You may have noticed that over the past 9 months I've become quite the Richie. I've spent over $100 on one pair of jeans and recently purchased boots for $175! I am even considering replacing my now ripped $20 Target rain boots with a $100 pair of Hunters. In the past I have often refused to purchase a full priced item on principle alone mostly because I get more satisfaction from the feeling of getting a good deal than the feeling of having purchased something I really love. And while I still religiously stalk the JCrew online sale (where someone needs to mark down the cashmere henleys below $100) I also have cautiously begun trying on clothing that isn't even on the sale rack and I have to admit that sometimes pricier goods really are nicer. As I have commented in the past the most troubling and unrewarding world of shopping is that of bras. There is no other places where sizes vary so drastically, where pretty almost always equals nonfunctional, where nothing ever seems to go on sale. And of course there is no more well scrutinized female body part then the breast. And thus is created a horribly unsatisfying shopping experience. Last week, partially inspired by new willingness to spend real money on items of clothing, I decided to finally give the expensive bras a chance to wow me so on Friday I tentatively jumped on Oprah's Good Ship Pricey Bra by taking a trip the the Upper West Side's famous brassier-ery, The Town Shop.
After rushing out of work at 5:15 due to the shop's ridiculously early closing time I walked into the store and pretty much announced to the entire staff that I hated all of my bras which, I assume, is exactly what they want to hear -- I figured why not play into the myth and get the full experience? A young latina sales girl had me in a dressing room and naked from the waist up within five minutes of entering the shop which is about the time I realized that all of my rushing had overpowered my 10 hours old deodorant. I assume that sales ladies at a lingerie shop see a lot of breasts and are therefore unimpressed with the idiosyncrasies of my own boobs (which are completely normal. Seriously! Don't look at me like that!) but is it safe to also assume that they are A-OK with an end of day musk? Let's just hope there's not some secret bra fitter blog out there with a Friday entry about a particularly aromatic customer. Anyway -- they do a lot of staring at your boobs in the Town Shop. If you're the kind of girl who can't get comfortable in the large open dressing room in Filene's Basement or who shies away from the mirror when getting out of the shower you might want to ingest a few shots of liquid courage or possibly a couple of Valium before taking off on your own bra shopping sojourn. La Chica de Bras now knows my breasts much more intimately than any of the boys who have been lucky enough to see them in the past few years and possible better than my OBGYN, my favorite bikini top and my future offspring put together.
They don't do any measuring at the Town Shop which I assume is supposed to make me feel more confident because these women are just so adept at fitting boobies into brassieres that measuring tapes are almost archaic but I would have felt more comfortable if the official assessment of my gifts were a bit more quantifiable. I was last measured at Bloomingdales in December of 05 where they downgraded my new post weightloss breasts from 34Ds to 32Cs which seemed about right to me. But over the last couple of years I've noticed a disturbing mass boob exodus from the confines of the 32C bras. In the morning everything will be fine, the bra comfortable, the sweater puppies contained, etc. And then, around noon, I'd glance downward and notice that a jail break was in progress. Somehow I'd have half a boob in and half out thus creating the illusion of 3 or 4 boobs where once there were 2 (And sadly more boobs is somehow not better than fewer). So clearly there was a problem and despite ample evidence to the contrary it seemed unlikely that my boobs were inflating as the day progressed.
I cannot deny that even without the reassuring comfort of numbers the bras that Lil' Miss Titsling brought back to my dressing room fit pretty well. For reasons that I am completely incapable of deducing she insisted on putting each bra on for me and behaved as if we were squeezing my barrel-like chest into a corset -- I believe at one point she had her foot up on a chair for leverage as she pulled the band around to the final hook. This show was wholly unnecessary as I was capable of easily hooking each bra without so much as a grunt. Perhaps other women feel better about getting all spend-y on bras if it seems that the store staff is seriously exerting themselves. The most concerning event was when the sales lady referred to my right breast as my "titty" which I'm trying to convince myself is a technical term.
At the end of the day I went in for the bra equivalent of buying every album ever released by a new favorite artist and purchased THREE (only vaguely grandma inspired) bras for a shocking $196. So the obvious question is do these new riggings increase my boobage stock by $200? Hard to say. I asked a coworker to check out my rack (it's a casual work environment.) and while she agreed that "they look good!" she claims to not have been regularly checking them out in the past and so could not offer a comparison. Clearly this girl is a huge liar. I can tell you one thing for certain -- there ain't no rocking on this ship. The girls are strapped in and immobile. I think this is generally a good thing.