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“A good bra is like a hug, in that it brings you intimacy without suffocation.”

Coming Unhinged: The Emotional Trauma of Throwing Away a Bra

How to Deal with Your Bra Emotion

“A good bra is like a hug, in that it brings you intimacy without suffocation.”

By Jessinta Smith, Suffolk Community College


I recently made the decision—that tough decision we all have to make at some point in our lives—to let go of one of the most important things I own.

It was long past due. I should have moved on two years ago, but how could I? She provided support, strength and comfort while making me look great in the process. What more could a girl want? I took a breath and inhaled her one last time, then laid her to rest.

Yes recently I got rid of my favorite bra, and that shit sucks.

She was a lavender tee-shirt bra from Victoria’s Secret that had supported my boobs for years, while remaining comfortable the entire time. She was a diamond in the rough, but I wore her most days for the past three years. Finally, though, my beloved brassiere had begun to fray and misshape.

It’s an emotional process getting rid of your favorite bra, and most women I know hold onto them for way longer than they should. Apparently you’re supposed to switch out your bra every six months, but nobody has money for that. Plus, because flawless bras are so rare, they’re really hard to let go of.

Coming Unhinged: The Emotional Trauma of Throwing Away a Bra

Part of the problem is that a lot goes into making a perfect bra. There are essentially three main sections to get right.

The most obvious piece is the cup, the part that holds your boob in a loving yet firm grasp. Cup sizes are given in letters, A, B, C, etc., and it’s probably the easiest piece of the bra to fit.

After cup size comes band size. Numbered 30 and up, this is the fabric that holds the bra against your chest. It can’t be too tight or it will hurt your ribs, but it can’t be too loose because then you have a bra slipping all over the place—never an ideal situation.

The third component is the straps. They come in many styles, options, lengths and adjustment choices, and because they can be fully adjustable, partially adjustable, strapless, cross-back or halter, they’re one of the trickiest parts of the bra to get right. Coincidentally, they’re also one of the most important pieces, because they do the all-important job of hoisting your boobs up.

With all of these working parts—and we haven’t even addressed padding, wires, style or color options—it can be hard to find the best pal for your gals. A quick way to find a good bra is to get a fitting, but the best method is just a shit load of trial and error. When you do find a bra that fits you perfectly, it’s as if God himself gifted you the bustier as an apology for making the process so difficult.

Gaining a great bra is emotional though, and it comes with a slew of side effects.

A bra tends to become kind of like a security blanket: you have lucky ones, comfortable ones and the one that you hate but won’t throw away. There are bras that are more comfortable than others, while some make you feel better than others. You grow a connection with it, make memories with it, and in return, it brings you a sense of safety. A good bra is like a hug, in that it brings you intimacy without suffocation. And like a good hug, you want to stay with it until you get pushed away.

Still, no matter how golden the halcyon days are, the time inevitably comes when that comfort disappears, leaving your bra a stretched and grossly misshapen shadow of its former self. The constant wearing stretches out the straps, sweat stains slowly materialize and the cups will suddenly no longer sit flush against the breast; also, your shirt will look hella weird. Ultimately, time and wear take their toll on the bra, and what was once a source of practical support eventually becomes nothing more than an emotional souvenir.

When it comes time to throw away a good brassiere, it’s common to feel a lot of emotions.

You’re sad because you had some great times together, and the knowledge that your love is what destroyed that beautiful piece of clothing can be a tough realization. The distress of knowing you killed something you loved hits when you notice how dull the coloration has become. No longer is it the beautiful lavender of its youth; no, no now it’s something like a dingy gray, the cute white lace having given way to an off-white shade of brown. Even the little bow between the cups has frayed, if not dropped off altogether. It’s depressing to see your beloved bra in such a sad state.

Along with the sadness, you experience a sudden terror at the realization that’s it—your go-to—is gone. She’s dead, no longer there to hold and lift you on your worst days, no longer there to make you feel sexy on those frightening first dates, and no longer there to make your boobs look great in that dress. You know there’s no one who’s got your back, or more importantly, your breasts—no go-to, no booby-bestie to lift you from the depths of despair.

But you also feel happy, because now you have an excuse to get a new bra! You have a real reason to go to a store and spend however long your little heart desires looking for the perfect contraption to support your ta-tas. Bra shopping can be fun, plus there’s the chance that by the time you’ve finally convinced yourself to get rid of your favorite bra that your boobs may have gotten bigger, which means a new bra size. Though your old love may be gone, a new love shall be found.

 

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