Stella’s treasure chest

Almost every woman is guilty of wearing a bra that is too large in bandwidth and too small in the cup. It’s tempting to get hung up on cup size, Oprah says—she’s been there. “I was in a C for years,” she admits. “I thought only strippers were Ds.”

America’s true decider, Oprah, recently introduced a bra revolution on her TV show. I don’t watch Oprah, but such is her power that other non-viewers were soon telling me about her campaign to get America’s women correctly fitted. Not only is this is an issue of style and confidence, but a badly fitted bra can lead to back pain and headaches!

I knew I was one of the guilty and found myself in Toronto last week with time for shopping. I made my new bra campaign a priority, not least because my Victoria’s Secret bras were experiencing sudden elasticity death after three years of repeated washing. A little Googling uncovered three lingerie shops that offered fittings and I settled on Secrets from Your Sister.

The store had only been open 15 minutes, but it was already busy so I added my name to the bra-fitting list and passed the time finding the cutest Munki Munki pjs for Lisa Parrish. I was then summoned by the Mammary Mistress and settled in to my fitting room. She busied herself measuring above and below and over the cups and scoffed that I’ve been wearing bras two back sizes too big…TWO SIZES?

It didn’t seem possible and I remained skeptical…36 seemed pretty comfortable to me and I’d recently purchased a 38 because it was even roomier. Well, then she came back in with a bra in a 32…and it fit. Although it was strange to wear something so much tighter, she assured me this was normal and the back is the first part of the bra to loosen up through wearing.

Then we started work on the cup size. Every time we (and it felt like a team effort) tried a bra, she would go through a number of checks. I had to try on the tight fitting t-shirt to see how it looked, I had to reach up and bend down to see if the cup would hold the breast adequately, and of course check for bra danger signs.

Bra Commandment #1
Thou shalt not wear a bra that causes any of the following problems:
Your breast pillows out of your cup, giving the dreaded “double boob”
Your back strap rides up
Your breasts fall out of the bottom of the bra
Your wires dig in under your breast

I had definitely experienced the pillowing double boob and also the breast falling out of the bottom of the bra, but with the MM’s patient approach we settled on a cup size…I was now officially a 32DD or a sometime 34C. Now, the gals are asking themselves how could I go from a B cup to a DD cup? Aren’t the cup sizes exactly the same no matter back size? No!

Bra Commandment #2
Every time you go up in the back size in one cup, the cup size also gets larger. For instance 32B, 34B, and 36B are three different cup sizes.

This is critical in understanding the fitting issues and also demonstrates how women need the fullest range of cup availability from A through to J.

Once we established the size, we plunged into specific bra needs. I wanted two everyday t-shirt bras (i.e. smooth showing under tops) – one dark, one light; a strapless bra for gala gowns; and, seeing as I now had the expertise of the MM I thought this might be the time to try and get something sexy and lacy – a category I usually stay away from.

For t-shirt bra #1 I ended up with the deeply comfortable Piège with Memorex foam, which remembers the shape of your breast and gets more comfortable the more you wear it. This one is actually a 34C because, like all women’s clothes, the exact sizing varies slightly from brand to brand. I got this in chocolate brown and unfortunately they didn’t have the beige in stock.
For #2 I wanted a white bra, but all the lighter bras were beige…and there’s a reason:

Bra Commandment #3
To disguise your bra completely (i.e. under a white t-shirt) you should wear a bra color that matches your skin tone or one that is a shade or two darker. This way there is no clashing of white against your skin.

I find this slightly frustrating as the beige bras appropriate for white women are not very attractive, but it’s true they look good under clothes, whereas you can always see the white of a white bra under a white top. So I submitted to the new regime and got a Chantelle 32DD. This is less comfortable for me than the Piège, but a light bra is essential and I didn’t want to walk away unequipped.


I hate wearing strapless bras because they slip down and when I’m wearing a gown and I am just itching to hitch up my bra in full view of the crowd. By the time I’ve walked all the way to the restroom, readjusted, and walked back to the event, it’s already slipped down again. The one I got, a Jezebel (!), was very nicely designed to have the back low and then the cups rise up at the sides for full support. Now, of course, my 32DD is a good 4 inches tighter than my usual bra, so it will likely stay up.


Finally, we came to the sexy bra challenge. These usually don’t work for me because the cups are not defined or supportive on a lacy bra and I’m a girl who needs lots of definition and support. Match that with the wrong size and you have a b ra tragedy in the making. MM brought in many different styles to try…some with greater success than others. One pushed my breasts forward and toward the center, rather like a horizontal mountain peak. A demi-cup caused the MM to burst out laughing, which is probably a professional no-no in the bra-fitting world. But one could hardly blame her – let’s just say I could have starred as a barmaid in a spaghetti western or more likely started a career in porn…comedy porn that is. But then we tried the Elle McPherson, which astonishingly looked good or looked astonishingly good. It’s black, lacy, has a little pink ribbon and I feel voluptuous and attractive! Finally, I can be proud of my breasts.


Although I’m a feminist, the only bras I want to burn are my old badly fitting ones, and I am ready to join Oprah in her revolution. Sisters, a properly supported breast is best…just look at the evidence below.

Before After


8 responses to “Stella’s treasure chest”

  1. andrea says:

    Stella…I cannot wait to see you tonight. Now, we can openly stare at your breasts and offer comments. What better gift could you give Bacon for his birthday?
    I actually went through the same process at a store in DC called Sylene…a good lingerie shop if any DCers want to meet their own MM.

  2. bacon says:

    I am now even more fascinated with your breasts, if that is possible…

  3. J-Man says:

    What’s a “bra”?

  4. Stephanie Wells says:

    Two things: 1. where the hell are all these “galas” you are attending for which you need to wear strapless gowns???? Are you living in the same world as us? 2. I prefer the term “quadraboob.”

  5. Ruben Mancillas says:


    Allow those of us marooned out here on the Best Coast to dream of what tonight’s big TGW gathering will look like.

    I for one picture Stella, and yes, even you, in nothing…but strapless gowns.

  6. Stephanie Wells says:

    Picture Parrish in a yellow vinyl minidress and a purple wig, and you’ll be on the right track. And Stella’s bra choice for the evening was nothing short of uplifting.

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