Everybody Everywear: Florals (with a bit about bra shopping)

If you are a woman, and you are wearing a bra, you are probably wearing the wrong size one. That's what they say. According to "experts"  and "surveys," anywhere between 70% to 85% of women are mistreating their breasts, either shoving them into too-small cups or allowing them to flop freely in stretched-out, ill-fitting bras. Origins of this statistic are mysterious - some websites blame it on a Victoria's Secret poll, others something from the Wacoal brand, and some a particularly stressful episode of Oprah. Even worse, in 2008 Jezebel referenced a study by "esteemed" U.K publication The Daily Mail which claimed that wearing the wrong bra size can permanently damage breasts. The terrifying notion that we are wearing the wrong bra size has been quoted back to me by my mom, friends, and basically every women's magazine I've flipped through. "Eighty-five percent of American woman are wearing the wrong bra" is the "more likely to be killed by a terrorist than get married" statistic of the new millennium.

The problem is so dramatic that Oprah devoted two full episodes addressing it. She lauded the importance of the professional bra fitting, proclaiming it "the beauty secret that literally produces miracles." According to Oprah and her team of experts, a bra fitting can reverse aging and "make you look ten, even twenty pounds lighter." The correct bra size also makes your clothes fit better, and  improves your posture. Squees Oprah, a professional fitting culminates in a bra-ha! moment, that magical experience where your boobs are lifted and supported and exotic white doves burst forth from the dressing room in a double rainbow display of ecclesiastical joy. Hmmm. By Oprah's description, getting professionally fitted for a bra falls somewhere between winning the lottery and finding a golden lamp with a wish-granting genie inside. Wrong Bra-Sizegate is so critical that Oprah's website includes a "Bra Intervention" section, profiling unfortunate creatures in before-and-after photos. And it can't be denied that these women look ecstatically happy in their new bras, grinning beatifically at the camera in their lacy concoctions.

Okay. To summarize, wearing the wrong size bra makes me look old, fat, and will permanently masticate my boobs. AND YET you could not pay me enough to get professionally fitted. Bras are my most dreaded item to shop for. There's too much uncertainty, too much itchy lace, too many complicated straps and hooks and pokey underwire and it's so cold that my nipples might poke someone's eye out and OH MY GOD WHY CAN'T I JUST BIND MY BREASTS DOWN WITH ELASTIC LIKE THE FLAPPERS DID THIS IS TORTURE STRESSYTIME AAARRRGGGHHHHH!!!. Just the THOUGHT of some other WOMAN prodding my delicate ladybreastesses with her sure-to-be-freezing hands makes me break out in hives. Nothanx.

Some women hate shopping for swimsuits. To them, baring pasty winter skin to the hash light of a dressing room is akin to torture. For others it's jeans; and for some, it's shoes. Regardless of what women's magazines want us to think, shopping is not always the fun, carefree experience they gleefully preach. When your feet are a size eleven, finding properly fitting shoes is an exercise in patience and fortitude. Petite women struggle to hunt down pants that don't sweep the floor; plus-size women endeavor to locate flattering wedding gowns.

I know I'll have to get over my fear of the professional bra fitting, and expose my bosoms to a department store saleslady eventually. I don't want to look fat, or old, or give cause to my clothes not fitting as well as they could (though this pretty vintage floral dress seems made for me - new bra not necessary.) But for now, I'll avoid bra shopping, and focus my stress on something infinitely more challenging: deciding on a new bikini. Pass the Prozac.

So how about you - what's your most dreaded item to shop for? How do you deal with the challenge of shopping for a dreaded item?





Vintage thrifted 1970's silk dress; White Mountain clogs; vintage thrifted satchel; Charming Charlie and Forever 21 bracelets; Loft coral ring; Betsey Johnson gold watch







27 comments:

  1. That dress is GORGEOUS. And it's silk? I bet it feels delicious.

    And I am almost positive that I am wearing the wrong size bra. But I am not letting a salesperson near me in a dressing room to know for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am like you, I hate shopping for bras! I always feel uncomfortable doing it. I finally forced myself to go (Belk had bras on sale for $14.99)and I am glad I did. I can see the difference based solely on the bra. I picked up a few and hopefully won't have to go shopping for more any time soon!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sweet '70s dress, love the colour & pattern on you.

    Yes, the bra hysteria is pretty funny (especially the bit about Oprah) but it proved to be true in my case-- I actually just had my mom measure me with a measuring tape and we then compared the measurements to a chart we found online. From this I learned that I'd been wearing too small of a bra for YEARS and when I bought the right size bra it definitely made me feel better (though I didn't see any doves come out of the dressing room).

    I no longer wear jeans or pants but I used to hate shopping for jeans. Now I dislike shopping for shoes as my feet are LARGE, 9 1/2-10 U.S. :( Also tights shopping is annoying as you can't try them on and it's hard to tell how a 'one size fits most' will fit.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That dress is gorgeous on you! The colors and fit are lovely!

    There really isn't a clothing item that I loathe shopping for, but I have yet to get a professional bra fitting. I know I need one, but I just never think about it when I should.

    ReplyDelete
  5. OMG, I am laughing so hard at "wrong bra-sizegate". It all seems so out of proportion, excuse the pun. Many of us women fall into the "it's no big deal" size, and I for certain don't need an intervention.

    A little sports bra is nice, or a comfy Warner's no-wire number.

    You look completely beautiful in your floral dress!

    ReplyDelete
  6. WOW that dress is so adorable! Very nice outfit :)

    -Sara
    autumn, coffee and inspiration

    ReplyDelete
  7. This dress is amazing!! Classic lines...so feminine and beautiful! I recently had a bra fitting at Nordstroms...they did a wonderful job and I immediately lost weight...hoisting the girls is a really flattering thing to do for your body!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Beautiful dress and it looks just darling on you!

    ReplyDelete
  9. That dress is absolutely amazing. I love it the most of anything, ever. Or at least anything yet today.

    And I hate to shop for pants of any type. The combination of being six feet tall and having a waist and an ass that are not even remotely the same size makes it a huge trial.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The print on that dress is utterly gorgeous. And what a fabulous fit!

    ReplyDelete
  11. You look stunning in that dress. I love it! So very, very pretty!

    I was "professionally" fitted at VS one time and it turned out I was wearing the "sister size" of the size she quoted. Eh. Whatever.

    Bathing suits are the worst for me. I just avoid them if at all possible.

    Come take a look inside A Working Mom's Closet

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have to agree with you on the whole thing. After I had my daughter I knew that I was in need of a new bra. I went into the posh shopping district (we were living in the UK at the time) and was fitted and dropped a small fortune on a single bra. It was the best money that I have spent though. No matter what I am wearing I get compliments when ever the Posh Bra is on underneath.
    What I dread shopping for is jeans and any sort of top/shirt. I am 5' 10" have a 36" inseam an ass and thighs that are one size (14) and a waist that is a completely different size (10). Oh and I have broad shoulders and a barrel chest and wear a 36G bra. Shopping is rarely any fun for me.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I hate bra shopping but did it right after Oprah had her first bra shopping show, which was a fantastic public service announcement! When I have to do a shopping chore like bra or jeans shopping I always make sure I have easy things to take off in the dressing room and I also bring snacks, because if I get hungry then I feel pressured to hurry up and buy something, anything to get out of there. I also give myself plenty of time, 2 hours minimum and make it the ONLY thing I'm shopping for.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I absolutely have to get help when bra shopping. Awkward at first, but totally worth it. I will enver go back to Victoria Secret again.

    ps, fabulous dress - thanks for sharing it with us at EBEW :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. You don't have to get naked - or anywhere near naked- to get measured! I just got remeasured at Victoria Secret - over my t-shirt. They didn't even ask me to strip down further. I'd definitely say that getting the right size is worth it. I was in too small of a cup size and now I'm much more comfortable.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Gorgeous dress!

    You know, getting a professional bra-fitting isn't as traumatic as you might think; wear a non-padded bra, and they measure you over that bra. So there are no bare boobs involved. (Well, from my experience, anyway.) But it IS awkward, and I only got measured under the pressure of a friend who I find it really hard to say no to. :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I absolutely LOVE this dress!
    I don't really know what I hate shopping for...probably anything that's not going on my body, or not for me..selfish much? haha

    Natasha ~ Required2BeInspired

    ReplyDelete
  18. Haha, your bra-fitting tale of woe made me giggle. There is really very little poking and prodding and jostling of your boobs during a fitting. I have small boobs and don't have the same problems with support and fit that fuller-chested women have but I've been to a bunch of fittings with women with large breasts and it's only when you're buying a custom bra that they really need to touch you like you're imagining. Even then, they're so business-like that you'll be surprised you felt embarrassed in the first place.

    Anyway, the dress looks lovely, perfectly measured bra or no!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Your silk vintage dress is beautiful. It reminds me of H&M's garden collection from last summer. I have a floral maxi from the collection I've yet to wear. Those shoes would go perfect :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh... just let em grab the girls!
    I say this with 100% seriousness. I am not proud of this BUT I would steal that dress is a friggen second. It is soooooo beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  21. What a gorgeous dress! The colors go wonderfully with your red hair!

    ReplyDelete
  22. As a full figured 40HH I HAVE to be professionally fitted if only to have someone FIND bras that will fit these massive mammaries! I like Nordstroms. They are professional and you have th choice if having someone help you or not. They ask you what size you THINK you wear and bring you a "fitting" bra then measure you to get a "real" size. It's actually not as traumatic as you would think after that first time. It's more traumatic bringing home serving bowls with straps. At least there are French brands that make pretty bras now.

    ReplyDelete
  23. There is nothing esteemed about the Daily Mail, so I love your use of inverted commas! We call it the Daily Fail over on Twitter.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm a rare breed. I love, love, love to buy bras! But, I had a breast reduction 2 years ago and went from a 34-36LL-M to a 34-36 DD-DDD. This meant I went from ordering extremely expensive 38 H or I bras and then taking them to the tailor to have the band reduced, to occasionally buying a bra at Target! I also went from coveting the cute-lacy-leopard-red or a combination of all of the above bras to actually being able to buy some of them.

    Before I had the surgery, I lost 70 pounds, so I actually love buying all clothes now - bathing suits, jeans, you name it!

    ReplyDelete
  25. what a gorgeous, gorgeous print! it looks so good with your hair. the red compliments the colors and the cut makes the look edgy :)

    ReplyDelete

I love my readers! Comments are welcomed and appreciated.