By Eve Marx
A friend complimented me recently on the fit of a certain dress. “You look five pounds slimmer,” she said. “And taller, too.” I thanked her and said, “It’s not the dress, it’s the bra.” She smiled knowingly.
It’s a common problem. As I’ve aged, my breasts have become, well, unruly. My 58-year-old breasts are not the breasts of yore. For one thing, they’re bigger. And they’re wider. And gravity has taken a hefty toll.
Back in the day, and by that I mean pre-pregnancy, which for me was a quarter century ago, my breasts were buoyant, bouncy, firm. And I didn’t always have to wear a bra.
At the time, I didn’t know I might actually be getting some health benefits from going braless. According to a recently published study in France, bras provide no benefit to women and may actually be harmful to breasts. “Medically, physiologically, anatomically, the breast does not benefit from being deprived of gravity,” said Jean-Denis Rouillon, a professor at the University of Franche-Comté in Besançon. He found that women who did not use bras benefited in the long term, developing more muscle tissue to provide natural support.
But the professor also acknowledged that bras might be appropriate for older or full-figured woman. And now, while I still feel a proprietary fondness for what everyone now calls “The Girls,” I do have to take a lot more time and trouble looking for the correct bra to corral my wayward breasts—and possibly make me look a few pounds thinner.
We’re facing some serious obstacles in our search: It’s almost impossible these days to buy one that doesn’t have underwire or isn’t padded. Even bras touted as unlined are now filled with padding. Sports bras are pretty much the only exception. Thanks to age, weight loss and gain, my bra size over the years has morphed from 32B to 36C to 34D. My current bra size is 32DD, not an easy size to find.
I’ve found that ordering bras online is preferable to searching through those crazily tiny hangers in department store. (Don’t they drive you nuts?) One of my favorites is Herroom.com, which has some fabulous choices for older and full-figured women. The Vassarette wire-free lace plunge is specially designed for wearers of D and DD cup; Vassarette also makes an extremely comfortable microfiber wire-free bra with adjustable straps.
Even infomercials can point you toward a great product: The Ahhh Bra is the newest wrinkle in bras providing real comfort. Seen on TV on infomercials and talked about everywhere, the Ahh Bra has no hooks, no eyes, and no underwires. Constructed from a knit that’s both supportive and soft, it’s also got a knit-in center that helps you avoid the “uni-boob” look associated with most sports underwear. Even sizing is easier: Instead of traditional bra sizing, your Ahh bra size is the same size as your favorite tee shirt.
While we all want to find the perfect bra, we don’t necessarily want to wear it all the time. So even if we love our bra, many of us will be taking it off the moment we get home.
That’s when you start looking for the perfect camisole. It’s a much easier search.
Eve Marx writes frequently about underwear and breasts. She is the author of “101 Things You Didn’t Know About Sex,” and “The Goddess Orgasm.” Follow her on Twitter or check her out at www.evemarx.com
Source: ThirdAge Staff