Wednesday, October 18, 2006


I've been thinking a lot about breasts lately, for reasons both personal and wider-worldly.

Beryl Tsang - titbit creatrix, TTC Knitalong maven, Womanly Force to be Reckoned With™ and all-round mad creative genius - spoke at the Downtown Knit Collective meeting tonight about her experience with cancer and the birth of the titbit, a gorgeous, ingenious, and – dare I say it – sensual solution to what must be an overwhelming, devastating challenge: how does one feel and look good when half of one's bouncy, crazy set of taken-for-granted mammaries has been removed as a means of saving your life?

In preparation for Beryl's visit, we were encouraged to knit titbits to donate to the Canadian Cancer Society, so over the last few days, I knitted a cottony-soft, silky, lavender titbit (C-cup) whilst listening to countless episodes of Cast On and KnitCast. I thought about the eventual recipient. Dunno who she is, but I'm thinking about her and hoping she wears it in good health, and that the softness and colour gives her at least a little bit of pleasure.

It felt oddly appropriate, somehow, that I was thinking about my own breasts over the same few days. For months now, I've been meaning to pick up some new bras. The ones I own are pretty stretched out, and, as it turns out, too small – as in, WAY too small. Here I was, stupidly thinking it was their age that was causing the straps to regularly slip off my shoulders in the most exasperating fashion, when I suddenly twigged the other week that it was because my breasts were uncontainable, and their weight was pulling the straps down.

I must digress for a moment to explain to those that have never seen me in person that I'm 5'10", have weighed between 160 and 170 pounds for about the last 10 years, and have been a size 12 with 38C breasts for…hmmm…almost 20 years. In the last year or so, due to a combination of medication and eating junk with abandon, I've gained a fair bit of weight: I recently bought size 13 and 14 trousers for the first time in my whole life, and discovered over the Thanksgiving weekend that I now weigh 181 lbs. I have a pretty delicate bone structure, so my height is the only reason I don't look the size I actually am – well, to other people, anyway. I am a paragon of unfitness. So it really shouldn't be surprising to me that one of the first places I gain weight (and obviously one of the last places I notice has gained weight) is my breasts.

Knitting this titbit and thinking about breasts finally spurred me to do something to support and care for my own. Well, that, and the fact that yesterday not only was my bra giving me grief, but my tried-and-true, favourite grey tights no longer fit either. I had a sitcom-esque trip to and from work, with said tights sliding right off over my arse (attempting almost successfully to take my knickers along for the ride) and settling, gangsta-style, with the crotch just above my knees. Ever tried walking with your legs held together by the equivalent of a large elastic band? I really need to start taking better care of myself.

I've been putting it off, and putting it off, but finally – finally! – last night I ducked into a local chain store just before closing and tried on what I thought should be my new size – and by new size, I actually mean the size I should have been wearing for probably the last half-year, at least. I was dead wrong.

I got home, and threw my existing bras (and the cursed, beloved and lamented grey tights) in the garbage. I'll need all the room I can get to store these new 40DDs.


Andrea said...

It's amazing the difference it can make when you wear the right sized bra. I was wearing a 38D for a long time than finally went for a sizing at Secrets from your Sister. Turns out I was a 36E! Try buying that in Canada. I've been meaning to go again as losing or gaining weight does make a difference and I lost a fair deal of my chest.

Sandi Purl said...

aye sophia! i too can relate. i've gone from a B to an A and back to a B...i even hit a C at one point and then back down to a B. sheesh! congrats on your 40DD! and you do look fabulous, btw!

Sophia said...

I've gotta get me a sizing appointment, methinks.

...and Sandita - thanks for the compliment. :) I'd add " your clothes", though -- cellulite appears to think that my legs the latest new hotspot hangout.

Gruel from now on! ...with the odd serving of brie.

2D Girl said...

I finally got fitted at Linea Intima on Avenue Rd (fabulous service). I thought I was a 36C. I am really a 34D! My problem with bras is making myself spend money on good ones and enough of them that I can rotate wearing them so that they last awhile. Got to take care of the mames.

laura said...

I highly recommend secrets from your sister - pricey (hoo boy) but totally worth it. I never wear my other bras anymore because they're wrong, wrong! They measured me as a 34DD (apparently European sizes?). Big shock.

Soosan said...

I agree, the shock after visiting a proper bra store is GINORMOUS (much like our heaving bosums). Years ago I thought I was a 36D, but discovered I was a 38F (European sizing?). After taking care of myself (eating better) I dropped it down to a 34, but still work with a hefty E to F cup. It's amazing what a good fitting bra can do tho right? Sucks they cost way more than the dept stores, but it's the sacrifice of being an amazon.