January 03, 2006

Small Band, Big Cup: A PSA for the Women

If, like me, you are a goofy bra size, this is what you must do:

You must read this post.

Then, you must go here and spend too much money on bras. Bras THAT FIT.

Because, I'm telling you, you will be so freakin' happy if you do.

By US standard sizing, I'm a 34F (and sometimes G, depending on style and manufacturer). Most (but not all) bra manufacturers call this a "34DDD." A damn triple D--I can't look at my own bra size without flashing back to my grades in high school.

Who sells this size? Nobody sells this size! So for most of my life, I've been squishing into 36DD bras that don't fit. For most of my life I've been walking around with quadriboob.

Never again. I love these people, do you hear me? I am sorry to go all Jerry Maguire like that, but I love these people. My boobs love these people.

If you're in similar circumstances, you should absolutely check it out. It is awesome.

UPDATE: Oh, that's what I remind myself of. Only with less bourbon.

Posted by Ilyka at January 3, 2006 06:14 PM in navel gazing

And here I was all proud of my D-cup nursing bras.


If you think you've had clamoring for your picture BEFORE. . .

[All in jest, darling. All in jest. Honest.]

Posted by: Margi at January 3, 2006 07:48 PM


It's not a subject I'd normally bring up at all because if you're big up top and you brag about it, that's considered nauseating. On the other hand, if you're big up top and you complain about it, that's considered ingratitude. And basically anything I say about my bra size is going to be taken as either boasting or bitching by some people, you know?

That said, I really, really envy Helen her boob reduction. A C cup would be wonderfully wicked perfect. So jealous of that.

But this was too cool not to post about. I mean SERIOUSLY, I have not had to adjust this bra even ONCE, and I am like normally a compulsive titty-adjuster. I used to get laughs at work because I'd be having a discussion with other programmers and in the middle of it just shove my hand down there to adjust, uh, the situation, which I know is like all gross and rude to do, but I'd do it unconsciously because I just can't freakin' stand it when they won't STAY PUT. It is so nice not to have breast tissue creeping out to my armpit or up above the cup line or going ANYWHERE it's not supposed to.

These bras! They are HEAVEN. I keep flashing myself in the mirror. Oh man, stop me before I spaz out again about this. I can't believe how lame I am sometimes.

Also I have reason to love the UK again, because the best ones, hands down, came from UK manufacturers. I do not know why Americans are retarded about bra-making but compared to the Brits, we definitely, definitely are.


I've really got to stop being such a loon about this. Ahem!

Posted by: ilyka at January 3, 2006 08:07 PM

But if I CAN complain for a sec, you know what sucks about being that size?

You can never wear a bikini. And damnit, there were days I'd have looked smashing in a bikini.

Oh well. Nothing's perfect.

Posted by: ilyka at January 3, 2006 08:19 PM
if you're big up top and you brag about it, that's considered nauseating. On the other hand, if you're big up top and you complain about it, that's considered ingratitude. And basically anything I say about my bra size is going to be taken as either boasting or bitching by some people, you know?

Is there a cup size for which [above] is NOT the case? Because I'm on the opposite end of the boob spectrum and have similar experiences. When I was coming out of puberty and it was becoming clear that no, this wasn't just an awkward phase that I'd grow out of, my mother told me that that was from her side of the family, and she was so sorry, because she knew how hard it was to go through life with small breasts. And I was really confused, because of all the aspects of my physical appearance I was ever unhappy with, this one never even made the top ten. Hell, I liked not having to wear a bra. But of course, every girl within ten years of my age grew up with Judy Blume, whose protagonists made VERY VERY CLEAR that no female over the age of 12 whose cup size was not equal to C could be POSSIBLY be happy with her chest size, so my mother just assumed that I was unhappy with mine whether I admitted it or not.

This is why I hate Judy Blume, by the way.

But *cough* enough about me! 'Tis good to find things that fit. I used to wonder why people would ever spend more than [some small amount of money] on an article of clothing - after all, I could clothe myself on a shoestring budget - but that was before I discovered that by spending triple my usual amount on walking shoes, I could walk without searing knee pain. Not having to adjust breasts sounds like money well spent, even if I can't directly relate.

Posted by: Moebius Stripper at January 3, 2006 08:41 PM

I've always been on the low-end of that spectrum. In fact, I was an all-time large at C-cup in high school. I LOST A CUP SIZE with each pregnancy. I figure if I get back to my fighting weight after this child, they'll be CONCAVE. *rimshot*

And just because I've always been small, doesn't mean I can't commiserate with you. Girrrl. It sounds like those monsters are a PAIN. It's only in the last year or so (since I gained a few extra pounds and gained some boobage back) that I realize how much they can GET IN THE WAY.

And you know, since mine are about to take a temporary leave of absence from their usual job and become full-time food factories, I'm ALWAYS looking for good nursing bras.

So. . .THANKS!

Posted by: Margi at January 3, 2006 08:46 PM

I think I could get a whole post out of my Judy Blume hatred, seriously. I want to hit virtually every character in Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret, except maybe Grandma Sylvia. MAYBE.

Is there a cup size for which [above] is NOT the case?

You know, probably not. I hadn't considered that but you're right. People always go into grass-is-greener mode about boobs.

Posted by: ilyka at January 3, 2006 08:54 PM

My poor beautiful sister kept me abreast [rimshot] of the bra selection problem from an early age. It wasn't until I was older that I realized that some folks had to worry about nipple exposure issues too, especially with respect to "work" bras.

On a related note, most of the women I've dated have been on the tall side (around 5'9"-5'10") and I understand it's a real bitch to find cool pants that are long enough.

Posted by: Hubris at January 3, 2006 09:58 PM

Amen, Hubris. And I'm not really that tall. Just mostly legs. (5'7")

P.S. Ilyka? I tagged you for a meme. Please don't kill me!

*runs like hell*

Posted by: Margi at January 3, 2006 10:48 PM

I'm 5'7" too but unlike Margi, I don't have legs up to there, alas. I can usually do all right in pants sizing but I admit I prefer, and have even bought, men's slacks.

[Cue "See, I told you she was a total dyke" remark here.]

It's just EASIER to buy pants that fit when you can go by the inseam measurement. So sue me. I have about 3 pairs of Eddie Bauer khakis and I love them, because they don't do to me what women's pants do to me, which is:

1. Assume I've got hips like a fertility goddess. I don't.

2. Put PLEATS down the front. Pleats are the devil. Pleats are my sworn enemy.

3. Come without pockets. That is so WRONG, pants without pockets. I have enough crap crammed into my purse as it is. I NEED pockets.

And, seriously? Everything's so unisex-looking anymore that it's not like anyone ever says to me, "OMG, you're wearing men's trousers." Because you can't freakin' tell! They're just pants, for crying out loud.

So that's what I'd tell the tall ones do: Defect. Go menswear. It totally works.

Posted by: ilyka at January 3, 2006 11:08 PM

I love Levi's 501s for that very reason. I buy them by inseam/waist measurements. I've never (even when I was skinny) been able to wear women's wear off the rack properly. I have pretty big hips in comparison to waist size, so if I buy pants to fit THERE, they don't fit THERE. Yannowhutimean?

Posted by: Margi at January 4, 2006 12:13 AM
if I buy pants to fit THERE, they don't fit THERE

That is exactly the problem. They cut women's clothing from the same template and then just size it up or down and that so does not work. Even here, look, you're saying you need more room in the hips whereas I'm saying I need less, so we're not even alike. It's stupid to assume we're all shaped similarly when we vary so much, and I'm happy to deprive fashion designers of my money and just buy what fits ME.

Posted by: ilyka at January 4, 2006 12:50 AM

Two words, ladies: sweatpants, sportsbra.

Although I don't need a sportsbra I'm a big fan of sweatpants. Guys jeans don't fit your average guy any better than ladies jeans fit the average lady. I have a fairly common congenital defect known as "flat white boy ass". The only regular jeans that don't make me look like I'm carrying a load put an unacceptable amount of pressure on the old medial-ventral tube snake.

I'm a big believer in soft cotton fabrics and the magic of elastic.

Posted by: Jim at January 4, 2006 04:00 AM

Of course I love sweat pants--I'm a man-hating feminazi, remember? That's like a requirement.

And I got the sports bra covered, too.

I have a fairly common congenital defect known as "flat white boy ass".

Oh, yeah, I know about that. I seem to have inherited that from my father.

True story: I'm in a dressing room trying on school clothes with my mother, I'm like 14 or something, and she tsks at something I've tried on, don't remember what, and says, "You have no ass . . . just like your father." She did NOT mean this as a compliment, but personally, I'm just grateful not to have inherited its opposite, the bubble butt.

Posted by: ilyka at January 4, 2006 04:30 AM

Any suggestions for those of us who are, um, asymmetrical up top? I'm a C cup on the right, considerably less on the left. Can't wear underwires because the one on the left comes in at an odd angle and drills a hole in my armpit.

Right now I'm wearing Spanx bras, and they're OK, but I'm open to further suggestions.

Posted by: Annalucia at January 4, 2006 06:10 PM

OMIGOD, thank you Ilyka! I'm loving the site and will be ordering on it.

I'm a 34DD and hate shopping for bras..most stuff looks like its for old grannies with underwires that will come up under the pits and up over my sternum.

Hubris, it's because most inexpensive places for women's clothes (Mervyn's Kohls Target) carry "average" length. I'm 5'8" most of it in my legs and I cannot buy "cheap" pants or I look like I'm going to a flood. I'll spend the extra $$$ for a good pair of slacks to get the quality. I like classic cuts so I'm not going to get stuck with a closet of $80 slacks that will fall out of fashion (and fall apart) after one season. I have the best luck at Steinmart, Nordstrom's and Talbots.

Damn, I wish I could get into Levi's 501's, but I am a "fertility goddess"... flat tummy but very hourglass figure (hell, I had four wonderful pregnancies, four hardworking but relatively painfree labors...NO pain meds...and 4 good sized baby girls....all those farmer genes..drop 'em in the field, strap 'em on your back and keep planting!) I end up spending more money on jeans than necessary, but quality does last.

Posted by: Darleen at January 5, 2006 12:52 AM

"Quality does last"--amen to that. It's a notion I resisted for years, but it's the truth. It's better to buy a $100 pair of shoes that will LAST than to go spastic at Payless.

What I love about HerRoom.com is that there are actual product reviews right there on the ordering page, and I have to say none of them steered me wrong. I ordered five bras; I need to exchange two for a different size, but that's pretty good considering I did this without a fitting room, I think. And in one of the size-exchange bras I ignored the reviewers' advice to order up a cup size, so that's my own stupid fault.

A 34-anything-past-C is damn difficult to track down in the stores. It's like they all think that if you're D-cup or over, you must also be as big around in the torso as Walter Perry. I just hate that.

Death to the granny bra! Ha.

Posted by: ilyka at January 5, 2006 01:38 AM

Darleen, I've heard that Banana Republic is good for long women's pants too--just wait for a sale or they'll really rip you a new one. God help me, I know I love my overpriced Banana boot-cut pants. I'm worth it.

Posted by: Hubris at January 5, 2006 07:57 AM