Monday, February 16, 2009

Of Useless Shopping Trips

There is a shopping trip that most women I know abhor, well two actually, one of which no longer bothers me, i.e. the swimsuit shopping ordeal. I got over that one when, years ago, I started wearing shorts and a tank top as swimming gear. Problem solved.

But there is still that little issue of "foundation garment" (a name Jocelyn pulled out of the mothballs) shopping. Bra shopping if you will.

The shopping trip from hell. I don't think there's anything quite like it for men. But I digress.

There is nothing more loathesome than bra shopping. Not. A. Thing. That being the case, I always put it off until that moment when I no longer have any choice since the above referenced foundation garments are pretty much falling apart - and unlike Jocelyn's, not because I cut them to pieces.

Simply because:






Is that clear enough for y'all?

Last week I metaphorically bit the bullet. With a hop, a skip and a jump I descended upon the undergarment department of a major department store. I was grimly cheerful about this expedition because this time I was going to find a bra (and buy it in multiples) DAMNIT!

I bypassed the flannel pyjamas.
I bypassed the frilly nighties
I bypassed the thongs (thank god) and granny pants (thank god again).

I singlemindedly hunted down the boob contraptions, yes I did. And searched the racks. For something to fit my own. Not that there's much there to fit.

I searched. I searched high, I searched low. I searched left and right and middle. The search eventually yielded a precious few A cup bras. What the fuck happened to the A cup? Has it gone the way of the rotary dial phone and the telex? Has it become nothing more than a quaint anachronism? Is it being wiped from the face of the earth like the dinosaur and the dodo?

When did it disappear? Did they pass a law saying that anyone under a B must get a boob job? Under pain of death? What the hell!?

So I tried the bras. 'Cause the girls, little girls though they may be are less perky than they used to be. Remaining perkiness must be safeguarded at all costs.

Thus the foundation garment. That costs a bloody fortune. I mean, seriously, the cost of these things? How utterly ridiculous is it to have to pay $40 (at the low end) for what is essentially a quarter yard of elasticized fabric? With maybe a little lace tossed on to make it scrachy.

All the overpriced examples I manage to scrounge up were ill fitting and pinched and prodded in all the wrong places. Of course are there any places where a bra should pinch and prod? I didn't think so.

They were either Madonna pointy or too small or too big or too something and not enough of another thing. And really, it's not like I'm that difficult. I just want a bra that fits fer chrissake!

For instance, the fact that I have small boobs does not necessarily mean that I want a bra that contains five pounds of gel to pad me up to a C cup. That'd be false advertising anyway, isn't there a a law against that? If I wanted a C cup I would get a boob job.

Nor does it mean I want something that looks like a 10 year old's training bra, dontcha know.

There has to be a happy medium. Doesn't there? Yeah, I didn't think so - otherwise I would have found it by now.

Long story short, I didn't buy a single one.

Because. Not. One. Of. The. Damned. Things. Fit!!! Can you spell conspiracy?

So now I'll have to make another foray into the world of the foundation garment. Well, maybe I'll get a blog post out of that one too. I can tell you all about the snooty saleswomen.


lime said...

and here i thought the A cups gals had it easier than those of us on the other end of the continuum. i do agree, it is some sort of conspiracy. how hard is it to make a flattering and reasonably comfortable bra that holds the girls in place? VERY aggravating.

Jeaux said...

At the risk of rushing in where menfolk fear to tread... when I find a garment I like, socks, t-shirts, I buy a dozen of them. Though I suspect bras, and their life cycle, are a tad more eh, unpredictable...?

Hagelrat said...

bra shopping is evil. I have to get mine online anyway so the chances of them fitting the way i want and being comfortable? I have comfy bras, i have bras that look good, but not one that does both. grrr.

kimber the wolfgrrrl said...

I thought I was the only one. You really have no idea how this post has made me feel less alone in the world.

One particular chain of stores makes "foundation undergarments" that do not fit around me. Their largest size will not close. Now, I am NOT a large person, and I was astounded that I couldn't get the damn thing to circumnavigate my ribs. When I complained to the shopgirl, she said, "Oh, yes, that's why we sell these little items," and held up a strip of fabric... basically, an extender clip, three inches long. "We sell a lot of them," she confided.

Well, hell, of course you do! This bra won't wrap around a freakin' signpost, never mind a human-sized woman!

Thanks for letting me vent. Truely, Hell is bra shopping.

Pearl said...

I am in wild agreement with you.

Being a smaller chested gal myself, I can rarely find anything under a B -- and what's with the prices?!


Anonymous said...

Never go to a department store. Best to shop for bras at a lingerie shop - they have good sales and better quality stuff and even sometimes people who know what they're talking about. They still have snooty sales-bimbos though.

Anonymous said...

What XUP said: go to specialty lingerie shops. I too am an A cup, and apparently A cups are specialty items nowadays. I've not encountered any snarky saleswomen in my excursions there, though. I have dealt with many who are super-helpful and yes, know what they're talking about. Of course, one does pay hefty amounts for this privilege, but at least my girls are looking out at the world at the proper height!

Big Brother said...

Lil sister, I so didn't need to know all that... good hunting.

Rachel said...

oy vey. I thought only big cup girls had problems. (im a 34G/F). thanks for educating me.

and btw: "How utterly ridiculous is it to have to pay $40 (at the low end) for what is essentially a quarter yard of elasticized fabric? With maybe a little lace tossed on to make it scrachy."---I LOL'd.

Anonymous said...

I don't enjoy it either, because apparently bra manufacturers don't believe my size exists. (I mean, seriously, have you ever spotted a 30C in your shopping excursions?) So when I find something I like, I buy several in all the colors. But actually, I have shopping for underpants even more.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
choochoo said...

I hate that too! I know what happened to the a cup. It ran away with the d cup. Damn them both to hell.

ticknart said...

I am so glad that I don't have to deal with this sort of thing. Thank you for giving me another reason to be glad I am who I am.

Jazz said...

Lime - I can't help but think it can't be all that hard. We're not talking a major feat of engineering here - except maybe for those gel filled 5 pounders.

Jeaux -And how I would like to do the same thing. Problems is finding one that fits and is comfortable. The holy grail of shopping!

Hagelrat - Amen to that.

Kimber - The questions begs asking: If they sell so many, why not make the bras bigger around the torso?

Pearl - Amen again!

XUP - A yes the lingerie shop. Land of the 14 year old snooty salesgirls. How I hate La Vie en Rose and La Senza.

Pinklea - Take me shopping!

BB - Your poor eyes!!! Just skip down a post and rest your weary eyes on the naked news girls.

Rachel - How about I take some of yours so we both end up medium?

Citizen - I'd love to help, but C isn't even on my radar!

Chooch - And they had baby Bs and Cs. Damn them again.

Tick - You're very welcome. I aim to please.

Jocelyn said...

Honey, is it a sign I have a problem when I get all happy and clappy just because I see you typed my name?

Don't answer that.

Anyhoodle, as your comments show, it's a rare woman who feels her needs are met by the current supply. Why does making a good bra seem as difficult as inventing the perfect mouse trap? What's so hard about catching a couple of slow-moving breasts?

Jazz said...

Joce - OK, I won't answer, and I have a theory that they make 'em like that on purpose so we'll buy ever more bras in pursuit of that elusive perfect one.

Ian Lidster said...

You and Wendy both, for both garments. In her case it is (what she sees as, though I don't) overabundance. She was once trying on bathing suits at a shop in the Royal Hawaiian. She was bemoaning to the clerk how she could never find anything to fit her upper torso. "I wish I had your problem," said the petite and relatively flat-chested Japanese clerk. "No you don't," Wendy replied. "Trust me on that."

Jeni said...

I dunno but I'm thinking you are living/shopping in the wrong geographic area. Come to where I live -central Pennsylvania. It just so happens I was shopping just the other day for a new bra and it seemed the racks were filled to overflowing with A-cup bras! That figures since I haven't worn an A-cup bra in over 50 years! Try finding a bra that is even close to being affordable in a size 42-D! I've long ago come to the conclusion there is a conspiracy among clothing manufacturers of ALL items that regardless what my current size is, that will be the size that there is nothing I like of the offerings in any given store! Never fails!

Louise said...

Great and funny post!!

I actually prefer bra shopping to jeans shopping because I found Jockey. I love their bras. They are soft. They fit (me anyway). The are only a small fortune. They maintain perkiness. Did I mention they are soft? I find them at outlet malls, but they are online, too.

And I'm SO WITH YOU in buying multiples to put this horrible experience off as long as possible. I think I will soon be in the market myself. Cringe.

Jill said...

You took the post right out of my fingers! I hate bra shopping too. I find a bra that works and then I buy it over and over until they stop making it. So last summer I discovered that they stopped making my bra of choice at Victoria's Secret and I had to go through the whole thing of trying on every bra in the store and finally settled on one. So I'm thinking I'm good for the next five years or so. But no, I went to pick up a couple more last week and THEY STOPPED MAKING THE NEW BRA TOO. I am beyond incensed. A post about it has been marinating in my head since then and I think it's just about ready. Of course, I did just tell the whole story, so maybe I ruined it for myself. Sigh.

Gaelyn said...

I too HATE shopping for bras. At least there's choices for a B cup. But why do they all pinch, poke and scrape? Did a man design these booby traps? Once I found one that worked and bought many, wearing them until they were threads. Then, of course they weren't made any more. Now I settle with either a jogger bra--called by a friend the mono-boob bra--or just a little sleeveless top with some spandex. But that doesn't really provide much lift. Seems the girls aren't very perky anymore. Oh well.
Love this post.