Disaster in The Crossing with a capital D

Early this morning, I thought I would beat daytime traffic and head over to The Crossing with my brand-new paycheck. Mission for the day: Buy 2 high-impact sports bras in my size that won’t wear out after two uses.

The mission was declared a success on June 28, 2011 at 10:15 am…but at a high price. To be exact, I paid $94 for two pieces of clothing, which in my opinion is a crime (a little dramatic, but…)

I wear anything between a 38 and 42 D. I wouldn’t call that particularly large but it’s larger than most stores are willing to bother with, apparently. Let us first look at the price tag. I just don’t think $40-50 per bra is a reasonable price to have to pay for a basic clothing item. It’s not lingerie or anything fancy and I bought it at a chain department store. What the hell is so special about them?

Yes, I can see there’s more fabric, so theoretically, those bras should cost more. Bullshit. If I were to buy jeans in the misses section, a size 10 would be the same price as a size 4, even though the size 10 uses more fabric. When I buy shoes, I would pay the same price for a pair of size 11 boots as I would for a size 9. Men are generally taller and larger than women, so by necessity, their clothes use more fabric but men’s clothes usually cost less than women’s clothes. Maybe that’s not true where you live, but it has always been true for me. The “They cost more!” line is 100% bogus. It is really just an crap-ass excuse to discriminate against larger people and make them pay, literally, for the sin of being large. Besides, I don’t care anyway if it costs more to produce clothes for larger people. People don’t control their height, they don’t control their weight, they don’t control their disability, they don’t control their bodies in general as much as people think they can, and they shouldn’t have to pay more for traits acquired *genetically* How is that not discrimination?

A depressing majority of the population thinks weight can be controlled. I get it. Some people also think people with disabilities could try harder not to need special equipment like wheelchairs and that they should pay more for their extra space, material, etc. My response to those people is to tell them to get stuffed.

Okay, the store I shopped at is expensive in general, but the only reason I shop there is because they are the ONLY stores in which I can buy bras in my size. Most other stores either don’t carry my size or they make larger sizes with the lowest standards possible in mind. You can’t do that with bras. The purpose of a bra is support, and you simply cannot make a larger bra the same way you would a smaller bra. You need thick elastic, heavy underwire, and thick, tightly woven cloth. Otherwise, your breasts will  sag and when they are, shall we say, on the move, the impact of the constant up-and-down motion will wear out the bra. So it’s not just an issue of adding more fabric like with straight-size jeans.

Anyway, I get it, and most larger women get it, but stores don’t. Instead, they insist on making D and DD sports bras out of thin fabric with spaghetti straps and they barely cover the breast. Move too fast and your breasts might actually break through from the bottom and the bra will scrunch up near the top. Count of spending most of your day pulling your bra back down and having a very sore chest at the end of the day. I don’t know what their problem is. I guess they assume, like  everyone else does, that larger women can’t or won’t exercise or do any manual labor.

And people wonder why some  fat people don’t exercise even when they express a desire to! Raise your hand if you have ever tried exercising with no bra or an inadequate bra. The nonstop motion itself of the breasts in itself is embarrassing. Second, the motion causes your shirt to ride up on you, exposing your midriff. Super embarrassing.

Lastly, it HURTS to have that much weight thumping against your chest and it causes you to tire easily because the impact will cause you to get winded. Having a good bra is such a trivial thing that most people don’t think about, but it makes a huge difference. That goes for all workout clothing. Workout clothing should be comfortable, and for fat people, it usually isn’t. It might be too short, too baggy or cut off your circulation. People who are smaller who never have had to worry about finding clothes don’t understand that.

To be fair, they are quality bras. I didn’t pay top dollar for bras that will  stretch and fall apart after a couple of uses, so I’m glad for that. Plus, the straps don’t slide and they are comfortable to wear. Imagine that!



  1. vesta44 · June 28, 2011

    I’m glad you were able to find bras to fit. I just wish I could – I wear a 52H and I can’t even find ones online that fit anymore. I’ve ordered and returned more bras than I can count because the sizing isn’t consistent across brands, let alone within one brand across its styles. My husband tells me to go without one. Yeah, I don’t think so. Having boobs as large as mine, that sag and sway and bounce just walking isn’t comfortable without a bra. And the manufacturers who do make bras to fit me insist on putting those awful foam support cross-over bands on the inside of the cups. Now those wouldn’t be so bad if they were stitched firmly in place, but they aren’t. They’re stitched to the bottom of the cup and to the top of the cup and loose everywhere else. And they’re so wide that they roll down and don’t stay in place like they’re meant to. I’ve ended up cutting them out of the bras I’ve bought that have them as they’re pretty much useless for support purposes. And the way the cups are made, well, they make it look like I have one big boob across my chest, there’s no separation or definition at all. Forget about finding sports bras in my size, let alone anything sexy or underwired.
    If I ever get my fibro under control, I’m going to use the bra I took apart, that fit, and make my own bras and to hell with trying to buy them anymore. I’ll buy enough fabric/elastic/hooks and eyes to make 10 or 15 of them and I should be set for the rest of my life.

  2. erylin · June 28, 2011

    vesta if you are good at taking measurements and can get the measurements my sister needs she could help you. She is a professional seamstress and can either give you tips or design a pattern you can you. together we have done tones of experimenting with support for myself when making strappy hippy apron tops for summer. she may have some tips.

  3. vesta44 · June 29, 2011

    erylin – Thank you for the offer 🙂 it’s appreciated, but it’s not that I don’t know how to do it myself (I’ve been sewing for almost 50 years now and worked in 3 garment factories), it’s that most days I just don’t have the energy to climb the stairs to my sewing room and spend most of the day cutting out whatever it is I want to make and then making it up (not to mention that the bathroom and refrigerator are on the first floor, so any breaks mean going down the steep, narrow stairs and then climbing them again).
    I may end up bringing my sewing machines downstairs and using them on the kitchen table when I do the bra-making – at least bras don’t take up nearly the space that tops and pants do, and all my thread is in a tool box that’s easy to carry downstairs and can be stored under the kitchen table until I’m done sewing (so can the sewing machines, I have covers for them).

  4. Ruth · July 2, 2011

    Im a 32 DD and I totally agree with what youre saying about rubbish sports bras. Im supposedly too big in the bust to be allowed a well made sports bra for under £35 (about $50) and yet I cant do active fast-motion exercise without one. It just hurts too much and messes up how I move. (ditto also on the seriously embarrassing) Its not just “plus-sizes”. Im a student and I dont have £35 to spend on one bra. therefore my “exercise” activity is limited to archery, walking long distances (the other advantage of being broke) and stretching. I want to be able to do fun sports without humiliating myself. Too much to ask?

    • JoannaDW · July 2, 2011

      If you like to rollerskate, I would suggest doing that. You can go fast and it’s really fun but not high-impact (at least as far as breasts are concerned.:) You still would need a bra, but it wouldn’t necessarily need to be high-impact.

      I’m a student too, and basically, buying any clothes over the size of US 10 is a total hassle. Do they want us to go naked, or what?

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