Friday, May 2, 2014

Goldilocks and the Three Bras

Recently we enjoyed a visit from a friend I call my sister wife. Of course, she is not actually my sister wife. That is not how roll here at Chez Hsiang, but we love her so much that if we were the plural marrying kind, she'd be the one. (Of course, I might not like her so much if she were 'married' to the Darling Husband, but none of us really like to think out the particulars of that scenario.)

Anyway, Darling Sister Wife has recently discovered the delights of fashion. She's getting all into clothes and make-up and other girlie stuff. I think I've mentioned before that I'm not super girlie. When you have only brothers and sons, the if-you-can't-beat-'em-join-'em mentality kicks in. If I were a Spice Girl, I would definitely be Sporty. No doubt about it.

But DSW just kept nattering on about clothes and style. She even sat me down to watch What Not to Wear. Oh dear. I could do a nice spicy rant on that show and maybe someday I will, but I'll admit it did get me thinking. Apart from cute workout-wear (of which I have a LOT), I really don't have any sense of style.

So this week, I purged my closet. I'm donating just about everything. The vast majority were at least ten years old, vestiges of my pre-kids/working/exciting urban-Euro life. It all still fits (barre! no sugar!), but it's a little passe. So I'm starting afresh. And it kind of freaks me out, because I despise shopping and I really don't know what I'm doing, so I've been watching more What Not to Wear. Gah.

From this, I have been reminded of a key fashion essential: the bra. I'm going to try to remain calm.


The thing I'm finding really shocking is how many women are apparently roaming the earth not wearing bras. Are you kidding me?? People, please--for the love of God and all that is holy, WEAR A BRA. Bras are an essential foundational garment.

One sweet WNTW victim, God bless her, was wearing low-cut tops without a bra. The only thing keeping her from a total wardrobe malfunction was--wait for it--DOUBLE-STICK TAPE!!!

And don't just wear 'a' bra, wear one that FITS. Here is a most excellent tutorial on bras from Trinny and Susannah, the UK version of What Not to Wear (just watch the first five minutes):

If you kept watching, you learned what to do about arms. Well, I can tell you what to do about arms--exercise. There is a lot exercise can do for your arms. But boobs? No. Boobs are glands. There is nothing you can do for boobs. Some people will tell you working the pectoral muscles will help, but it's lie. You need a bra.

So I did a little research on bra-fitting. Here are a few things to keep in mind about bra-fitting. Follow these tips and hopefully no one will point and stare at you with their mouths agape, like so:

  • Does your bra ride up your back? If so, the band size is too big. Either adjust the hooks, or it's time to go down a size.
  • Do the cups pucker or gap? Again, it's too big. Go down a cup size.
  • Do your breasts spill over the cup? Or do the straps dig into your shoulders, even after you've adjusted them? Then the cup size is too small.
  • When shopping for bras, the band should fit firmly on the LAST hook. Why? Because bras stretch out over time, thus you can pull it tighter using the other hooks as it begins to lose some of it's elasticity. This little nugget was a revelation to me. I never knew exactly where to hook it when trying on, but now I know. Yay for exhaustive internet researchtm
If you fill out the cups nicely, and the band remains parallel to the floor, and your boobs sit mid-way between your elbow and shoulder, then your bra fits just right! And of course, there should be no need for double-stick tape.

I'm filing this one under 'Public Service Announcements.'


  1. "If you fill out the cups nicely..."
    I can't remember the last time that happened... well,ok, I do. I filled the cups out nicely when my milk came in and for the first couple of weeks nursing. After that? We're back to deflated little water balloons that fit in a corner of the smallest cup A.
    Thanks for reminding me to go buy some new bras :)

    1. haha, yes, the kiddos really do a number on them! Glad to inspire you to new bras. :)