Happy 100th Bday to….The Bra!

Well just when I thought my birthday party celebrations were over it turns out that today is the 100th birthday of the bra.  To celebrate I went to a fitting event for Wacoal.  I got a look at all of their incredibly well made and beautiful bras, and some of the incredibly well made practical bras (you know the ones that women actually wear!)  I also looked at the younger, flirtier line b.Tempt’d that has all the really lacy cute details.  I happen to love Wacoal ever since the brand really came through for me during and after my pregnancy when every other bra hurt, rubbed or otherwise drove me nuts.  I didn’t even buy pregnancy or nursing bras just went up a size, or two, or three with the regular Wacoal bras.

Aside from getting a lovely breakfast and seeing my fellow fab nycmoms bloggers, Nancy (fromhip2housewife,) and Amy (selfishmom), I got a complimentary bra fitting by one of the expert Wacoal fitters from Bloomingdales and a free bra (and then wrote down the style number for the other 2 I want to buy).  Did you know that you should have a professional bra fitting every two years?  Me neither.  Last time I got a real fitting was 7 years ago when I stopped breastfeeding.   Now here is the thing about being a woman that nobody tells you about when you’re growing up.  A lot of people you don’t really know are going to see you naked, half naked or in various states of undress way more than is true for men.  Men might strut around a locker room naked, but they do not have their private parts handled and examined on a regular basis like women do unless they are purposefully paying someone to do it.   And it’s not just because women go the gynecologist starting at a young age as opposed to men who don’t go the doctor for anything remotely as intrusive until they are decades older unless something has gone very wrong down there.

No, it’s the strange upkeep and everyday issues that send women into various states of undress.  Bikini wax?  We all know those paper panties are just there so both you and the waxer can pretend there’s some modesty involved in the process of a stranger applying hot wax in places you’ve never seen.  And then you have a baby and they send in the lactation consultant.  Nothing like having some woman manipulating your boobs every which way in order to optimize milk flow and latching positions.  And then there is the bra fitting,

which in the scheme of things is as benign an experience as you’re ever going to have while being half naked with a stranger who is adjusting your boobs to fit into a bra cup.  It helps when the fitter is an older woman, preferably with an accent and an all-about-business attitude.  And the fact that she told me I didn’t need any of the shapewear was the best thing a mother of twins could ever hear and completely won me over.  (So I didn’t tell her about my drawer full of Spanx)

After choosing the convertible bra that had so many possibilities I think I’ll earn a Masters In Engineering once I figure out all the configurations, I started to think about all of the wrong size bras I now need to get rid of.  Luckily I now have a good idea of what I want to replace them with.  So I will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the bra by honoring it’s legacy and restocking appropriately – and maybe even throwing in some of that pretty shapewear for good measure.   Our secret.

Here’s how I’ll be recycling my old bras (it’s not what you think)

Here’s the pretty shapewear (also, tip – nude is practical but everything looks sexier in black.  even granny pants)

wacoalHere’s the strapless bra that the fitter swore will stay up.  Plus it’s super lightweight lace so it seems very cool for summer

strapless bra

Here’s a great video on the history of the bra from the Today show

And here is a bra fact sheet.  And a care tip – buy lingerie wash, use a mesh bag and fold your bras inside, wash in warm water, hang dry and let them rest in a drawer so the elastic settles.

Wacoal’s Bra Expert Liz Smith’s Tips and Facts

The Eight Bras Every Woman Needs ( I don’t happen to agree that you need ALL of these)

  1. One seamed bra
  2. One seamless, unlined bra
  3. One contour bra
  4. One strapless bra
  5. One T-Back or racerback bra
  6. A push-up or minimizing bra (depending on your figure type)
  7. One sport bra
  8. One drop dead sexy bra

Bra Facts

  • 8 out of 10 women wear the wrong sized bra
  • A woman should be fitted once a year
  • If you gain 5 – 7 lbs, your bra size will change
  • It only takes 15 minutes to be fitted for a bra
  • Most women wear their bras 1 – 1 ½ inches too big in the band and 1 cup size too small
  • Every women should own 8 different bra styles in her wardrobe
  • Her favorite bra should be in at least 2 different colors and she should have 3 bras in her favorite style and color
  • The average woman has 27 bras in her lingerie draw and wears the same 2 bras repeatedly
  • A woman needs 3 of her favorite bra, one should be worn, one in the wash and one in the drawer
  • A bra should be worn once and then washed to extend her life
  • After washing and wearing a bra 100 times she needs to be replaced

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2 thoughts on “Happy 100th Bday to….The Bra!

  1. I never would have thought that the subject of bras could be so interesting. Thank you.

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