Monday, June 15, 2009


I thought swimsuit shopping was humiliating but I forgot about the bra search. I remember once watching an Oprah episode about this. The statistic cited was something like 80% of bra wearing women are wearing the wrong size. I can see how that could happen; weight gain and loss can shift things around and honestly, who wants to measure themselves anyway? And even if you do, there’s still figuring out the formula to get you to a cup size. It’s not “rocket surgery“ (as seen on a church sign on but it’s also nothing I have any interest in doing. So I put it off until I’m stabbed with underwire and desperate for relief.

A Buy One Get One 50% Off sale finally pushed me out the door this morning but not before I measured and took notes. I’ve lost several pounds this year and I didn’t want to spend any time at the store figuring out what size I needed. I thought I was being smart.

And then I met HER.

I walked up to the counter and told the older lady working there that I had some measurements and wanted to know what size they amounted to. The first number was odd and a half. She told me that couldn’t be right; they only come in even, whole sizes. Blank stare. I don’t care what sizes they come in; I am what I am. “Come with me!” she demanded.

This was exactly what I wanted to avoid but before I knew what was happening she had me in a dressing room, her measuring tape around me and announcing a new size. “Now aren’t you glad I did that?”

She made my selections and rang up the sale. As the receipt appeared she circled a website and number telling me to go there for an additional savings on my next purchase. “Tell them about your experience here,” and across it she wrote the words “Highly Satisfied”. Oh I’m not so sure about that.

I wonder if there is a male equivalent to this sort of indignity. Maybe there isn’t. And next year I have the mammogram to look forward to. That’ll make this search for support look like a little bit of nothing.
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  1. I have volunteered to perform the measurements over the years, but I guess she just likes those older women.

  2. I've stood in front of the three mirrors at Men's Wearhouse and had them announce that I really need the bigger size pants. What size suit is this? They'll ask. Then, mercifully, they start to talk in Spanish.

    Also, I bought a jacket once which was marked "Portly."

    But, to answer you're question: No.

  3. Jim, I also take jacket measurements but inseam measurements.

  4. Jim, Tiffany said that you always say something that makes her feel better.

    PS We need to talk :)

  5. working at the dress shop I got to have a very uncomfortable conversation with my boss (in the middle of a bridal expo) about bra sizing. I think the only thing worse than trying to buy one that fits is explaining to your boss why the samples he wants you to "test" are/aren't comfortable. lol!

  6. I agree that searching for a bra is just as bad if not worse than searching for a bathing suit. Both are equally distasteful. And what makes it worse is when you finally find a style that works for you but the only color available is black or pink, not easily worn under those light colored clothing. Oh the humanity!!

    But there is something worse than being measured for a bra - having to deal with what's UNDER the bra. I have to do EKG's at work which require me to place electrodes UNDER the breast. Needless to say not every 'under the breast' is where you want to be. So, I guess we should be grateful that when someone measures you for a bra, at least your clothes are on!

  7. Oh Edna, that is so ick! I can just imagine what can get up under the great unwashed! Any lost french fries or car keys?

  8. I'm going to agree with Edna that most people don't want to know what healthcare providers find under ill-fitting bras. It inspires me to go for my annual fitting at Nordstrom. Never going to catch me with unmentionables under my unmentionables!

  9. I had the pleasure of taking a daughter bra shopping. I warned her of the evils of it, and now another generation dreads the experience. yeah, we had fun. It takes a few days to get over it.


So, what do you think?