I was getting ready to leave the house the other day and after I’d loaded both kids in the car and run back inside to grab my purse I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and came screeching to a halt. It wasn’t the sweaty, red face that startled me (my god, Dylan has become a hefty little honey-baked ham, and toting him in the carseat is like some sort of nightmarish Level FIVE strength routine in 30 Day Shred); it was the whomper-jawed hooters.

One was pointing slightly off to the left, the other making its escape down the right side of my ribcage. The thin, cheap fabric of my Target-purchased bra was doing nothing to mask the d├ęcolletage coup d’├ętat happening under my shirt, and as I shoved both hands in there and wrestled everything back to place like I was trying to manhandle two unruly badgers, it occurred to me that in the absence of surgical intervention, it was time for some expert advice.

So yesterday I headed to Nordstrom’s lingerie department, dragging my friend Ashley along for moral support.

We found a clerk and I sidled up to her, awkwardly clearing my throat. “Hi,” I husked. “I know we are total strangers . . . but I feel something magical happening between us. I was wondering if you could come with me into a small dressing room and look at my unclothed breasts?”

Okay, not really, but that’s what it felt like I was saying when I asked if she could do a fitting. I’ve never been fitted for a bra before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect — was I supposed to whip off my shirt immediately, or were we going to engage in some girl chat first, maybe share a little pharmaceutical assistance to loosen the old inhibitions? Would there be a pillow fight, and if so, would the feathers that drifted gaily onto our naked shoulders be pink, or white?

Well, it turns out that a bra fitting is quite professional and there’s really no giggling involved, except when the nice lady informed me that I was not in fact a 36 C like I’ve been wearing for YEARS, but rather, a 32 D. I laughed disbelievingly and said I knew she was the one with the measuring tape and all but I did not think so, ha ha ha, and she had me try on a 32 D Wacoal that fit so perfectly I actually snapped my own picture when she left the room because I’d never seen my chest at, you know, chest level before.


(Dorky jumped-the-shark Lolcats text placement for modesty purposes only, because clearly every last drop of humor has long been wrung from this idiotic meme.)

I bought two bras in my crazy new size and both of them provide the key elements I’ve been looking for: elevation, containment, immobility, and, er, temperature shielding. I would never in a million years have thought to decrease the band size OR increase the cup size, but apparently that was exactly what I needed. Hooray for Nordstrom’s, their famous-for-a-reason customer service, and the oddly named “t-shirt bra”, which essentially creates a bulletproof, sag-resistant Viking-esque covering for that which has been Ravaged by Time and Motherhood.

In related news, I seem to have undergarments on my mind lately because I see I referenced a “pointy-bra’d rack” on a recent Lemondrop post, which is my TOTALLY SEAMLESS segue to ask you to visit me there because no one reads that shit, possibly because I have a lame posting schedule and some mysterious behind-the-scenes editor always adds at least one silly line to my entries, but still, empty comments fields make me sad, boo. Come say hi.


74 Responses to “Male readers can just skip this one, okay?”

  1. Kendra on November 25th, 2008 7:10 am

    I’ve been measured three times at Victoria’s Secret and have been given a wildly different size each time. The last time, (34D, I think) the bras actually fit. For a while. I swear to god, they’re GROWING again. For no reason. Boobs should not just GROW for no reason.

  2. Krissa on November 25th, 2008 7:33 am

    WORD to your Mother F-ing MOTHER. I am firmly convinced (heh, “firm”) that most women do not wear the right size of bra. And Victoria’s Secret is the WORST place for a fitting – they do not make my size (34E), so they just tell me to “try the 34DD.” Uh…that is not the right size. I’m not jamming my clodhoppers into smaller shoes just because a store doesn’t have a size 8 – my breasts deserve the same!
    I do not work for, nor am I at all affiliated with them, but figleaves.com has a wide array of bras, and some wicked deals. Once you know your size, have those pretty little things wing their way right to your door!
    They also have a handy measuring page for women to measure themselves at home. Better than nothing!

  3. Leticia on November 25th, 2008 7:40 am

    Oh my gosh, wearing the right bra makes all the difference in the world. My friends always laugh that I’m willing to spend money on a bra but I HAVE to, I’m a 36DD and I can’t skimp on support – I’ll be tripping over them if not. :o) (nice visual.)

  4. DanK on November 25th, 2008 7:51 am

    Since you’re one to appreciate the quotes of our friends from Springfield:
    “Mmmmmmmmmmm Boooobies!”

    Sorry, that’s all this hetero can say after reading that!

  5. Jeff on November 25th, 2008 7:56 am


    I need someone to validate the timing of this blog entry, because after many-a-year of bad Christmas gift ideas to my wife, this year I made an earnest attempt to pay attention to my wife, what she says, what she does, etc – and collect good gift ideas that I can then act on and shower upon her at Christmas.

    After firing out my three wonderful children, my wife has commented how much gravity has taken control of her hogans. (I never would have observed this. Boobs are boobs. Love boobs. Must see more of her boobs….)

    So I thought about and this past Saturday acted upon setting up a bra fitting for her at Nordstroms as one of her Christmas gifts – complete with a $200 gift card to spend on bras (and perhaps throw a little – VERY LITTLE – something extra in the bag for me.)

    So I need credit for this idea on my own – and not because as I can already hear my wife saying the words “you got this from that blog”. Even if I did – its still a good gift for a mother of three that is doing her best with what she now has using her old bras – right? But I want the full monty – I heard her (for once) then translated the situation into an opportunity of potential and promise and then acting on it to make it happen.

    I have the receipt to prove the purchase happened last Saturday BEFORE this entry (which I will now be including in the gift box and highlighting the date) along with a printout of this blog entry for moral support that fittings are a good thing done in a tasteful way that yields the desired results.

    And yes – I’m fully anticipating her spending the $200 on handbags, to add to her collection of HUNDREDS of handbags that all look the same to me. Honestly, they are all the same.

    By the way – seems like everyone that goes in for a fitting comes out with a size bigger than what they thought they were. Does Nordstrom charge extra for giving you bigger boobs? (Mmmmmmmmm….. bigger boooobbbbssss…)

  6. Mary on November 25th, 2008 8:18 am

    Know this isn’t the point of the post, but babe, what kind of jeans are those? They look foooooobulous.

  7. Each on November 25th, 2008 8:24 am

    the good news is, you are not alone, i worked as a bra specialist for over 4 years and 9 out of 10 women are in the wrong size.
    every woman should get a re fitting every few years as our bodies fluctuate, and a new fitting is definitely in order with major body changes such as weight gain or loss, childbearing etc.

    the good news! when you go down in band you go up in cup. So that means a 32D, 34C and 36B are all the same cup size, just different band size. So not only where you two band sizes too large but you were also a cup size too large, just because one is a D cup does not mean they have HUGE knockers, yes maybe large for a petite stature but not large in the concept our society seems to have for D cups.

    Also if you are a 32D your sister sizes (all bra manufactures are different and you can sometimes fit in a sister size better depending on who makes it, if there is padding etc) are 30DD(a custom size so you wont see this one) and 34C, a very common size you will see, as 32D are not always as available.
    See, down in band, up in cup and vise versa.

  8. Kate on November 25th, 2008 8:29 am

    It must be something in the air. Just last night my friend and I made plans to go to a bra-specialty store this weekend to finally find out what the hell size(s) we really are.

    After all those Oprah and Tim Gunn shows with women being shocked at their actual bra size, and after all these years of tugging and pulling and adjusting our own bras, we figured we’re way overdue.

  9. Harvest on November 25th, 2008 9:31 am

    This post is, erm, timely. I was walking to an interview downtown last week, and noticed as I stopped at a cross-walk that one boob had escaped beneath the band and was hanging noticeably lower than the other and there was no way to fix the situation before I walked into the building without it being very obvious what I was doing. The idea of a bra-fitting has always made me a little uncomfortable, but you don’t make it sound so bad, so Nordstroms here I come.

    Also, seconding Mary, mind sharing the jeans brand, because those are very cute.

  10. sundry on November 25th, 2008 9:37 am

    Jeff, your comment has me snorting and choking on my coffee. HOGANS.

    Harvest: the jeans are Sevens, the ‘Flip Flop’ style which is short enough not to require altering, which RULES.

  11. Mae on November 25th, 2008 9:37 am

    Wow, you have a lot of big boobed women reading your blog! I should go and get measured, but I think I’d be too depressed. “Oh, you have the wrong size, you’re not an A, you’re a AA’ (hey, why is AA smaller than A, but DD is bigger than D?). Boobs.

  12. Alyson on November 25th, 2008 9:52 am

    Yeah. I’ve had that same experience at Nordy’s. One little trip to the fitters and I went from a 36C to a 38DD! I have to admit that I was more than a little bit shocked by the change……but I’m a heck of a lot more comfortable!

  13. Tia on November 25th, 2008 10:05 am

    When I haven’nt nursed all day my 34B fits perfect! Is it wrong to just keep pumping long after the baby stops nursing? After each child they seem to shrink so my husband and I are guessing this time(our 3rd) they will be history. So my question to you is, do frozen blueberries give you big boobs? Let me in on the secert of big boobs!!

    FYI: Your hair rocks almost as much as your body. Keep up the hard work, it’s so paying off for you!

  14. JennyW on November 25th, 2008 10:22 am

    Boobs are tricky things, aren’t they? Week to week I swear, mine change size. And bras of course are never made the same, so a 34DD at V.S. translates to a 36D at Kohl’s or even a 34C elsewhere (sidenote to “Each”, thanks for the pointers on sister sizes!!). I am consistently unhappy with my boulder holders! Off to Google Wacoal to see if any stores near me carry them.

  15. victoria on November 25th, 2008 10:29 am

    This is so funny. I just got fitted for a bra at Nordstrom too, and I too was told to go up a cup size and down four inches in the band size. Apparently most women make exactly this mistake. After I made all sorts of self-deprecating comments to the salesperson about how I needed to just get a boob lift, she gave me her card and I discovered that she’s also the person who fits you for a prosthesis after your mastectomy, and I was all, “dang, here I am complaining about the shape of my breasts when at least I *have* breasts.”

  16. Leah on November 25th, 2008 11:32 am

    Your hair is looking particularly lovely in that picture, and I feel like I have to point it out because if hair is lovely enough to distract from the fact that YOU ARE NOT WEARING A SHIRT (wheee!), well, it must be noted.

  17. Dina on November 25th, 2008 1:35 pm

    I had a bra fitting at a famous bra shop in NYC called Town Shop- on the Upper West Side- it was a little bit embarassing.. but, like you, I was wearing the wrong bra side.
    I’m going to go back to Nordys after Christmas (yes, we are on a nick-name basis- I love it there) and see what the holiday eating season did to the state of my back fat.

  18. justmouse (or Chaosmomm..whatever) on November 25th, 2008 2:38 pm

    just cuz i’m sure you’ll hate me for mentioning it…yesterday i actually totally FORGOT to put a bra on. didn’t even realize till i was at work wondering why everything felt a little….loose. of course, i also couldn’t remember whether or not i let the dog in, where i parked my car, and if actually asked, i might have actually forgotten my own NAME yesterday (stress and lack of sleep apparently makes me Brain Dead). but ya. no bra. i mean, there have been days when i’ve actually forgone a bra on purpose (say weekends and such), but i’ve never actually just jumped in my clothes and gone to work before without remember to put on, you know, UNDERGARMENTS! oddly enough, i didn’t forget my panties. weird.

    (and as for the bra fitting, i haven’t had one since before i was married. i need a freakishly sized bra..something like a 43 B, which i’m not sure they even make)

  19. Dynamita on November 25th, 2008 2:45 pm

    I am soooo glad more and more people are getting bra fittings these days. I am also a 32D and up until a few years ago I could not find more than a couple of brands that catered to that size because, you know, ‘nobody that skinny is that endowed’, or ‘everybody is the perfect 34B’. HA!

    Thanks to more people realizing they are a bigger cup, now there are beautiful good bras available in loads of different sizes. I love it.

    Viva the bra fitting trend!

  20. Krissa on November 25th, 2008 3:14 pm

    I do wish that, to have a bra that fit, I could have regular bra STRAPS and not those horribly huge “comfort” straps. Also maybe a demi cup for a reasonable amount of money wouldn’t kill someone.

  21. Samantha on November 26th, 2008 11:17 am

    I went into Lane Bryant and asked for a fitting. The woman asked what size I wore, and when I told her, she laughed. She measured me in the middle of the store, which was embarassing enough, she then announced my true size to a packed store: 44 F! I could actually hear crickets at that point. People could not look away. She went over to a rack and gave me some options to try. They all worked great, but I am now exiled in the land of comfort straps and fugly for the rest of my life.

  22. Sarah on November 27th, 2008 8:21 pm

    Yeah, those Nordstrom bra ladies are pure magic. That is, until they measure you and tell you that they don’t make underwire nursing bras THAT BIG.

  23. Kelley O. on November 28th, 2008 3:29 pm

    Like you, I was all WTF today, when I took my 40C 3 year old saggy stretched out bra self into Nordstrom’s (yes, on Black Friday, I am INSANE!!!!!!) and the nice lady eventually fitted me with a 36DD Wacoal 85185. I only bought one because damn! they’re pricey, but that Bodysuede fabric surely does feel good. So, thanks for the recommendation. I even took pictures in the dressing room, wanna see them? ;) Of course, I don’t look NEARLY as good as you (yet), but you ARE my inspiration. I’m working on it.

  24. Stephanie on November 29th, 2008 10:47 am

    I just want to stand up for Lane Bryant. Maybe everything isn’t all lace and sheer net, but when you have huge Hogans the way we do, you need a little more fabric support. I got some cute ones there the other day. I’d rather deal with comfort straps than boobs that fall through the gap between the underwire and my skin.

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