Earlier this year, I started working out and lost some weight. It wasn’t much, just a couple of kilos, but my body showed a significant difference since I was more toned. I came down a couple of sizes in dresses/ jeans - and as happens with weight loss, my boob size changed too. After a couple of months, I realized that I needed to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe in bras since none of the ones I had fit properly any longer. Either my straps would slip off my shoulders or the cups would get dislodged and slither around under my clothes all day long. #BraProblems
I headed out one evening and landed up at a mall to get myself measured properly. I picked one of those big stores that stock lots of lingerie brands - my best bet to find the right fit, I figured. However, that did not go quite as I had expected. Because the ladies at the lingerie department were using different forms of measuring and calculating cup size versus band size. The first shopping assistant who measured me told me that I’d gone down from a 34C to a 34B. I wrinkled my nose (hey, I like being toned, but I also like my cleavage - can’t blame a girl for feeling disappointed!) and went off to try some 34B bras. They didn’t fit.
My measurer told me to try a different brand; I dutifully headed off to the next counter. Now their bras didn’t fit either (there was a weird and awkward side bulge happening), so another shopping assistant offered to measure me. She did, and came up with a completely different size - 36B. I was like ‘Okaaaay, then’ and tried on a couple of 36B bras. No fit. ‘Why don’t you try a different cut?’ she suggested. I did - from T-shirt bras to balconettes to push-ups. NOTHING fit. I was feeling quite fed up by now - it’s no fun taking your top off again and again and trying to squish your boobs into different bras and adjusting and re-adjusting straps.
After a while, I decided to try a third counter and a third round of measuring. SAME THING. This one said I was a 36A, so I tried that again. All the while thinking longingly of my gynaecologist, who had measured me when I had gone for a regular breast exam, and given me the 34C diagnosis, which had been the perfect size and fit for me (across different brands) for a good three or four years. I should just have gone to her again, I thought, instead of putting myself through this bra-try-bra-fail torture.
Four counters, four shopping assistants and sixteen bras later, I was exhausted and decided to call it a wrap. F*ck this, I thought - I’d rather just keep on wearing my slithering bras rather than hear more and more comments to the effect of: ‘Madam, thoda adjust kar lo!’ I headed home, broken in spirit. #EpicFail
Two weeks later (still wearing my existing collection of bras that did not fit), I bumped into an ex. Things hadn’t worked out between us for many reasons, but we still had sizzling chemistry. After an evening of reminiscing, we kinda realized that though we had no thought of rekindling the relationship, we did want to get into bed with each other again. And so we did. It was when we were making out and my top and bra came off that the weirdest thing happened. ‘Wow, your boobs have become bigger,’ he said. ‘What have you been up to?’
What? Bigger? ‘Huh? No way!’ I replied.
‘Babe, trust me on this, I’ve spent enough time with your boobs - and thinking about them in the last year - to know when something has changed!’
‘You’re definitely a D-cup now, maybe even a double D!’’
As much as I was enjoying his touch, his words were what had all my attention. This bra struggle had become such a life struggle by now that I was way more concerned about getting the right size issue sorted out than this ‘One last time!’ encounter I was having with my ex. I sat up abruptly, saying, ‘Hang on a second!’
He was baffled and disappointed to say the least, but all I could think of was fishing out a measuring tape. I searched online for ‘how to measure your bra size at home’ and was off like a flash to actually try out the steps in front of a mirror. I followed the instructions exactly, and what do you know? The boy was right! I was indeed up 2 cup sizes (from a C to a DD) and down a band size (from 34 to 32).
The shop ladies had got it wrong, obviously. And my mistake all along had been to assume that my boobs had somehow become flatter as I lost weight - I hadn’t factored in that I had lost flab around my back and ribs. And so while the band size had become smaller, the cup size is calculated in proportion to the band size, and so it had actually become higher. So from 34C, I had actually become a 32DD.
In case you’re wondering, yes, my ex and I did eventually get down and dirty that night, and we’ve been friendly with each other ever since. But my biggest takeaway from my night with him was not sex, but figuring out the right bra size for me! I celebrated this newly gained knowledge by going bra shopping, obviously. And, ladies, this article here is an excellent and accurate ready reckoner to help you out in case you want to measure yourself!