“Have you ever seen that People of Walmart photo of the woman with her boobs tucked into the waistband of her shirt?” Bernice asked. (My friend had a couple of Manhattans in her.)
I spit my drink onto the deck — “What?!”
Out came her iPhone 6, and up on the extra large screen came a grandma, maybe late 60s, pushing her granddaughter in a shopping cart while wearing nothing but a pair of pink baggy shorts into which...you get the picture.
“Why the hell did you show me that?” I asked.
“Because now that I’ve reached a certain age, gravity is having its way with my chest,” Bernice answered. “I’m afraid of becoming that poor Walmart woman.”
“Bernice! No matter what gravity does to your boobs, I don’t think you’ll ever go to Walmart with them tucked into your pants.”
“Probably not,” she winked, “unless you double-dog dared me. Still, I don’t want to give up the fight just yet.”
“What you need is some bra help,” I said. “So do I, frankly. The whatever’s-cheap-at-Ross system is no longer doing it for me and this bosom.”
A thought came to me as I sipped my bourbon and ginger ale. “Let’s get some help right now.”
Out came my own iPhone 6 — thanks, Patrick — and up came Facebook.
“Bras,” I typed. “Ladies, tell me your favorites.”
Before we could finish our drinks, my post thread started to fill up with a little info and a lot of jokes.
“I don’t believe in them,” answered Teresa.
“Bras? We’re supposed to wear them?” joked Sophie.
“Duct tape,” offered Catherine.
“Ouch,” my girls replied.
“I burned mine in the ’70s,” said Carla. “Wait, I didn’t wear one in the ’70s. If I’d had boobs in the ’70s knowing what I know now, I’d surely have burned mine! I severely dislike brassieres. But these days, I wear Playtex,” she added. “I like that they have thick straps, no underwire, and enough support to hold ’em up and prevent the bulge at the side under the armpit.”
Oh, the chicken cutlet look. Never good.
“Really? An article about ‘over the shoulder boulder holders?’” joked Ma’May. “I wear Maidenform.”
Tracy was another Maidenform fan. “My favorite bra is the Maidenform T-shirt bra,” said Tracy.
“It fits well and is easily adjustable. My other favorites are Calvin Klein, which also fit well, are comfortable, and I like the colors and designs.”
“Wacoal for the ample-bosomed,” offered Cherie. “But don’t pay full price. Nordstrom Rack often has them, and you can get them on eBay once you know the size and styles that you like.”
“While I have no need of them now — thank you, breast cancer — my advice is to go to Nordstrom or a good bra shop and get measured,” said Michele. “You can spend a lot of money on ill-fitting bras. A major mistake is buying too big a band size so you don’t get a firm anchor.”
“I have so many opinions,” offered Lisa. “First, I used to wear Victoria’s Secret until I got fitted at Nordstrom. Victoria’s Secret doesn’t have extended sizes for big ladies, so they just stick you in a DD and up the band size until it fits, which offers no support. Imagine my surprise when I went into Nordstrom for my fitting and was told I am a 34G. My back thanks me for my $70 bras every day. My go-to brand is Chantelle. I have a variety of Chantelle bras and I love them all.”
“I have owned two bras from Soma Intimates for longer than I care to say,” replied Margaret, “and they are still in good shape and have been more comfortable and more effective than a Ross or Target variety. It can be pricier but they have good sales regularly. It’s a classier alternative to Victoria’s Secret.”
Samantha is well blessed. “I am a 34H,” she said. “I really like the bras from Intimacy in Fashion Valley. They size you and have a good selection and price range for specialty sizes. Some are in the $200 range but some are in the $50 range and they last well. They sell hand-washing detergent for the bras, which is really nice — you soak the bras and don’t have to rinse. And they offer sales periodically and I shop then.”