Bra shopping: The 10 stages we know all too well

‘Bra shopping’ should never be mistaken for ‘bra browsing'. ‘Bra browsing’ involves pretty straps, pastel colours and pearl detailing while 'bra shopping' involves stress rashes, support cups and sobbing in cubicles.

Ladies, these two activities should never be confused unless you want your day on the high street totally ruined.

Let us be really. really clear here, 'bra shopping’ is a completely different thing and these, girls, are the stages.

1. Acceptance

The phrase ‘function over fashion’ is enough to bring most of us out in a cold sweat, but then we stand tall and acknowledge that sometimes evil just prevails.

We throw our shoulders back, push out our ill-supported chests and march off to the nearest department store.

2. Suspicion

We encounter Margaret, 4 foot 11 and sporting a measuring tape around her neck, who sizes us up immediately.

You do some sizing up of your own. Yeah, two can play at this game, Marge.

3. Tentative Enthusiasm

Ok, credit where credit’s due, Margaret looks like she’s got this and guides you into a fitting room.

“Oh, I’m in safe hands here with this one”, you tell yourself.

4. The Sweats

Minutes later, you’re hot and clammy, your fringe is frizzing and the bra you arrived in suddenly looks oddly alluring, despite it’s visible under wire and fraying straps.

What is happening here?

5. Panic

 “Do you need a hand?" 

“Don’t come in Margaret!” you think in alarm. You’ll see that I still need to fasten it around my waist before hauling it into place. That can’t happen.

6. Hysteria

The bigger the bra, the more beige they become. The smaller the bra, the more tween-like they appear.

‘Who gets sexy, but functional bras?!’ you think in mild hysteria.

7. Joy

And then suddenly you’re a woman in a perfectly fitting bra! You have done the impossible.

Look at me. I am a woman.

8. Pride

You stand back to let Margaret admire you and you can’t hide the proud smile that’s creeping across your lips.

Margaret doesn’t smile. She knew. Margaret always knows.

9. Confusion

So, now what?

You have one bra that fits; do you continue to harm yourself, your bosoms and your back by wearing your other ill-fitting bras?

10. Indignation

€56 for one bra?

Bad back, it is. I'm going home.