As a warning to any men who might be reading this…particularly, those of you who are related to me…this post is about bras and boobs…and not just any boobs…my boobs…so you’ll probably want to leave now. It will be safe for you to come back tomorrow.
I’ve been watching Oprah for years…decades actually. I also read her magazine. I’m definitely a fan. I think…for the most part…that she likes to use her powers for good instead of evil and she really enjoys helping people. Sometimes she gets on my nerves and sometimes we don’t see eye to eye (like when it comes to Tyler Perry)…but for the most part Oprah and I are pretty tight.
I often take Oprah’s advice. I read the books she suggests…I see the movies she recommends…I faithfully watch her Favorite Things episode for the latest in fabulous products. I’m not quite like that crazy woman who started the Living Oprah blog, where she did everything Oprah said for an entire year, but when Oprah speaks, I listen. (Of course, the Living Oprah woman got a book deal…so maybe she’s onto something.)
Except when it came to bras. If you’ve watched Oprah for any period of time, you know one of her pet peeves is women who wear the wrong bra and she firmly believes that most women wear the wrong bra. She’s basically made it a crusade to get women into the right bra. I’ve heard her talk about it all these years and I’ve seen the amazing difference wearing the right bra can make when she does her bra makeovers…but I’ve always resisted her bra advice.
The thing is…I like to spend money and I like nice things…but when it comes to certain things I get really cheap. I hate paying for things like gas and tights and garbage bags…because, to me, they are kind of intangible…disposable…a necessary evil. They serve a useful purpose, I know…but they don’t make me look pretty like new earrings do and they don’t taste good like gourmet chocolate does and they don’t entertain me like a movie does.
Bras fall into that category as well. While I get that they make my clothes look better and they keep my boobs from sagging, no one really sees them besides me…not even J, who is not a lingerie guy. And bras are so damn expensive! So for my entire life, I’ve been buying the cheapest bras possible at places like Kohl’s and Target and Victoria’s Secret, but only if they are having a sale. I’ve never been properly measured for a bra either so I never even really knew what size I should be wearing.
My boobs have always been on the smaller side and they’ve stayed pretty perky for a long time. In fact, I’ve often gotten away with not even wearing a bra. But sadly, my 35-year-old boobs (which have gotten bigger lately…in proportion to my butt) are starting to get a little tired and a bit saggy. So Oprah finally convinced me to go buy some good bras.
Yesterday at lunchtime, I went to see Linda the Bra Lady. I walked into the tiny store that is packed with every size and style of bra you could ever want. I worked with a great woman named Lynette. She took me into a dressing room, measured me and asked me what I was looking for. I explained that I wanted comfortable, but pretty and I wanted the bra to stay put…no riding up, no straps slipping off the shoulders. Oh…and I didn’t want a bra that made my boobs look like torpedos. She told me to sit tight and she’d be right back. A few minutes later she came back with about 10 different bras and started trying them on me.
Let me tell you…if you have problems being topless in front of a stranger or having another woman manhandle your boobs, then this might not be for you. Because I stood there, naked from the waist up while Lynette put different bras on me. She also stuck her hand right into the cup to adjust the fit and I swear, she felt me up more in that half hour than J has in the past month.
When I put the first bra on, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe the difference between the stretched out, crappy bra I went in with and the smooth, well-fitting bra I was wearing now. It looked better and felt better and I didn’t have to make one adjustment no matter how much I moved around.
I ended up buying five different bras and, while I almost passed out at the total price (over $400), I couldn’t be happier. I wish I’d listened to Oprah 20 years ago. My boobs are now fabulous and I’m loving it.
Lynette also shared with me some bra-care tips that I was surprised to learn and would like to pass on to you…
- Never wash your bras in Woolite or other petroleum-based detergent. It wears out the elastic. Instead use specially formulated lingerie wash or something simple, like Dove body wash or baby shampoo.
- You should rotate your bras and never wear one more than two days in a row. The elastic needs time to breathe and regain its shape.
- Only wash your bras every two or three weeks. If you have enough bras in your rotation, they won’t get dirty enough for you to wash more than that unless you are sweating a lot. The more you wash them the faster they wear out.
- If you wear bras with a molded cup, never turn the cups inside out or flatten them out in any way. It will crease the foam inside the cup and you will be able to see the creases under your clothes. When you put bras away, lay them in the drawer without folding them.
- If you buy a new bra with lace, make sure to wash it before wearing. There is starch in the lace that will make you itchy. Washing it will get rid of the starch and make the bra more comfortable.
- Never wear a nude bra under black or dark clothing. The dye from the clothes will rub off on the bra and make it dingy over time.
- Get re-measured if you lose more than 10 pounds and at least once per year to make sure you are always wearing a bra with a good fit.
I strongly encourage everyone to get fitted and buy some good bras. I have become a believer!