Do you ever see the appeal of a thing while knowing, deep in your heart, that the thing is not for you? I’m talking of course about the bralette, which seems to have become much more popular in these unsupported, loosey-goosey pandemic times.

I love everything about the idea of a bralette, with its wirefree cups, tiny straps, and fancy lacy back, but I do not have a bralette body. Or I guess in the spirit of every body is a beach body I technically do, except only in the sense that it is physically possible to put a bralette on.

I have long resisted the siren song of the bralette and its bullshit promises despite 1) being heavily targeted by Internet ads as a top member of the ideal bralette consumer demographic (and even accurately pegged as someone who will perk up at the ads that specifically claim to offer a solution for larger-busted ladies) and 2) really being kind of a massive sucker these days for anything that promises the holy grail convergence of cute + comfortable.

However, I was at TJ Maxx the other day (side journey to tell you that yes, I still go out browsing, masked up and fingers crossed, but I do it far less than I used to and I don’t enjoy it nearly as much) (further side journey to also tell you that I saw a women bring a dog inside and I was like LINDA YOU LEAVE THAT LADY BE on account of probably an emotional support animal PLUS pandemic but it turned out to be a FRENCH BULLDOG and come on, there is only so much a person can be expected to do in terms of self-control) (the lady and dog were very nice) and I found myself in the lingerie section, faced with the ultimate temptation: TWO bralettes, sold together, in adorable colors and pretty lace backs, for like, 7 bucks.

If I know deep down that even the most expensive well-made bralette is unlikely to do what I need it to do, I know damn good and well that an extremely flimsy and cheap 2-for-1 bralette from TJ Maxx’s clearance rack is certainly going to be a massive disappointment, but for $6.99 I couldn’t help myself. It was like that bat-eared Frenchie: IT CALLED TO ME.

This is the part of the boring story where I would love to tell you that I got home and lo! It was a miracle! My bosoms were lifted to the heavens in an effortless fashion and I was transformed into a buxom creature that exuded both comfort and sensuality! But no.

It was pretty much just as bad as I thought it would be: the back was cute enough, but the front was pure disaster. There were those too-small, too-mobile pads in the cups that utterly failed to do anything in terms of support or shaping and instead made my nipples look weirdly square. There was a lack of any kind of hefting whatsoever and my boobs fought each other in a depressing battle to rest on my navel. Instead of cleavage there was just a long saggy gap that reminded me of that tragic blobfish that looks like melted hell when dredged out of its home 4,000 feet below the water.

In the end I can chalk the failed hooter-holster up to an experiment that simply didn’t pan out but I know the ultimate truth: I was convinced it wasn’t going to work yet I bought it anyway. There is either something purely hopeful and upbeat about this entire endeavor, or the downright definition of bullheaded stupidity.


13 Responses to “Choose your own adventure”

  1. Penne on August 28th, 2020 8:42 am

    The first two sentences made my entire day better. I also suffer from big boob-hefting optimism that never quite pans out. I spent 20 years putting an underwire on upon waking so as not to traumatize my sons with the swinging flop of my womanhood. Now that the boys are away at school and the world is sheltering in place, you’d think I’d be bra-less and happy, but I find myself awkwardly adjusting and trying to figure out where they’re supposed to rest. To the sides? On my lap? Ugh. Were there only a bralette capable. PS – I recently received an ad for a terry cloth tube top romper, a la 1978. So there’s that.

  2. Lisa Hanson on August 28th, 2020 8:42 am

    “Hooter-holster”!!!! 😂😂😂

  3. Swistle on August 28th, 2020 8:42 am

    This is me with tank tops, knee socks, and cute hair clips: I cannot make them work, no matter how cute they are on others. I have to own a couple of each so I can try them on periodically, or else I will buy more.

  4. Kim on August 28th, 2020 9:01 am

    My latest mistake was not a boob sling, although I’ve had some middling luck with that company Brayola that I can sort-of recommend, but a targeted online ad for the perfect messenger bag. Why I let my hopes up, I’ll never know, but now I’m $65 poorer and what I’ve been left with is a plain-jane canvas thing that is NOT the organizational life changing bag I was promised. And I know I’m too lazy and filled with malaise to return it, so I’m going to attempt to add artsy patches to it and hope for the best. Spoiler alert, it’s going to be a disaster but it’ll give me something to do this weekend.

  5. Leslie on August 28th, 2020 10:35 am

    Yes, this, SO MUCH THIS! I could substitute a hundred other things in addition to hoping to find the holy grail of bras… I just can’t stop myself and the Instagram ad algorithm and I have become one, so there’s no use fighting it anymore.

  6. Emily on August 28th, 2020 1:40 pm

    Listen, you larger-chested ladies already hoarded ALL THE BOOB FUN in your twenties. Bralettes are simply a bit of revenge for us A-cups.

  7. Emily on August 29th, 2020 7:45 am

    “Hooter holster” reminded me of the childhood “over the shoulder boulder holder” days!

  8. Suzanne on August 29th, 2020 3:09 pm

    I purposely bought several barrettes some months ago because I was wooed by their promise of comfortable bra-adjacent living. And while they certainly hold up the comfort end of the bargain, they hold up really nothing else. Solidarity.

  9. Mary on August 30th, 2020 6:44 am

    I have also been wooed and similarly disappointed. I don’t even find them comfortable enough to wear around the house because I am constantly having to, um, rearrange. Underwire for life, I guess.

    Targeted marketing though…they’ve got my number. Currently, I am being courted by a variety of miraculous hair growth concoctions, guaranteed to take my just-about-shoulder-length hair and turn it into princess-style luscious locks. I expect I will fall for something soon.

  10. Jill on August 31st, 2020 3:06 am

    Yes! They are so cute and yet so useless, almost worse than useless due to the constantly needing to rearrange everything. Occasionally I will sleep in one because it’s slightly more comfortable than flopping around everywhere but it’s still essentially just flopping around everywhere.

  11. sooboo on August 31st, 2020 1:33 pm

    Ahh…I miss the sights and smells of the TJ Maxx. Haven’t been shopping IRL since February. I’ve been buying comfortable clothes that often don’t fit online so I get a similar thrill/ letdown. Whatever fills the time these days!

  12. mary clare on September 1st, 2020 5:01 pm

    Oh, girl. Ha ha! My full C cups agree with you – bralettes are not for us! Well, they are so cute, but not meant to be for us big-boob girls. I bought some cute ones and my boobs kept spilling out in a not-so-cute fashion. Oh well.

  13. Julie on September 4th, 2020 10:17 am

    I feel your pain! Though I found a really cute, expensive one that I *thought* worked really well, so I bought several of them. Only to have all said bras, eventually ride up on me and end up above my boobs. So, at least you are only out the relative cost of a fast food meal :)

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