Finding an “accident-proof” bra (you know the kind – if you were in an accident and cute paramedics had to see your bra, would you be okay or would you wish for death to escape the mortification of a faded bra, elastic that’s shot, and straps that are fraying) is an amazing feat! Try on the bra, turn in front of the mirror and examine all angles to determine the ratio of support:back fat bulges.If we decide that sure, it looks cute right here, right now in the dressing room then we move on to phase 2 of the testing.Every woman is familiar with the quest for the perfect bra.One that is cute, yet supportive, that doesn’t make your back fat squish out, that doesn’t leave strap marks on your shoulders, that doesn’t give you “quadraboob”, or perhaps even worse – “uniboob;” the ideal bra that lifts those sagging, post-breastfeeding girls back up where they’re supposed to be because tucking your boobs into the waist of your jeans = not attractive.Until one day you realize that if 8 out of 10 women are wearing the wrong bra size, there’s a good chance you’re one of the 8, and you go for a professional fitting in an upscale department store.This was a pivotal, life-changing moment for me, right up there with the first time I held my newborn baby, and when I discovered that they sell wine in handy little juice boxes. The problem was that after I’d walked back and forth across campus a couple times in the 85 degree heat, I was sweating. The end stuck to my shirt, twisting it into an impressive avant-garde sculpture of white cotton and adhesive.I wouldn’t dream of ever going back to anything I could pick off a rack at JCPenneys, Kohls, or the like. You know those videos that show men getting their chests waxed while they cry like babies?While at work, I bent over to pick up a dropped pencil and I felt it – the sharp pain that sliced into my chest, leaving me gasping for breath. I grabbed out my roll of neon orange duct tape and started winding it around my bra. In fact I had just bragged about how I’d made it all the way to work without spilling or drooling coffee on that same white shirt. Let’s just say I have found a more effective way than wax to remove hair and layers of skin all the way down to the hypodermis.
In most stores we have to walk by racks and racks of cute lacey bras in every color of the rainbow because the last time one of those actually fit us Jimmy Carter was in office. Nope, we have to head toward the ugly institutional white bras with 15 hooks up the back and enough support to anchor the Golden Gate Bridge.As nonchalantly as possible (which really isn’t as nonchalant as you might think), I ran my thumb down the front of my shirt like I was wiping away a stray fleck of dirt all the while discreetly feeling for an errant length of wire and/or pieces of bloody flesh ripped from my body. Sure, I had to take out a small loan to purchase this magical bra, but in the end I decided it was well worth it because a good-fitting, well-made bra is something on which you should definitely splurge. I went through the entire day like this – occasionally running to the bathroom to shove the damnable underwire back into my bra and pry my shirt away from the tape to which it was fused.I’ve fallen in love with Panache because they're the best bras I've ever worn AND they're super-cute! When I got home, I ran upstairs and immediately ripped my shirt from the tape and unfastened my bra.
I quickly glanced around the room, fully expecting to see someone holding a butcher knife dripping with my blood because clearly that was the only feasible explanation for the pain I felt. Since no one was standing near me holding a murder weapon, I came to the second, less obvious, conclusion – bra malfunction.