Thursday, March 14, 2013


Today this is a women only page – men should probably go and read another blog (but come back soon). Today is a day to venture into the section of a department store that displays lingerie and makes men shy like horses at a paper bag in a ditch. Today we are going to discuss bras, and more specifically the choosing of new bras.

Women tend to put this off because we can find it an uncomfortable, almost humiliating, experience, but like going to the dentist, at some point we always know when it is time to bite the bullet. Only women who are slight and don't really need one enjoy the hassle of buying a bra. They can choose from the huge range of size 10 or 12 tiny bright flirty styles that come in all colours, stripes and polka dots, frills and ruffles. They don't even have to try them on, except when buying their first, because they know the size they want, they only need to choose colour and style.

The rest of us – the vast army of the rest of us – must make more, um, weighty decisions. And our choices are much more limited. For us, the joke goes that there are only four types of bras: Catholic (supports the masses), Salvation Army (lifts the fallen), Presbyterian (keeps them staunch and upright), and Baptist (makes mountains out of molehills). There is also, for the secular woman, the German (holtzemfromfloppen). We must paw through those endless racks of pretty little bras looking for the few, usually near the floor, in black, white or that horrible fawny pink, that are the only ones in our size.

The alternative is to admit defeat, summon a hovering salesperson and ask her to find three or four 18DDs in white or black, no underwire, and bring them to one of the cubicles so we can try them on. Ah yes, the cubicles: searchingly bright lights and huge mirrors that make us look like dugongs the moment we strip off. I think that right there is what makes the experience so unnerving – the mirrors at home are so much kinder. The saleswomen, however, probably know that and don't bustle and poke unless asked but hover outside the cubicle listening for squeaks of distress. Then she can offer help, suggest that she could find more possibilities, or send for reinforcements in the form of the corsetiere.


  1. oh so true!!

    But surely Baptists would make molehills out of mountains!? :)

  2. I thought that too, but the joke that came via email - the trigger for the blogpost in fact - had it that way round. Who am I to meddle?

  3. Loved the jokes. But never for a moment think that the under-endowed have a better time of it. The bra might look cute and flirty, but it is determined that your chin looks more like something it wants to support, so spends its rather brief life trying to climb up to your neck.

  4. I'm not sure if you have the 'Ahhh' bras and similar versions we have advertised to death here on Australian television. They are supposed to support, uplift, give you a younger figure, cleavage etc, etc ... and I'm quite sure none of the celebrities advertising them ever wear them out in public! They are fine for those stay-at-home writing or gardening days but for 'going out' or 'best' we continue to suffer the changing-room torture and disappointment. Glad to read that 'across the ditch' we share the same dilemmas and giggles :)

  5. We do indeed have the unconvincing Ahhh bra ads on NZ television. And hey - welcome to the blog! Always glad to hear from Oz - do keep in touch.