I went bra shopping recently, because I had put it off for two whole years and was in need of something that didn't poke, rub, itch, have strap slippage, or cause a rash. Armed with a gift card that I received for Christmas, I put on my best game face, grabbed several styles of bra in my usual size, C36, and headed to the change room.
The change rooms at The Bay in Cityville have terrible lighting. There are dim bulbs lodged up in a high ceiling, and what light is not swallowed by the dark walls falls weakly over your flesh from the top down. No matter how tall you stand or how much you suck in your pre-menstrual gut, any part of you that is not in complete defiance of gravity will bear its own weighty-looking shadow. I knew this going in and had prepared myself to outrightly deny what the mirror was going to tell me. If it told me that I looked like that bloated, dead woman from "The Shining", I was simply going to curse the thoughtless design of the changing rooms and focus on the size and comfort of the brassieres I was trying on.
The funny thing is, though, that ignoring the changing room mirror actually made things more difficult for me. Each bra I tried on looked strange on me, which I blamed on the lighting. I spent a long time jimmying with straps and hooks in an attempt to get at least one of them to look less stupid on me, but every time I looked in the mirror, there was a bra doing its best to squish bits of me out left or right, or it would remain empty and flaccid-looking in one area while appearing stretched to capacity in another. What most of the styles had in common was that they seemed to do little more than cap the ends of my boobs. I didn't want boob caps; I wanted a brassiere. What was up with the boob cap effect? Was this some new style that I hadn't heard of? Alongside full figure, sports, underwire, and nursing bras, was there a boob cap section?
Please, there's no need for you to step in here and point out the obvious. After thirty minutes and ten different bras, I came to the same conclusion: I am no longer a C-cup.
My gradual shift from a C- to a D-cup sometime over the last two years had convinced me that I was actually wearing demi-cups. I wasn't. I was wearing boob caps. I really was a C-cup two years ago when I last purchased these things. The lady who helped me then told me so, and the ones I bought were the most comfortable undergarments I had ever worn. Since then, though, they have become less so, and increased bustage is likely the main cause. So, I moved up to a D36 this last week, and I couldn't believe how good it felt. None of the D36s I tried on had the boob cap effect, and they all offered decent coverage and support. No more do I have to suffer the ravages of confining underwires and blown elastic straps.
But, I had a question at the end of all this: what do you do with an old brassiere? When I was a kid, we rinsed used tinfoil and saved it in a drawer. Bread bags were washed and reused until the clear plastic became opaque from wear. Throwing out an old bra simply because it didn't fit and its elastic was kaput and it caused rashes just seemed wasteful, especially when I had once spent a good sum of money on it, so I gave it a bit of thought and came up with a few ideas for the repurposing of old brassieres. They are amazingly versatile, considering the specificity with which they were designed.
An old bra can become a hat for a cat. The cat doesn't always know right away that this is a good idea, but over time, it will warm up to the idea of accessorizing.
It can be used as an elbow pad. Sporting equipment is expensive these days, so it will be a relief to your pocketbook if you have two of these to outfit little Timmy or Sue.
Your old brassiere does well as a hanging vegetable holder.
It can be used as a sassy alternative to the crocheted toilet paper roll covers of old.
Your friends will giggle over your new teapot cozy.
It can be used to help support the slowly crumbling dead guy in your living room:
And last but definitely not least, when your old bra's straps have stretched out too much to fit your ribcage, they may just fit your derriere. If my boobs feel better with a little support, imagine how good a butt could feel. I offer you the buttsiere:
My fully supported D-cup boobs are a much happier pair, as there is no more sneaking out the left, creeping out the right, bouncing out the bottom on the stairs, nipples itching with the shifting going on. My new Mighty Girl t-shirt doesn't hurt, either: