I just bought a cute top today and considered a new bra for a better fit. My stomach plunged the second that realization hit me. Anyone with an uncommon bra size knows this feeling. Correction, ANYONE with a bra size knows this feeling. Going to the dentist is a less stressful event. At least then you are guaranteed to be out within an hour. In a nutshell, bra shopping brings me as much joy as filling out FAFSA forms. Here are the thoughts that most likely run through anyone’s head.

1) The moment of realization

Maybe you’re trying on a new outfit that needs a different bra style or suddenly your favorite (and only) bra snaps in two. Right then and there, you know your entire weekend is falling down the toilet. Fate stepped in and punched you in the tits. Today is the day. You. Are. Going. Bra shopping! Victoria’s Secret, Nordstrom, Soma, Macy’s. All of those dreaded stores suddenly flood your brain and remind you of the chaotic battlefield you are about to step in.

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2) You walk alone

Maybe nobody else has to face this, but I for one have to go bra shopping alone or at least with a patient person. There is no universal size for bras. Every designer has their own ludicrous idea of how boobs work. With that said, looking for the bra that fits you can be a day long event. Anytime someone goes to VS with me, they think I go in there just for shits and giggles. No, I am bra shopping and bra shopping is not a game. I’d rather be stuffing my face with a pretzel at Auntie Annie’s across the mall, but here I am torturing my chest with these ungodly uncomfortable boob prisons. So you step out the door and look back to see your comrades give you one last goodbye before you walk into the jungle.

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3) It’s just as bad as you remember!

Bras scattered everywhere, lines shoot out the door, employees are nowhere to be seen, and someone’s always huddled in the corner rocking back and forth. You remember that bra stores are by far the worst stores on earth. Bra stores are a lawless territory and earth laws don’t apply to this alternate universe. Everyday is Black Friday in bra stores. Before you walk in, you take a deep breath and charge in head first. From here on out, it’s everyone for themselves.

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4) You wonder if your bra size even exists

Do they have my size? Is my size even real? Are my boobs even real? Am I real? Maybe I can just tie a piece of cloth around my boobs and hope for the best! Any store you walk in seems to sell every size but yours. Does this line sound familiar? “(Available in 32 A-C and 34 D-E)” The store somehow forgets how to count or skips a letter in the alphabet. I’m a 32D and for whatever reason, bra stores in America don’t believe a person can have a small rib cage and a D cup. For those who don’t know D cup does not equal big boobs. Even if it did equal big boobs, why is it so hard to believe?

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5) Do you need help finding a size?

No, I don’t need help finding a size. I need a fairy godmother to bibbidi-bobbidi-boo a wardrobe of bras! I know the employees mean well, but anytime I have someone fit me I end up in the store longer than needed. Even if the bra doesn’t fit perfectly, VS employees insist I should buy that bra. Don’t get me wrong. Some employees (particularly Nordstrom) know their stuff. But those miracle workers are once in a wish upon a star.

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6) Have you tried (insert store here)?

YES! I have thank you for asking. Target? No, my bra size is discriminated there. Don’t even suggest online shopping to me. I have a better chance at pin the tail on the donkey after three shots of tequila.

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7) Oh look, you found something in your size!…But not in your color/style.

Haha! You didn’t think it would be that easy did you? Of course not. Yeah, they carry your size, but it’s either an obnoxiously uncomfortable push up bra, they ran out of nude color or the bra has a “granny look” that makes you want to cringe. For the record, I think “granny look” might be a bit of an insulting term to the elderly. Does anybody really like those style bras?

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8) Are you done yet?

Maybe it’s your shopping buddy, your mom called wondering when you will ever get back or someone just always checks up on you to see if you’re still alive. The panic starts to sink in and you realize that you have found nothing that fits. You blame yourself. Am I being too picky? Am I the only one who spends this much time at the store? This really shouldn’t be something that takes this long. It’s my fault, I should just pick something and stop whining!

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9) The Holy Grail couldn’t compare to the miracle you’ve witnessed

You found it. The one bra in the entire store that actually works. Maybe there is a god or maybe you got lucky yet again.

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10) Okay your total comes to _____.

NO! Don’t tell me the price because then I will feel worse about myself. Just take my credit card and burn the receipt!!!  But for real, retail can be so sexist. They know they’re overcharging for feminine necessities because they can. Don’t get me started on “the tampon tax”. I don’t care if it applies to other products. Tampons are not a luxury like alcohol, gas or gambling. So don’t treat it like it is!

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11) Alternate ending: You go home crying!

Because let’s get real. Bra shopping is never that simple. Better luck next time? Psh, yeah right! And don’t forget, you wasted an entire Saturday to find not a single bra in the entire mall. Looks like Sunday involves that other mall an hour away! *GROANS*

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So that’s pretty much how bra shopping goes. I’ve noticed this is a common issue among most, if not all people. For some reason, bras are too complicated for manufacturers and attempt to use a “one size fits most” approach. Consequently, a lot of people are left out and need to find alternative ways to get a proper fitting bra. I’ve even read articles that approach bra sizing like it’s science. I.E. “A recent study found that bras…” “It turns out that women are wearing the wrong bras” ” 10 signs you’re wearing your bra wrong”. Why are bras treated like they’re too hard to figure out so nobody bothers to fix this stupid unnecessary stress?

You know what, after I finished writing this article I decided I don’t need to go bra shopping after all. Nope, I’ll do just fine with what I have. After remembering how irritating bra shopping really is, I could never judge another persons bra choices. At this point, I don’t even think going bra less is an insane idea. If you can do it, save your money and avoid bra stores at all costs. I won’t judge you.

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