Life is too short to wear an ugly bra

by Poppy Fields

Now that you have watched “The Devil Wears Prada” (which was yesterday’s homework!) and understand the difference between a blah cotton bra and a lovely, satiny, lacy number, we are going to delve into the importance of wearing the correct brassiere with each ensemble.

In the past, I could have thought “I am just wearing a dark top, it should not matter what color bra I am wearing today.”  Let me tell you – it really does matter. 

Gigi dresses for the cameras

Sometime in 2000 our cousin got married and our grandmother Gigi, whom we all know as an example of pretty much everything we should not do, naturally attended the wedding.  Gigi always dressed to be the center of attention, and in this case was wearing a lovely dark green, shimmery dress. It was a tad see-through, although whether she knew this or not is up for debate.  The opacity of her dress was not obvious because the wedding and reception were in the evening. Besides, the dress was a dark color.

As occurs at all weddings, the cameras were clicking and flashing.  Once the wedding photos were available for viewing, was it our beautiful cousin, the bride who was the center of attention?  No indeed – that honor went to Gigi’s white bra that shone through her dress in all the photos due to the camera flash.  If only she had worn a dark green bra under that dress, the focus of all those wedding photos would have been firmly on the happy couple instead of on Gigi’s shining, white brassiere.

Use Mise en Place to make good choices!

A pretty bra is often not only pretty because of its color, it may have some other details including lace or bows.  One Sunday afternoon while in the middle of my weekly “Mise en Place”, I selected a fancy black blazer with a cute little black tee for one day that week.  The beautiful, black, lacy bra was included along with the ensemble and I dressed according to plan on the assigned day. 

As frequently happens in my office, the temperature is quite changeable.  There are times when it is an icebox and others that it is downright hot.  During one of the sunny moments (few and far between in the PNW) I became seriously overheated and removed my blazer.  I looked down and noticed that the cute little black tee material was unfortunately slightly thinner than I had realized, and the laciness of the black bra was immediately apparent through the shirt. 

Not wishing to follow in Gigi’s footsteps, I immediately put the blazer back on.  Ladies – remember when doing your Mise en Place to not only try to match the color of your bra to your shirt but take note of the texture as well!  This will save yourself an embarrassing moment in the future.

The strapless bra debacle

During high school, there was a holiday dance to which I wore a dress I made myself (we are a crafty family!)  I was so very proud of this dress – it was satin, with a creamy lace skirt overlay.  The dress had a low, scooped back as well as wide neckline – under which a regular bra with straps was not going to work. 

I had to buy my first, and only, strapless bra.  Assuming I should just purchase a strapless bra in the same size I normally wore was quite a mistake.  While the dress looked lovely with no hint of a strap in sight, I was constantly fussing with this ridiculous bra.  I tugged on it every couple minutes throughout the evening and then after one dance it finally shimmied itself down to my waist.  I was absolutely mortified. 

To this day, I do not know the appropriate sizing for a strapless bra as I have refused to ever again wear something that required one.  Please, if you need a strapless bra – go speak to a professional at Victoria’s Secret.  Do not wind up with your bra around your waist like me!

Men just don’t understand

For many years, I worked at a paver company. Circa 2008, my boss decreed we should all wear shirts with the company logo.  He ordered the most dreadful, beige polo shirt for everyone to wear – great to hide the dirt the guys inevitably were covered in – but horrendous in every other way.   

After listening to me complain bitterly (I had worked for this company for a decade, putting in 50–55-hour weeks, devoting my entire life to this crazy organization and was therefore absolutely entitled to have an opinion) my boss finally decided since I was indeed the only female, he would allow me to select my own styles and colors.   I selected a couple of tees in some lovely colors and then a handful of white, collared button-down shirts that could be worn in a multitude of ways. 

When they arrived, the shirts were fine, but I immediately noticed that when wearing the white button-downs, my white bras were showing through the shirts in a way that I did not find acceptable.

Victoria Secret to the rescue

The next weekend I took myself to Victoria’s Secret to discover what the solution would be.  In my mind, this did not make sense.  It is a white bra, why is it showing through the white shirt?  I bopped into the store, heading to my favorite Second Skin Satin section, when I was abruptly brought up short. 

There was NO Second Skin Satin section.  This was weird as the section had been there the previous month.  I asked the poor, unsuspecting salesgirl who was unfortunate enough to be working that day to where my favorite bras were moved. 

This was when the fateful news that the collection had been retired was related to me.  I say she was unfortunate because I gave her an absolute piece of my mind as well as tearing up because this was what I had been wearing every single day for what, 16 years and now what was I going to do??? (I know, I know – first world problems – but problems nevertheless).  

Explaining the reason for my visit and then asking what the options were now that my favorite style was discontinued – this led to a two-hour session of trying on every single style in the store (although not the ridiculous ones that push your boobies into your chin – there are limits). 

The answer to what style I finally settled on was Body by Victoria, the answer to the what shirt problem was (and ladies, this is a gem of knowledge I am offering for free – a public service tidbit, if you will) you must wear a skin-tone colored bra under a white shirt!  Mind-blowing stuff, I know – but really, vital information I wish I had known earlier.

Taupe-colored joy: is it even possible?

If what Marie Kondo is saying is true – you should only keep items in your closet and dressers that spark joy – what does one do with a taupe bra that is absolutely not pretty?  It is a functional, necessary piece of every woman’s wardrobe.  But does it, when you look at it in your drawer, spark joy? 

No, no it does not.  My suggestion is that you find a taupe bra with a little lace along the sides, or perhaps some pretty straps.  Just because the color is bleh does not mean the brassiere has to be unattractive. 

Do yourself a favor and look in your drawer of unmentionables.  If they do not make you feel beautiful and fancy – take yourself to the nearest Victoria’s Secret and find one that makes you smile. 

Life is too short to wear an ugly bra.  (Just watch out for those flashing cameras.)

Published by Lily Fields

I am passionate about contentment. This is a challenge, because I am equally passionate about progress. I get up at 4:00AM to chip away at a solution to this monolithic problem: how to make progress on my contentment. Born and raised in the USA, I married a French philosophy teacher in 1999. We have lived in France since 2007. We stayed young and carefree until life threw us two curveballs in the form of little humans one after another in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Now I am a slightly older, slightly more exhausted version of myself, but with mystery stains on my walls and a never-ending pile of laundry.

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