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On not having a bra size - Input Junkie
June 5th, 2015
01:10 pm

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On not having a bra size
A woman goes to six bra stores-- the usual advice is that women don't know what their bra size is, and they should go to a store and get a professional fitting. This turns out to be as good advice as just saying "go to a doctor".

Even if you aren't especially interested in the subject, the article might be worth reading.

The author has a fine hand with her snark: "This bra itself is a Lilyette “infinity back smoothing minimizer,” which isn’t so much a description as it is just four words hanging together for dear life." "

"Upon closer inspection, I discover that the “push-up” mechanism of this bra is literally some air bags. Presumably this is a safety feature?"

One important bit is that women don't have bra sizes because (as with other women's clothing) there is no standardization in bra sizes. Bras that are labelled as the same size aren't the same size. The map is not the territory.

The conclusions, which (with a little generalization for some of them) apply to much more than buying bras:
1. You should be fitted for a bra every time you buy a new one. Just because you’ve recently had a bra that fit you in one size doesn’t mean that they’re all going to fit well.
2. Be honest with the person fitting you. They are human people like you who do not have the ability to read your mind, and they can’t help you unless you tell them your concerns — and if they totally ignore your concerns, then it’s time to go somewhere else.
3. Never buy anything you don’t love. At the end of the day, it’s my fault for buying a bra that I didn’t feel comfortable in, because I let myself be convinced that my instincts were wrong. Nobody threatened to strangle me with a bra strap if I didn’t hand over my credit card.
4. A good fit is what feels good to you. Do you feel comfortable? Supported? Can you put your bra on without having to adjust it 85 times a day like a crazy person? Does it make you feel your best in clothes? Then you’re wearing the right bra size, and everyone else can shut their mouths. Case closed.


This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/1070499.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comment count unavailable comments so far on that entry.

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[User Picture]
From:ritaxis
Date:June 5th, 2015 03:31 pm (UTC)
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My breasts change size so drastically throughout the day or even the weeek that I have finally given up on wearing bras and now I just wear undershirts. The final straw was when I wore a formerly comfortable bra for three hours and the next day one of my breasts was swollen, red, and painful. Of course I went to the doctor, and I';m having a mammogram soon, but her conclusion was that my breasts are just fibrous and lumpy and easily irritated.

I figure that since I wear layers of soft clothes even in warm weather and I am a funny-looking little old lady people aren't gouing to car as much about whether I am in a bra.
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From:elenbarathi
Date:June 5th, 2015 05:53 pm (UTC)
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I've gone braless since my teens, being blessed with small boobs that don't require support. I utterly loathe the feeling of anything around my ribcage, and synthetic fabrics make me itch and sweat. I have tactile hypersensitivity; I once made my seamstress laugh despairingly by telling her "Really, I prefer my clothing not to touch my skin at all."

Unfortunately, being a woman of a certain age means there's times when I really do have to wear a bra. The most comfortable I've found are the Genie Bras - I like their Cami Shapers, because they fit like a tank-top with a bra in it.
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From:vr_trakowski
Date:June 5th, 2015 11:58 pm (UTC)
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I've come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a comfortable bra in my size (as in, this is as big as I am) unless it's so expensive that I wouldn't bother visiting the store anyway. Manufacturers are not interested in comfort at this level and in fact I'm not sure it's possible.

They always say, tighten the band. Sure, I'll do that. Then what do I do with the pressure sores?
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From:dr_zrfq
Date:June 6th, 2015 05:19 pm (UTC)
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Sizes for women's clothing never made any sense at all to me. Even if sizes were standardized, the connection to reality is about as far from obvious as one can get -- and there is NO standardization across brands. Heck, there is no standardization across different models of the same brand. In fact, there is no standardization for the SAME model of the same brand *over time*.

The only item of men's clothing whose sizes make as little sense is shoes. Shoe manufacturers apparently aren't sexist, they just HATE EVERYBODY.

But there is a special section of hell for whomever came up with the scheme for women's clothing sizes. (It's worse than the special hell reserved for child molesters and people who talk in the theatre.)
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From:nancylebov
Date:June 6th, 2015 06:47 pm (UTC)
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I've heard that men's sizes have been getting more chaotic, though still not nearly as bad as women's sizes.
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From:momentsmusicaux
Date:June 7th, 2015 07:49 pm (UTC)
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At least men's sizes purport to actually describe the garment in a clearly-defined way (except for t-shirts I suppose). If I buy a pair of 32-inch jeans, then that's what the waist should measure.
That women's clothes are measured just in some abstract number is crazy.
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From:vvalkyri
Date:June 8th, 2015 07:40 am (UTC)
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but it isn't. try a tape measure around the waist.
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From:momentsmusicaux
Date:June 8th, 2015 07:44 am (UTC)
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Hmmm. In that case I may have to complain! :)
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From:madfilkentist
Date:June 9th, 2015 12:54 pm (UTC)
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Just checked myself (my pants size is 36 to 38) and it's pretty close.
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From:vvalkyri
Date:June 9th, 2015 04:57 pm (UTC)
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Curious: what sort of pants? I"ve seen guys do that with both jeans and dockers and the numbers are indeed different. Might be a brand thing, much like womens clothing size creep is moreso in certain brands.
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From:nancylebov
Date:June 9th, 2015 07:10 pm (UTC)
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I think it's not just size creep, it's also men's clothing which is sized for different degrees of tightness.
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From:madfilkentist
Date:June 10th, 2015 06:14 pm (UTC)
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Regular pants from places like Target and J. C. Penney, not anything fancy. I never wear jeans. I don't notice much difference among brands; I can consistently fit into a 36 when my weight isn't creeping up.
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From:green_knight
Date:June 6th, 2015 09:31 pm (UTC)
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I discovered my perfect bra in my twenties and am still wearing the same style/make: polyamide/elasthane sports bras, single piece without any fastenings. (By a German company called Trigema)

I need a moderate amount of support which they provide, they're dead comfortable, and there are no buckles or stays or lace or any other part that can rub, slip, or come undone.

Best. Find. Ever.
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From:cmcmck
Date:June 7th, 2015 11:09 am (UTC)
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'A good fit is what feels good to you'

This! Absolutely!
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From:franklanguage
Date:June 7th, 2015 10:36 pm (UTC)
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I have been wearing sports bras for years and one [discontinued, of course] style in particular for at least five years.

Although I could go braless, I walk about ten miles a day and prefer a little support; this is the perfect bra that I never notice. (If you have a link to your perfect bra, that would be great, because I'd like to be able to find a new bra if and when I need one.)
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