Sunday, February 27, 2011


Dear Bra Manufacturers:

I hate you.

I have hated you since back at JHS143 when I was flat chested, but ALL the girls wore bras for the horrible gym classes and I had to get my mother to buy me nasty scratchy training bras when I was perfectly happy in my undershirts. Though truthfully, I was perfectly happy in those undershirts all the way up to about age 14 or 15, when my much taller, well developed 3 best friends told me I NEEDED a bra!

I have hated you since I had 2 kids and my cup size went up one level, and the sort of miserable droop that is a combination of childbirth, weight gain and the fact that I have a real working life and can't spend most of my week in the gym with a personal trainer like freaking Heidi Klum or those other skinny bolink models/actresses who have 4 million kids and still look like poster children for eating disorders.

I HAD a reasonable good bra from Warners. No under wire to pinch me. Boning on the sides, just enough to make me look less wall eyed. Enough support for everywhere but ballet class--and for that I've found that a good cheap sports bra from Danskin that I can buy at Walmart does the trick.

I had a dozen of those bras. Replaced them as needed. So what did you do? Discontinued them. And left nothing similar for a replacement.

I've been shopping via Her Room, a great on-line web site. Thank heavens for free shipping, because I've ordered, returned and re-ordered a number of times. And I've managed to find a few, reasonably comfortable bras, but nothing with the comfort AND support of my old favorite.

And now it's not just me. First there was  SC, who at 16 is NOT generously endowed. Probably never will be. But she is also not skinny. And the combination of a wide body and small breasts has made finding bras for her dang near impossible.
Try finding a 38A bra in say, Walmart. Or Target. Or for that matter, Macy's or Nordstroms. Pretty much, you can't.

After a lot of frustrating shopping we finally found her a brand that is reasonably supportive AND comfortable. Found her a sports bra for ballet. Hopefully she's set for a while.

But now there's JR.

She has my body type, which means that right now as a tween she is slim as can be and developing slowly. That's likely to change soon--as an adult I'm betting that she'll need bras a lot more than SC does. But right now, all she needs is a sports bra--or a simple bralette.

Certainly she doesn't need wires. Or padding. I mean she's ELEVEN years old. But what pretty much is all you find when you start looking?

Padding. Wires. UNDER WIRE bras in size 32AAA, intended for little girls!
What the f*uck does a little girl need with a padded bra?

I have a nice, average, almost 12 year old who just wants something she can wear in gym class and elsewhere. Something that's comfortable and helps with the beginnings of jiggle--not something to make the boys ogle her figure!

Like I said, bra companies. I hate you.
And odds are, my kids will too. We're weird that way I guess.

Uncomfortably (in all senses) yours,
The Library Lady


Saints and Spinners said...

I have been eyeing the Coobie. It's got a silly name, but my fellow Sparkers are raving about these bras, and I may give them a try.

Speaking of the real working life and not being able to spend most of your week in a gym... whenever I think that it seems insurmountable to be fit, have kids, and work full-time outside the home, I remind myself, "Library Lady did it." I know it's a struggle right now, but I remember following your fitness progress and thinking, "Library Lady is doing this with a full-time job and with kids. Surely I can find a way too with my own challenges."

De said...

There is such a disconnect between what people actually need and the products that are foisted upon us in this world!

Bra shopping is a pain. Up until recently, I didn't really need one - layers in the winter and lycra tops in the summer kept me covered, but now I need more support and I'm heavier so that doesn't work. Recently, I lucked out buying one online that felt as good as it worked, but somehow I lost it (is it behind the washer? in between the folded sheets? ) so I hope I can find a record of what I bought.

If my daughter is built like my husband's side of the family, I'll be in for an education.

The Library Lady said...

I just ordered a Coobie for SC, Farida. Doubt if it will work for me, but I may try it on anyway.

Actually,you give me far too much credit. I have been shameful this winter, regained 7 or 8 pounds and not done enough exercise. Time to get in gear for spring and summer!

enupoo said...

The exercise thing is much easier once the kids go off to college, even if you work full time and have a hellish commute. I think I gained about 2365 and a third hours a day to pamper myself after I was done supporting soccer/taekwondo/hebrew/flute/drama/stupid school meetings/writing club/stupider hebrew school meetings/drums/and 16 other activities I am forgetting.
Bras just suck, it is true. I have a very bad relationship with my breasts, since they've interfered with my sleeping position for years, and then one of them tried to murder me. The bras out there add insult to injury.