Wednesday 4 May 2016
I have been looking for a good bra for years. In between bouts of raging at the sellers of the instruments of torture that we are currently mostly forced into. I listened to the outer and inner voices that told me that my body/breasts were wrong
The thought of having a bra that fits well is almost beyond my imagining. A few years ago I decided that I wasn't going to wear bra's any more. The underwires, were cutting into me and the skin next to my armpit and under my boobs was starting to look like I had developed my own manner of self mutilation.
The very expensive bra's I was forced to buy had to be replaced at least three times a year and only because the underwires would fight their way out of the upper closure. There was no way to get them to stay in once they were through the fabric. I spent probably weeks over the years sewing tiny pieces of material onto the ends of the sockets only to have them wear through. I bought plastic tips which were supposed to keep them in but they (like pretty much every thing in the clothes market) were made for a smaller size.
I managed around 6 weeks without a bra in the NL - I often don't wear one in the UK when I am there and it is not a problem - the visious stares and pseudo sotto voce nasty comments wore me down and I began to search for bra's with no underwires. After three disatrous attempts to get them from the states I eventually bought one from the UK - all of them were too small, all of them were around the 50 euro mark - not including postage.
Having started a proper job I knew I needed to find a new bra solution. For years I have tried to find a made to measure bra company that I could afford. The average quoted price was around 300 pounds and always with underwires.
Then a few weeks ago I came across optifit. It seemed a bit good to be true. But I contacted the number and had the most amazing conversation with Sue McDonald the co owner of the business and designer of the bras http://www.optifitbra.com/.
We talked about fashion, history, the (ab)use of women's body to sell products that damage and cause pain, the ignored body/breast shape differences and the abnormalizing of non European body shapes/sizes. Amazing!
You can check out the piece I wrote after my first conversation with her at Goddess is anima.
Sue said the best thing for your boobs, back, hips, shoulders whatever your breast shape and size is not to wear a bra!
But as we are suckers for our own (and each other's) oppression. She sent me the info and instrument (optimeasure) to measure my boobs.
Everything comes in these gorgeous shiny purple envelopes. When the measure arrived I looked at if for the best part of a week before getting it out. While waiting I checked out the videos on you tube. When I opened my package I knew what I was getting and what I was supposed to do with it - and it still wasn't easy. as suggested i did it three times my self and then another three times with my partner
I have to say that while it was really easy and super efficient to put my measurements onto the website (and Sue had seen them the next morning when I phoned), I couldn't work out how to place an order for a bra, so I phoned to give her the credit card details.
After our first conversation I felt very secure about phoning Sue again and chatting with her. She really is always willing to help - she didn't agree with my measurements and made a couple of alterations. The bra arrived within a week of ordering and again it took me quite a while of looking at the envelope before I dared open it - I was really nervous about being disapointed again.
So now into my second week of wearing the bra and just about to order another I realised I hadn't actually written the three part blog I was intending with tales of finding, measuring and fitting.
another phone conversation and the sending of some photos was necessary to reassure me (though I am not convinced) that the bra is the right size. We agreed some slight adjustments for the next order as I was not going to send it back to be altered - it will do, it's better than anything else I've got or have had for a long while.
I have the best shape I have ever had with a bra. There are no underwires and no scarring but I still can't wait to get in a take it off when I get home (Free the Two!) After an all night party I was very aware of the upper back/shoulder ache that Sue says is to do with my body being pushed into better alignment
Did I say that these made to measure miracles are under the 60 euro mark at 50 pounds - plus postage - which I guessed and over payed for the bra - but the 'optimeasure' was sent for free and cost more than the bra to post!