Rachel Hollis, author of Girl, Wash Your Face was right: Bras are the devil’s work. Over my lifetime, I’ve probably invested the equivalent cost of a luxury German imported car in a futile search for a comfortable bra. I’m convinced they don’t exist. Yesterday as I was getting dressed to go out, I tried on no less than three before I found one comfortable enough to wear to the mall. And when I got there I bee-lined it for the Jockey For Her section in the lingerie department in search of something wearable. I opted for one of those sports-like all-over stretch jobs with no clasps, trim or skinny bits to dig in. Much as I hate wearing a bra, a certain amount of decorum is required when going out in public so we’re forced to buckle up.
When I got home the first thing I did, as usual, was rip my bra off. Then, I pulled everything out of my bra drawer, gave each one a quick test drive to determine whether it would live or die, then tossed the rejects into a big pile on my bed. I was merciless. The losers were too tight around the ribcage, didn’t have enough banding around the ribcage, rolled at the ribcage, slipped off my shoulders or simply didn’t properly accommodate the girls without spilling over or accentuating back fat. Am I too demanding? I don’t think so.
There was a time many generations ago when I was so proud to wear a bra. When my mother took me to buy my first 28AA I felt so grown up. There was also a time when we were young that I loved buying all the lacey little contraptions that passed for a bra. But when we reached a certain age, comfort and performance became priorities, while still achieving a level of sexiness and femininity. I’ve been measured many times at different stores and every one comes up with a different size combo. I accept that our size is not static and changes as we age and gain or lose weight, but maybe we need a computer-generated modelling system to get it right once and for all. If they can do it for jeans, why not bras? Could someone please task their grandchild to create an app for calculating the correct bra size by manufacturer and style? The old ribcage measurement combined with breast size just doesn’t compute in the real world.
Hence, the huge pile of discarded bras on my bed. Only six (6) survived the purge, including the new Jockey-For-Her number I picked up yesterday. That should be enough by anyone’s standards but I have a feeling I’ll soon be on the prowl again. Fourteen (14) regular bras and eighteen (18) sports bras are destined for the dumpster (Yes! That’s a shameful total of 32), except textiles should not be thrown in the trash, so what do we do with them? That’s a lotta landfill. I’ll parcel them up for for charity, if they’ll take them, as most have hardly been worn. Hopefully they’ll be useful to someone else. The Canadian Diabetes Association recycles clothing and I understand H&M stores have drop boxes for recycling clothing.
Then, I attacked another drawer full of camisoles and tank tops worn over bras under certain blouses and sweaters. The work never ends. It’s a shocking and embarrassing thing to admit but how could any one person possibly need or wear 33 camis? We all have too much of everything and the recent culling of my bras and camisoles is a prime example of our excesses—well, mine for sure. Now I actually have a couple of empty drawers in my bedroom and I won’t have to forage through dozens of rejects to find something to wear.
No longer burdened by a surplus of ill-fitting, uncomfortable bras, I feel strangely uplifted. Kondo was right, sort of. It wasn’t about keeping only those that sparked joy (I can’t imagine any bra actually sparking joy) but more accurately getting rid of things sparked the real joy. I recently took a pile of clothing to the consignment shop and a couple of bags of discards to the charity box. Imagine how I would feel if I dared go down to the basement and tackled that quagmire. Naaah! I think I’ll just sit back and enjoy the fruits of my lingerie liquidation before I get into something under foot that might be over my head. I’m feelin’ fine. Let’s just keep it that way. Have you had a good purge lately?