Women hate shopping for bras, and there's a reason for that. In fact, there are many. Where to begin?
•Way too many choices; it's overwhelming.
•Absurdly inconsistent sizing (even within the same brand).
•A bra feels comfortable in the store but is torture later in the day.
•If it's the perfect fit, it will be discontinued.
•For the more modest among us, having a stranger tending to our underwear needs when we're half dressed is not pleasant.
I can see you nodding your head in agreement. It's not just me!
How many times have we walked into a bra department, looked around and just couldn't face it? Or sucked it up and been measured by the trained "bra fitter" only to discover not a single bra in the recommended size feels remotely right.
What do women want? How about a bra that looks good, fits right, is comfortable, won't disappear from store shelves and doesn't require hours of try-ons in the dressing room. Is that asking too much?
In my lifetime, apparently the answer is yes.
But hold everything.
When I learned that Jockey — the company I associate with tighty-whiteys and other basic, practical underwear — was claiming it had "reinvented" the bra and the bra shopping experience, I couldn't wait to try it.
I was definitely the target audience — the woman who gets home "and the first thing she wants to do is rip the bra off," as Jockey Chief Marketing Officer Dustin Cohn aptly described the pained scene every evening at my place.
You can buy these new bras online (jockey.com/jockeybra ) or at a Jockey outlet store. The only stand-alone Jockey bra boutique in the country is in Schaumburg, just an hour drive from my apartment. I decided to drop by.
But first, a little background.
For the better part of a century, bras have been sized in the familiar way that produces 36C, 32B, etc., based on measuring the circumference at the widest part of the bosom. Traditional bras have one cup shape that just gets bigger and bigger as you move from A through D and beyond.
For the new design, Jockey International Inc. scanned the breasts of some 800 women and came up with 10 cup sizes based on breast shape. So cup size 1 (the smallest) is shaped differently than 5, or 7 or 10.
Coupled with the underbust measurements, this leads to sizing like 8-38 or 2-32. In all, Jockey is selling 55 sizes in five styles and three colors (white, beige, black) at one price: $60.
With traditional bras, "you either gap or spill" says Miryha Fantegrossi, who managed the design team that spent eight years developing the new bra.