For single Dads, there are some times where we find ourselves confronted with things that we have absolutely no knowledge about. Buying a bra (or brassiere if you prefer), is one of those things. Having read all of the books I gave my daughter didn’t help. I covered these books in an earlier blog post: On Sex Education – and the Single Dad.
I should also mention that my nearest family is 500 miles away. And even though my sister and mom visit multiple time each year, she is not a resource you can go to for in-person help whenever the need arises.
My first bra buying experience occurred when my Darling Daughter entered what I now know is called Stage 1. This was well before I was on Twitter or any social networking media. My sister suggested we start with a sports bra. So off to the department store we went. Assigning her twin brother a separate task in the store, my daughter and I headed over to the unmentionables. That is when I realized that I had absolutely no idea of how to figure out what size was the right size to buy.
I learned a long time ago that I cannot be timid when I need help. I starting trying to stop women in the store that were in the vicinity of this department. Of course, not wanting to be smacked, I didn’t try to ask the gorgeous young women who went by. Instead, I asked those closer to my own age with a more matronly appearance. You’ve never seen women scurry away so fast!! Honestly though, I don’t think they actually took the time to hear what I was saying. I tried the next best thing and said to the next woman “ExcuseMeButI’mASingleDadAndINeedHelpGettingTheCorrectSizeBraForMyDaughter” as fast as I could get it out.
Fortunately, she stopped, looked at me, then looked at my daughter. Then, she walked over to my daughter, put her hand on her shoulder and turning to the display rack, asked “Which one do you like, sweetie?” Salvation!
Simple steps: remove the sports bra from the hangar and holding the bra upside down, place the band of the bra against the ribs (under the breasts) without stretching it. If it aligns with the midpoint of the sides of the ribs, it’s good. Otherwise, try the next larger / smaller size.
That worked as long as there was no cup size involved. Add in cup size, and the ball game changes! I told my daughter that we would go to Victoria’s Secret so that they could help fit her correctly. The women I checked with said that was a good plan; but, that idea didn’t go over very well at all with my daughter! She was not comfortable with the idea having someone ‘see her’.
Plan B (always have to have a Plan B!) said that we would measure her ourselves. Okay, actually she would measure. The books said: place a tape measure around the ribs below the breasts, keeping it level front to back rounding the measurement to the next larger inch. Add five inches; if the result is an odd number, add one inch. Then, repeat the measurement this time over the fullest part of the breast. The difference between the two measurements yields the cup size. However, that cup size differs in different countries. Here in the States, it starts as 1″ = A, 2″ = B, etc.
But, the women I checked with said NO! Measure above the breasts and round up to the next even number; no addition. That will give a more reliable measurement.
With the measurements, my sister offered to order some and have them sent to the house. My daughter was a lot happier with that idea and eagerly awaited their arrival. When they came, I laughed and explained to my daughter that these had more coverage than the bikini style bathing suit I had refused to buy her in the spring.
She eagerly went to her bedroom to try them on starting with the plaid. Absolutely loved the plaid.
And it was too tight. On the outmost hooks, it was too tight.
So my mission today after work is to stop at the store and exchange these for the next larger size. And I’d better get a plaid.
Update 20 August 2010:
I went to JC Penney after work and went to the women’s lingerie department with the package of bras that I wanted to exchange for the larger size. I saw a staffer at the checkout register waiting on another customer so I got in line because I knew I needed help.
While waiting, I saw another employee with an apron with the logo Bra Fit Specialist on her apron. So I got out of line and walked up to her and told her she was exactly what I needed (have I mentioned I’m no longer shy?) She looked at what I had and we spent a half hour going through the department picking replacements. They have tons of bras there – I never would have found what I was looking for! She had exact replacements for all but one of the bras I had. The only one not in store stock – the plaid! So, down to the catalog department to order the replacement for the plaid. I was actually happy with the estimated 5 day delivery to the house!
Bringing home the replacements, my daughter took them upstairs to try them on. I could tell by the grin on her face that she was happy with the new fit. But, not happy with the missing plaid. When the plaid showed up in the mail, on time, she was totally happy.
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