The Ballad of the Perfect Bra

The girls and I have been a team since I was eight years old. It’s true. And I’ve tried to be very good to them all these years, because they’ve been downright kind to me. As a reward for my goodwill, they have generated for me more cat calls and poorly-veiled gawks than a woman with modest provisions could ever hope to imagine (whether or not that’s a good thing is still up for debate).

So, when the Silver Fox (an experienced gawker from way back) suggested that perhaps my current bras were not providing the ladies with quite the support they needed to really look and feel their best, I was only too pleased to explore the options for easing their burden. Please understand that at the time I was not sporting lingerie from “Billy Ray’s Bras and Tackle.” I had a wardrobe of lovely unmentionables from Victoria’s Secret, the uber-haven of brassiere couture, and I’ll have you know that the professionals at Vicki’s had verified that I was procuring the perfect size for my measurements—a 34D, as in Delightful. Sadly, after a few months’ wear, that became D as in Deficient, which ultimately morphed into the dreaded D as in Droopy.

As luck would have it, my sweetheart is a sensitive male secure enough in his masculinity to be comfortable surfing websites like, on which was featured Oprah’s pronouncement on the best place to go for a well-fitted bra. And as we all know, if Oprah says it, it is law. Anyway, Oprah’s shining edifice of mammary comfort, Intimacy Bra Fit Experts, is right on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago, to which I coincidentally had a business trip the following week. So, I packed the girls into their Vicki’s boulder holder and headed to the Windy City for a Great New Thing.

What first impressed me about Intimacy was the fact that I had to make an appointment for a fitting. My previous bra fitting experiences had involved a sales clerk, a measuring tape, and about 45 seconds of sucking things in. The folks here, however, seemed to really mean business. As I waited for my turn, I overheard the woman behind the desk ordering a few garments for a customer—in a 34 double H. “Double H,” I smirked to myself. “God bless the poor woman who has to carry those around all the time.” I thusly entertained myself until it was my turn to step behind the curtain.

My bra expert—a young slender lass who couldn’t have been more than a B cup herself—had me first model my current Vicki’s bra for her. After a quick once-over (and no measuring tape), she determined that Victoria’s real Secret was actually that the poor woman didn’t know how to fit her customers into bras. There were three telltale signs that my fit was fraught with issues. First, the back strap floated upward, a sure sign that the band was too wide. Second, my cups runneth over, a telltale sign that (big surprise here) the cup size wasn’t big enough. Third, there was the droop factor, which indicated to her that my straps needed a serious readjustment or maybe even a stronger foundation.

She dashed out of the room and returned moments later with a few garments for me to test drive. The first was a little too big, but the second fit like a dream, in every conceivable way. Never had the ladies looked this stunning. They stood like attentive little soldiers awaiting command, the very definition of perky, healthy—and sexy. As I turned around and around, admiring myself from every angle, I felt like a million bucks … until I asked the size of this miraculous bra.

My friends, I do not have one of those chests that people stare at with an unbelieving shake of the head. I’m 5’3” and a size six, and my breasts honestly do not look awkward on my body at all. Voluptuous? You bet. Circus freak? Not even a little bit. So, when my Intimacy expert informed me that I was a size 31G, I resisted the urge to be shocked or humiliated. Instead, I l simply considered my reflection in the mirror. I looked well-supported, I looked good, and most of all I looked absolutely normal in my new 31G bra, under a size medium Gap T-shirt. Therefore, my final reaction is, “so what?” Maybe it’s time to recalibrate the public’s perspective on bra sizes. If it’s true (and it must be, because someone said it on Oprah) that up to 80% of women are wearing bras that are the wrong size, that means there are a lot more women out there just like me—D’s, double D’s, G’s, and yes, probably a whole truckload of absolutely stunning, well-proportioned double-H’s. I am a 31G, not G as in Gargantuan, but G as in Gorgeous, and I’ve decided to celebrate it. Ladies, get out there and get a terrific bra, and who cares what the letters on the tag say? You’ll look fabulous, and even more important, feel as beautiful as can be. And that’s the name of the game. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to change into my new bra and a tank top, and go out and walk past a construction crew.

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