Hell is Spelled B-R-A S-H-O-P-P-I-N-G

First, you need some background. 

Last week I had not one, not two, but THREE people tell me that my chest was sagging.  The first was my mom.  She is always telling me true things about myself that I would rather not know so I blew her off.  The second person was my very open with her opinions sister in law.  I started to blow her off too.  But then my other sister in law nodded in polite agreement. 

It was official.  My grayish, old, oops I put it in the dryer that eats clothes, yucky bra was no longer functional.  Three loved ones had not so politely informed me that it wasn't working for me and I kind of looked like I wasn't even wearing a bra at all. 

So, this morning, after dropping the son off at school, I head to Kohl's.  Did you know that Kohl's is open at 8am?  They must like the mom crowd. 

Of course I go with all three of my girls, ages 1, 3, and 5 (almost).  I get a cart.  I put the two year old in the cart.  I was dumb enough to not bring the carrier for the baby.  (I thought this would be a "quick" trip.)  So I am carrying baby on my hip.

I discover that some very smart marketing guru somewhere knows what is on my mind. 

These words jump out and me:

"Gravity defying!"
"Age defying!"
"Lifting"
"WONDER Bra"
"Supportive"
"Shaping"
"High-beams are for cars" (That is just funny.  Mostly I am just worried that IF I have high beams that they are both facing forward.)

AHA!  This is good!  I must not be the only lady with banana boobs who would like to roll them into a silky cup and make them touch my chin!  Things are looking up!!!!  All these pregnancies won't get me down! 

I throw a dozen colorful picks into the cart.  SOMETHING will work!  I can FEEL IT!

The dressing room calls. 

(I am going to leave out the part where the three year old crawls under the door, the baby crawls after her, and the 5 year old keeps trying to open the door ALL while I am topless.  I wouldn't want you to think I am whining.)

One after another I try them on. 

"Mommy, does that fit?" innocently asks my daughter. 

No.  No.  And no.  No.  No. No.

Nothing fits. 

I, a 32 year old woman who recently had an unassisted birth in her bedroom and has spent over five years of her life breastfeeding and has taught literally DOZENS of people the basics of natural birth, DOES NOT EVEN KNOW HER OWN BODY WELL ENOUGH TO PICK A BRA THAT FITS. 

I actually have no idea what size I am. 

Either that or NO bra fits and bra designs are simply a ploy by the plastic surgery industry to make me feel bad about myself and get a surgical lift. 

Once it has been decided that I am getting the wrong SIZE (how can I be two cup sizes bigger than I thought I was?  How does that happen?)  it is everlastingly too late. 

Chaos has erupted with the children.  The teenage personnel at Kohl's is wondering why these kids are running free.  I must leave.  No more time to pick another dozen and hope for the best. 

My spirits are dampened.  I will return to fight another day.  Next time I will go by myself.

The upside is I have been able to feed four babies.  Plus, I can hide a gun without a holster. 

Comments

Rachael Heiner said…
A few years ago Oprah did some show where a ridiculous number of women were all wearing the wrong size bra. I would recommend going to a store that offers fittings, like Victoria's Secret, Lane Bryant, or Macy's even if you're not going to BUY there, you can figure out your proper size. I have to shop at Lane Bryant because nowhere else has a 42 B. Hopefully I'll keep losing inches though. Good luck! Even when you do find out your PROPER size, every brand is different. When I find a bra I like, I just buy 2 or 3 of the same one and that's done.
magadociousrex said…
Don't go to victoria's secret.

They measured me, and THEN when I didn't' fit into any of the bras they sell. (because nobody sells bras that have huge cups and small bands in mainstream stores) they tried to convince me that I could go up 2-4 inches in band size and down a cup size.

I believe my response was "i'm sorry what? you cannot stuff 10 lbs of shit in a 5 lb bag. No"
Kiza said…
And that's why I wore a nursing tank from the moment that my son was born until my daughter was born 2.5 years later. She's a month out from turning two and, since she was few months old, I decided that I couldn't handle the band of the shelf tank part of the nursing tank, so I've been wearing a couple of the "slimming" tanks instead. They hold the Natural Geographic boobies in place without being tight around my ribcage. Going somewhere and getting fitted is a great idea. If I ever stop nursing these guys, that's the plan...
Marc and Megan said…
For the last few years I've bought all of my bras online because I found that I could never find the right size at any local stores. I use onehanesplace.com. They have instructions of how to measure yourself to get your right size and they have tons of different styles and fabrics and sizes... and, their prices seem to be even cheaper than most stores. I don't think I'll ever buy a bra from a department store again.
Saundra said…
i have to order my bras online as well bc i'm a 34hh i use breakoutbras.com they have a great tutorial on how to measure yourself to get a proper fit and you can even live chat with a person who will help you it was great!
Jenifer said…
I can never find anything that fits in the store. It's always a frustrating and depressing experience, so like you, I wear my bras until they are hideously ugly and worn out and my husband kindly suggests it might be time to invest in a new one.
Jeanna Stay said…
Agree on don't go to Victoria's Secret unless you really do have a small chest and small ribcage. If you have large post-nursing breasts, um, no. The best place I've found it lindasonline.com; yes, I admit that online bra shopping is not ideal--too much trial and error and having to send stuff back--but it's great if you're, say, 32H. Not that I know from experience or anything. :)

Clothes shopping with kids--bra shopping with kids! You truly are a brave, brave woman.
Paala said…
I just saw something about bra fitting the other day on Daily Mail...maybe check that out.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2152329/The-scientific-way-perfect-bra-size-New-formula-promises-away-measuring-tape.html

And swimsuit shopping is also hell. But at least finding the right top is easier than a bra. My thoughts on swimsuit shopping...http://doublethink.us.com/paala/2012/05/29/tips-for-new-moms-swimsuit-shopping/
MidnightAgenda said…
This sounds like it is time to enlist the services of a good friends and a separate trusted opinion. a good friend to watch all the little monsters for you and a trusted opinion to help you find a bra that looks good as well as being cheap and or comfortable.
Also, I suggest The Avenue. They have very comfy unwired bras.
AmberLou said…
Lol'd at the headlights... I (try to) always do a mirror check before heading out the door to make sure the ladies are pointing the same direction!
Sharon said…
After waaay too many horrible bra shopping experiences, I learned to leave the littles at home (well worth the babysitter money!) and head to my local nordstroms. the bras might be pricier but their fitters are true experts and I always walk out happy and feeling a little better about myself. Also, I can then go buy cheaper bras once they've told my correct size and best fitting style. good luck!
Nika M. said…
I get so frustrated with bra shopping that even my mother stopped bra shopping with me when I was around 15. If I even mention the word bra in a store, she will RUN the other direction. haha.
Diana J. said…
You know what you need? You need Chuck!! He is a fellow here in Phx who owned a breastfeeding shop, and he could tell any woman's bra size at first glance. "Oh, you're here for a nursing bra? Here you go, 38B." It was awesome. Man, I miss that guy. (His shop went under with the economic downturn.) I haven't been bra shopping since his store closed.
melissa v. said…
You are awesome. =) BTDT.
melissa v. said…
(I'm 32 FF so I can only buy bras in a specialty store that measures you every time you go. You think chaos in Kohl's is bad? Try the fancy schmancy specialty store. Three boys, delicate lace, sweaty momma, and it cost me $145 for ONE BRA)
I just used a few of the online websites to figure out my current size. The consensus? 32G. And I'm breastfeeding a 4-month-old and am currently rather empty. Awesome.

I experienced a growth spurt cup-size-wise, and couldn't figure out how to get a bra that fit. I'd been wearing a 34B, so I got a 36B. Idiot. When I got married, a sizing at VS put me in a 34C/D. When my first was about a year old, I met a woman who had worked in one of those specialty stores, and she said she'd put me at a 32F. I guess I grew some more after my second baby...we'll see what happens in the future!

Good luck finding a bra that fits.
Fiona said…
I;'ve just come across this post, and i totally understand the stresses of buying a new bra. Your breasts change so frequently, and the biggest change is through pregnancy...but believe it or not there is a an easy solution out there! brayola.com is a new site to help women find the perfect bra, and size all by saying which is your favorite bra! I would definitely give it a go, and see if it at least works!

Hope i can help you in some way!
Fiona
www.brayola.com
Junior's mommy said…
I had the exact same thing happen to me recently. So here I am walking around with my sagging nursing bras still on! Good luck! repost if you find something so I can check it out!!!
Carrie said…
Get thee to a privately-owned, not franchise bra shop! It's worth the trek, even if you're driving an hour to get there. Forget most department stores. They don't sell the sizes that some of us need.
I've been sized a few times, and victoria's secret was always wrong, wrong, wrong, and the private shops always found me a bra that fit, and felt comfortable. It's doable with kids, and since they measure, and you're not just guessing, you can usually find something that fits pretty quickly. Just be prepared for the band size to feel tighter than you might be used to. It took me a week or two, but the snug band did wonders for keeping my bra straps in place and the girls tamed, too!