Pardon me gentle readers; I don’t normally do this but today I’m going to talk about my underwear. This is a public service, or it would be if any designers would actually listen to me.
Friday I changed bras five times. (Or was it only four? Hmmm) Anyway… Friday the weather forecast promised light rain and temperatures in the low 80′s so I decided to wear pants for a change. I picked out the green polka dot blouse, one of my favorites, and pants of a dull purple color. (It looked better than it sounds. The purple dots in the blouse fabric show up better in person.) Because it’s a fitted blouse I put on one of my best-shape-making bras, a Playtex with a thin foam lining in the cups.
That one is actually fairly comfortable as torture devices go but after a while, with the lining, it gets very hot. (It’s funny, I can wear this same bra in the winter when the house is actually warmer than it is in the summer with the air conditioning and not have a problem. Why is that?) So, sometime in the afternoon I had had enough and changed into another Playtex bra that they call a “T-shirt Bra” which doesn’t make sense to me because it’s a very lightweight, unlined nylon tricot thing that’s really not appropriate for wearing with a t-shirt. But perhaps I’m missing the point. Anyway, as I said it’s very lightweight but surprisingly supportive and shapely. It’s almost perfect. There’s just one thing though. The elastic band is very cheap and the seam where it’s attached is rather rough and after two or three hours it starts to dig in and after a while it actually hurts.
So after a couple of hours in that I gave up and reluctantly took off the pretty blouse and changed into something not fit to be seen in public, including a Bali stretch cotton bra that is really kinda pointless except that it makes the girls feel more secure than going without. They’re not entirely comfortable with complete freedom.
This was late in the afternoon and I thought I was done for the day as far as needing to look presentable. I expected that our evening walk would get rained out but the sun came out and, yet again, I needed to change. This time it was a Playtex cotton bra that I’ve only ever seen at Walmart and this one really is almost perfect – quite comfortable. I could, and often do, wear this one all day. The only problem is the shaping. Before washing I could have worn it with anything, including nice, fitted blouses like the green one but after washing, it takes on a sort of semi-flattened shape like a sport or leisure bra. Very disappointing.
I realize that a bra is a tricky contraption to design. There are a lot of details to consider as well as conflicting needs. But here’s the thing; there are bras that get almost everything right, but just one thing is wrong and there doesn’t seem to be any reason for that thing to be wrong; it just is. Like the lightweight nylon Playtex bra that is perfect except for the elastic band. And the cotton one that was perfect before washing. I really wish I could talk directly to designers and say to them, “Why can’t you ever get everything right? It wouldn’t be that hard. Really!”