I am in desperate need of some new bras. I've been stuffing myself into the same ones I bought right before I got pregnant (I'm talking like, the day before) and at this point I can hardly breathe and the marks they're leaving make me look like some kind of torture victim. My prepregnancy size was 34DDD. That's right, prepregnancy. I don't know what my current size is and I'm almost afraid to find out, but I have to get some new bras before the one I'm wearing either gives out from the effort - shooting hooks and eyes in all directions as it snaps in two - or I suffocate.
As a newly minted girl on a budget, I decided to stop at the Kohl's in the shopping center near my house and see what I could find. I've never been in a Kohl's but what the hell, bras are bras, right? They sell the same brands pretty much everywhere, except for maybe Target or Walmart or something, and maybe they won't be $75 apiece at Kohl's. My plan was to ask the (hopefully) little old lady in the lingerie department to measure me for the correct size, after which I would explain that I'm pregnant, not a mutant freak, try on some examples and go home with a few new, well fitting bras.
Turns out, Kohl's doesn't work that way. While the store does have departments, it doesn't have personnel assigned to specific places, nor does it have registers in each department. Having tried (and failed) to measure myself earlier in the day using internet instructions, I didn't really know what size to look for and just kind of guessed. I quickly found out that while DDDs were scarce, anything bigger was just nonexistent. I tried a few options with just larger band sizes and while I could breathe, they didn't fit correctly. Think shopping for bathing suits is fun? Imagine trying on bras, in the winter, 5 1/2 months pregnant.
Anyway, upon giving up in disgust and headed out of the lingerie department, I happened upon a section of maternity clothes that wasn't large enough to call a department. They were smashed into a corner between the baby clothes and lingerie because, sure. Maternity clothing and I have a difficult relationship since they're stupid and ugly and expensive and I'm trying to avoid buying much of anything. I love a pair of $200 jeans but not if I can only wear them for 3 months. And anyway, my new budget conscious self does not like $200 jeans anymore. There wasn't much merchandise at all and what was there was not cute, although far cheaper than I've yet to find elsewhere. There was a wide selection of jeans that already looked like momjeans while being maternity jeans, a true example of design genius. Seeing as how I'm still jamming myself into my Rock and Republic skinnies (with the help of a repurposed hair tie and a bella band), those were not happening. There was also a small assortment of ugly blouses made from bad synthetics with terrible patterns. Really? Still?
It became clear that perusing these clothes was more an exercise in humoring myself than in finding anything to wear, but I kept looking. There was a clearance rack with a bizarre combination of children's, juniors, and maternity items that I almost missed. Upon closer inspection, I found a few good looking tops. Nothing spectacular or particularly fashionable but definitely cute enough to wear for the next couple of months. And they were on super duper clearance so each top was about $2. That's right, 2 dollars. I found 3 shirts and a tank. You can guess who was feeling pretty proud of herself at the end of that trip.
Still, I need new bras. I did find bra extenders at the Kohl's so they're helping out for the time being - I can actually breathe again - but I started out on the very last hook with those so they're definitely only a stop-gap measure. It looks like my best option is a real store, the kind where all they sell is "foundations" and it's staffed by old ladies with measuring tapes around their necks. So much for avoiding the $75 price tag. If I'm lucky they'll only be $75. There's such a place in South Philly that Lora reminded me about. It's been around for about a hundred years and I've always wanted to go in there anyway. It'll be the highlight of my weekend I'm sure.