I Don’t Like Shopping (Part Two: The Bra)


If you follow my blog with any regularity, you have probably discovered that I am not a shopper. In our household, I don’t even do the grocery shopping.At any given time, I keep a little notepad in my purse in which I list the items I need: practical things like shampoo, toilet paper, hair colour and pain reliever. When the list gets long enough – or the need for any of the above-mentioned items becomes truly dire, only then do I head for the store, list in hand.

Of all the things I hate shopping for, nothing tops the list quite as completely as the dreaded Mission to Find A Bra. Now before any of you go and get any ideas, let me hasten to add: my bras are generally as practical as my shopping list. You know; Mom bras: no fuss, no frills, no exorbitant bill. Nothing to write home about, I can assure you.

And as much as I know that as a woman, I am an oddity for not enjoying shopping for anything but books, I have yet to meet a woman who enjoys shopping for bras. Not one, unless you fall within the income bracket of women who can walk into a specialty shop, wave a wad of bills around, point at their chest and imperiously tell the saleslady, “Look at these, please, and find me something ridiculously pretty that fits them”. Bra shopping, much like having your legs waxed, is simply NO FUN.

My income bracket falls into the department-store category of undergarments. The ones on sale. Oh, don’t get me wrong; they make them sound great. They give them exciting names that include words like ‘wonder’, ‘play’, ‘maiden’, ‘vanity’, ‘exquisite’ and ‘glamour’. Advertisers – even the department-store advertisers – really make these things sound exotic and fun.

I am here to tell you, there is nothing wonderful about a department store bra. Once you get past the brand name, they give each item in their line creative names like ‘2278’, ‘9901’ or ‘447’. There are approximately a million sizes of each and you have to be able to decipher between cup sizes (A, AA, B, BB and so on, until you reach the end of the alphabet) AND the dimensions of your body under the appendages you are there to cover up (from the dainty and oft-sung about ‘34’ right on up to infinity). Then you must decide between no support, medium support, full support or this-could-withstand-a-hurricane support. Some have dainty little straps. Some have no straps. Some have straps as thick as tree trunks. And do not get me started about features such as push-up bras, minimising bras, full-coverage bras, seamless bras, back-smoothing bras, underwire bras, front closure or back-closure bras, sports bras (which require their own guide book to get into) and maternity bras.

Because I’m pretty smart about shopping, each time that I have had to spent several days in a department store changing room trying on one bra after another (keeping in mind, of course, that you can only take in six at a time), I keep the box. And when my current bra wears out, I take that box to the department store so that I can quickly find the same thing the next time I need one. Once I know which style works, I can go for years without having to enter the dreaded department-store changing room.

Done. Boom.

But then, the bra manufacturer discontinues that make. Or I gain weight. Or I lose weight. Or the store doesn’t have the particular, complex algorithm of bra that happens to fit me and absolutely no one else.

All that to say, I had to go through just such an ordeal recently. With my husband in tow. The lone bra I had left was falling apart. Whether I liked it or not, the time had come. Nonetheless, I came confidently to the proper section of the store, a cut-out from my last bra package in hand. And I stood there, stricken, as it slowly dawned on me that they did not have my size. Annoyed, I made my husband go off to find ‘something’, and then, when he came back not even two full minutes later, another ‘something’. But he just kept coming back, half fascinated, half exasperated, to still find me in that hated section. The last time he came back, he watched me, standing as still as a statue, in front of the same display I had been standing at for what seemed years. Seeing that I clearly didn’t know what I was doing, he decided to be supportive (pardon the pun).

“Here it is,” he said helpfully, as he grabbed a box and handed it to me. I rolled my eyes. “That’s a 22379, NOT a 22378.” I told him curtly “And it’s beige; not white. And it doesn’t even have an underwire. And there’s no support. None! Can’t you see the frigging difference?”

He wisely decided to leave and find ‘something else’. For the car. And this time, he did not come back.

He had only been gone a minute when I spotted a boy aged perhaps 9 or 10 at the end of the bra aisle, watching me with fascination. I suppressed the urge to hiss at him like a cat, and his mother – not unaware of my plight – hurried him away with a quick, sympathetic glance in my direction.

I eventually found the bra. I bought two of them. And I kept the box.

For all the good it’ll do me…

Source of photo

Patti Moore Wilson/ © wednesdayschildca.wordpress.com


If you liked this post, try https://wednesdayschildca.wordpress.com/2018/04/25/reflections-on-footwear-fashion-and-common-sense/#more-204


Author: Patti Moore Wilson, wednesdayschild2

I write what I feel. And I rarely know exactly what I feel until I write. I have lived long enough to have known many joys and many sorrows. I have made many mistakes; I have forgiven myself for a few… I have learned that there are lessons in every step of this journey, if we only take the time to pay attention… I hope you will feel free to pick and choose the stories that resonate for you…

21 thoughts on “I Don’t Like Shopping (Part Two: The Bra)”

      1. Well, I was married for twenty-five years and have heard the bra-lament many times before. Sometimes, if my wife got a bra that fit well, she talked about that even more. Men distrust bras because they are just one more guardian to get past…

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Shopping for oneself is a personal experience (especially for the intimate items)… and everyone an individual with their own tastes and thoughts, it is nearly impossible for another to shop for them… 🙂

    When my late wife wanted to get something for herself, I volunteered to go shopping with her, volunteered to drive the auto, volunteered to pay for the item but SHE had to choose what SHE wanted… 🙂

    At Christmas time I give the children an “personal Christmas card” with a check (no cash cards)… then THEY can shop where THEY want and purchase what THEY want and like… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As much as I hate shopping for clothes (like you), I no longer mind shopping for bras (unlike you). Reading this though, I’m wondering if I’ve been doing it all wrong (haha). I started buying the same t-shirt bra in my local supermarket, because I discovered that they were comfortable, affordable – and came in a selection of colours. As my weight fluctuated, all I had to do was go up or down a cup size and that was fine until I had my big op and my boobs shrank with the rest of me. Suddenly I had ill-fitting bras that were shapeless (or maybe that was just me) and looked awful under my clothes. Unfortunately, I realised that the bras I’d been depending on for years were not available in my size. So I had to look elsewhere and luckily, without too much effort, I found THE new favourite in a well known UK chain that I got my very first bra in when I was a kid. I bought one to take home and it was perfect, so I went straight out and bought another. Slightly more expensive than my old ones and nothing special to look at, but it’s worth it for the lack of faffing about I now have to do.

    Have you considered shopping online for one? X

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve never thought about it before, but the worst part of clothes shopping is trying stuff on (memories of being fat and uncomfortable in open changing rooms, I expect). I can’t remember ever trying on bras in a store. Yikes!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My weight has always fluctuated so shopping for clothes is not always pleasant. I remember one memorable occasion, standing in a changing room at the heaviest I ever got, looking at myself in the mirror with tears running down my face. I have a LOT of empathy – and zero judgement – as a result…


      3. I was morbidly obese for decades but my bra size has remained much the same throughout haha. I thoroughly dislike changing rooms, especially communal ones, which are thankfully not so common now. I stopped trying on clothes in shops and looking in mirrors .

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree – go alone for sure, and swimwear is just as bad, if not worse – so much more to choose from, plus you’ll be publicly on display, trying to avoid weird tan lines etc…… the joys of shopping!! 😬👙

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ha ha, you’ll probably find bargains online this time of year – you just have to prepared for lots of potential returns and swaps…..one tip that might help though – if you go on holiday to hot/beachy type places there are usually lots of bathing suits for sale – cheaper than we get back at home, so try and grab a few bits each time you’re away (and you’ll be more in the mood to look at swimwear when you’re feeling those holiday vibes) 🔆🌴🍹

        Liked by 1 person

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