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Published April 18, 2013, 11:35 PM

Holt: Bra makeover is well worth the embarrassment

Pant size isn’t the only thing that changes with weight gain and loss. Women may feel more comfortable talking about pants than bras, but guess what – our boobs are also “subject to change.”

By: Meredith Holt, INFORUM

Pant size isn’t the only thing that changes with weight gain and loss.

Women may feel more comfortable talking about pants than bras, but guess what – our boobs are also “subject to change.”

Some women don’t gain or lose much weight in their bust, but I certainly do.

Yo-yoing within a 200-pound range, the smallest I’ve ever worn was a 32B, and my largest … well, I’m not about to publish that.

One of my biggest non-scale victories was buying a bra 10 inches and one cup size smaller than my largest, but it was a squeeze.

Once I hit that size (or convinced myself that I had), I got stuck on it. I worried that if I went up in band or cup size, it was yet another failure in my lifelong struggle with my weight.

For years, I’d been making some of the same mistakes most women make.

Although I was embarrassed to admit it, I wasn’t wearing the right size. Nor did I take proper care of my bras.

I threw them unhooked in both the washer and dryer and inverted the cups before putting them away.

I’ve had snapped and protruding underwires, stretched and torn-out hooks, warped and misshapen cups, and bands that were simply no longer up to the task.

It wasn’t until I started my story on bra fit and care (“Not as easy as A, B, C,” on Page B1 of Monday’s Forum) and a similarly endowed friend took me on a much-needed bra shopping trip that I changed my ways.

And I’m glad I did.

Like Beth Hedstrom, of Detroit Lakes, whom I interviewed for my story, I had a total bra makeover. Or, rather, I’m in the process of one.

It took some coaxing, convincing and reassuring from my friend Krissy, but I tried on several bras in bigger sizes and different styles than I was used to.

“What?! I’ve never worn that size …”

“Trust me. Just try it on.”

“Padding?! I can’t wear padding!”

“It’s not padding. It’s structure.”

Reluctantly, I went up 4 inches and two cup sizes. I left the store with two new bras with plans to return for more. I threw out two of my old ones as soon as I got home.

I may have some size anxiety, but the band fits better. My straps stay put and don’t dig in. The cups provide better lift, support and shape. I don’t have to do as much “adjusting” throughout the day.

After just one day of wearing a properly fitting bra, I noticed I sit up straighter and my back pain has diminished.

The comfort alone is worth a couple uncomfortable hours of trying on bras.

Bigger bras don’t have to be “utility” bras, either. Mine aren’t.

Take a peek at the selection at Heather Swenson’s Crystal Corset Bra Boutique or Sanford Health’s Just for Women boutique and you’ll find fun colors, pretty lace and other sexy details.

Bra fitters – both professionals like Heather and the women of Just for You and knowledgeable friends like Krissy – provide a valuable service.

I think women of all sizes would benefit from a re-evaluation of bra size and inventory. When we feel better, we carry ourselves better.

Whether you wish your boobs were smaller or bigger, a little confidence boost (pun intended) goes a long way.


Forum reporter Meredith Holt has lost 105 pounds since May 2010. She will share stories of her weight-loss journey in her column, which runs the first and third Friday of each month in SheSays. Readers can reach her at (701) 241-5590.

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