Maybe I’m way off here, but I think that most women tend to find a favorite type of underwear and stick to it. You find that perfect bra, the one that is both comfortable and shapely, buy about 20 of them, and wear them every day for years. Same deal with panties. (Sorry, Danielle.) A lot of the choice can depend on what stage of life you’re currently at. While in college, I stuck to the cutesy lingerie and had a collection of thongs that mortified my parents when I came home for visits. When entering the workforce, I switched to some more practical options that weren’t noticeable under business attire. I’m sure that as life gets busier and more complicated, I really won’t give a crap what’s under my clothes, as long as I’m supported and not being the scary bra-less mommy at the supermarket.
I’m sure there are those Supermoms with multiple kids, who work full time and still manage to wear naughty underwear on a daily basis to stay in touch with themselves as sexual beings. These women are bitches. Good for them.
But I’m starting to wonder if the underwear switch that I made after college could actually be hurting my chances with men. I mean, I think The Girls look ok in the mirror on a daily basis, but what are single men looking for when they look at me? Are they looking for something natural (but not sloppy), or are they looking for gravity defying ta-tas?
As I started my online dating odyssey and started to meet the guys in person, this question was on my mind. After my 3rd date with Armstrong Guy, I decided to take action. Each time we’d met had been a fun time. The conversation was relatively easy, we seemed to have some things in common. But I wasn’t getting a definite read on whether or not he was attracted to me.
Armstrong Guy works swing shift (meaning changing his shift weekly) at the same manufacturing facility that my dad works at. They’re on different shifts and at different ends of the plant, which probably saved the guy a lot of the hairy eyeball from my protective Dad. Even though I’m 26. This particular day, he was on evening shift, 3pm-11pm, so we’d decided to meet for lunch before he went in.
After our lunch, it was still early in the day and I didn’t feel like heading home for the day yet. A little lightbulb went off in my head, and I turned the car toward the mall. It couldn’t hurt to go into Victoria’s Secret and just get some ideas…
I walked into the store and was immediately overwhelmed. There were about 40 different styles of bras, with various levels of support and strappiness and coverage and—
“Can I help you?” a cheerful sales assistant had appeared at my elbow.
“Why, because I look terrifed and out of my league?” I quipped.
“Nope. Because you’re looking at bras.” She deadpanned.
Trusting the Oprah (again!) wisdom that many women are wearing the wrong size bra, I allowed myself to submit to the humiliation of getting measured. Which actually means standing somewhere in the store in view of people while the salesgirl wraps her measuring tape around your chest in various places. Fortunately, she was discreet, and didn’t holler out my size when finished.
Instead, she brought me to the dressing room after collecting bras in my size in a number of styles. I’d voiced that I wanted something a little less “boring” than my typical everyday bra. The fitting room was full of girls that were both younger and smaller than me (think 00), who were imperiously ordering their mothers to get them yet smaller sizes in the Pink™ clothes they had to have for back-to-school.
“Ugh, these 4’s fit in the waist but are way too short. I HATE my legs!” one girl pouted. “Can you check if they have a long? Why do I have to be so taaaaallll?”
I kicked in her dressing room door and punched her in the face rolled my eyes and bit my tongue.
“How are you making out in there?” the salesgirl asked. I was looking at myself in the mirror in dismay. Was I supposed to feel like I was barely contained in this thing?
“Umm—“ I started.
“Open up and let me take a look. I’ll let you know if it fits ok.” she insisted.
RIGHT. I am totally opening this door and letting all of the little teeny girls in here see me looking like Boobzilla.
I opened the door a crack, and she started to laugh. “Come on. I look at boobs all day. It’s not a big deal.” (THAT, my friend, is every guy’s fantasy job.)
I meekly submitted to her order, and she quickly deduced that I was in a size too small. Like a little lingerie Tasmanian Devil, she dashed out into the store and returned with more selections in my new size.
And they FIT. Like a charm. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing in the mirror. THIS is what I have been missing. These glorious robo-boobs that I could easily set a serving tray on. When the assistant again asked to see, I didn’t hesitate. Take that, Miss Size 4 with your Barely A’s. This is what cleavage is SUPPOSED to be.
I left the store that day with a few new options in my dating arsenal. I’m not even going to lie. Everytime I decide to wear one of my new bras out, I feel like I should have a concealed weapons permit. Maybe it’s not entirely about what I look like, but more how I feel- like a little bit of push-up is a whole new level of sexy confidence. No, they’re not as comfortable as my go-to bras, and usually by the end of the night, I can’t decide whether my toes or chest needs to be freed first. But damn! This is quite possibly the best that they’re going to be in my life. Might as well enjoy them. And it doesn’t hurt if someone else happens to notice them too.