Dear readers, I finally managed to go bra shopping – by myself. (Thank you to Faaria, our favorite baby-sitter.)

I don’t know why I decided to hit one of those discount outlet stores, but I did. I scanned the racks and realized that not one bra was a 38DDD (or even the dreaded 38F). Seems that outlet stores go where the bulk of the market goes – which is good news if you are anything from a 34A to a 40DD, but not if you wear something outside that range.

It was a reminder to me that most retailers will not stock lingerie in a full range of sizes. To avoid disappointment, either:

  1. Call ahead and check with a sales person.
  2. Shop exclusively at specialty lingerie stores.
  3. Rely on Walmart.

Well, I refuse to rely on Walmart – even if the prices are usually good. I admire them for bucking the trend and getting in a more complete range of sizes. But, I’d rather not depend on one retailer for any product.

I decided to head over to the local La Senza store. After all, it’s the season for lingerie sales.

You can also buy from La Senza online. However, I was looking for instant gratification. I picked a good day for a bit of retail therapy. Everywhere I looked, lovely bras and panties were displayed with significant discounts attached.

I couldn’t find my size at the front of the store. Still, La Senza sells nothing but sweet nothings. They had to have my size.

I checked the racks. I noticed that bras went from 38DD to 38E. (Yet another example of cup sizing for the illiterate.) However, if I did my calculations correctly, I’d hit the proverbial jackpot. Soon I had a number of lovely bras, at great prices, in my hot little hands.

A helpful sales woman directed me to the change rooms – after she’d helped me get a few more bras. In the garments she handed me was a bra labeled 40E. She thought it would be useful to confirm my sizing.

I tried on each bra. They were nice, but didn’t quite seem to fit right. I got to the 40E and looked it over carefully. It was a really great color for everyday wear (a warm, rich beige), so I tried it on.

Son of a gun – it fit perfectly.

I checked the band of my Exquisite Form Fully Minimizer bra – it was labeled a 38DDD, the equivalent of a 38E. It also fits perfectly. The band stays level on my body. The straps lay nicely. Nothing is tumbling out. Yet, here I was taking at 40E to the cash register.

So, here’s my warning to women who are adamant that they’ve always worn the same size bra: be a stickler for the fit and less stuck on a certain size.

The bras I got are gorgeous. All three are molded cups with fun detailing, including a costume jewelry “LS” in fake rhinestones on the front of one. These will look fabulous under my regular, everyday wear – and will work wonders for the occasional night out.

By the way, I got the bras at La Senza for a lot less than I paid for the last bras I bought at Walmart. I guess not every price there is “rolled back”.