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12:15 pm: My Savage Breasts
It's official, y'all: my boobs require their own zip code.



In college, I had a boyfriend who was a boob man. Actually, that seems like much too mild a statement, sort of like calling a lifelong three-packs-a-day smoker a dabbler in the nicotine arts. He just...he really loved big boobs. So when I'd buy a new bra, he'd come over and gloat. "Wow, four hooks! You're HUGE!" he'd say enthusiastically, and I'd want to hurt him.

Thank god I didn't marry him. Thank you, thank you, thank you, god. Because if he'd been here today, he'd be writhing on the floor right now, while I stood over him and said, "Wow! How convenient! Your balls just detach!"

See, I'm in one of my annual "OMG why are all the clothes gone?" buying fits - basically, I would never shop for clothes ever under any circumstances if it was not for the fact that the old ones wear themselves out without my permission - and bras are a critical element of this annual festival of pain.

So I was looking at bra fitting advice - because typically my bras don't actually, um, fit all that well - and I saw this piece of information:

"If your cup seam doesn't lie flat against your breastbone, you need to go up in cup size."

And I was like, "Who the FUCK has a cup seam that lies flat against her breastbone?" I very nearly posted here, asking you to go check yourselves out in the mirror wearing your best fitting bras, but fortunately saner heads prevailed. But I did some, uh, not very covert local observation, and I discovered: other women really don't have magically projecting cups. Their cups snug right up to their bodies and nestle down for the winter.

So, with much reluctance, I got a tape measure and actually measured myself.

This is something where - okay. If I could've chosen to pay $150 to have a stranger in another town measure herself, and that would've worked, I would totally have done that. It is worth $150 to me not to have to take a tape measure to my own body. But, tragically, that technology hasn't been perfected yet. I had no choice but to whip out the ol' tape.

And, like, wow. I never have measured myself for a bra before, but I would say the instructions I was given were slightly inaccurate. I would write them thusly:
  1. Measure around your chest just below your breasts.

  2. Measure around the fullest part of your breasts.

  3. Subtract the first measurement from the second.

  4. Memorize or write down the resultant number.

  5. Bop cheerfully over to the computer and look at the sizing chart.

  6. Cry.
Because according to the sizing chart, my boobs - well, as I said: they needed their own zip code. See, I've been going up in band size, because I assumed my bras didn't fit because I'm fat. But according to the sizing chart, my old band size is actually too high, and my bra problem is that my boobs are fat. Very, very fat.

But I know better than to believe what I read on the internet, so I went down one from the recommended cup size (and that was, yes, still larger than the bras I've been buying) and bought two bras in that, figuring I could publicly mock the sizing chart when they proved to be too big.

They came today. They fit better than any bra I've ever owned. It's pretty clear that if I went up a cup size, they'd fit perfectly.

And that is...that sucks. Because I was already out of the pretty bra range, where you can have things like bows and prints and frolicky cotton. When you switch the little size box to my old size, the color box goes down to just four: white, black, navy, and beige.

But now. But NOW. The size I apparently actually am - when you switch to that, you get just black and white. And the only bras that come in my size at all are what you might call Extreme Ordnance bras - like, these things are not so much sewn as they are constructed. By bridge engineers. Out of high-performance steel. Their general design message is, "Whoa, girl. What have you got in there, watermelons?"

One of the bras I got today has SIX hooks. SIX. And it's a cup size too small! The actual proper size is probably going to have GIRDERS.

I can just picture my college boyfriend's unbridled glee at that piece of news.

I kind of wish he was here, actually. Then at least someone would be delighted at the news. Plus, I would be able to be mad at him, and that would make me feel better.

But he's not. So I'm just posting a little note to say: if you want to send something to me, I'll be at the old address. But if you want to send something to either of my boobs, well, I'm going to have to call the post office. Because there's just not room in this zip code for all three of us.

Comments

[User Picture]
From:dar_jeeling
Date:June 14th, 2006 07:27 pm (UTC)
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I very nearly posted here, asking you to go check yourselves out in the mirror wearing your best fitting bras, but fortunately saner heads prevailed.

You know, such a poll did actually pop up on my flist some time ago. If I remember correctly, the options were: "Yes" "No" "Only when I lie on my back" and "What?"

And I was frantically clicking What? What? I have never ever heard of this and oh no, that probably means I wear ill-fitting bras and my boobs will succumb to gravity before it's time!
[User Picture]
From:littera_abactor
Date:June 14th, 2006 07:48 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Apparently, it's absolutely true: if the part between your cups isn't basically welded to your breastbone, you need to go up a cup size. Possibly more than one. If, um, you're me.

Truly, I encourage you to get out your own tape measure and do the Hideous Measurement Tango. The trauma doesn't last! I mean, it goes away as soon as you make a lengthy LJ post complaining about your boobs, which is clearly something every girl should do once. (I mean that. I already have links of FOUR separate places where I can buy bras. Including even some pretty ones! In my actual size! Wow.)
[User Picture]
From:jacquez
Date:June 14th, 2006 08:27 pm (UTC)
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About the hideous measurement tango.

A lot of places tell you to add inches to the underbust measurement -- usually 5" or 3". I know a lot of women who follow these instructions and end up with a much-too-large band size. (I mention below that I wear a 32HH. If I add 5 and wear a 36 or 38 instead, it is highly entertaining around these here parts.)

I know why the measuring sites do this, and it's not malicious, believe it or not! They do this because this is about how much you can compress that measurement by holding your ribs in. And many people, upon being measured, will suck their ribs in. Especially if they're being measured by someone else, but sometimes when measuring themselves (although that is harder, because it's a hard position to hold while wrangling a measuring tape).

So, if going by the number on the tape, just make sure you keep your ribs nice and relaxed while measuring, and don't add anything to the measurement. :)

[User Picture]
From:janet_carter
Date:June 14th, 2006 08:33 pm (UTC)
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I've noticed that variation and am thrilled to have an explanation! Especially because I've seen ones that have you do that before subtracting for cup size, which means that they end up telling me that I have no need to wear a bra. Which is not the case. Thank you for providing information!
[User Picture]
From:jacquez
Date:June 14th, 2006 08:42 pm (UTC)
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you're quite welcome. :)

And yeah - if you're not holding your ribs in & you do that, you can easily end up with a negative cup size, even if you're a C or D cup!!
[User Picture]
From:littera_abactor
Date:June 14th, 2006 10:28 pm (UTC)
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Wow. See, I had seen the whole "add X inches" thing, and I was like...what now? Why?

And now I know. (Thank you!) Because, yeah, that gave me a ridiculous result. I figured, I'll be wanting to breathe while I wear this bra, so I put the tape measure around myself loosely while I was relaxed.

(Also, I wanted the biggest possible band measurement because I wanted the largest possible number to subtract from the horror that I knew the boob measurement would be - because, seriously, before the recent bra-buying odyssey, I didn't think bras came in sizes as big as I was; online bra size calculators wouldn't even give me a size. They'd just tell me that my measurements were out of range. Thanks, online bra caculators!)
[User Picture]
From:jacquez
Date:June 14th, 2006 11:48 pm (UTC)
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you're quite welcome! Figuring that one out was, like, an epiphany. :)
[User Picture]
From:tephralynn
Date:June 15th, 2006 02:41 am (UTC)
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So that's why the whole figuring size by measuring never worked for me! I always end up taking about half a dozen sizes that seem likely into the fitting room, finding the one with a comfortable band and then working out if I need to go up or down on the cup.

While I'm sure I'll still have to take a bunch into the fitting room I should have less variation in size now, just the whole style hassle to deal with (cups too close together, too far apart, straps too short (which front hook styles always have for some reason) etc.)
[User Picture]
From:dormouse_in_tea
Date:November 10th, 2006 06:47 am (UTC)
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Wait, what? (sorry, sorry, I don't even remember how I got here...oh yeah, from daegaer, I went to read the tampon explosion)

*looks at chest* That part is supposed to touch SKIN? Er, non-boob skin?

....wellfuck. And I'm wearing a G cup right now.
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