Monday, October 20, 2008

Front-end Alignment 101

By Margy McCarthy

I snapped a damned underwire last week.

It hadn’t poked through to the point of stabbing me in the ribcage yet, but I was aware enough of it to have fleeting moments of paranoia regarding the symmetry of my boobs. One does not want to be distracted by fear of boobal asymmetry when one teaches eighth graders. Not even fleetingly.

This undergarment malfunction led me to examine the other contents of my lingerie drawer which- while not wire-snapped per se, were in equally dismal condition. It is fortunate indeed that I am a careful driver and not accident-prone. Any EMT’s called to my aid in the past few months would have gagged on the spot.

As my level of respect for those who risk their lives every day for their community is very high, I was naturally compelled to go out and do something about it.

I shopped.

And while I shopped, I became aware of certain incongruities.

Margy’s Laws of Foundation Garments:

LAW I: The variety of styles available and likelihood of sale prices are inversely proportionate to cup size. That is to say, if the bra itself is primarily for decorative purposes and a band-aid would suffice, there are abundant choices. Like this, for example:


Or this:


And, although I didn't see this particular model at Mervyn's today, fried egg girls can even get one of these:


Never been a fried egg girl myself.

My size is always in the back of the rack, so as I dug into the darker recesses-- unable to see the actual bras, of course, groping blindly for size tags- I became more and more despondent. Real breasts seem to be no longer in fashion- but, oh! Wait! There's one! Pull it out and TA-DAH! Look what they have for me!



Keep looking.

Which leads me to LAW II: The more particular the sizing of the garment = the more inconvenient the display = the messier the department.

Seriously. How many hangers can they squeeze onto one 12-inch steel hook? At roughly 1/4 inch each, that's potentially forty-eight bras per hook. They then pack those hooks together so as to render it impossible to reach between the rows to remove one from the back. No wonder the Flatsy-Patsies are all over the floor! (Maybe that's why they're always the ones on sale!)

LAW III: The necessity of hanging a piece of apparel in your closet is inversely proportionate to the odds of being sent home with a complimentary hanger.



Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Hah, Margy, I feel your pain. Just yesterday I (a fried-egg girl, by the way) tossed a bra right in the trash can because the underwire had jabbed me on too many times.

If only I could wear sports bras under all my clothes.

Oh, and no, I don't hang up my underthings.

Laura Benedict said...


I dream of going into TJMaxx or Marshall's and finding something cute and sensible that fits right there on the rack. Never happens. I've noticed that I, uh, need a bit more substance in my underwires these days. And the cute ones never have the goods!

Not Too Old said...

This post brought tears to my eyes - or was it my bra straps bruising my shoulders? I too have always been a woman best suited for Vicki's Big Gossip rather than Victoria's Secret. That's one more great thing about working from home - I can wear wireless sports bras all the time.