"Contour" Bras: Holding Us Up, Or Holding Us Back?

Do you find it torturous to go bra shopping because 95% of what's available falls into the "contoured" bra category? As in: the bras that are supposed to be "lined" when really, they're just padded, unyielding cups? For some of us with larger breasts, it is torturous, because contour bras can make it even more difficult to button our shirts. But more importantly, these bras make it impossible for those of us who wish to use our nipples to our advantage, since the cups are designed to hide them. A story on the New York Observer's website today reports on the troubling trend that makes finding a sexy bra such a chore.

'I always try and push them, because it gives a better lift and you don't see the nipples peeking through,' said Heather, a young lingerie saleswomen in mod makeup, a black mini-dress and furry boots who was working at Saks Fifth Avenue's lingerie department the other day, holding a hanger with two silky but sturdy cups dangling from straps.

Her colleague, Carolina, concurred: 'A lot of women have problems with their'—and here her voice dropped to a whisper—'nipples showing.'

Good god, are we always gonna have to hide our femininity in order to be taken seriously?

Not that I would know what that's like: I work at this job all day in a muumuu and no bra, and my previous job was in an all-female environment. So I guess I've been afforded the luxury of actually liking my nipples, or at least, not feeling the need to hid them.

Recently, I bought one of those "T-shirt" bras from The Gap for an event I had to go to. It was my only option, since it was all they had (and since I've completely given up on Victoria's Secret). Problem was, my tits kept falling out of it. And it's not like I bought the wrong size. My boobs just do not want to conform to that cup shape, and they particularly are adverse to being pushed together, as they seem to be sticking to this whole divide-and-conquer theme.

A bra I bought at Agent Provocateur however, was not only cute, it was devoid of annoying padding, with a layer of thin, comfortable fabric that actually let my nipples be, you know, nipples. But that shit cost me like a bajillion dollars. (Real price: $160). I guess what it comes down to is that nowadays, you have to pay an obscene amount of money to look "obscene."



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[NY Observer]