Thursday, 26 November 2009

An Uplifting Experience


This article below can also be found here.
YOU can only expect this from the best of friends; one big hug and a breathless whisper in the ear: You’re wearing the wrong bra size, dear!

With that one statement, I was officially declared to be among the 80 per cent or so women who strut around wearing the wrong bra size; and we are not even talking about cups, bands or straps yet.

So, okay, it is time I pull up the straps that keep falling off my shoulders and put my hands up and admit to never having had myself measured; not since Mak bought that trainer bra from one of the shops in our small town of Alor Setar. It was then either S for small, M for medium or L for large. No 32B, 34DD, 36FF or other complicated combinations that were more appropriate for opening a safe. Any adjustments needed were made by stuffing socks or tissues. There was nothing that a small safety pin couldn’t do; it could hold the straps in place or serve as an extension of a back band a few centimetres too short.

And there were not many to choose from either, unlike today’s array of fashion which promises to lift not only what threatens to defy gravity but also your spirit. The correct measurement, cups and straps could do wonders for your posture, while giving back that waistline you thought you’d lost forever. Or at least, it gives you the illusion that you have a waist you don’t actually have.

So, it was after this short lecture directed firmly at my fast-deflating bosom and self-confidence that I found myself at one of those expensive stores in Oxford Street, in the lingerie department.

“What’s your size, madam?” asked the salesgirl politely. I mumbled some digits and an alphabet. And like a stern Maths teacher, she whipped out her tape measure and immediately dismissed my answer as wrong. So, I got a few D’s mixed up and for that wrong answer, I was marched off to the changing room.

I remember needlessly mentioning something about having four children, all breastfed, by way of preparing her for what she was about to see.

“I have seen it all, Madam. And so there is no need to be embarrassed,” she said, quite professionally. It was then that I surrendered myself to her expert hands. I even made her choose the pattern and style she thought were appropriate for me for I couldn’t bear the thought of being lost in the sea of La Senzas and La Perlas in their various colours and cups.

She came back with a selection; several pairs of deep plunge, half cups, underwired, sexy and naughty and even sober, schoolmarmish ones. Then I was made to stand with my back facing the mirror. I was then asked to bend down with both hands held out by my side. When the new undergarment was put in place, she started adjusting the bands and the straps. And slowly, quite slowly I felt a truly uplifting experience, right there in that small changing room. It is wonderful what an extra D could do to lift your spirit and more, and I wondered why all this while, like all the other 80 per cent who go around in blissful ignorance about their correct size, why I never bothered to go for a proper fitting.

“Will that be all, Madam?” asked my fairy godmother with her magic tape measure. “And what about these to go with the brassieres?” she added, flashing what looked like hairbands or things they now called thongs.

Er, no thank you, I said politely. Let’s not even go there

44 comments:

Pi Bani said...

Nasib baik tak beli kat pasar malam... macam mana nak sukat? Hehehe...

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha, Kak Teh!

p/s
Muahaha!! Word veri says brasier...

Kak Ezza@makcik Blogger said...

KT
saya pun tgh membetul kan strap bra yang selalu jatuh ni..hehehe..may its time to beli baru..but kekadang dapat amoi yang jual bra ni yang kureng asem gak....nak ngukur tu depan orang jantan...malu la beb...pastu cakap kuat2 berapa size kita..then cakap..nyonya..lu punya busat wooo..sikalang tala size....hampeh betul laa...hahaha

BTW..Selamat hari raya kak...meriah ke kat sana tahun ni...

MrsNordin said...

Hee... hee... I've had that experience too! That's why I'm just too lazy to shop for bras. Keep on living in denial that I'm still wearing the same bra size like 10 years ago!

Over here, I prefer to buy it from Marks & Spencer coz I can still fit into their B/C. If local brands, the sales girl would insist I have to wear an E! No way!! (there, living in denial..)

Zendra said...

Did you see anything for molehills Kak Teh?

Madam Tai Tai No More said...

Kak Teh, been there and done that! I had been measured, marched to the dressing room, given bras that were supposed to be of proper fit, asked to held out my hands to the side and groped by the SAs so that the two 'nasi lemaks' would sit properly in their packages. Memang uplifting was the result!

Now you have the right bra for your baju raya kebaya. Hope to see pics of you in it!

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha, Kak Teh sekeluarga!

Kak Teh said...

Mrs N, before I was really tempted to go for fittings etc. but sometimes the queue is so long, the wait and so on, so malas lah nak tunggu. Pakai main agak saja. and once bought tak kan nak hantar balik, kan? So, we just go on in denial that we are wearing the right one. Ya, M&S seems to be the favourites with Malaysians. I was with a friend recently - she is really into bras - pun intended as well. She is the one who gave me the first degree on the right size of bra. Well she can spend two hours just trying for good suitable bras. and it was with her advise that I got mine too.

Ezza, yang paling tak sanggup tu lah, straps yang asyik jatuh.
Oh ya salesgirls di malaysia memang suka cakap kuat-kuat. Kita beli baju dia cakap kuat-kuat - Mem, kita ada XL, XXL pun ada jugak! memang kureng asem!

Kak Teh said...

Pi Bani, kalau kat pasar malam, kena bawa acuan dari rumah yang memang dah fit. Selamat hari raya to you too!

Zendra, moleshills? hmmm, that would be an interesting study. Sekarang ni everything tends to be small, not concealing anything we used to conceal before.

Kak Teh said...

MTTNM, I agree with you. A good bra is very essential for the kebaya. It does make you feel sexy. Hmmm, I dont think in this weather at the moment I will be wearing the kebaya. It is so cold now, wet and windy!

3yearshousewife said...

Hahaha, kelakar.
I will also have to go for this uplifting experience one of these days.
Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha.

Kak Teh said...

3yrshousewife, yes, I would recommend it too. cuma, i dont hv the patience of hanging around in a shopping complex. i ni jenis yang nampak, beli, keluar cepat2.

NanaDJ said...

Kak Teh,
We must measure ourselves before we buy bras because our body is constantly changing especially for those who kept dieting every now and then. Different designs and materials of the clothes that we are wearing too demand that we wear different types of bras. Its not fair, men does not have this kind of problems!
Your article is very uplifting (pun intended) indeed. Yes Ezzah, the salesgirls here are the pits - they take great pleasure to announce to the world "this type cannot see ni..le one!" and we have to endure all the smirks from the males who seem to love lingering near the bras.

Kak Teh said...

NanaDJ, it is not only a must for those who constantly diet, but also for those who constantly binge. I was really surprised to find that my size was way off the mark - thus the discomfort which we came to accept, kan? well, am speaking for myself and from now on - measure I will!

Life for Beginners said...

Hahaha, this post certainly lifted up my spirits. (If not other portions not given to men to possess, haha.)

I think it's very cool your fairy lingerie godmother suggested the thongs. Can try what... :)

kay_leeda said...

Err...to tell you the truth, I don't like buying bras; for the same reasons that you do. I pick up something I like and get that disagreement stare from the sales girl. There are times when I feel like saying back, "Hey..suka hati I lah...it's MY BRA!!"

Selamat Hari Raya to you and yr family Kak Teh. Have a blessed Eid.

ray said...

Komen Pak Malim, kucing ray yg alim.

Saya tak pakai bra.

ilene said...

For now the bras would fit well but after it's gone through some washing, the strap would become loose too. These days I'll settle for strapless so that I don't need to every now and then "tuck" at the straps!

D said...

Kak Teh,
I looooove bras! LOLs! think I was brought up with one particular older sister who was all into bras as well. She taught me how to measure for correct size, how to choose bras (for 'maintenance'), etc. When I was expecting for the first time, I even had an older colleague who taught me how to choose a good bra - for during pregnancy & while nursing.

Err... I wear plain clothes on the outside but somehow, my undergarments can't be compromised! LOL!!

Ms B said...

Kak Teh,

U made my day!! *grins* Definitely I'm more comfortable with the sales assistants here. Even in my trainers, they still treat me as if I have an unlimited amount to spend!

And they dont make remarks when they see those stretch marks or anything that catches their attention.

Salam eidul adha to u...

Kak Elle said...

I stick to mark & spencer KT as I know the size and cup:)

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Wow, reading this post & all the comments, size actually does make a different.

Hey Zah, do you recommend men buy their wives & GFs lingerie for special occasions? I’m a sucker for all the ads that Agent Provocateur & Victoria’s secret put out. I like AP this year X’mas special ‘Tis the season to be naughty’…..hahaha, got free perfume thrown in too!

Selamat Hari Raya Haji to u & the family.

Cheers,
Tommy

P/S – FYI; Thongs is actually meant to be ‘slippar jepun’ in Australia ;)

sue said...

hai..ASSALAMUALAIKUM auntie..selamat menyambut hari raya aidiladha..ingat lagi tak saya..saya sue dari esq165..
best tajuk nih..bermasalah jugak lah dengan bra nih..susah nak cari yang really suit..tapi pakai jelah..n try cari yang hampir2 suitable..hihiihihihihiihihihiiihhii..okaylah auntie..jumpa lagi..

Adirya Kiratas said...

That is a wonderfully humourous piece on a sensitive subject.

Thanks

P/S You were not tempted to post any pictures with the account of your experience?

Kama said...

Ahhh, such weighty issue (twice as heavy, kak teh!) Gone were the days when I used to go braless (read molehills) because I didn't particularly liked bras. Now if I were to do the same.. i think i'd topple over... berat kak teh oiiihh!

edelweiss said...

Kak teh...

i've had the same experience tau di M&S back in UK.

so lepas tuh sammpai la nih i memang ke M&S sbb tuh jer tempat yang bra dia sesuai dengan i tau hehehe.

brand yg kat sini bukan tak ada tapi walaupun cup size sama...tetap lain tak tau kenapa ...kecik!!!!

almaklumlah kak teh...i nih memang extra kat situ hehehhehe

Andrea Wh@tever said...

Kak Teh: I looovveee buying bras. I can spend hours trying on bra after bra after bra. I dun think my husband minds one bit 'coz he is usually pretty happy to be playing with his blackberry at the lingerie dept *snigger snigger*

Kak Teh said...

Kenny. you dont want to wish to see me in thongs - not even in your nightmare!!

Kay, that reminds me of my trips with my buddy Fatimah abu bakar - now the celeb mum. Whenever we entered a shop, salesgirls would ush over to us with padded bras! we got so insulted...maklumlah masa tu leper macam tanah rata!

Kak Teh said...

Ray tak pakai bra? laaa, samalah macam kera , kata kak teh sambil buat kira-kira.

Ms B, even in your traners they treated you lke you have unlimied amount to spend...wow! I think, when I walk around with friends into bg stores, sales assistants tend to think I am the maid in tow - honestly. and they are right of they think I dont have money to spend.
Oh yes, I know you had a wonderful hari raya haji - Raya hajis will always be wonderful, yes?

Kak Teh said...

D, you reply reminds me of those covered up middle eastern ladies you see in the lingerie departments, choosing skimpy and sexy underwears! It makes one wonder how much they spend for those inner comforts.

Ilene, I used to have strapless, but not now. Takut jatuh!!! hahaha!

Kak Teh said...

Kak elle, you are also a M&S person? many malaysians make a beeline to M&S for their bras. Well, i am one, too.

TommyYew, I would certainly recommend that husbands buy lingeries as presents. Afterall, that's what they want to see kan? Just worried that what's in their imagination does not match what they see before them.hehe!

Kak Teh said...

Sue!!!! Terima kasih kerana melawat kak teh! Kak teh tak pernah lupa masa kita di ESQ walaupun kak teh tak begitu kagum dengan trainng tu, kak teh menghargai persahabatan kita walaupun sekejap sangat. Keep in touch, nanti kak teh balik, akan emel sue, okay?

adirya, oooooh, like said earlier, if i post any of my pictures relatng to this entry = people will just pengsan! hehe> thanks for the visit. can I link you?

Kak Teh said...

edelweiss, one more M&S bra fan! I am now conscentiously looking at bra sizes and shapes - i now think how important it is to be comfortable inside, kan?

Puteri, a weighty issue indeed. I had to weigh the pros and cons before writing this! hehe!

Oh i wont topple over if I dont wear bras now - most probably I'll mop the floor!

Kak Teh said...

andrea, you are just like my friend! I spent hours outside the changingroom playing the word game on my blackberry!

madam gold said...

Salam Kak Teh,
When it comes to bra, I d let other half buy for me.He d buy the expensive ones that comes in set.
I ask him how did he get the right size.He said just by a show of his palm "besak ni".Fortunately it s always comfortable and as you say expensive bras definitely do wonders to our posture..
If I were to buy one I d just go for rm 20 or 30..

Kak Teh said...

Madam Gold, you are very lucky and your husband is very brave to venture into that department. This reminds me of the story of the husband who measured using his hands. Lepas tu dia naik bas and dalam bas yang penuh sesak, sais tu pun berubah - bila pi nak beli bra tak tau saiz macam mana! hehe - am sure this is not true.

Oldstock said...

Salam Kak Teh,

Now this post of yours ties in nicely with my `last kopek' story, but I actually want to let you know of another trivia, which is probably related.

In Singapore, there is a street called Bras Basah Road, which used to have a large number of 2nd hand bookstores during my younger days. The origin of the name reportedly comes from an incident during colonial days when a worker lugging a sack of rice from a tongkang, dropped the sack and causing the rice to be spilled by the river's edge... hence `beras basah'.

A friend of mind was looking for some books, so I directed him to this place. He asked me how the street got its name and I told him the story. He then mumbled back, `Oh... I thought it was because the women living at the top of the shops hang out their wet bras out to dry...'

Kak Teh said...

Oldstock, that's a really funny story. Can you imagine rows and rows of those wet bras dripping down on to passers by - oh, well, perish the thought!

I will go and read your last kopek. I have not been blogging or blog hopping much as I am still tied up with something - things I should have done six months ago! Oh well!sigh!

tireless mom said...

Hi Kak Teh

Guess most of the ladies here including me have had a similar experience. Actually salesgirl at La Senza here is not so bad. They let you choose your own unlike the one at Ju**o or Met**Ja**, unless requested for assistance. I only know about the bending part only a couple of years back, kalau tidak before this, hantam ajelah Labu, janji I thot it fits nicely.

[danial][ma] said...

hej! kak teh...just reminded of my mom...she used to ask me to buy her the bras...and i did for her and i remembered that the sales girl looked at me 'semacam'...hahahhaaa...who cares...;-) bra is important as the underpants for me...

DrSam said...

Salam Kak Teh. For me the bra size conundrum is still very complex. I am still having a hard time with the numbering system plus the alphabets (and why not 34Z ke, 36XX ke).

One more thing, do women really has to wear bra (even the flat one) with padding some more? Imagine if there is a way to make sure our ladies' 'cup' is firmer all the time thus defying the gravity - no bra? ish...like you said earlier, perish the thought :)

Salam Eidul Adha Kak Teh

p/s: one place I will find excuses to spend time with my other half is the lingerie department. Entah le. Mungkin tak selesa buat orang lain tak selesa :)

Kitchen Guardian said...

Salam Aidil Adha Kak Teh!

Firstly, did you meet my friend LifeBloom or Maizura who was in London last week?

Secondly....ingatkan I sorang saja ada issues bila beli bra ni...kesah try tak try ni dah jadi history for me sebab I memang malaih nak try. la ni sejak balik UK yang dah lebih dari satu abad ni, I dok pakai bra Marks & Spencer saja, sebabnya I tak suka span and dawai, he he! Tapi tok laki dok bising sebab mahai, dok suruh beli yang local punya...tapi tak sanngup aih bila nyonya promoter almost nak pegang my boobies ish ish....

Sarah Allen said...

Thanks so much for your comments! I'd love a link. That would be awesome! And thank you for your amazing blog!

From Sarah With Joy

Kak Teh said...

TM, i read that different stores have different ways of measuring. Bending was just for the fit - hehe! i cant imagine doing that all the time.

Danial - you what? i dont blame the sales girl :)

Kak Teh said...

DR Sam, i am sure most men love the lingerie department. When i was there i was quite a few and they looked quite at home amongst the cups of various sizes.

KG< of course i met up with lifebloom - but only for a short whle sebab dia pi theatre!

Kak Teh said...

sarah, thanks to u too!