I’ve been wearing bras in the wrong size for over 20 years! Gasp! So, there’s that.
This shocking discovery occurred last Saturday, when I spontaneously decided to shop for better, nicer, less hateful bras than the ones I owned which were always annoying me with their back straps riding up or their shoulder straps falling down. My bras were distracting (and not in the good way). I wanted less ‘white noise’ from my undergarments and more time to think about loftier things than the wires poking into my sides. I decided to seek professional help.
[For those of you who are concerned that this is a post only about bras, please hang in there. In a few paragraphs, I really hope to make it about more than that.]
Jacqueline, my Certified Fit Specialist in Lingerie, set me straight in about two seconds. “Oh, tsk,” she said, “You are definitely wearing the wrong size.” Armed with nothing but a tape measure, her discerning eye, and extensive knowledge of all-things-brassiere, she set me on the path to comfort and freedom from bra-distraction. “This is a whole new world!” I said to her. And lest you think I am overstating this, think about wearing the wrong size shoes for 20 years and then finally slipping on a sweet expensive pair that fit. Ahhhhhhh.
[So, women, if you’ve got some spare time, get measured. Also, the Wikipedia article on the brassiere is really interesting. Thus ends the Public Service Announcement for bra fitting.]
Without Jacqueline’s good help, I could have worn the wrong size bra for the rest of my life. I would never have known that I could be friends with my bra or at least not actively despise it. It seems trivial until you project out to all the other stuff that we shoulder on a daily basis that simply does not fit us…and that we could change to more comfortable, better-fitting stuff without too much hassle. Then we could feel Ahhhhhh so much more…
What really got me thinking was the fact that I’d worn something for so long that didn’t fit…every day for years! And on some level, I knew it. I knew I was uncomfortable, and I knew the fit wasn’t quite right, but I ignored it. I thought the discomfort was just part of the gig. I mean, aren’t bras cousins to the corset and control-top pantyhose and those evil-squeezing-smoothing shapewear Spanx-things?* When you put that stuff on, you assume you are signing up for discomfort and suffering for ‘beauty’ because that’s part of the deal. Oh, assumptions. There I was for so many years, stupidly taking on extra and unnecessary suffering because I didn’t think to question something that clearly didn’t fit me. Yes, suffering is a part of life, but geez, what a silly waste of time and energy to suffer the unnecessary mosquito-buzzing-torment of an ill-fitting bra.
So, questions come up. What else in life doesn’t fit me? What else do I do because I think I should do it or ‘that’s just the way it is’ when in fact, there’s another way? Why have I delayed addressing those things?
What small distractions have you been ignoring that could be fixed quickly with some attention or professional assistance? What other ill-fitting ‘foundational garments’ do we wear for years and years?
I think of our daily routines and all of the small choices we make throughout the day from the clothes we wear to the food we eat to the rote phrases we deploy – “How are you? Fine. What’s up? Nothing.” I think about the way we approach people and interpret situations, and the rules that we assume are in place. I think about the way we care for ourselves and the way we present ourselves to others. I think about the assumptions we make concerning the past, present and future. Do those things feel good to you? Do they fit who you are and how you are built?
I consider what really fits and what I have simply accepted as good-enough fitting or as appropriately-uncomfortably fitting. And I consider whether I really know what fits me and what does not.
Are these questions that you can answer? Do you know what fits you and what does not? How? What are some examples of a poor fit that you’ve traded out for a good fit?
*There was a time in my life when I wore all of those shaping, constricting, smoothing garments, but I rarely do now. If you do, then I’m totally cool with that because you can do what you want with your body. I just don’t like feeling squeezed, frankly. Or maybe I’m lazy. Or maybe I’m more comfortable with looking whatever way I look these days. Or maybe I can’t figure out a way to explain to my daughter why I need to have a sucked in stomach all the time. I don’t know and I haven’t really thought about it until now — I feel proud just having figured this bra-stuff out. I suppose I could devote another blog post to exploring my disinclination for cramming myself into shapewear on a regular basis…but I don’t think I will. If you don’t wear a bra, then that’s cool too. I don’t care. Despite what certain politicians are implying these days, it’s your body, friend. Go for what fits you.