• The one in which I talk about bras

    stella mccartney stella lace plunge bra

    Currently mooning over…

    They say most women are wearing the wrong bra size. You’ve probably heard it a million times; I know I have. Like ‘tailor your cover letter’, it’s something I know, and understand, but it took a long time to truly CLICK.

    Thanks to Reddit’s A Bra That Fits, I’ve been re-educating myself. I’ve never been properly fitted in my life. For one, budget meant I never went to the kinds of places where they had professionally trained staff – and those kinds of stores intimidated me to hell anyway. Add to that the fact that I barely needed a bra at all and there was just no point. I muddled through and congratulated myself on being able to get away with not having to spend tons on pricey bras, unlike my chestier friends.

    But recently all my bras more or less reached the end of their usable lives at once. I figured, let’s do this right!

    Reddit was right. I needed a smaller band and bigger cup. And as it turns out, shape is really important! Lots of styles just won’t work for me. There’s really nothing to it but trying a bunch of brands and sizes, as they’re all so different. (I think that Stella McCartney just might be my holy grail brand … but wow, they are NOT cheap. For now, I’m making do with other brands until I can jump on a sale or bring myself to shell out.)

    To be honest, I’m still on the hunt for the honest-to-goodness perfect bra, if it exists. Realistically, it’s a crapshoot. The odds are terrible. Consider all the variables: width, height, spacing, projection, firmness, fullness (and that’s across both vertical and horizontal planes)…

    But having a pro fitter actually in there with me, sizing me up and bringing me specific bras that she thought would fit well, was life-changing.

    Fun fact: I’ve been putting them on wrong forever. See, I assumed bras should just FIT and if not, well then they’re the wrong size – you shouldn’t have to manipulate yourself to fit into a bra. But no, the scoop-and-swoop technique is for real. In Japan, they even had a step-by-step diagram in the changing room of the bra shop I went into explaining exactly how to scoop and swoop.

    Even more galling? T knew ALL THIS TIME and never said a word. Duh, he said, you’ve basically just been using them as nipple covers (um, yeah! That’s all I needed!)

    In short: my husband knows more about bras than I do, and wearing bras that fit is rocking my world.

  • The clothes maketh the man

    One of the most surprising things I learned last year was that T actually cares – at least a little – about his wardrobe.

    We were holed up in our tiny third-floor hotel room in Rome. It was maybe 2am; we’d been watching Scandal and reluctantly decided it was time to attempt to get some sleep. Easier said than done; the A/C still wasn’t working properly (a common problem in the summer, I hear) and while it was difficult but manageable for me, T can’t cope once it gets past about 20 degrees – and this was probably 30-plus. It looked like a night of sleeplessness was all he had to look forward to, so I stayed awake for awhile to keep him company.

    There’s something oddly intimate about conversations held in the pitch black. I don’t know how we got onto the topic, but he voiced some dissatisfaction with the way he dressed and a wish that I’d take things into my own hands (as popular culture dictates a good girlfriend should).

    That’s not entirely fair, given that it’s quite impossible to shop for clothing for him in New Zealand. No normal shops sell items that fit him, which is why plain Warehouse shirts and singlets make up the majority of his wardrobe. All his pants are Dickies (which thankfully cater for a huge range of sizes) and while footwear is sometimes a struggle, we usually manage to keep him in decent shoes successfully. Also, I hate shopping, and I really hate spending a lot of money on clothing anyway.

    Still, it broke my heart a little. So when we ventured into American department stores for the first time, and found plenty of shirts in not just 2XL but 3, 4, 5, it was like being let loose in Legoland. You can bet we stocked up – and will be ordering online from American shops in the future.

    I don’t really understand why it’s so hard to find clothing in larger sizes here. Where the hell do big guys shop? It’s not like he can just shed some excess weight with a little effort; while he could stand to trim a little in the middle, the rest of his bulk isn’t fat. He’s just built genuinely huge. The one thing we CAN easily get for him is ties, where size doesn’t matter – between thrift shops and sites like ASOS, it’s easy to pick up all manner of styles for next to nothing.

    So when he landed his new job, we both freaked out a bit. Up till now he’d either worn everyday clothes to work or had a company uniform. He owned two button-up shirts and one suit, which was definitely not going to be enough. He needed to build a work wardrobe, and that wasn’t going to be easy – especially as we only had two days between landing the contract and starting the job.

    We managed to pick up some shirts and pants from Famous Brands Inc, the somewhat random discount shop in New Lynn that’s holding perpetual clearance sales, and more shirts and ties on clearance at Tarocash (which goes up to about 5XL), along with two good pairs of Italian leather shoes from Overland. All up, 5-6 shirts, two pairs of pants,  two pairs of shoes, and other small items (tie clip, shoe care products) cost just under $800. We actually managed to get amazing deals, despite being unable to wait for Boxing Day to shop. I think it’s highly adorable that he now has to iron his shirts and polish his shoes just to go to work, and that he actually takes pride in it.

     I guess for him not caring about clothes doesn’t mean not caring at all. It’s more like my philosophy: not caring about trends, despising the act of shopping, and just wanting a decent selection of items that look good and fit well in the closet to pick and choose from every day without too much thought involved.