April 25th, 2006



Er, well, actually this post is mainly about shopping, but that would be a much more boring title! I decided to go into town yesterday in order to get a few things I need for moving. But Mum and Granny got on my back about buying new clothes, which I don't really need (now or ever), and the trip turned into this marathon clothes shopping expedition of doom. But boobies were involved too, so I supopse that makes it a bit better.

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Anyway, the promised boobies. I did the Bravissimo thing, as recommended by a number of well-endowed friends. It was an interesting experience; their idea is that instead of measuring you with a tape-measure, the assisant watches you trying bras on and adjusts the size until you get something that fits perfectly. Which is probably a good idea, given the vagaries of clothes manufacturers generally! And it wasn't too intrusive; the assistant was very matter-of-fact about it, which I very much approve of. She offered to go out of the room while I changed bras, so even if you were shy you wouldn't have to do deal with a stranger seeing you topless; I'm not shy, and her obviously sensible attitude meant I didn't care.

I came out as 32E, in line with the Bravissimo theory that most women need to go down in back size and up in cup size to get a good fit. But 32E is really into Barbie doll territory! I can cope with the idea of being an E-cup, but how can there only be 32 inches around my chest?! Anyway, I bought this bra in the end. It's functional rather than wonderful, but I am impressed with how well it fits. Oh, and it's slightly more expensive than I would normally pay for a basic M&S bra, but not ridiculously so. And they didn't pressure me into buying anything, which I was worried about with all that personal attention.

Bravissimo has a good range, including sexy, plain, colourful, feminine, something for almost every taste. And this was reflected by their clientele, which did seem to include women of all ages and dress styles (I'm assuming people's tastes in bras vaguely reflects their tastes in outer clothes, but of course one never knows!) The trouble is that what I want in a bra is that it should be made mostly out of cotton (synthetics against my skin are sweaty and horrible), and that it should not have a horrible piece of wire under my breasts. And in any lingerie shop those preferences restrict my choices a bit. The assistant said that underwired styles are lot less uncomfortable if they fit properly, and she did demonstrate this principle, but I still prefer elastic rather than wire.

The other thing that's interesting about Bravissimo is the area where you wait to be assigned to a fitter. It's nice, with comfy chairs and a generally pleasant ambience. But the table has a stack of men's magazines! Obviously they have a lot of customers who drag bored boyfriends along and make them wait while they're being fitted. And they're carefully chosen men's magazines too, hobby mags and Men's Health and so on, rather than lad mags. I can imagine that women waiting for bra fitting would feel very uncomfortable if there were a stack of Nuts and Loaded in the waiting area! Interesting anthropological observation, though.

Anyway, that shopping trip took about 7 hours, which is time I can't really afford and is an extremely annoying way to waste a whole day. Also, I feel as if I'm sickening for something, something vaguely tonsilitis shaped. Which I really don't need when I'm about to move to Sweden! I really hope I'm wrong.