Looking at a Sad Event

I must put a disclaimer at the beginning of this post: The following words pertain to what is termed “foundation garments” by the more lady-like among us. If any gentlemen would be offended by the discussion of women’s underclothing please be advised to stop reading now.

Let’s have a frank discussion on the problem of brassieres. I’ve seen all the internet ads concerning the supposed “fact” that women’s bras have not changed in design in over 100 years. First I would hazard to disagree. The innovations are there: breathable fabric, no seam cups, flexible wire and no wire options, stretch fabric in every part of the garment, special “petals” to smooth the look in cold environments, strapless that actually stays in place, push up and minimizing models, and of course the invention that made my life so much easier 30 years ago – a nursing bra that could be managed with one hand! But that’s not what I wanted to discuss even if it really gripes me.

The problem is the “life span” of the average bra. Most of the bras sold, without regard to price paid, have about 1 year. You might be able to eek out a few more months by hand washing and line drying. Still it is a terrible and sad day when a comfortable one bites the dust. This is a tale about my oldest and most comfortable bra and the extraordinary measures taken to prolong its life (a story of life support of sorts). You see I washed it in the machine. I made the mistake of tossing it in with a couple of Sparky’s T-shirts. Now he has a couple of very old and raggedy shirts that have some sort of sentimental value that prevent him from tossing them. He wears them for painting and mowing the lawn. Anyway, a hook on my bra got snagged on his ratty t-shirt causing the hook to get pulled out of shape. After untangling the unholy mess, I considered my options. One, I could just toss the bra or two, attempt to reshape the hook and hope for the best. I opted to repair the mangled hook. The hook was bent back into approximate position. I wore the bra for another 6 months.

But this does not have a happy ending. There was one little part of the hook that protruded and over time wore a hole through the fabric where the “eyes” of the hook are located. This was a painful and constant irritation. I attempted an additional modification of the hook trying to get the poking part back into alignment. It didn’t work. So I moved my attachment up another notch. This worked for a time, until it didn’t. Now with 2 holes I was forced to attempt surgery. I just happened to have another bra that had a different problem that I retired into my scrap bag. (Who knew that the elastic would be valuable?) Anyway I attempted to do a hook transplant. This may have been the first transplant of its kind – ever!

It has been nearly another 2 months since the surgery (and a little over 1 year since the unfortunate washing machine incident) and the unspeakable has occurred. I discovered that the seam holding an underwire has separated. I’m calling it. I’ve had to bid that favorite adieu. And this is why I have such a hard time paying $75 for a piece of clothing that, God willing, no one will ever see!

On a happier note the lockdown/shutdown/social distancing/isolation/pandemic on the employment front has been lifted (but I’m still distancing and wearing a mask). I have 2 jobs scheduled that should make a little spending money. That means I’ll have a little money but nowhere to spend it!! (Well not entirely true, since Goodwill is back in business with limited hours and a mask required and no dressing rooms.) I plan on taking advantage of the spring cleaning that everyone did during the lockdown!

57 thoughts on “Looking at a Sad Event

  1. there are two huge blessing of having a double mastectomy
    1. NO BRAS!
    2. NO more Mammograms!

    I had huge knockers and eight years on still have deep shoulder indents … I absolutely love the freedom of no bra, bliss โค

    Dang many restrictions have eased here but not the op shops, can't wait for them to open!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I guess there is an up side! It is always sad when your body turns against you… We are in no restrictions (except for gatherings of more than 250 people) and most of the idiots unconcerned are going without masks. I’m waiting for a big spike.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. they’ll come with your political rallies for sure … yep mine weighed 2 kilo each, they weigh them after they slice them … they were too heavy so cancer gave me the reduction I needed ๐Ÿ™‚

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        1. That is the hard way to get a reduction! The former receptionist at work had to order her bras on line – special due to the size (cup size I) and her husband wanted her to have augmentation (of course she told him to flip sand). In my state I don’t think there will be many rallys as we are close to Chicago and all the big things happen there. I suspect the spike will come from church attendance and stock car race tracks…

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep! I’ve gotten some really good deals. Got a Warner’s for under $5 at TJMaxx that lasted a long time. First time I ever had an expensive one. But the next one I got fell apart and I paid the $47 for it thinking it would last.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mama Duck! I’m on the hunt for a good one. The backups are okay but not as good. Of course it is getting more difficult to shop for bras as the brick and mortar stores are folding…

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  2. Foundation garment??? I’d not even heard the term before, and I love ‘old’ words. Maybe I left the Midwest too soon. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So funny reading your rescue of the good garment, I so relate. *sigh* I’ve pretty much given up on regular bras and just do the sports version, and I like them a lot anyway, since it frees up my shoulders.
    You’re encouraging me to go back or come back to WP to post random thoughts….we’ll see. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hehe! I’m not so sure that the midwest is the source of the term but I love some of the funny euphemisms. My upbringing was a mix of new and old and so I’ve got some goofy terms. I’d love to hear some of your random musings!! That’s why I post 3x a week – I’ve got to have a dumping ground for the stuff swirling around my brain.

      Liked by 1 person

            1. I will be getting swamped. I’ve got several studies lined up for July and August that are going to get me some big bucks and suck up all my nap time!! I hope I’ll be able to keep up.

              Liked by 1 person

  3. Sports bras seem to be what holds up the best for me and they are comfortable. It does not matter if I buy cheap or expensive traditional bras within six months they are done. Wearing sports bras has cut down on cost because they last forever for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seems that the sports bra is the popular choice. I admit I have several but they don’t seem to have the support that I need… I have worn them when I’m putting on lots of layers in the winter but for summer wear they are just not cutting it… I have one that I could wear as a top but I’m not going to wear anything that shows my middle!

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      1. I don’t need much support at this stage of my life. That could always change though as I get older. I just know a sports bra is wearable long than a regular bra for me. As soon as I can change into a sports bra from a regular one it happens.

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  4. I’ve never paid more than $30 for a bra, a lot less if I can get away with it. I wash them in the washing machine but with hooks hooked, inside a zippered lingerie bag, then air-dry them on a hanger. Lifespan is 2-3 years for mine. Usually, it’s the elastic that gives out. I hook it tighter until I run out of hooks. I’ve seen face masks made from old bras so maybe they can be repurposed. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hehe! I suppose the repurposed bras as face masks all depends on the size of the cup and the size of the face! Hehe~ Generally I also hook and wash in the lingere bag but some times one gets missed and ends up in the machine. Usually with disasterous results. I always line dry mine but I’m still not getting more than 1 – 1.5 years (except for the straplees bra that I wear once a year or that darned uncomfortable one that I paid way too much for that languishes in the drawer)…

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  5. Got a grin from me. Never found a sports bra as my rib cage requires a larger bra, then they want me to have a larger cup that I can’t fill. Add to that at 80 if I sag any more I’ll consider duct tape. I have to have a front hook and they offer NO support whatever.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad this one made you smile! Duct tape!?!?! Ouch! The front closure is a farce – hard to get on without it winding up and true about the support. I suspect they were designed by a man…

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  6. When I was younger I could wear just any cheap bra and I washed them in the machine. Once I turned 75 I started going to a store in Ft. Wayne called Barbara’s New Beginnings. It started out as a store for women who had had mastectomies, then expanded. It kind of has the feel of a Dr’s office. You go to the desk, tell them your name, and if you’ve been there before they look you up on the computer. I’ve usually had to wait just a few minutes before it was my turn to go into one of the fitting rooms. First a lady measure around your rib cage, then they bring back several styles for you to try. They’re expensive (over $50. so they recommend hand washing, line drying and a special liquid soap which they sell. You only use a few drops, so it lasts forever. I’ve had my most recent ones (2 of them) for a couple of years now. When everything reopens, I’ll have one of my daughters take me there to buy a couple more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you found Barbara’s. A friend shops there and thinks it is well worth the money for a bra that actually fits her. I went once and got measured but didn’t buy anything as I couldn’t afford it. But I do know my size! That has made buying one easier… Hope they reopen (so many places just aren’t going to stay in bussiness).

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  7. Costco online has two different bras, 2/$30. I must have a dozen of them so they seem to last indefinitely. Like Just Joan, I hook them and wash in a mesh bag. I tried the more expensive Soma bras, fitted by expert sales clerks, and don’t find them any more comfortable or durable.
    BTW don’t think that ” …(a story of life support of sorts)” went unappreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! Judy you made my day! I amuse myself and I’m so glad you caught my little word play! I’ve bought Victoria’s Secret, Warner, Olga, Vanity Fair, Playtex, Maidenform, and Vassarette and a plethora of no-name brands. Some were comfortable and others not so much. On the whole they never last very long. The one that I had to “put to rest” was a Maidenform that I got at Kohl’s on their discount rack – granted it was a floral pink with marroon trim- but was very comfortable. Now that I’m on the hunt for a replacement I’ve got my finger’s crossed that I’ll find one (in the same style). Though with my luck it will be neon yellow with black zebra stripes! But if it only costs $7.99 I’ll be more inclined to buy!

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  8. The pandemic has given us the freedom to ditch our bras.
    The most comfortable bra I have found is called ‘zero feel’ by Sloggi/Triumph. It’s like a stretchy short padded vest. You feel supported but don’t feel as if you’re wearing anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have four daughters and you could just imagine the money we spend on bras alone…and yes we undergarments every 6 months and that’s a lot really.. i discovered some saving grace though with bra life span- i bought a durable laundry net where we put on the bras for laundry to prevent it from furthet damage or may cause damage to other garments.

    Restrictions have been eased too from where i am..and we hope this pandemic eases down slowly soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Five women in the house! I can imagine the clothes line strung up with everyone’s bras to dry… I bet that is expensive!!
      The church services are the biggest worry – all the singing and speaking (liturgy and prayers) increases the possibility of transmission. Too many feel that it isn’t necessary to wear masks and that puts all the older people at a much greater risk. And of coursse they are the group that really want to attend church. I’d like our pastor to designate one mass for all persons over 65 only and require everyone to wear masks…

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      1. Oh, that is not so good Val….i hope your church pastor could find a way to officiate church services safer..

        And yes five women in the family…ahhh makes my husband crazy..lol

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        1. He is live streaming the services so that’s how we’re attending. I’m hoping that they continue the physical distancing. I think they have set up “over-flow” in the gym so that they cam make sure everyone stays 6′ apart. Still even though the bishop mandated masks for everyone some are not complying. So I’m staying home… My father used to joke that he was surrounded by females – and even the cat was a girl!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. ๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ’žahhh i see…we also do our church services through on line streaming as we are all scared to go out and be complacent about the whole thing..

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            1. Yes there are processes in place but it bothers me that some are so lackadasical about safety especially at church… they think God will protect them but God gave us brains that we should use!

              Liked by 1 person

    1. The elastic doesn’t like the dryer heat… I haven’t had too many elastic related problems but the seams are an issue as well as the “hardware”. I bought one that had plastic rings and buckles. That thing was a nightmare – it didn’t take long for one of the rings to break. I was able to sew it with a replacement ring but then the adjustment on the strap broke. That was the one in the sewing scrap bag… I harvested the hook for the one in the post and used the elastic to make a face mask…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I regarded Penny’s comfort as everything, especially once she too ill. I took her bra shopping, about three years before she passed-as Howard Stern, of all people, said it was the least a man could do for his missus. The point was to actually find something that fit properly. We got the job done right, and that part of her life, at least, was a source of comfort.

    Liked by 1 person

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