My Breasts Have Dissociative Identity Disorder: The Quest For An Affordable, Well-Fitting Bra Continues

Dissociative Identity Disorder, otherwise known as having multiple personalities ala The United States of Tara, is an apt description for my girls --they can't seem to stay one stable entity for long, at least size-wise that is! Let me elaborate.

The sun has finally deigned to shine on Haute Hooverville and yesterday I wanted to venture out in a ruffle-sleeved sundress. I ended up safety pinning my bra to the sleeves. Yup. Stay Classy, San Diego! I decided, despite my truly abysmal bank balance, I would have to fork over the green for a strapless bra that fits my doesn't want to fit into the crowd breasts. Macy's had failed me. Discount stores like T.J. Maxx had failed me. It was time to go to the local specialty lingerie shop and I don't mean Victoria's Secret. I mean the sort of place where old ladies armed with a matter-of-fact look and a well-worn tape measure thoroughly molest you in the name of mammary science.

And guess what I am? Not a B40 or B42 necessarily (though my band measurement is exactly 40" according to the ancient sage-- my rib cage is so broad I think it is medically impossible for me to ever be smaller than a 38, no matter how thin I get). Oh no. Depending on the bra, I'm also a 40C, possible a 42 in the more constrictive models, if I suck in and don't breathe a 38, and I even fit a D in one style but for the life of me I don't know how. Thus I cry foul on the bra industry for producing perhaps the most messed-up, un-uniformly sized item of clothing in the world.

And what did my trip to the bra shop make painfully clear? No amount of spandex and wiring will ever transform me into a winsome flower-child. I will never be Mama Michelle. It is bullet bra for me. Padded, triangular cups sallying forth into battle! Well, not entirely true. In the end we found a strapless bra that didn't give me Jane Russell bullet-bazooms (though I see that purchase looming in my future) and of course they had to special order my size: the 38C was too tight, the 42C too lose. The 40C is the porridge that Goldie Locks chose and now I sit and wait for its arrival. And the bullet bra? Oh yes I will have to buy one as that is the only way I will be able to wear a dress with a deep V-neck. Now I can hear some readers out there saying, "So you'll end up with a bust line that is more Cristina Hendricks than Emma Watson and you're complaining?" Yes. Why? Economics. All those boulder holders were around $60! Miraculously, the more natural-shaped one I order was in the $30s range and with my store discount ended up costing $29.99. That is still a pinch for one bra though.

When you are smaller, you don't have to spend so much on clothes. A whole world of cheaper goods opens up to you. I am not the skinny-minny fashionista that most would associate with a blog that discusses high fashion on a semi-regular basis. Some would tut-tut that I have no right to aspire to an Ossie Clark summer dress. Truth is I am a tall, relatively shapely US 14 and I don't look half bad. I am trying to lose weight --surprise, like everyone else, right? And I am sensitive to the fact that there are a lot of women bigger than me and struggling to slim down who would gladly trade places. NEVERTHELESS, SHOPPING FOR CLOTHES IS A NIGHTMARE!!! I am forever on the fringes of the "normal" sizes. I have to try on 3 times as much and sometimes spend up to twice as much to get 1 item whereas if I were smaller I could get more bang for my buck in half the time. I know this for a fact because I have been smaller and that realm of greater convenience and lower prices was glorious! The smallest I think I can get without being underweight is a 10 or an 8. All efforts to get my weight below 154 meet with stubborn resistance.  But at least at 154 I can find clothes galore. Relatively speaking, I don't have much to lose to get there but for now

...it is lonely (and expensive) at the top.

Want to get up to speed on my brassiere saga? 
Check out my first two posts on the subject:


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