We’ve all been there. Scouring the furthest reaches of the department store in search of a bra that provides optimal support whilst also making our boobs look as sexy as possible and wondering why exactly women are forced to part with crazy amounts of money to imprison their boobs in an extra layer of underwear.
It’s a nightmare. But at least we aren’t in it alone.
Here are some of the top thoughts going through every woman’s mind as they try to find that perfect fit and style combo.
1. What size even am I?
Ugh. The eternal debacle of every woman who hasn’t been bra shopping for a while. Inevitably, you either find yourself bra shopping because it’s date night or because you’re in need of a different size. This leads you down the track of ‘should I get myself measured’? And then there’s the dilemma of trying to decide whether the underwear you currently have on is nice enough to minimize the embarrassment of having a total stranger measure your boobs while you stand in your underwear and try to make small talk about anything other than boobs…
Then there’s the confusing cup vs. bust size. Why would they combine numbers and letters like that? Who even knows what that means?! You’re beginning to wonder whether you should just stick to the faithful, comfortable sports bra.
2. Should I focus on comfort or style?
You’ve done it. You’ve achieved the seemingly impossible and found a bra that actually fits. You feel reasonably well-supported – you’ve done the jumping up and down in the fitting room to check that you’re fine to run for the bus in your new bra. But now you’re facing the pressure to put looking sexy above feeling comfortable. Yep, the patriarchy is knocking at the door.
How do you go about finding a bra that is comfortable but doesn’t look like something your mother would choose for you? Is it somehow anti-feminist to choose the lacy, silk bra over the more comfortable ‘nice’ one? Not always! You do you. Bra shopping at the intersection between sexy and comfortable is certainly possible. Although, there is certainly an element of financial ruin involved in trying to buy the ones evidently designed by men for men… So don’t feel pushed into buy something see-through, skimpy and flimsy unless that’s precisely what you want out of your underwear – remember the running-for-the-bus test!
3. How expensive?!
Yeah, it’s another hallmark of the patriarchy’s artful manipulation of the fact that women have boobs (who’d have guessed?!) that an essential item of underwear is so flipping expensive! Even basic bras can be criminally pricey, so it’s worthy having a good rummage through those department store sale rails for your fancier ones. Of course, this might mean you could struggle to find matching sets, but you can always get round this by sticking to basic colors like black. And even if you splash out on one of those expensive lacy bras, there’s no guarantee that you won’t keep getting stabbed in the ribs with a dodgy bra wire. Arrghh!
4. Ooooh pretty orange ones!
That orange bra will show through every. single. shirt. you. own. Even the black ones. But it’s so worth it. Flaunt your boob prison. You paid extortionate money for it!
But seriously, get the bra that makes you feel confident, especially if it’s bright orange! We all have our inner Beyoncé waiting to be unleashed with the right confidence-boosting support. And that means wearing the bra that you want, not what’s most practical or sexiest. So if you want to stick with that neon yellow sports bra then rock it and if you want the one with bright orange flowers bring it on.
Because there’s nothing more important when it comes to bra shopping that you feel comfortable wearing your new underwear.
5. Isn’t all this bra shopping struggle just a bit anti-feminist?
No. It’s important that you find the right bra for your body. Yes, it’s stupid that they’re so expensive you practically have to buy one per paycheck. And yes, so many bras have clearly been designed just to be visually pleasing for men rather than actual, functional, comfortable, confidence-boosting, support for your boobs. But the best way of reclaiming the bra for your sisters world over is to find the right bra for yourself.
You could even turn the bra hunt into a fun shopping trip with your best girl friends and celebrate each other’s unique style – it’s time women stopped being shamed about buying essential underwear items and embrace the Wonderbra!