Walking in the cool spring sunshine, a mass of puffy clouds filling the gleaming blue sky, I could feel the straps of my bra sliding over the cliff of my shoulders.


I’m not your usual ragamuffin kind of gal, so you can rest assured that I’ve shopped at the loveliest lingerie outlets, aided by expert sales gals with their measuring tapes and expansive knowledge of makes, models and cup sizes. To no avail because I simply can’t find a bra that I like.

Straps inevitably slide down my shoulders, leaving me to hike them up mid-meeting or surreptitiously behind the office door. The nude color quickly fades after several washes and yes I do separate colors and whites.

Although I hang them to dry, they tighten in time, and I can’t believe I’m getting that fat around the chest, that quickly. Underwire digs into my ribcage but a lack of wire rides up.

I’ll admit, boobs are not a convenient body part. Go commando, and you end up like Rachel in every episode of Friends, with nips standing rigidly at attention. Choose a sports bra and you’re penned in all day; go for the full-support model, and you’re fully caged in.

While I feel so much like a lady in my lovely high heels, bras don’t give me that same regal walk. It’s another way women are confined and imprisoned, smoothed over for the objectifying eye.

But I digress, and so do boobs, as we age, pointing ever more south. So bras are a helpful tool to give a little lift, silhouette us like we were in our youth.

What is the answer? I surely don’t like any of the bras in my drawers. Not the strapless, nor the sexy, not the lacy, nor the smooth. I can’t stand the underwire, and I can’t stand the alternative. Going without in my house even, I’m concerned about showing too much.

I’m not sure I have an answer, just a vent, which I know so many other women will relate to. You just can’t win being a woman sometimes. And yet, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

When I was in India this winter, I noticed the women in their beautiful silk saris, elaborate fabric draped around their far-from-supermodel bodies. Skin showed, definitely, especially around the middle, where they were thickest. They didn’t seem to mind – and neither did the men.

Beauty is relative. There must be a way to ensure our modesty without enshrining captivity.

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