Found Article: In Search of the Perfect Bra

I loved the intro to this article! I tore the piece out of some British mag a long time ago. It must have been written in about 2004/5. I’ve transcribed the bits I thought were interesting, fun or unusual. The article is called “In Search of the Perfect Bra”, written by Daisy Garnett and mostly discusses how women both don’t wear the right fitting bras for their breasts and also how the image of wearing bras has changed over time, due to elements such as engineering and textile development as well as fashion.

ARTICLE- In Search of the perfect Bra 03 By Daisy Garnett

I know all about the perfect bra. I have owned it. To get it, I went to an atelier above a Paris lingerie shop- Alice Cadolle on the rue Cambon- three times over six weeks. I spent hours having fittings with the shop’s proprietor and bra designer, Poupie Cadolle, daughter of the shop’s founder, and great-great-great-grand-daughter of Hermione Cadolle, the woman widely credited with having invented the brassiere in the late nineteenth century. I waited a month for it to be designed, engineered, constructed and stitched together, and then went back to Paris to collect it. It cost over 400 Pounds, and it was worth every penny. I loved that bra- properly loved it- in the way other women love their engagement rings, say. It fitted me perfectly, made my breasts look better than they have or ever will, and helped me feel secure and together and cared for…

…Ah, cleavage. That signal of womanhood. The great, problematic signpost that draws the eye ever thither. “Babies see food. Men see sex. Doctors see disease. Business people see dollar signs,” writes Marilyn Yalom in her book The history of the Breast, adding, “Psychologists, religious leaders, advertisers and pornographers have rhapsodized over, vilified and used breasts to sell everything from war to Cadillacs. And, finally, women have seen in them pleasure, power, sustenance, fear or failure to measure up”…

…”breasts are even more individual than feet; changing hormone levels, the Pill, diet, and weight changes- all of these will affect your bust size. Really, we ought to be fitted every time we buy a bra”. Of course we should. But we don’t simply buy a bra to help hold up a large or small bust, because a bust in never just large or small. It is usually too large or too small, too oddly shaped or too floppily shaped. The fact is, our breasts- suddenly upon us in puberty, and even more quickly appropriated once we become mothers- are as connected to our psyche, sexuality and identity as they are to our chest, back and shoulders. No wonder so many of us are wearing the wrong size bra: getting the right one is not just a chore, it is fraught with having to face up to the specific reality of our breasts…
 
…[model] Erin [O’Conner] says, “It was no fun having my body at school.” And now? “Well,” she says, “people may talk about how bitchy the modeling industry is, but I found it helpful, because it was through modeling that I changed my self-image. I had to become more confident because suddenly people wanted to see every bit of my body. I became my own version of a woman. I discovered that I didn’t need tits and arse to be feminine… 
ARTICLE- In Search of the perfect Bra 02 By Daisy Garnett
 
…Marilyn Monroe, meanwhile, had buttons sewn into the nipples of her bras to achieve that pointy look; while in the Sixties, as in the Twenties, women deliberately flattened their breasts in order to loo fashionable.
But that is fashion. And fashion has always maintained a love-hate relationship with breast. It is, I am afraid to say, hard for us large-breasted women to carry off narrow tailoring, or to wear anything bias-cut, or made of chiffon or silk, not to mention a polo neck or tank atop. Look at any of the women who have graced the upper echelons of the well-dressed: Jackie Kennedy, Babe Paley, Slim Keith, Katharine Hepburn, Wallace Simpson, BiancaJagger, Marisa Berenson, Nicole Kidman, Kate Moss. It is no coincidence that all of them are flat chested. Because being we’ll dressed isn’t, of course, only about the clothes you choose , but about the line your body creates, and bosoms ruin a chic line…
…”though the bra has been used to do everything from flattening the bust to projecting it skywards, it is not, in fact, a garment to be suspicious of, whatever your feelings towards feminism. Nor, for the record, was the bra ever burnt: the so-called bra-burning incident at the Miss America contests in Atlantic City in 1968 never, in fact, took place. The story, like many that have surrounded the breast, is pure myth. The truth is that despite what  it has been made to stand for, the bra is not a symbol, but a tool”.
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