Adventures in Bra Shopping…It’s my turn!


Bra shopping

Hans / Pixabay

I tried for years to lose weight. I exercised for an hour a day, I ate a small salad for lunch, I cut back on junk food and increased my water intake. I lost 15 lbs and then plateaued. I struggled for a while. I really wanted to lose another 30 and get to the weight I was on my wedding day–when I thought I was fat.

I saw extra fat rolls and love handles. I didn’t like that my jaw line was nice and rounded. I wanted it sharper. I often felt tired and lazy. My thighs really bothered me. I thought they were so wide. All I wanted was to fit on a chair. I wanted to wear a pair of pants and not have the inner leg be the first area to wear out because my thighs were constantly rubbing together.

In the past 9-12 months I have lost 45 lbs.  That is some accomplishment if I had been trying to lose the weight, but I wasn’t….I was sick.

About a year ago my body decided that it didn’t like certain foods. It took me several months to figure out what those foods were. During that time I experienced all kinds of digestive issues. I’m not going to get graphic, I’ll just say anything I put in my body was coming back out, and quickly.

I got a new nickname. I gave it to myself to make light of embarrassing situations and it stuck. My family knows me as:

The Fumigator

I could clear a room in 2 seconds because my gas was toxic. It would linger, hang, and all you wanted to do was run. We didn’t have too many bugs come in last winter and it is no wonder–we had a full time fumigator living in the house.

It took several months to figure out all my trigger foods and get my diet balanced. I wasn’t left with much. What I could eat was all health food. I know I can still bake junk food and I may get there some day but I’m not craving it anymore….except for a bowl of chocolate frosting every 4 weeks.

Now that my diet is fixed, I have a new set of problems.

I lost weight so fast that my skin couldn’t keep up. I have areas all over my body that hang. My nice rounded mom pooch is replaced by a flat fold. There is nothing holding the skin anymore. I hide it well because it tucks into my pants but I know it is there–and now you do too.

My thighs no longer hang over most chairs but when they do they don’t have form. Instead of rounded legs over the edge of a chair, they bend a corner and flop. There is no fat to hold up all that skin so it flaps and hangs.

Clothes cover me up well but nothing fits.

All my old clothes are too big. From my shirts to my pants, from my pajamas to my underwear, it is all to big. The only thing that fits are my socks.

I have slowly been picking up new clothes when they are on sale. It has been a frustrating and expensive adventure, but one I had to take. I struggle to find pants to that fit around my mom hips but make it over my thighs. I don’t understand why jeggings are in style.

I have been putting off bra shopping. It seems like a chore to drive to the store and try to find the one that holds you, shapes you, and molds you so you don’t look deformed.

I found that perfect style several years ago and haven’t turned back since. The bra store is 40 miles away though. It isn’t like driving to my corner store. I have to plan out my trip, go when The Husband can watch the girls, and make a day of it.

It was getting to be too much. I found myself going braless some days because the ones I had were so big that they did nothing.I couldn’t ignore it any longer.

I went bra shopping Saturday.

Despite the adventure I had with Miss Crafty a few weeks ago, I was optimistic. I’ve never had a problem buying bras. I bypassed all the stores that sell bras with other things and set my sights on the Hanes/Bali/Platex Outlet–the one store that had my perfect bra. Surely they’d have something for my new shape in a store of 1,000 bras.

I got measured and went on the hunt. Knowing my body had changed, I grabbed a few extra styles and locked myself in the dressing room.

The first one I tried on was the style I’d been wearing for years. Nope. I’m not interested in skin folds under the armpit. Not fat rolls–literally skin folding, bulging and hanging there. I couldn’t put my arms down all the way because the wires on the bra were pushing  skin up my armpits.

The second one was okay. The cups were too big but at least my arms went down.

Bra #3 gave me a quad boob. Any woman out there knows what I’m talking about. I had an extra boob on each side, carefully crafted by a cup that was squishing me out and pushing me into the middle.

Bra #4 and 5 had their own issues as well.

By this time I knew it was going to be difficult. It seems my body was not going to cooperate and act normal.

The closest thing I could get to a well fitting bra was #2. I grabbed a smaller cup size and it fit–for the most part. At least my arms went down, I only had 2 boobs, and I wasn’t swimming in my cups.

Frustrated at this point, I went to a different section in the store. On bras, I can go down a band size and up a cup size and I sometimes find better fit.

I found myself in the back of the store. This was the section with all the pretty bras with lots of designs like zebra prints, polka dots and stripes. These are the bras intended for teenagers and girls in their 20’s who think your everyday bra should be a work of art.

They are young and perky. They haven’t breastfed 2 children. They haven’t had years of gravity pulling on them, stretching out tissue. They haven’t lost tons of weight being left with nothing but hanging skin.

But I was willing to try. To go down a band size and up a cup size I had to be in this section. I looked and hunted and found a couple options.

I picked up one and didn’t notice it was a heavily padded push-up bra. WOW!

I didn’t know I could go that high. It was not normal and I definitely looked like a photo-shopped magazine model. Not exactly what I was going for.

Back to the hunt.

I tried one more bra out of that section. It wasn’t a push up bra and only slightly padded but no. I think the people who design bras for teenagers expect teenagers to wear them and I am definitely not shaped like one.

When they designed this pretty little bra they left one thing out–support. It looked fine, had a wire that didn’t poke me, and a slightly lined cup but it didn’t hold anything where it was supposed to. Am I required to provide that?

I don’t think so. That is why I need a bra.

I’m in the practical era. It may not be pretty but it is functional. It holds me, squishes me, and pushes me in all the right places to keep the world’s eyes from being hurt because something flat and floppy is heading your way.

These were not that kind of bra. But I was optimistic. I would find something in the land of 1,000 bras. I can’t be that much of a mutant, can I?

I went back to the smaller version of Bra #2. It may not be perfect, but neither am I. We can work on this together.

I walked to the front of the store and found the rack of origination. In the past it was easy. I find a bra that fits, grab a few more off the rack, pay for them and I’m on my way.

Why would I think this would be that easy?

The only bra in the store of 1,000 bras that was in my size, style and of a color I would want was in my hands. I just spent the past hour trying on at least 10 different bras creating armpit skin, pushing myself up to my chin, watching myself fall and fold in places no human should have to. I compromised and found the best solution–and there is only 1.

Thankfully this store is awesome. I bought my one bra and they gave me free shipping on the rest. I don’t have to go anywhere, the mail man will bring me my bras.

I am so glad I have bra shopping out of the way again….until next time.




My patch of grass is green because:

Standing in contentment in green grass

LoggaWiggler / Pixabay

  • I got a Sunday afternoon nap yesterday. It was awesome.
  • The girls got out the glue gun and spent all weekend creating, crafting, and using up junk that was laying around the house. It makes me smile to see them use their imagination.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Heather
    Jun 02, 2014 @ 13:06:44

    Goodness! What an ordeal! I have to agree with the not shopping for bras bit. Between pregnancies and nursing, not nursing and now pregnancy again, I have given up on knowing what my size actually is. Glad you were able to find something!



    • Crystal
      Jun 06, 2014 @ 06:57:41

      Heather, it took me a few years to go bra shopping after The Inventor quit breast feeding. I understand why there are so many options but it always seems like such a chore.



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