The column by the Chicago Tribune’s Ellen Warren lamented what a drag it is getting told your size is 34B, only to have the cup runneth over, and then going up a letter to a cup that's half empty. Or half full, depending on how optimistic you are.
What prompted Warren to write this particular piece was Jockey International’s introduction of a new line of bras that comes with a few tweaks in design aimed at increasing comfort and a few tweaks in the size chart aimed at decreasing confusion. Alas, she found neither applied in her case—even though she’d used Jockey’s “volumetric” fit kit in advance to determine her size to be 5-30. When she got to the store, a saleswoman with advanced training in fitology informed her that she really was a 6-32.
“I tried on six bras in four styles in three sizes,” she says. “Bottom line: None worked for me.”
A Jockey spokeswoman later told her that the new line was designed to meet the needs of 80 percent of the female population. “Clearly,” Warren lamented, “I’m in the other 20 percent.”
That got me to wondering. “What’s wrong with this picture?” Oh, wait. It’s right there, in black and white. Jockey had set out to please 80 percent of the female population. But, clearly, women’s priorities on this matter are screwy.
Warren’s take: “What do women want? How about a bra that looks good, fits right, is comfortable, won’t disappear from store shelves and doesn’t require hours of try-ons in the dressing room? Is that too much to ask?”
Let’s see...that’s five things.
Now, ask a man. He’ll tell you he’s interested in only two. All he wants is for a bra to hold those puppies up until it’s time to set them free, and how come it’s so hard to find, and then operate, these freakin’ hooks?
Solve those two puzzles, and you’ll achieve a satisfaction rate of 100 percent. Of the male population, at least.
I’m guessing that ain’t gonna happen. In the meantime, I suggest all you females out there who wear underwear up top consider that men actually face similar frustrations, just in different anatomical climes. Don’t believe me? Watch baseball. In a typical game, a team will register 40 at-bats, and during every one, the batter will be seen adjusting his junk at least once.
Men do not engage in this behavior due to the testosterone-driven need to draw attention to their organs of display. The damn underwear just doesn’t work right. It’s too tight, too loose, too big or too small in the waist, not to mention the cup. The elastic digs in around the leg holes. The fly flips open when you least expect it, or clams shut at the worst possible time. Stuff moves around, sometimes because it’s being squeezed beyond the borders of the briefs.
And the sizing chart? It’s even less helpful than whatever they use for bras. The only information you have to go on is the circumference of the waistband. But what do you need down below? Are you an “A” cup? A “B”? How many men are going to admit to needing anything less than a “Double D”?
Once again, schadenfreude saves the day. We’re all kind of in this together. The good news is that we can all get out of this together, too.
If we could only figure out how to work those freakin’ hooks.