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Is bra shopping stressful?
Yes 56%  56%  [ 24 ]
Sometimes 21%  21%  [ 9 ]
No 23%  23%  [ 10 ]
What's a bra?/I make my own 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 43

RainSong
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17 Feb 2008, 11:10 pm

Does anyone else hate bra shopping?

I don't know if it's just me, or if it's supposed to be impossible, but eek. For one thing, I have no set size; how well I fit depends on a bra. So I can't even go through a place and pick up a bunch of 36 Bs (which is one of the sizes I fit) to see which ones work and which ones don't. I kind of have to guess by looking on which ones look far too large or way too small. Which is obstacle one, because Heather sucks at determining anything size related by visual input.

So when I finally get a few to try on (and is there any such thing as organization in any of those places? As far as I can tell, it's not grouped by size, style, or color; it's scattered halfway across the universe) and find that, of course, none of them fit properly (see obstacles one). Which would be fine if I could try to switch a few sizes, because sometimes that works. But then suddenly swoops down a sale associate who wants to help. Obstacle two: they don't want to go away because they're so eager to make a sale.

Of course, they ask my size, which I don't know, because it's always different, and then offer to measure. Which is, um, absolutely not an option. I don't like people that close, and I don't want anyone touching me; a heart ultrasound was enough, thank you, I don't need your tape measure there too. So they say, 'Ok, is there something in particular you want? I make the mistake of explaining (halter top with a low back; I don't have any strapless ones that fit), and get 'Oh! I know just the style you need! What's wrong with the ones you just tried one? I showed you those too, blast it.' Then I have to explain that I don't like them, because they kind of hurt; it's not like they're too tight or anything, but it's a sensory thing. 'Do you want something very sexy?' Now, mind you, I'm 16 (I don't look it, but I am), and my mother is hovering directly over my shoulder. Um, no. 'What color are you looking for? We've got hot pink, cheetah print, sky blue (continues rattling on)?' Obstacle three: I'm stuck with the sales associate determined to sell the most outrageous bra they can possibly care, which would only be useful if I was planning on walking around school without a shirt on, but that's probably against the school rules and not something I want to do anyway.

So, I get lead over to some expansively fangled device that supposedly flips into a bird, a plane, and a flying monkey, all in one! Oh, the wonders. Ok, so it doesn't, but apparently there's like a hundred things you can do with the straps because they come off and can be attached to a different part and whatever; it has a booklet of all the absurd things you can do with it. They ask my size again (just in case "It depends" was magically ## letter), and when I say one that usually fits, they go, "Oh, well we don't have that size for this type." No, of course you don't. So at this point, I'm ready to say screw it, I'm going home, when I get two other sizes thrown at me with "Well, this one is a 36 B" (I asked for a 36 A) "and this one is 34 A. Maybe one of these will fit. Try it on." And I try to say forget it, but at this point I'm overwhelmed and a bit passive, so I take them and go back again. And I'm informed of what they were again, just in case I forget on the twenty step journey and/or couldn't read the tags, and told which on to try on first (which is conveniently in the wrong color anyway), and left because she has to go help other people. So this should be my home free point, right? If these don't fit, I can get away while she's busy. No. She tells the dressing room lady what's going on. Obstacle four: there are now multiple people dedicated to not letting me leave the store in a nice manner.

Ok, so this thing is absurd. It's not that complicated... But I'm me, and I'm overwhelmed. So it takes me a good ten minutes to figure out how to work the straps, and that includes looking through the booklet. I never did figure out how to get it into the style she wanted me to try, but still. So I try on the smaller one and it fits. It's a little small in the cup, but screw it, I want to go home, and if I have to pretend to like it so that I can bolt for the door, I can do that. But now I have to hook the straps back to where they were, and I'm shaking (I always shake, but it gets worse when I'm overwhelmed). I finally manage to get the end hooked back on and praise the lord! But no, I have them hooked backwards; that is, the adjustable part that's supposed to be on the bottom is on the top. So I have to take off the whole thing and do it all over again. Obstacle five: Heather is shaking far too badly to slip it back into the catches. So I'm in there for another ten minutes, trying to get this thing back to normal, because I don't want to return it messed up.

I finally get it back together and look at the price tag (yeah, it should have been the first thing I looked at, but I was overwhelmed; not too much of an excuse, but just the same). Fifty dollars. Now, maybe it's just me, but I am not paying fifty bucks for one bra. Heck, I can mutilate one of my bras to do the same thing for less than that.

So I go out and put it on the returns section, and the lady there starts asking me all these questions and didn't it work, and why are you returning them, and I call over the lady who helped you, and ect, ect. I smile, say that they do work, but I need a different color (which is true if I actually planned on buying on them). She relaxes and says that the original lady is in the front room and can help me find the color I need (in case I'm color blind or something, I suppose). And herein lies obstacle six: I have to get out of this store without being ambushed again. Yeah, I could just tell them that no, I'm not interested, but thank you anyway... but that's not something I'm good at.

So I'm going through this store, back to front, not looking around, power walking (which is more or less a run for everyone who doesn't have my leg span, which is long). I paused periodically when I was camouflaged by racks and dividing walls to check to make sure the coast was clear. And finally, finally I was free.

Not that I accomplished what I went in there for, so I'll have to go somewhere else.


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Jaejoongfangirl
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17 Feb 2008, 11:30 pm

I completely agree.
Few things on this planet are more stressful than that section of a store. And your description of the experience was exactly on the dot; you read my mind. I swear you're a comic genius, too. lol
But, yes. The prices are absolutely obscene and I never get what I come in for. I have the same in-between-sizes/looking older than I am problem as well. I'm between a C and a D so I also have to deal with the sales ladies telling me how lucky I am while simultaniously leading me to either the granny bra department or the animal print and hotpink lace section. It also doesn't help that all the sales people look like either one of my elderly relatives or my old vice principal's idenitical twin. Haha.
Gah. I hate it.



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17 Feb 2008, 11:53 pm

Yes, I find such activities (and combinations thereof) to be stressful & aversive, so I hardly ever go bra shopping. Shopping isn't fun, making decisions amongst things that are never satisfactory enough (picking 'least bad' item to purchase, because what one wants doesn't seem to exist all in one product). Dealing with clothing is hassle, trying stuff on (having to get undressed & re-dressed repeatedly), guessing what might fit & how it will actually feel, etc. Getting useful help when one needs it yet not being pestered by an intrusive staff-person. Outrageous prices for scraps of fabric, or slightly cheaper ugly frumpy bulky bras.
And so on...


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hartzofspace
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18 Feb 2008, 12:04 am

I have a shelf full of bras in about three sizes, and I absolutely refuse to accept help with buying them. My bra size can fluctuate, depending upon time of month, last salty meal, or unexplained weight loss.
I love catalogs, because I can measure myself, and then order what I want. I always make sure that they have a return policy, and that the conditions for a return aren't too unreasonable.

The only exception, was that recently, I recently ordered an adorable corset, which I have wanted forever. But although the cup size was perfect, the corset was too small, despite my measurements. So I spoke with a female staff person on the phone, who had me measure again. I was able to return the one I had, and ask for another size. Trouble was, now the corset fit, but the cup size was wrong. I had to return it. At this point, they charged a "re-stocking" fee. Counting the shipping and handling costs, and the restocking fee, it was one expensive hassle, and I ended up with nothing but a flatter wallet. :cry:

So yes, it is a stressful experience.


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18 Feb 2008, 1:11 am

The only stress I have experienced has come with shopping for a size that most normal stores do not stock (An F cup). Aside from that, the stores that I've had luck with are nice about letting me try on bras (Because of course not all styles fit the same) to make sure I like the fit, and how it looks under my clothing.

Also, I have since lost weight and dropped down to a more normal DDD. So I do have some more normal bras now, and bra shopping is a whole lot less stressful.


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singularitymadam
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18 Feb 2008, 1:27 am

You've described that horrific experience quite aptly.

I'm considering abandoning the hope for finding a perfect bra. I would much rather wear corsets all of the time anyway; they feel like tight hugs you can wear all day. Properly-fitting corsets are easier for me to find, at least, and much more adjustable than bras. (I'm sorry you're having such a hard time, hartzofspace.)

Once, when I was overwhelmed, I just told the saleswoman, "They're hand-sized, okay? Make something work." Really good salespeople can tell your size just by looking at you.



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18 Feb 2008, 1:45 am

singularitymadam wrote:
You've described that horrific experience quite aptly.

I'm considering abandoning the hope for finding a perfect bra. I would much rather wear corsets all of the time anyway; they feel like tight hugs you can wear all day. Properly-fitting corsets are easier for me to find, at least, and much more adjustable than bras. (I'm sorry you're having such a hard time, hartzofspace.)

Once, when I was overwhelmed, I just told the saleswoman, "They're hand-sized, okay? Make something work." Really good salespeople can tell your size just by looking at you.


Have you ever had a custom-sized corset? I have, though none of mine fit anymore due to weight loss and I don't think its worth having any made again until I stop changing in sizes :(

Anyhow, I got measured and had one custom-made just for me. Wore that thing all the time when it fit, even in the summer when it was really too hot for the satin (And then decided next time-cotton) And although you would think it would have the opposite effect, the bit of pressure really helps relieve the constant pain I experience from PCOS. (And it *really* helps with the back pain from having large breasts) Overall I benefit from them a lot, and when I am at one constant and stable size I will have some made for me again. I miss not having any :(


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singularitymadam
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18 Feb 2008, 1:55 am

Immortal wrote:
Have you ever had a custom-sized corset? I have, though none of mine fit anymore due to weight loss and I don't think its worth having any made again until I stop changing in sizes :(


I haven't yet, but my weight was variable until recently due to some medication. I would like to get one as soon as I can afford to. I was also a relatively late bloomer, so thoughts related to lingerie hadn't really occurred to me until a few years ago. Do you have any recommendations for where to get a custom corset made? I'm in the US.

I've read a bit about the health benefits of corsetry... they really do seem quite wonderful. Perhaps I'll get one oriented toward tight-lacing, as those seem most adjustable. I'm steadily losing weight, to the point where my mother is convinced that I will disappear soon :P.



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18 Feb 2008, 2:37 am

Where? The best places I have found are online. Even e-bay. I found places on google, even a whole web-group of women dedicated to corset love, and sharing corsetry links. As long as you know how to measure yourself properly, you can get really decent corsets online. I don't have any bookmarked on this computer, because I haven't bought any since buying it. But try searching e-bay, and google with the term "custom corset".

I only require that it has a busk, modesty panel, and that I can pay via paypal.


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Purplefluffychainsaw
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18 Feb 2008, 4:12 am

Have you tried wearing supported tops? You can get strappy tops that have support that you can wear underneath your clothes, which are probably a bit too much for when it's really hot, but are really good in the winter. I wore them all the time until recently. ^___^ If you have bigger breasts I don't know how comfortable they'd be, but I'm an A and they're great.


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18 Feb 2008, 1:52 pm

Purplefluffychainsaw wrote:
Have you tried wearing supported tops? You can get strappy tops that have support that you can wear underneath your clothes, which are probably a bit too much for when it's really hot, but are really good in the winter. I wore them all the time until recently. ^___^ If you have bigger breasts I don't know how comfortable they'd be, but I'm an A and they're great.


To answer that, for those of us that are larger they are really comfy for sleep, but wearing them throughout the day isn't so nice.


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19 Feb 2008, 1:49 pm

Brassiere brwsing topic

I just buy second hand As or Bs 34 size at the local Goodwill or Value village, and then wear them until they fall off. Then I buy more. I wash them once in a while. :wink:


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19 Feb 2008, 4:23 pm

I discovered that the second I started shopping for bras in a quality lingerie shop, that I ceased finding the exercise stressful. The sales girls know exactly what size you are based on your measurements and the brand of the bra. I'm a 38-C/36-D depending on the bra maker and to tell you the truth, the easiest thing in the world is knowing that in my favourite brand I'm this size.

The other thing I noticed, is that the second I stopped trying to buy "cheap" bras, the better they fit. You couldn't pay me to buy a bra at Walmart. That said... at $30 to $50 a piece, you have to watch for sales.

Contrary to popular belief, bras are not all created equal.

If you're rapidly changing sizes due to whatever reasons... I second the second-hand bra idea.



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19 Feb 2008, 4:32 pm

When I go bra shopping I MUST be alone. If I take Damo he likes to play drums on the cups of the bras. Very emabarrasing :lol:



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19 Feb 2008, 8:51 pm

Thanks for the replies. :)

I have some supported tops, which work well in the winter and/or in the midst of summer (when I just wear said tops), but I can't wear them underneath everything; I have some shirts that are sheer in some places and so it would show through, and I also have some shirts that are halter tops and/or virtually strapless, so the other shirt shows there too.

I did shop in a solely lingerie store; in some department stores, they leave me alone more, but the dressing rooms are awful there; it's a balance. All of my bras, with the exception of two, are the same brand, same size, even same color; if they made the same thing in strapless form, I would have just bought that, but unfortunately, they don't. Each of them were about $35 a piece; I don't mind spending that much for one that really fits, and seeing how I have such a problem with it anyway, it's well worth it to me. $50 is too much for me though, especially if it doesn't fit perfectly; my shirts cost less than that.

I'm not really changing sizes, which is good in a way (I'm comfortable where I'm at) and bad in a way (I'll always be in between sizes).

As snobby as this sounds, I don't think I would be comfortable in a bra someone else had worn frequently in the past. There's no particular reason why I should feel that way, but I just do.


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19 Feb 2008, 11:44 pm

Pepperfire wrote:
I discovered that the second I started shopping for bras in a quality lingerie shop, that I ceased finding the exercise stressful. The sales girls know exactly what size you are based on your measurements and the brand of the bra. I'm a 38-C/36-D depending on the bra maker and to tell you the truth, the easiest thing in the world is knowing that in my favourite brand I'm this size.

The other thing I noticed, is that the second I stopped trying to buy "cheap" bras, the better they fit. You couldn't pay me to buy a bra at Walmart. That said... at $30 to $50 a piece, you have to watch for sales.


This makes so much sense ... You get what you pay for, and it pays to be comfortable.


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