I am a woman of both a certain age and a certain size. These two criteria conspire to keep me in uncomfortable undergarments.
The old standard for measurement (still found in most places) is…
- Take a snug measurement around your rib cage, under your bust and shoulder blades.
- Add 5 inches. Example: 40″ + 5″ = 45″ Add another inch to reach an even number.
This clearly requires some lifting, so unless you are standing on your head you will need a third hand. Perhaps a fourth. In the right neighborhoods, volunteers are plentiful.
So you get the girls out of the way and wrap the tape around your ribcage. And then tack on a whomping half a foot.
And the net result is, for me, roughly the girth of a small pony. And a bra that rides up so far in the back that I get hook marks in my neck. For the first 30 years of my bra-wearing life I lived by that number, and spent my waking hours pulling my bra down in back. I still have strangely flexible elbows from decades of reaching and tugging.
Then in 2005 Oprah changed everything. DON’T add the six inches, her experts said. You want your bra band “snug and low.” Translated into real life, that means “too excruciatingly tight to ride up.” But it’s still better than wearing a thick cotton necklace with breastial pendants.
So now I put a vise around my ribs every morning, twitch all day long (seriously, there’s rarely a moment when I don’t notice a band binding, a strap slipping or a cup runnething over), and count the moments until I can take the damn thing off – usually the first order of business when I get home.
Even my husband knows that “the girls are free!” is one of the happiest phrases in the English language.
Once they get a taste of freedom, they desperately want to keep it. So all out-of-house activities are judged on the basis of braworthiness. On most nights I would rather have a bowl of cereal than suit up and go to a restaurant. It isn’t the price of tickets that keeps me out of movie theatres, it’s that Netflix doesn’t require supportive undergarments. And if you’re coming to visit, please call first, so I won’t have to decide at the door if you’re worth a mad dash to the bedroom and bondage.