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I have such major news. I don't even know where to start with this.

Allow me, however, to eliminate two immediate conclusions people usually leap to when I announce news:

1)  I am not pregnant.  If I were pregnant, I would not be typing.  I would be alternating between assuming the fetal position and camping out at the nearest emergency room in search of an immediate epidural, to be continued until the child entered graduate school.

2)  I am still not pregnant.

We begin, as all major life events do, at an outlet mall.  There was a major sale occurring at the Playtex-Maidenform-Bali-WonderBra-Olga-Capezio-Whore Cleavage outlet, which was advertising a most spectacular sale.  As has been already discussed in this space, my rack is a mighty rack, valiant and true, and lately I've been noticing that the bras containing it have begun to run their last furlong, as we say in the Thoroughbred racing business.

Josh The Pilot was with me.  Assuring him that this would constitute very little of his manly time, I draped several laceless, tagless, underwireless  (MUST NOT ITCH) 34 B models over an arm and made for the dressing room.

Now the life-heaving begins:  None of them fit.  Not a one.  I flung bra after bra over the door of the dressing room, sending a bewildered and not entirely uninterested Josh back to the tiny plastic carousels.  Finally I slung one last ill-fitting concoction of spandex and plastic in the general direction of perdition and stalked my way to the sales floor.

I flagged down a cashier.   "I need to know what the new sizing charts are," I said.

"Um," she answered.

"Somebody somewhere changed the sizing charts, because none of the models in my size fit.  Is everything European now?  Do I need, like, a 2.5 wide from now on?"

This speech, for some reason, necessitated the presence of a tape measure around my boobs.  "What size are you wearing right now?" she asked.

"Thirty-four B."  I know this.  My husband knows this.  The entire population of the Saint Mary's-Notre Dame community knows this, as I pronounced this fact under totally necessary conditions in a column for the school newspaper in the fall of 2000.

"Well, your first problem," she said, "is that you're not a B cup.  You're at least a C, probably a D."

This announcement had several effects.  I was flabbergasted, then terrified; Josh The Pilot, meanwhile, was searching the store in vain for another male to high-five.  What th-- my SIZE had changed?  I had to completely replace my bra wardrobe?

And there was an even worse realization on the heels of this.  "Am I... did I gain weight? And it landed all on my chest?"  Among other places less advantageous?

"Okay, let me ask you this.  When's the last time you were measured?"

This, I had to think about.  A lot.  Because the last time I was measured was when my mother hauled me to the Junior department of  McAlpin's, which doesn't even EXIST anymore, to purchase my first Teenform.  This meant that I have been likely wearing the wrong size bra for approximately six Presidential administrations, a happenstance compounded by the fact that the second my mother stopped buying my bras, I started purchasing them at such high-class establishments where the lingerie section was across the aisle from the frozen chicken patties and the Chia pets.  This wasn't a bra size change.  This was a seismic shift in the tectonic plates of self image.

We have now come full circle to the marvy sale.  "Oh, crap, Josh," I said suddenly, "sports bras."  Who knew what kind of treadmill damage I'd been inflicting over the past two decades.

My own flummoxation was such that I couldn't even remember my new bodacious size.  Josh, however, did.  "Thirty-six Charlie, thirty-four Delta," he reported, rifling through a set of underwires.

"WonderBras are on sale too," he pointed out.

"I do not need a WonderBra," I said.  "I am a D cup."

Now that half of what James May gently refers to as "the work of the Divine Potter" isn't breaking free and creating chaos, I am slimmer.  I am taller.  I am no more of a woman than I was before, perhaps, but I do have permission to subtract perhaps an extra two pounds from the scale.  That ain't me.  It's just my C cups, possibly D's.

well-rounded at:  mbe@drinktothelasses.com

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Reader Comments (23)

[...] Beth has major boob-related, life-changing news Share and [...]

Yes, this is totally worldview-changing news. I was refit a year ago into an F -- yes, as in the SIXTH LETTER OF THE ALPHABET -- and was in total shock for months. It's so great once they fit right, but I still look at the bras every morning and think, really, seriously, F?!

December 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

Hilarous. This absolutely SAME thing happened to me about two years ago. I completely relate!

December 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCathy Bell

Great timing with this - my daughter last night announced that according to bra-measurers-that-should-know, she is not a 34B but a 34 F. We're off the the aisle across from the shoes tonight to check this out.

December 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterstarnarcosis

Sooo....I have to ask the question. This sudden morphing from a B to a D - that's a mighty big leap. You have actually been comfortable all this time wearing B cups....?

I am a C, but JUST barely - more like a "B+" - but sometimes even B cups and especially A cups are not only hella uncomfortable, they clearly do. not. fit.

December 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Green

Well, there's always been a certain spillover effect, but I just chalked that up to... well, spillage. Since I was buying such cheap, off-brand bras, I assumed they'd be ill-fitting to begin with, and they stretched out almost immediately.

In fact, Josh The Pilot claimed that he always thought my bras didn't fit correctly, and when I yelled at him for not saying anything for FIVE. YEARS., he quite properly responded that he considered it no business of his to tell off a girl about her bra size.

December 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMB

MB--Congrats. Welcome to the big leagues.

Julie--I am an F too and find it so very hard to find anything. Where do you shop? I find most things in my size are white and granny looking.

December 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKelle Belle

Okay, here's a bra shopping story for you. When I was much younger and looking for my first bra with my Mother in Target, she decided it would be JUST FINE to try them on OVER MY SHIRT IN THE AISLE. Nearly 30 years later and I am still mortified.....

December 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSara N

“Thirty-six Charlie, thirty-four Delta”

I'm no Nostradamus, but I foresee this code will eventually be the ID-number of Josh's private plane :-P

Thanks for the laughs; they were greatly needed.

December 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterred pill junkie

I had a similar sizng experience this fall! I, too, was declared a D from a B. I think that I've grown a littl but my girls are no D's. I will say the new bras fit a lot better than my old ones, but I think the bra retail world has changed sizes to make us think our girls are bigger than they actually are. So for now I'm a D.

December 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMaryClare

"In fact, Josh The Pilot claimed that he always thought my bras didn’t fit correctly, and when I yelled at him for not saying anything for FIVE. YEARS., he quite properly responded that he considered it no business of his to tell off a girl about her bra size."

That is certainly the correct response! And you should also consider yourself lucky that JTP hasn't asked you to get SEXIER bras. Yeah, I realize the plain white lacy stuff isn't the stuff of fantasies, but it does its job, ya know?

December 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterj.s.

I thought I was an educated, sensitive, caring guy - trained in the 90's... but I didn't even know there *was* an F. This is all very confusing. It's like finding out that they make V-12 engines? Really? Wow.

December 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLostUpNorth

Kelle Belle -- I like the Fantasie label. Once you get past the slightly icky brand name, they have some great styles that are around $60 each.

Before anyone protests about how expensive that is: I am a grad student in the humanities, so I am well aware, and trust me, it's not ideal. But a good bra is a blessing forever (or something). Figleaves.com does 20% off sales maybe twice a year, which helps some. Buying bras through the internet is not fun but once you find something that works, you can just keep ordering them. And of course if you're shopping for the cheapest option you can end up with some fun colors :P

The other suggestion I have for big bra shopping is: Loehmann's or Nordstrom Rack. They get in some hoity toity styles in weirdo sizing, which is just what we need, and of course the nature of the place is that they're marked down. I got a Chantelle bra at Loehmann's once for $30 which is selling right now for $110, and it is awesome enough that I have sometimes wished I had the $110 to get another one. Granted, that was a one time amazing find, but I've had success on a smaller scale pretty regularly. (I have not had as much luck at TJ Maxx or Filene's Basement as with these two.)

December 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

Nordstrom Rack.

December 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMB

Oh, MB. You make me laugh.
I had to make the jump from C to D a couple of years ago. It's traumatic. My girlfriends (who are all Bs and As) were jealous. I did not feel it was an enviable situation. My husband, like yours, was joyous.

I think the worst part about the Mighty Rack is trying to find sports bras that provide adequate support without being constructed like a bullet-proof vest.

December 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEm The Reader

Thanks Julie, I will check that out. I have been going to Lane Giant (or Lane Bryant) and they are around $40 but with that much to support, it is well worth the money for the good ones.

December 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKelle Belle

I was surprised to read you thought you were a B cup (remembering the photo of the almighty rack from your friend's wedding.)
Love the Cacique bras they have at Lane and Bryant. They don't have them at Australia so I get my mum to mail them over to me.

December 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkelebek

I <3 this thread so very very much.

Well since you always called them the Mighty Rack I assumed you were at least a full C...Congrats on the shocking news but only b/c you now have underthings that fit and fit well. And I need the laugh at this moment so thanks so much for sharing.

December 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

I was a 32D for a long time and now I am a 34DD or E, depending upon where you go. It is no fun - and damn, bras are expensive!!!

For a sports bra, I wear the Moving Comfort Fiona Bra. It has adjustable straps with velcro which really make it fit Just Right. Google it for the best price.

December 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKris

*high fives Josh*

My wife had the cup size go up too. Joyous occasion =)

December 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpointyhead

Bwah-hahahahahaha - and man, am I jealous! I never go up in size, only down. I now hate you MB.

December 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHollee Chadwick

[...] 4:48 PM: It’s the “In Case You Missed It” Replay, sponsored by:  Avodart.  Because… you were… peeing?  Due to lack of Avodart?  Or on Avodart, but late for a bra fitting? [...]

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