Monday, 27 February 2012

me and bras

I went to John Lewis to buy that oh so desirable an object - a new sports bra.  At least JL has a good private lingerie department where you are unlikely to run into passing male acquaintances as you hunt through racks of garments that look like medical trusses.

I initially looked online and was rather taken with the idea of what M&S advertised  as 'suptuous sports bras' - now suptuous to me suggests something that would feel amazing - silk, satin, possibly even velvet.  Impractical I know, but what about a lavender-coloured velvet sports bra with chantilly lace - how nice would that be?  Anyway sadly M&S had nothing in the least bit sumptuous to offer.

Putting aside fantasies of aesthetically pleasing sports bras (wonder if blokes have similar dilemmas when purchasing jockstraps?) I head to Oxford Street.  JL (they should employ me as a global ambassador) has an extensive range which is good.  But I am disturbed by what they are called - Shock Absorbers being a pretty good brand, but I don't want to feel like my big end (or whatever shock absorbers are for) has gone.  Actually they certainly do give you a shock when on - never wear for a hot date (any date actually) unless you are perhaps into S&M - then it might be an acceptable look.  Suspect if Michael Fassbender had chanced upon a Shock Absorber in Shame  he'd have found a new addiction.

The names of these garments of torture (constricting in the extreme - I could hardly flex my shoulder blades)  leave something to be desired unless you are a former East German shot putter ( I mean from what was East Germany, rather than a retired sports person)  - who wants to wear something called Sportsjock,  Lessbounce, Moving Comfort Juno (for your inner goddess?) or the French brand Zbra (no  - I can not have a racial stereotype attached to my chest).

This was definitely a case of  'be careful what you wish for'.  I remember all the nights when I'd pray for a chest (Ok, let's not be coy - breasts).  I think I could have empathised with Job (studied for RE A level) if he had been afflicted with a flat chest - but all those boils just left me cold.

Getting changed for the first PE lesson of secondary school was an eye-opener in more ways than one.  Most of us wore white regulation  vests, the lucky ones had a small bow or fabric rose to relieve the grimness ( although I have to admit it can be a good look on some - think Wolverine or David Beckham).  But at least we were together in our sartorial shame  - that was until the two girls in our class, who already looked like they could be pulling pints behind a bar, (jealous - moi? - Non) took off their shirts to reveal ... black lacy bras.  OMG  I don't think I had even seen a black bra - I lived a sheltered life where female relatives thought that a pale blue or pink underwear was extremely racy and likely to put them on the road to perdition.

I go home and tell mum I must have a bra - she laughs and I continue to wear a vest for a good while (I will not reveal how long - I am not seeking pity).  Eventually the day comes when I get my M&S 26AAAA  (very slight exaggeration) and think I have become Madonna in that J-P G cone bra.
But today when wrestling with the sports bra (I think I may have dislocated my shoulder trying to do it up) I remember those vests with great fondness.

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