Bralette? What is that? Does it work?

Comes in different colors, a cotton/modal blend, minimal support

Comes in different colors, a cotton/modal blend, minimal support

In my previous post I talked about bralettes, and what they were.  Today, I’ll provide a little bit more information.

A bralette is a bra without wires or molded cups, think on par to a sports bra, but without the intensity to hold you in.  They have thin or lacy straps like a regular bra, and provide a reasonable amount of support for small to average busted women.  Microfiber, lace, or a cotton blend are the common fabric comments usually.

When I was first introduced to them I was a little skeptical. I’m not big on my nipples being an accessory to outfits ( yes, some women like the look of having hard nipples and it showing through clothes). Anyway, in terms of support think yoga or other activities on par with that.

How do you wear this piece of stretchy mini bra madness without your nipples being headlights and wobbling all over the place you ask? Well, like I said, if your sporting an H cup size, probably not for you, but if you are between a 30A to 38 C you can get away with it.  I have a lace Cosabella one I like to wear under button down shirts leaving the top buttons undone so its peaking out, kindof flirty and sexy but still professional for work.  I sold 4 to a girl the other day who, despite her mothers horror, is absolutely a hippie, and was buying bras for the festivals she was going to this summer.  She’ll be sporting a myriad of colors under her overalls.

There’s really no limit to what you can do, you just have to be a little creative. They are also a great day off bra.  I’m a big believer in wearing a bra all the time.  Gravity is an unforgiving friend, that can take even the most perkiest to their knees over time.  No, you don’t need to sleep in one (though if you are petite or full busted, 30DDD and beyond I’d recommend it) I’d still wear one on your off days.  Bralettes are the perfect non commitment bra.  They are comfortable, soft, can be sexy, and will give you just enough support to go to the grocery store, get the kids to daycare, and watch Tv.  Just dont stand under an air vent.

Enough ranting. Here’s some pictures. And some links to peruse!

Microfiber, lightweight, good support, lots of stretch

Microfiber, lightweight, good support, lots of stretch

Stretchy lace, light support, cute matching thong or boyshort

Stretchy lace, light support, cute matching thong or boyshort

Stretchy lace, light support, back closure

Stretchy lace, light support, back closure

Back view, this is what most bralettes look like from the back.

Back view, this is what most bralettes look like from the back.

Minimal support, but a fun top

Minimal support, but a fun top

Light support, name implies the benefits.

Light support, name implies the benefits.

Where can I buy some?!

http://www.freepeople.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=search.results&searchString=bralettes

http://www.hankypanky.com/search.asp?viewall=1&adv=&searching=bralettes&style=&collection=

http://www.wacoal-america.com/shop/wacoal-bras/bralette/

http://www.honeydewintimates.com/Bralettes_c_3.html

http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/shimera-seamless-bra/3073229?origin=keywordsearch&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=Beige+Frappe&resultback=0

http://shop.cosabella.com/Cosabella%20Never%20Say%20Never%20Sweetie%20Soft%20Bra.html

http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/kensie-jamie-lace-trim-bralette/3253242?origin=PredictiveSearch&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=Black&resultback=0

 

 

Slow Down the Sounds Around You

Today while I was calling customers letting them know that their bras were back from alterations one of the women from hosiery came in looking for a bra fitter.  I was surrounded by a mountain of bras, clothes, and bags with the phone in my hand, calling wrong numbers because I couldn’t read the tailors handwriting.  Everyone was too busy to help this “little lady that needs a bra”, so I left my pile and followed the saleswoman out to the floor.

There I found who I was to spend the next hour with, standing, slightly crouched over, looking confused and lost amidst the bustle of the department and the traffic on the aisle.  I walked over and asked her what she needed.  I could hardly hear her or understand.  I thought she needed a prosthesis fit, which I explained I couldn’t help her with, but that I could go get someone.  This look of fear flew into her eyes as she looked into mine, and told me no no that I could help her.  I asked her again, differently what it was she needed and she explained she needed a sports bra, in which I told her that activewear would carry more of what she wanted.  Again I got a look of fear, confusion, and no no you can help me.  I had to step back in my head, and concentrate, make the room go silent, and listen to what she was trying to say.  It was hard for her to talk, and clearly she’d been shuffled around, and just wanted someone to slow down and take the time to listen to her and help her.

So I shut everything out, and looked deep into her confused blue eyes, and listened, and heard in her eyes what she was asking for.  She needed a bra, a sports bra that she could pull on and off over her head because she couldn’t lift her arms.  She can’t clasp bras anymore, and has been wearing sports bras, and needs something new.  My mind went through all the options we have, like a file, I do this daily.  I told her that I could help her, but that the what I had for sports bras weren’t going to help.  “But I do have some bralettes I can show you.” “What are those?” She asked.  I explained that they were light bras with only elastic that offered light support  and could be pulled over your head.  She wanted to see them so I took her over to our most basic option, stretchy microfiber, that is easily pulled on and off.  She was excited and and wanted to try some.  I pulled two sizes.  She then looked deep into my eyes and tried to explain by hand movement across her chest she wanted something pretty.  Even the most tomboy of women have moments of femininity, age is no different.

I have a particular favorite lace bralette by Cosabella that I swear by.  They are stretchy, comfortable, all lace, and still sexy, offering just enough support for small to average bustlines.  Anyway, I walked her over and told her I had just the thing for her.  Her eyes lit up and she smiled as I showed her.  We pulled two sizes and I asked her if she was ready for a fitting room. She nodded.

I led her into the fitting rooms. She asked me how my day was going as we walked over, I said fine, though now I wish I’d said a little more, I was too busy thinking about my messy pile in back I had to deal with. I picked a room,  opened the door and entered after her.  It was a struggle for her to put her things down.  I offered if I could help her take her clothes off, she said yes please, and I helped her get out of her jacket, her sweater, her second sweater, and finally, pull her sports bra over her head.  She had no range of motion in her arms, they stayed forward only and bent at the elbow.  I imagined what it must be like for her in day to day life, how hard it must be, how much harder its been to watch her mobility fade like this.

We tried the first bra, and the second, the third and the fourth.  She told me about how her daughter nags her about her mobility, and how she thinks its crazy she even bothers wearing a bra. We picked the sizes that worked best.  But as we were trying them on, she said to me, dont help, I have to see if I can do this by myself.  The hardest thing, is to stand there and watch, as someone struggles.  But she managed.  And I only help when the tag got in her way.  She took two microfiber bralettes.  A black one.  And she asked for a second in navy.  “If I don’t have the navy, what other color could I get you?” “What else do you have?” She asked.  I listed off the colors I could remember, and a little smirk crossed her face as she said, ” If you can’t get navy I want red.” I have to say. I admire a woman that doesn’t get nude, black, and white. I had it in navy.  She was tired after all of this, and wore the lace Cosabella bralette out of the store.

I cut off all the tags at the cashwrap, and waited for her.  I helped her get her shirt on before leaving, and gave her the option of helping her get dressed, or finding the navy.  She told me to go hunt.  When she met me at the cashwrap she needed me to look up her card.  It was too hard for her to dig through her purse, I helped get her ID out.  I asked her to write down the pertinent information I needed to retrieve the card number, but she struggled so I offered to write it for her.  I felt so stupid in that instant, I should have known writing would be a struggle, her hands barely worked for her anymore.  But i got the card, followed through with the transaction.  I helped her put her sweater on, and she looked deep into my eyes again, and I in hers and she thanked me so much for the help I gave her with a smile on her face. I told her to have a good rest of her day and enjoy the sunshine.

Part of what made this such an intense experience, besides her obvious mobility and speech impairment, was the eye contact.  It was intense, and deep.  Not like something I’ve experienced.  Her eyes were blue, with tiny little pupils in the center.  We looked deep into each other as we spoke, like we were making some sort of connection.  It was intense, and almost magic (?).  I’m not sure really how to explain it, but looking deep into them made everything clearer, and I could understand better.  Not watching her lips, or listening harder, but just staring into her eyes.

So many things we take for granted and never think about.  Imagine not being able to do the things you wanted.  And have to rely on people.  I can’t even imagine what it must have been like for her to even get to my store.  And how tired she was after the ordeal.  I hope that she is happy, and I hope that the bras work.  Its the only difference I can make in her life, and I hope it works.  Its so easy to pass off people that don’t perhaps function like the rest of us.  To move quickly and solve a problem without listening.  I did that.  I tried to pass her off twice before actually listening, understanding, and helping.  Next time, I will listen.  Every missed opportunity is an opportunity to improve.