Thursday, April 20, 2006

Bra Burning

I really enjoy running. Apart from finding the perfect groove, and all the peripheral things, there are two things which, if they aren't perfect, make my run competely miserable.

First, I need shoes that fit perfectly. I have boat-like feet, awkward ankles, wonky knees and a messed up back (yeah I know you're all very upset that I'm taken). My toes look gnarly (and not in the good, 80s surfer dude way). One of my feet is a half size bigger than the other, which makes fitting shoes fairly difficult generally, even without the above problems. It's not pretty.

The running shoes I bought a while ago aren't working out that great. Unless I wear a super-thin pair of socks, they feel too tight. So, even though it's a bit extravagant, I think I'll be buying a new pair fairly soon.

Even more important than good shoes on a run is a good boulder holder. A good sports bra can make running a breeze and the lady lumps barely noticeable. I'd rather get a series of root canals than run with a bad bra. If the girls aren't having fun, I'm not having fun.

Most of my sports bras were looking pretty icky and worn out, so I recently went out to buy a new one, and found there was a sale on where you get a second one for $5. I was in a rush, know my bra size, and figured the two I'd picked out would work just fine.

One is awesome, the other is nothing short of abysmal. I think it could win awards for "worst possible design of a bra in the history of human kind."

Why? Well, for starters I'll say I like racerback bras; normally they're a great idea. No worrying about a strap slipping over the shoulder!

Now, having said that, a racerback bra which also requires you to do up three hook thingies below the racerback part is a bad idea. When you try to put on such a bra the pull from the racerback part causes the hook thingies to stick out as far from your back as possible. This makes doing up the stupid hooks in the back something more like an exercise stretching muscles you didn't know you had in your back and arms.

It also results in a fair amount of blue air and bewilderment about not only whether you've managed to properly match up the hooks, but also about who could possibly be so stupid as to design such a bra.

I know all the smart kids are saying "every good girl knows you're supposed to do up the hook thingies in the front, then delicately slide the bra around to your back and pull it up onto your shoulders." But, aha! It can't be done! Unless you're gumbi and have arms that will twist around your torso it isn't happening! The top part of the racerback part won't fit around your torso so you MUST do up the hook thingines blindly behind your back.

Finally you manage to do up the hooks, thinking you'd mastered the bra and all would be well. The blue air has started to clear and you've consumed the necessary stiff drink you needed from the experience you go for a run.

You're enjoying your run, waving at the neighbours, wiping the start of cute sweat beads from your brow. The birds are singing, the dogs are not trying to run into traffic after a squirrel for a change, and all is perfect.

Your illusion of "perfect" goes away when you start to feel some rubbing 3 minutes into it from the adjustable straps.

The straps are adjusted with a hook thingy, which has been cleverly placed on the front of the bra, away from your body so you can adjust how tight or loose the shoulder straps are without any metal-on-skin contact.

The bra designers (and at this point I'll be so bold as to suggest they were men because I'd like to think women wouldn't do this to other women) were luckily smart enough to realize "metal part rubbing on upper chest/collarbone area is bad."

However it would seem they weren't smart enough to realize "big lump of bra fabric underneath clip rubs against the skin causes rash." The result of which is about 5 minutes of running you develop red patches on your upper chest/collarbone from the stupid cushioney part under the metal clips.

So, you spend an iordinate amount of time struggling to get the $&^%*& thing on, only to end up with two huge red patches on your upper chest/collarbone area. Nothin' says sexy (and arises suspicion) like two random rashy-looking patches on your upper chest/collarbone area.

Of course, now you've worn it, and there is no returning things to the store once they have been worn. (I pondered a nasty email to Vogue Bra re CAT #83622 but I can't seem to find a web site for them).

Accordingly, I've decided the only fate this bra is worthy of is a yet-to-be-scheduled bonfire this summer. I think I'll burn it along with the golf shirt I got from my old job. I'm not sure which will be more cathartic!


DebbieDoesLife said...

I have paid lots of money in the past for a good running bra. My girls are quite "substantial" (34-36 C+) so its essential to have them strapped in for the ride. Otherwise, I would soon be able to just tie them in a knot and throw'em over my shoulder.

sunshine scribe said...

It sounds like a good bra burning is in order. You should also send a copy of that great post to Vogue for SURE.

Thanks for the visit that lead me here. The 'shwa huh? My aunt lived there and I spent a summer there as a kid :)

Heather said...

debbiedoeslife: Your girls and my girls are the same size. When I was a kid at girl guide camp we used to sing "do your boobs hang low" instead of "do your ears hang low." It was super funny at the time. I'm hoping to never have to tie them over my shoulder.

sunshine scribe: Thanks; and I might actually do it if I could find a freaking web site for them. Yep, the 'shwa. I'm still scratching my head about how we ended up here. :)

Anonymous said...

hahaha, I found this entry particularly funny because that style of sports bra happens to be my favourite! I actually found this blog entry while searching for that exact same Vogue style number online to see if I can buy it somewhere. I bought my first one a year ago, and loved it immediately for it's amazing support. Fortunately, I haven't had the issues with comfort that you explained. I am an avid runner myself and I even wore it for a marathon, and it's so comfortable! I recently went back to the same store I bought it from and was thrilled to find two left in my size which I bought for work. Now I'm looking for another one to replace my first one for running when it eventually wears out. I'm so freaked out that they are going to discontinue the style (which always seems to happen to me when I find something I love), so thank god you never actually wrote that email to Vogue :P


Fellow avid runner and VERY satisfied Vogue bra customer :)