I finally did it, folks. I went to Target and bought myself some real bras. (If you're my dad or brother, you can stop reading now. The rest of the post isn't going to get any better.)
I've been pregnant or nursing for more than 8 continuous years now, and my nursing bras are all dead. Every last one has developed fatal flaws. I did not, however, want to pay for nice bras, because I am actually still nursing L. The trouble with a nursing toddler is that you never know when they're going to quit, so it doesn't make sense to me to shell out big bucks for nice bras that fit my nursing-a-toddler boobs. There's also literally no way to know what my no-longer-nursing-anybody breast size is going to be. Apparently it can take a whole year for one's body to arrive at the new normal after the last nursing session, too. All of that conspired to send me shopping for a comfortable, cute, and inexpensive bra. I left the house feeling like this was a "pick two" situation, but I was determined to try anyway.
First things first, everybody says more than 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size. I have no idea where that statistic comes from, and neither does anyone else, but my anecdotal experience is that, yeah, if you're wearing a bra, it's probably the wrong size.
To start with, you probably put it on wrong. Now, don't tell me you've been wearing bras for years and there's no way you could possibly have been putting them on wrong this whole time. Have you seen the shoe tying video?
This woman is happy to explain and demonstrate one technique for getting a bra on properly. I prefer imagining my breasts are soft-serve ice cream, and my bra cups are, well, cups. I bend at the waist, pour myself into the bra, hook it closed, stand up, and give a little jiggle to each serving, like this fancy lady.
Ok, so your bras suck. How do you find ones that are the correct size? You could go to a fancy bra specialty store to get fitted, and then use European sizes, which are standardized unlike US sizes, to ensure you shop for the correct size at other stores. But even that won't guarantee every bra in the right size fits properly, because there's more to boobs than just cup-to-band ratio! There's also fullness, projection, and overall body shape to consider.
I spent probably 6 hours researching at ABraThatFits. They've got a beginner's guide which includes determining size, determining shape, shopping tips, and trouble shooting fit. It's amazing stuff, and well worth perusing, especially given how much time most women spend wearing bras.
Truthfully, I don't expect anyone to wear a bra. If you're happy hanging loose, more power to you. If you like sports bras, shelf bras, or soft bras, wear them in joy and peace. If you want to wear a bra, though, I want you to wear one that fits right, feels good, and makes you feel lovely.
The whole of my story is that I spent 90 minutes trying on every brand of bra in my local Target. I gave myself numerous pep talks. I may have cried a little.
That's 60 minutes worth of bras. I refused to hang up one bra properly, because it was on a hanger with the wrong label, and I almost cut off circulation when I put it on.
In the end, though, I found a single bra that fit. It is nice. It is comfortable. It is actually a plunge push-up, because apparently no normal bras fit my particular boob shape. It is only available in lacy and leopard print, so I bought both. In honor of a successful day, here's a selfie with Z. Hooray for boobies! (What am I doing with my arm? Too weird.)