My cups overfloweth…

Yes. We’re talking brassieres. The area of our lives that is taking on more debt than the car or the boat. Since May I have probably worked my way through at least five different cup sizes and two different backstrap sizes. How is this right or fair? How is it that in all the bucketloads of advice one is given in regard to growing your own alien, no one told me this was a possibility? It was mentioned that at some point one has to whack on one of those uncharismatic pieces of scaffolding with flip down access points – but NO ONE said:

“Oh, and by the way, as well as getting generally bigger, the girls will also get wider thus rendering the underwire a stabbing weapon of mass destruction. Just so you know.”

I read in various places that underwires were a no no, but L’s venerable obstetrician said, sensibly, that they were fine unless they caused discomfort. It was when I had to start using bandaids to cushion the poking into the wide bits that I recognised this truth. That was hard. Soft cups and I? We’ve never got along. But for comfort, I was prepared to compromise – as long as they came in black. But even by this point I had whimpered my way through increasing numbers of underwired misadventures – so there went about $200.

The first soft cup I put on lasted all of 90 minutes, when I tore it from my chest and left it in the middle of the lounge for a week so I could kick it every time I went past. I returned to the underwire. This was brief, and expensive. Take note: buying a bra online because a) it’s on sale, and b) because Oprah says it’s the biz, does not count for much when it finally arrives in the post and fails noticeably in general containment.

(I have fond thoughts that after PartyPie has been around for a while, I will work my way backwards through these numerous misdemenours and they will suddenly fit me for a month or two as I morph snap hopefully revert back to something resembling former somewhat svelter self.)

But I digress. I had begun with a singlet/bather top combo, progressed to underwires, gone for the soft cup, rejected it for further wiring and then still failed to realise my most basic mistake. The mistake based on the naïve belief that actually, my boobliliciousness could not feasibly continue. Each time my bra size increased, I was convinced that that was it. No more. And so, each time, I would rifle frenziedly through sale piles, and ebay, for the same bras in the same size. Which is how I came to have a drawer full of size 10 (and I hesitate to type it) Es. TEN E!!!

At this point, male readers will have the same expression they assume when standing in front of the fridge looking for something that might not have been put Right At The Front and is therefore Irretrievably Lost Forever. Females will be wincing. This is the correct response. Because there is nothing good about zipping from a B/C cup to an E in the space of three and a half months. NOTHING.

M finally took matters in hand (and no, that is not a double entendre, mainly due to the pure physical impossibility involved – there are no hands big enough) and we hit Myer in the city like a SWAT team. I sent him among the racks. After some initial bafflement, he emerged triumphant with a swag of 10Es in one hand and a bra fitting lady in the other. The latter took me into the change rooms, after showing M to the Husband’s Seat, where he settled with some relief.

The fitter was wily. She sighed while I coerced the girls into the corral, and stuck her finger under the backstrap like she was testing the temperature of soup.

“You’re not a 10E anymore,” she said, rendering M’s hard won pile of bras useless, “I’ll go and get you some size 12s.”

That’s when I knew that more money was about to haemorrhage from the credit card of doom. The one positive thing about the size 10E is that it is so weird (the 10 indicates the size around your ribs, the E indicates the cup size: i.e. you’re fairly slim with huge norgs) and this means you find them on sale racks. 12E, on the other hand, is almost run of the mill. So of course, the rack of Elle McPherson bras that were 50% off was full of 10Es, and not a single 12E. Of course.

The fitter lady came back. She held some of the underwire bras I had been looking at, now in size 12, and two scary shapeless looking swags of fabric. She watched as I tried on the trusty underwires, which did remarkably little due to the norg-width issue. Then she spoke.
“Just humour me and try on one of these.”
I realised that the shapeless fabric was, in fact, a maternity bra. And shuddered.
“You don’t have to buy it, I just want you to try it.”
I narrowed my eyes at her, this was no time for rhyme, and then boggled at the amount of hooks on the back.
“There are more hooks on the back to loosen it off as you get bigger.”
“Oh, no, that’s OK. I don’t plan on getting bigger.”
She smiled at me, and I concentrated on positioning the scaffolding. She hooked me in. Oh. My. God.
Sweet relief. SWEEEEEEEET relief.

She was nice enough not to say anything, but just snipped off the tags and told me to do myself a favour and leave it on. I bought it. It was $60 [sob] and stupidly, I could not justify buying two, so I bought a slightly cheaper preggo one in the same norgtastic size. M and I exited Myer Melbourne to the sound of trumpets.

And it was all fine for just over a month. Until now…


Wheely excellent…


Today is brought to you by the letter ‘F’


  1. I winced, and then again at the end. My last GF was a 12DD and imagining 10E (which was a pleasant experience – thanks!) – faded when the physics of ‘s’ and beyond hit.

    It’s likely your breaking some law of the universe here. I’m guessing underwire-string theory isn’t quite holding up as well as it could be and you keep tearing space in time.

  2. Rae

    Oh boy, the things you haven’t been told! I too hated the non-underwires til I found one that I didn’t mind so much, so I bought 3. I’m not so ‘grand’ as you though, so mine are a smaller cup size and therefore a little easier to find. Geebus, $60 for one. I just shudder, you poor thing!

  3. b:p

    And I thought twins made EVERYTHING double – but obviously not 😉
    …and the suggestion that I may be tearing a small hole in the space/time continuum has made me feel a bit more optimistic!

  4. Actually, I believe most men say at least once, with an appropriately lustful look and shortly before being beaten to death with a poker – “Wow – haven’t your breasts grown…”

  5. b:p

    You’d think so. But there’s a different rule for tall people, and that is that no one notices. For which I am thankful (while trying to remain upright).

  6. I’m an E and I’m not even pregnant. I have a draw full of minimizers.

    Being tall helps, and now that I’m overweight as well as tall helps even more, but strange men still oggle when I’m dressed for a night out.

    I’m so glad you were able to find a comfortable bra… maybe I’ll switch to maternity ones… standard underwires are uncomfortable after a few hours 🙁

  7. b:p

    I saw quite a lot of minimisers, but yeah – they were all wired. I still think finding a holy grail bra online might be worth trying… But it’s kind of equivalent to having a king size bed – the bigger the bed, the more expensive the sheets. Have you tried the Sweatergirl – it’s by Formfit, I think. L swears by them (or did, pre-Chloe.) There is also a discussion here.

    You’re right though – being tall does help!

  8. seepi


    I did all this too – except in much bigger sizes, or I could share the wealth of hardly worn underwear that I now own.

    I actually recommend buying maternity bras – I got bigger and bigger towards the end of my pregnancy, and then a bit smaller a week or two after the birth. But I wore maternity bras for the next year, as I was breast feeding.

    Now I’ve stopped, and I’m pretty much back to where I started, so all those ‘pregnancy’ bras never got worn again.

    There should be a library for maternity bras and maternity clothes I think – so much money for stuff that you use for a few months.

    – On that note – I”m selling 2 pairs of maternity pants – one 3/4 black and one full length navy in size ten – do you need any?

  9. b:p

    You were a size TEN and more boobalicious than me?! I can only boggle 😉
    On the pants front, I’m probably more of a 12-14, but thanks for letting me know. I think the library idea is a good one!

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