Why Do We Own So Many Bras?

Somewhere along the way from benign chest bug bites to swollen bee stings, I became convinced that I need bras like I need pre-menstruation sustenance: frequently and in excess. Like they (the bras) were shoes or something; contingent entirely on outfit and occasion. Imperatively interchangeable by circumstantial scenario.

Logically, this theory still makes sense — sports bras and strapless bras and lace bras and cotton bras and padded bras and so forth have their time and place and yet, as I look into my underwear drawer and glean the rows of bras — some silk, some not, all varying shades of color and print I am now certain I will never attempt (this of course presents the question of what happens to our judgement while we’re in purchase-progress) — I realize that I only wear one. Maybe two. No matter the shape of my top or the circumstances of my whereabouts.

It’s a nude lace bralette by Calvin Klein that keeps my Annies from flapping and doesn’t impede on a shirt’s ability to hang as it wants to, boobs notwithstanding. It’s reliable. It has never let me down. It lets me feel like the best version of myself and when I take my shirt off, I see me.

Sometimes I don’t wear a bra at all and while I know this is a privilege, a sort of advantage bequeathed to me by the nuances of my lackluster genetic composition, at least three of my better endowed comrades on the bust-front agree that when they find a good bra, they stick to it, like it is precisely the kind of soulmate over which we retain control. Also in accordance, though, is that they still buy new ones far more frequently than is necessary.

So here’s my thinking: we are buying bras for the women we aspire to be. I have exactly 327428547 lacy underthings which serve no utilitarian purpose in my life (reflected by the tags still attached to the garments), but seem to indicate an inclination towards a sense femininity I am ambitiously chasing. So that makes up for the “pretty” bras, as Amelia would call them, but what about the rest? Why do we buy so many bras and yet repeatedly come back to what I want to call the consistently-Oscar-nominated Best Supporting Actors in our lives? Who are we fooling?

Or am I alone on this one?

Want to keep reading? If you give a mouse a bra it’s going to want some underwear. Or a chain belt.

Image via i-D

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