When I was a little girl, I thought my Mom had the world’s biggest boobs. I don’t remember thinking about what that would mean for me or the challenges that would lie ahead. But, as suspected, I am now the proud of owner of an above-average sized pair of boobs.
My Mom is semi-retired (still working part-time) and she’s on a budget. She’s active in her church and in her community. She has five grandchildren but is not your typical “granny.” She proves the statement that “money can’t buy style.” She has never been able to afford designer labels, but she always dresses to impress. Mom is a petite woman in her mid-70’s. She is barely 5’2” and weighs no more than 115 lbs on a good day… So it’s hard to imagine that she carries around a pair of boobs in the D-E-F range. For all these years, she has been wearing a size 36D. But, as luck would have it, she is in fact, a size 34E. Mind you, it took over 70 years for her to realize this… Here is how it all began….
Mom has been searching for a good Bra all her life. She’s old enough to have worn the fabulous circle-stitch torpedo Bras that were popular in the middle of the last century. (She even had a pair of foam “falsies” that were inserted into the cups of Bras to “add” to the pointy shape!) She has witnessed the introduction of spandex in fabrics and elastics in Bras. In her lifetime, Bras have evolved from pointy to rounded, seamed to seamless, molded foam cups, and so on. Throughout all of this, she has struggled to find a Bra that she likes, that fits her properly, and is in her price range.
A few weeks back, Mom was complaining to me about her recent struggle to buy a new Bra. I had suggested she try Nordstrom since they are well-known for having an above-average selection of Bras coupled with exceptional Customer Service to help you in your fitting. Mom ventured into Nordstrom three times. Each time, she bought a Bra. And following each visit, she returned the Bra several days later. She was still unhappy. Previously, she had been wearing a Wacoal style… But to her dismay, it had been discontinued several years back. I knew the answer to her problem… She needed an expert… I needed to take her to Linda’s!
Mom and I already had a “girls weekend” planned. She would drive up to Jersey City after work on Friday afternoon and stay through Sunday evening. She wanted to go to an exhibit at the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx on Saturday afternoon and I wanted to take her through St. Francis of Assisi Church on 31st Street in midtown before heading to the Bronx (after a quick stop at Starbuck’s for my usual Venti Early Grey Tea). We were to have lunch at the Gardens and head back to Jersey City after our tour of the Gardens. I decided to add a stop at Linda’s to our agenda. I called Linda’s Murray Hill location a few days in advance to make our appointment. We were scheduled for 4:30pm on that Saturday afternoon. Mom was a bit nervous because she did not know what to expect (and because I had told her that I intended to Blog about it!)
We were greeted by one of Linda’s certified Bra Fitters, Chloe Sabin. Chloe escorted us into their luxe fitting room. I told Chloe that Mom had been wearing a 36D and that I thought she was more likely a 34E or even possibly a 32F/G. Chloe asked Mom to remove her top. Mom told Chloe what she was looking for and then Chloe asked Mom to take off her Bra! Mom did exactly as she was told. But when Chloe left the fitting room, Mom said “No one’s ever asked to see my boobs before!” I explained that we are all shaped different… some of us hang low, others are perky, some of us fall east & west, etc. It is important for a Bra Fitter to evaluate our breasts to make the best possible recommendation for a proper fitting Bra.
Chloe returned with an armful of Bra styles in various colors and sizes. It seemed a bit overwhelming at first, but I encouraged Mom to try them all. And when she found one that she liked, I suggested that she should pull her tee-shirt on over top to see how it looks with clothes on. It was interesting for me to discover what Mom wanted out of a Bra. Initially, I thought that we would be looking for different things. But it turns out that the needs and expectations of a 70-something year old woman are very similar to those of this 30-something year old. Mom was looking for a Bra that felt comfortable around the body. She didn’t want to worry about her straps slipping. She didn’t want it to rub or chafe under her arm. She wanted an underwire. She wanted lift & support. She didn’t want a minimizer…. But she didn’t want to look too “buxom” either. Mom always says that women in her age category look overly “matronly” if their boobs are too big or if they are wearing an ill-fitting Bra. So she was concerned about looking “too big.” She didn’t like the Bras that were too sheer….modesty factor. She liked some lining, but she didn’t like the molded foam pads. She kept saying “it feels like too much bra!” I can identify with that feeling… The first time I was put into a properly fitting Bra, I felt like I was wearing a bullet-proof vest. I remember walking out of the Bra Salon feeling like a Superhero named “Boobalicious.” I was gonna fight evil demons with my new superpower Bra!
During our Fitting with Chloe, Mom tried on numerous Styles… We started with the Simone Perele Andora Bra in a 32F. It looked great… But initially Mom felt it was a little too tight and she felt a bit “east and west.” She tried the Panache Porcelain Viva Moulded T-Shirt Bra in a 32F. Too small in the cup. Then she went for the Wacoal Alluring Full Figure Underwire Bra in 34DD. This Bra created the dreaded “double-bubble” and had “nipple show-thru.” Next was the Wacoal Awareness Full Coverage Bra in 34DD. This one had a nice cup shape, but was too tight around. After several more styles, we were back to the first Bra….the Simone Perele Andora Bra. But this time, we tried the 34E. This was the one! Mom was thrilled (but she gasped when she saw the price tag.) This beautiful, French Bra was going to set her back $80. Mom knows that good Bras aren’t cheap. But she was hoping to walk out of there spending no more than $60. I encouraged her to go ahead with the purchase… The Bra looked good and fit right. She shelled out the $80 and was happy that the whole experience was over. She loves her new Bra, but she told me that she’s “saving it for good.” I told her I’d keep my eyes open for a discount or deal on the Simone Perele Andora Bra (or maybe I’ll buy it for her next time.) I’m just so happy that she finally found a Bra that she loves!
I learned a few things during that day. First, you’re never told old to go for a proper Bra Fitting… And, you’re never too old to find a Bra that looks good, fits right and makes you feel good! I was also surprised to find out that a 70-something year old wants the same things out of a bra as I do. All women, regardless of age, shape, size, ethnicity, socio-economic background, etc… deserve to wear high-quality Lingerie that fits properly. This experience reconfirmed my mission to continue educating women about the importance of a proper Bra Fitting. As we all know, too many women are wearing the wrong sized Bra.
The fitting at Linda’s was great fun! But at the end of the day, it wasn’t really about the Bra… none of that really matters. It was about spending quality time with my Mom. We had a wonderful weekend together. We shared a lot of laughs and got along splendidly. That is priceless. I love my Mom with all my heart. She has always been my “bosom buddy.” After all, she took me shopping for my very first Bra over 25 years ago… But we didn’t go to Linda’s… We went to Sears!
A big Thank You to my Mommy for allowing me to Blog about her Boobs and to Linda Becker, Kimberly Arce and Chloe Sabin at Linda’s.
Simone Perele Andora Bra is available online at www.lindasonline.com
Linda’s – Murray Hill NYC
552 3rd Ave
New York, New York 10016
Linda Becker started her career over twenty years ago when she went to a mastectomy bra fitting class hosted by the American Cancer Society. Her first glimpse into the world of bra fitting opened her eyes to a shocking fact: most women, busty or small-chested, plus-size or petite, are wearing the wrong size bra. “Not only were they wearing bras that were unflattering and uncomfortable, some women were convinced that bras were supposed to hurt!” Ever since, her mission has been to help women of all sizes find bras that actually FIT them, look great, and help them feel comfortable and confident.
Most days, you can find Linda in her New York City boutique, Linda’s Bra Salon, where Linda and her bra fitting team have given thousands of women bra makeovers. What makes her store different from other lingerie stores out there? Linda’s carries over 200 bra sizes, from AA to N cups. All of Linda’s bras are hand selected by Linda for quality, fit and value; so that they can guarantee that you’ll love the bras you choose. Linda’s expert bra fitters have the most extensive training in the field, with over three months of “bra school” before they are certified to fit women in their store locations or on Linda’s Bra Fit Hotline.
A few years ago, Linda launched LindasOnline.com to make bras in every size available all over the world. Linda’s bra boutique and website are so popular, that Linda announced the opening of her second location, which opened in April 2011 in New York City. Whether you shop in store or online, Linda and her team are dedicated to helping you find the perfect bra!