What Do You Look for In a Bra?
Friends, family, esteemed colleagues: I think I’m going there.
I’m ready to assume my position as a woman.
A woman bound by her foundation garments.
I have spent the last ten years of my life assuming that bras, like hand cuffs, are the amulet of imprisonment. If a convicted criminal is put in hand-cuffs to signal his imminent arrival in a place of solitary confinement, then a bra has historically been, for me, the emblem of circumscribed femininity.
I understand that for women better endowed than I am, bras might actually function as a converse vehicle that annotates freedom — freedom from being chained to the harsh reality that is a flapping annie flapping too far astray — but for a woman with mosquito bites as inconsequential as mine, the necessity to cloak a chest isn’t quite as urgent. And when that urgency gets lost on the wearer, the bra just seems like, you know, a hand cuff.
But recently I’ve found myself fairly intrigued by the notion of one additional layer of thoughtfully styled fabric — paltry as it may be. It’s a whole new world of opportunity — one ripe with the imaginings of underwire or not, padding or definitely not, silk or cotton, straps made adjustable or static. And after spending enough time in the dressing room at one particular shop on Elizabeth Street, I’ve concluded that what I, personally, look for in a bra is, frankly, futility.
I’ve settled on a couplet of black lace triangular cupped bras that are supported by a black satin band that wraps around my rib cage, which matches the adjustable, skinny black straps that support the area from just above my breasts to around my shoulders. They basically do nothing, save for add a new dimension to my white v-neck blouses and if I’m being really honest with you, I really like that about them. They’re sexy in that special, Man Repeller-approved way that, say, Birkenstocks are and allow me to continue looking like a little boy, even if, paradoxically as it is, I feel like a woman.
I am new to this though. And something tells me my fresh triangles are but a mere gateway drug in the ring of breast abutment so, tell me, what do you look for in a bra?