretty colors, and I was only a 34C then so I had more options to rotate through on a weekly basis.  And then, I stopped being able to wear them entirely, because the straps, which only had a small range of adjustment to begin with, stretched out something awful and were nowhere near my shoulders, thus failing  Rules #2 and #3.  VS cotton bras, you are dead to me.  Or, until you fix your strap issues, your straps are dead to me.

Which brings me to Compromise#4: the cotton bra.  I’ve never understood the bra designer’s penchant for taking non-breathable, man-made fabrics and covering our sweaty titties with them.  Maybe we wouldn’t need quite as much “wicking” if the fabric we started out with let out girls breathe.  If I can get #1, 2, and 3, I dare not hope for #4.  My current stand-by is “microfiber”, which means it’s a soft verson of polyester.  It sucks.  It holds in sweat.  But it’s all I have right now. 

I could get cotton — sure.  It looks like this and this: And if you click the second link, be sure to scroll over the superimposed shirts, so you can preview the wet t-shirt contest looks.  Because, really?  Pool party + industrial boob sling = irresistible sex appeal.