Along with getting a root canal and shopping for a bikini, bra shopping used to top my ‘most-dreaded’ list of experiences.
While I’ve always loved getting A’s on my report cards, I wasn’t a fan of them being stamped on my chest. Whenever faced with the mirror in the changing room and a rack full of dangling frilly undergarments, I’d usually leave empty-handed, convinced that I needed plastic surgery, stat, to fill a bra cup.
My reasons for avoiding the task were always the following.
Top 3 Reasons I Dreaded Bra Shopping
1. What’s the point of spending money on something nobody will see?
2. I don’t really have any boobs anyway, so what’s the point in investing in a good bra?
3. I bought a bra four years ago, isn’t that good enough?
I also have five kind of super embarrassing revelations to make – are you ready?
Five Bra Confessions
1. You know those super uncomfortable, majorly padded bras with crippling underwire that dig into your flesh that you’re only supposed to save for special occasions? Well, I used to wear those every single day. My motto was always ‘the more padding, the better the bra.’
2. From around 2000 to 2007, I didn’t leave home in a low-cut top without a pair of chicken cutlets packed tightly into my bra cups. Do you know what I’m talking about? – those silicon falsies that look like raw chicken? I had a few mishaps over the years with them slipping out – there was even a hot tub incident, but I’ll save that wild story for another time.
3. I’ve been wearing the same sports bra since Grade 11. Yikes.
4. After giving birth to Molly my boobs looked like rocket ships – I considered nursing her for life just so I could keep my new bazookas.
5. On very special occasions, I’ll wear two bras!
Okay, now that I’m totally red over here from my racy revelations, it’s time to tell you how my whole perception of bras and boobies have changed, thanks to Forever Yours Lingerie in Langley City – the Fraser Valley’s most popular lingerie store.
While I’ve lived in Langley for most of my adult life, I had yet to step foot into the specialty boutique, nestled in the heart of Downtown Langley – only a 40 minute drive from downtown Vancouver. Aside from not having any interest in bra shopping in the past, I always assumed it was a specialty store for women blessed with a larger rack.
I was wrong. Oh-so-wrong.
Forever Yours Lingerie is a full-service lingerie store that caters to women of all sizes. In addition to a huge selection of beautiful lingerie, sleepwear, swimwear and shape wear brands for curvaceous women, sizes small to 4 x (up to a 6 x in some styles), the store is known throughout Metro Vancouver for its personalized bra fittings.
The store itself is also quite stunning: Elegant chandeliers hang from the ceiling, walls are painted in an ultra girly pink hue and there’s even a little lounge area to relax while your significant other is in the change room or busy browsing the sales floor.
Speaking of the change rooms, I only have one word – wow! They’re beautiful, roomy and run by a great team of knowledgeable and friendly women who are happy to lend you a helping hand.
Mikhala, a long-time employee of the boutique, took my measurements and informed me I had been wearing the wrong size bra all these years.
In the correct size, I actually had cleavage – I’m talking about the real deal here – no padding, silicon or milk required.
I’m sure Mikhala was exhausted from all the running around I had her doing, but you would never know it.
I tried bras with convertible straps, lacy embellishments, plunging cups – all of them fit like a glove… er, more like a proper bra should.
”I can’t believe it, I do have boobs!” I said, while bravely opening the change room curtain to give fellow shoppers an eyeful.
“They’re so pretty that it’s a shame to cover them up.”
I left the store that day with my old bra crumpled in my purse and my new pretty pale blue number on (don’t worry, I did leave in a t-shirt too). The bra isn’t padded, but I still feel sexy and comfortable wearing it – who knew the two could go hand-in-hand? I also discovered that I had been using the wrong hooks on my bras. Mikhala informed me that you should always start with the tightest fit and gradually move up a notch as your bra stretches out down the road.
At 33, I finally realize just how important it is to have a good-fitting bra. Aside from aesthetic reasons, poorly fitting bras have been linked to cysts, back pain, sagging tissue, and possibly even cancer.
Unfortunately, there are many women out there of all ages who don’t have the means to take their breast health to heart. And I’m not just talking about women like myself who steer clear of bra shopping for vanity reasons.
Many of us take for granted that we can get up in the morning and put on a clean bra – there are a lot of women for whom that is not an option. Women who have left a violent situation with nothing, are homeless, marginalized, living in poverty and don’t have the means to access the undergarments they need.
Forever Yours Lingerie has made it their mission to help these women with the launch of their Supportive Start program.
The boutique is now collecting new and gently used bras and working with their suppliers to get new panties and other necessary items in order to distribute them to in-need and at-risk women.
You can now drop off new or GENTLY used bras in-store. You will receive 20 points in your customer file for each eligible bra that you donate; up to a maximum of 100 points per month. Bras can be any size colour and brand (they can come from any store!).
What is ‘Gently’ used?
1. Bras MUST be clean and free of stains
2. No piling, discoloration or deodorant marks
3. No stretched out or altered
4. No holes or runs
5. Hooks must be in good condition
6. No odours or smoke.
Anyone who does not have a bra to donate but would still like to make a contribution, FYL will graciously accept money donations in store at the register or through Paypal. If you live out of town, you can mail your bras to:
Attn: Supportive Start
Forever Yours Lingerie
20460 Fraser Highway
Another way to support this great cause is to attend Ooh LaLa, A Lingerie Fashion Show on Friday, May 29th 2015. We’ll be sure to post the details for this awesome event when they become available. I attended last year and it was one of my favourite events of 2014.
And now that I’ve come clean, it’s time for you to fess up. Have you been properly fitted for a bra before?