I've Forgotten How to Shop!

Either I have lost my mind in the last few days before the wedding, or I have not been shopping for so long I have forgotten how to navigate a simple process of consumption.

To be fair to my poor adddled brain, this process did involve the lingerie department, known to drive even the most experienced consumers to the Scotch bottle.

I needed a backless bra for the wedding dress. I went online. There seemed to be numerous attractive options available. Fredericks of Hollywood had a particularly fetching number (see above), but I didn't have time for mail order. So, I headed to the Bay downtown, figuring that the venerable Canadian retailer would carry at least a few options. After all, it is prom and wedding season.

It's been a while since I was in a department store. My God they have a lot of stuff! The lingerie department is tucked discreetly away on the third floor, but must measure a few thousand square feet. There were two harried sales clerks, one of whom I cornered right away. "I need a backless bra," I said confidently, assuming she would lead me to the well-stocked aisle of such garments. Instead she looked confused. She showed me the one (!) item they had that might fit the description - a Calvin Klein number that claimed to have five different fastening possibilities, none of them backless. And it only went to a 36C. I think it's quite easy to tell by looking at me that I'm bigger than that. After all, I was shopping in person! Presumably there has got to be some advantage there - it's not like buying something online, where i could be a 14 year old boy for all the system knows or cares!

The clerk left me to peruse the shelves of a rather alaming assortment of tape on or magnetic bra cups. None of them bigger than a C mind you. Interesting how the great retailing minds of the foundation garment industry seem to think that girls with small boobs need a little extra support, while ignoring the needs of the rest of us. The thought of going braless fleetingly crossed my mind, but was even more alarming than the "invisible" bra cups in front of me.

"This is so demoralizing", i muttered aloud. An older woman browsing through the sale table next to me replied, "And it only gets worse." On cue, a baby in another aisle began screaming. 'He sounds like I feel," the woman said. I agreed, morosely moving over to the Elita section.

Elita makes nice comfy underwear, in Canada. My spirits rose a bit - there was a big sale on! At least I might be able to stock up on some less exotic undies than a backless bra. I grabbed several things in the size I have always worn in the past, and headed for the service counter, hoping to make a speedy exit. Oh, I forgot there were only two clerks. Eventually one of them made her way to the till, our transaction was completed, and I headed down the escalator, thinking the bar at the Four Seasons was only a block away.

When I got home, I took out my new panties and camisoles, and noticed they looked kinda small. Must be a new stretchy fabric, I thought. But no. I will spare you the disturbing imagery. Let's just say they didn't fit. Either Elita has changed their sizing or I was so addled by the fumes of polyester and foam that I mistakenly veered into the children's department.

I am now weighing my options. I can go back to the Bay and return the purchase, a thought of which sends me diving for a cool cloth for my forehead. Or I can lose about 50 or so pounds and fit into the underwear. It might take a little more time, but is probably more feasible.

The fact that I still need a backless bra is just too panic-inducing to contemplate.


  1. I wish you the best of all luck. Bra shopping, particularly specialty bra shopping, is the worst.

    I've been wearing the same two bras for 15 years. Yes, the elastic is nearly gone. Some of the hooks are missing. They look like hell. But the few bra shopping expeditions I've made were completely demoralizing -- no one was even remotely helpful, and I found nothing that came close to fitting.

    I remember reading somewhere that a really good bra costs upwards of $60. If I could even find such a bra, I would snap it up in a microsecond.

    Hey world: there's a huge market hole here! Someone could make a fortune.

    Perhaps you could order something over the internet with express shipping?


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