Saturday, January 26, 2008
United Boobs of America
Yesterday, it happened.
I couldn't go one more day. There on the corner of Harvard and Beacon Streets in Coolidge Corner in Brookline, I broke down. I glanced around, sighed and entered Lady Grace, a specialty lingerie store.
I had to get a new bra.
Do you have Mom Boobs? Becoming a mother does all kinds of things to your mind (and yes, your heart and soul and tolerance for cloying sentiment). But these pale in comparison to its effect on your breasts. Or rather, the Anatomy Previously Known As Your Breasts.
I can see your Dirty Pillows! Piper Laurie screamed at her teen daughter Carrie, a transluscent and freakish Sissy Spacek. Poor Carrie never went bra shopping with her mum.
My pillows have traveled the bumpy road from 34B to their current postpartum Salma Hayek state of 38D. And they've long since stopped hanging out together. I won't refer to the classic image of the tribal women in the National Geographics we all thumbed through as pre-pubescents, our first exposure to bare naked ladies...but ye, I just did and this is what my breasts most resemble, though they are pasty white and not chocolate colored. They are large and swinging and...okay, enough.
I was until today utterly defiant at the idea of spending another dime on clothing to accommodate my ever changing shape (having done so for the past 18months since being heavily pregnant and giving birth the first time). I'd taken to wearing my jog bras to keep things in order.
Ladies - it's not a bad idea to go and actually buy bras that fit and support you. When was the last time some kindly store clerk measured you? Probably at age 13, right?
Well, I sucked it up (or in) and fully confessed to the mammary authorities. "What can I help you with?" I was asked. They're so patient and kind, these breast containment professionals. They are all like great aunts who want to leave you their money but don't have any.
"I'm pregnant and nothing fits. I need help," I murmured, eyeing a black teddy I might have worn in a previous life (like two years ago).
"Oh my, we definitely need a larger band for you," she said in the privacy of the hideously lighted dressing room, taking one look at my sorry ass looking bra that fit about two years ago and was at one point, white and not the dishwater gray hue it was now. "Maybe we'll go to a D and see how that looks," she clucked, tucking in my ample pectoral flesh.
Here's the thing. She came back with a variety of options - and with some adjusting, they fit! They made me look better. And yes, I admit, they made me feel better. There was lift, there was support, there was cleavage! MY BOOBS WERE TOGETHER AGAIN. I was still huge, but in a glamorous, Queen Latifah way. Here's two things you might not know about wearing a bra:
1) Once you put one on, arrange the breast so the "nipple is in the center of the cup." I smirked and blushed when my boobhelper said this, only to be amazed at the difference it made in the fit.
2) You should be able to fit 2 fingers (no more and no less) under the shoulder strap if it is fitted properly and snugly. The difference this made in my interpretation of gravity was substantial.
So, swallow your pride (and that last mouthful of chocolate) and go get measured. Admit it - you're bigger (or smaller) than you'd like to be. Accept this and find yourself a real bra shop (no, Victoria's Secret doesn't qualify. Clerks must all be over age 50 and weigh more than 100 pounds). Take control. Own your boobs.
Remember, you don't have to have it all. You just have to get some.
Posted by Tracy McArdle at 2:24 PM