lingerie shopping with Bear

I should have known it was a bad idea. What was I even thinking?

It all started when Bear needed a new suit rightthissecond. He only had one, and it had already been patched twice, and now there was another hole, in the same place. He needed it by, like, the next day, for a big meeting he suddenly remembered he had, and there was no time to get it fixed.

We went to Men’s Wearhouse near Union Square and got two for the price of one. It was very exciting. One was pale gray, and we both felt like it was really extra cool and a little daring. The other was dark gray, and it looked stately and solemn. I was unhelpful, because all suits look the same to me, and I think they all look good on Bear, and so I concentrate too hard, trying to figure out the differences, and then I focus on the wrong things and start to question my judgment.


“It’s too boxy. Except boxy is a flattering look on you. But I think the line of the bottom part is too straight. It looks severe. But I guess suits are severe, so that might be intentional. Wait, try the other one– that was less severe….OK, that’s not boxy enough.”

Bear seemed to trust his instincts, and, for a guy for whom normal jeans were a huge upgrade from the strange cargo pants he used to have, he has a surprisingly discerning eye for formal clothing. As far as I can tell. The whole thing took maybe twenty minutes.

And then, after we were very pleased with ourselves for getting two nice suits for the price of one, I thought it would be fun to stop in at Victoria’s Secret, just a couple blocks away. Valentine’s Day was coming up…My bras were all ancient and bedraggled. It might be fun. Did I already say that? You know that’s a bad sign.



I am bad at lingerie. Mostly just because I don’t care. I wrote this post for The Frisky about lingerie and Valentine’s Day. It’s set many years ago, when I was a teenager. That was the last time I bought lingerie for Valentine’s Day, and I didn’t even have a boyfriend then.

I am also bad at bras, in general. My breasts are, I mean. They don’t cooperate. They don’t get pushed up the right way. They don’t play nicely with lace. They look confused and unhappy. They look like they’re trying to figure out what I want from them, but it’s too complicated and they’re about to give up.

But I am married now and my breasts are a little bigger, because of the delightful weight gain (not sarcasm), and I figured, what the hell– it’s time. I’m gonna do this. I’m gonna get sexy lingerie from the world’s biggest, flashiest lingerie chain. The same one that offended me with their catalogues as a feminist child and later motivated me to stand in front of the mirror, at ten, clad only in a lace shift from the dress up box, and whisper mysteriously at my reflection, “I know Victoria’s secret…it’s sex!”

I did not exactly know what sex was. One of the boys in homeschooling group had mentioned that it had to do with the, you know, the THING. And the lady’s thing! Her butt!

But I knew it was what Victoria’s Secret was all about. I just knew there was a connection somewhere…And I was scandalized and intrigued.


And then, years and years later, I was simply bored. Seriously? Leopard print bras? Supermodels in wings and rhinestones? Guys, really.

And now– well, I’d rather go somewhere else, but Victoria’s Secret was right there, right by Men’s Wearhouse.

“Am I allowed in?” Bear asked, pausing at the door, looking profoundly uneasy.

“Yes, of course! There are tons of guys in here!” I wasn’t sure, but I wanted him to come in with me. It was scarily pink in there.

We went in— Bras! Bras! Bras! Pink and red and stripes and stars and plastic gems and glitter and animal print!

“I’ll just wait outside,” said Bear, “This is weird.”

“No!” I cried. “You have to help me pick stuff!”

We were going to do that thing that couples do. I saw it once, when I was fourteen, at the mall, with my mom. The guy was picking lingerie with his girlfriend. “This will look AMAZING on you, honey!” “You think so? Maybe I’ll get it…” “I’ll get it for you! This is the gift that just keeps giving…” “Honey!” Ew. But interesting.

We were going to pick sexy lingerie together, and then I’d wear it, and it’d be this whole fun thing. Exploring new territory together.


“Okay…” said Bear. “But I don’t know what you want.”

“Really sexy stuff– like really sparkly and sexy. 34B.”

 I started pulling bras off the shelves. They all looked really similar. I’d get to underwear later.

Bear was just standing there.

“Come on!” I said. “What do you want me to wear?”

“Um,” he said. “None of this stuff?”


“No, no. Pick something!”

“I don’t think it’s that sexy. Your old stuff is sexier.”

I rolled my eyes. “That’s not even close to true.”

I had an armful of aggressive bras. Takes you up 2 cup sizes! said several of them. That would be interesting.

“They have the heat way up,” said Bear. “I think I’ll wait outside.”

“Just take off your coat.”

“I think I’ll be more comfortable outside.”

I sighed and let him escape. A saleswoman appeared next to me. “Do you need a bag?”

I did.

“What are you looking for?” she said, returning with it.

“Sparkly,” I said, feeling bold.


“Seems like you’re doing OK,” she said, laughing at my selection. “What size?”


“Not A?”

“Um, I’m not sure.” I’m never sure. But ouch.

It turned out I was right about the B– they are a tiny bit bigger. But wrong about the 34. The rest of me is a tiny bit bigger, too. 36, now. I went back out again, and returned with a new bagful. Lace and sparkles and two whole cup sizes up and bows and hearts and pretty soon I had no idea how to judge any of them. It had been forty-five minutes. Maybe it had been an hour. We had not eaten lunch and it was suddenly 4:00 and Bear was still waiting outside, in the freezing cold.

“You could come in,” I texted. “Maybe pick out some sexy panties ;)

“Are you almost done??” he wrote back.

I bought three bras. One that basically left my breasts alone, in beige, because I really need a new one. One in black lace that (tried) to push them up a little. And one 2 sizes up! in gray and hot pink lace, because it seemed like something I should have. I spent a lot of money. Well, I need them, I thought defensively.

I went outside. Bear was miserable. He didn’t want to talk to me. His eyes looked glassy and unseeing. His mouth was a pressed line.

He held out the shortbread and coffee he’d bought for me. “I thought you might want a snack.”



We walked to our favorite roast beef sandwich shop in silence. We walked to the subway in silence. We took the F train home.

“What the hell is your problem?” I said, aboveground again. “Why can’t you just be fun?”

“Why couldn’t you just go another day?”

“Why can’t you have fun with me?”

“Why is that supposed to be fun? We have lots of fun!”

“We only have weird joking around fun, when we’re alone. We never have normal people fun. It’s SEXY! It’s lingerie! That’s sexy! Why can’t you be a normal guy about it?”


“Normal guys don’t like that stuff!”

“Yes they do!”

“I don’t believe that.”

We got home. We unlocked the door. We ate. I watched Revenge as I ate. Bear looked over my shoulder. “What’s this about?” There was too much to explain.

“Do you want to show me the bras?”

I did. But I was still annoyed. “Maybe later.”

We were annoyed at each other all the way to the party at our friends’ apartment, where I hung out with some of my friends and he talked to some guys in sweater vests. I could see his back, across the room. Very broad, in the usual navy blue tee-shirt. He was wearing his only pair of jeans. The ones I’d convinced him to get about a year ago, finally. He needed a haircut. He was so cute. I was drinking champagne and being totally hilarious (I was sure of it), and I missed my husband, even though he had not wanted to pick out sexy lingerie for me.

We leaned against each other on the F train, headed home again.

“What was that whole thing, before?” Bear asked.

“I don’t know. Just a stupid moment.”

“You said we were having a Jonathan Franzen moment. That’s a really bad sign.”

I had said that, because we were both so irritated and neither one of us could explain ourselves and it was all very existential and tortured and layered and ordinary. “Yeah, but I just said it about that one moment.”

When we got home, I showed him my bras. The 2 size up one looked ridiculous. I put it back in the bag. And the beige one– so boring. I decided to return both of them.


“I want red lace,” I said, “for Valentine’s Day.”

We went online and found a red lace bra and bought it. And almost matching underwear. Bear shrugged. “It looks pretty,” he offered kindly.

“Ooh look! There it is in burnt orange!”

“I’ll get that one for you, too.”

“I’ll return one.”

“It doesn’t matter.”

I don’t think they’ll arrive in time for tonight, but whatever. We have other plans. So far they involve cornish hens and baby bok choy. And witty conversation. And maybe even that secret of Victoria’s, which does not require any of her products at all. I know, shocking.


*   *   *

Happy Valentine’s, guys! What are your plans? I’d love to hear about them. Maybe you’ll give me some ideas!

Unroast: Today I love the way I look in brown. It’s a great color.

P.S. There’s no such thing as a “normal” guy. I was being really stupid when I said those things.

P.P.S. Dear Bear, don’t worry– the next post will not involve you. I promise. Maybe.


Kate on February 14th 2012 in body, marriage, new york, relationships

59 Responses to “lingerie shopping with Bear”

  1. Cara responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 12:22 pm #

    This was really fun to read!! Happy Valentine’s Day! Enjoy your dinner and don’t worry about sexy bras. They don’t matter.

  2. Melanie responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    We are going out to a nice restaurant with some friends of ours. I like it because it gives me an excuse to put on a dress, and too much make up.

    When we first started dating I was going to take him to a lingerie shop in SF that does really spendy, custom lingerie. I walked in once and said, “I will never fit this stuff.” One of the sales girls said, “Well, lucky for you we could size you in the back and make whatever you want here, in your size.” They were all so nice. But spending 400 bucks on a bra and panties is too much even for me. Someday I’ll do it. Just not this year.

  3. Kate responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    Excuses for dresses are important.
    Wait– are you serious, or are you making up that number? Is it possible that lingerie could get that expensive? I would almost believe that…

  4. Melanie responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    That’s on the low side. The place is called Agent Provocateur. I can’t link to it ’cause it’s blocked at work. Go check it out. Gorgeous, but super spensive.

    Have you heard of La Perla? Now THAT is expensive lingerie.

  5. Kate responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    OK, looking these things up. I know NOTHING about lingerie.
    This is literally what I’m thinking, “But there’s hardly any fabric! How could it be so expensive?” I’m at that level.

  6. Sarah Rooftops responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 1:03 pm #

    I used to work in a lingerie store and I STILL don’t own a nice bra. It’s too traumatic, trying to find one which both fits AND doesn’t make my boyfriend fall about laughing at its sparkliness.

  7. Kate responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    LOL! So many of them are sparkly! I tried on one with sparkles that you could see THROUGH a shirt.

  8. antoinette jeanine responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    I’m alarmingly excited about our Valentine’s Day plans. We’re going to the fanciest restaurant in town (it’s a small town, but still…) and then to see The Room at the local art theater. It’s supposed to be this generation’s Rocky Horror. I can’t believe I talked my fiance into seeing this ridiculous, horrible movie with me. It’s going to be incredible.

  9. Rowdygirl responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 1:08 pm #

    Here’s the real Victoria’s Secret: they get us to buy overpriced and poorly made underwear.
    But I do like some of their scents. :)

  10. Kimmy Sue Ruby Lou responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    Poor Bear! He deserves a trophy for being such a good sport :) I have a date with the Slutty Goddess tonight (my BFF), since we’re both “in between” gigs…we’re going to dress like respectable sluts, drink beer, listen to raunchy blues music at a “dine out” for Sean Costello…with a big group of friends who are single, married and in between. I told her not to go getting any ideas, I ain’t shaving!

  11. Kate responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    @antoinette jeanine
    I KNEW there’d be some awesome plans, like these. Have an awesome time!!!

  12. Kate responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    Right?? And (confession), I even bought some lipgloss, which was positioned next to the checkout line. Sigh.

  13. Kate responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    @Kimmy Sue
    I love you. That’s all I can say.

  14. Sarah responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    Bear for the win. In my humble opinion, every guy worth keeping doesn’t really care about the underwear itself; he cares a lot more about what is IN it.

    Story time: I don’t think I had too many preconceived ideas about what underwear is the best for sexy-time, but whatever ones I *did* have are gone now, thanks to Adam. I made him come on a similar trip to VS to buy some undies (bottoms) and he watched as I literally burrowed through the piles and piles of cheetah and zebra and heart/peace sign prints with totally gross and not-cute innuendos stamped across the ass. I remember turning to him with this look of pure HELPPP ME and his only piece of advice was painfully sweet and romantic: “Get something solid-colored and not distracting. I want to look at you, after all.”

    Swoon. End scene.

  15. Valerie responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    I don’t have any plans because I just don’t do holidays. It’s nice to have a boyfriend that also doesn’t do holidays so we don’t end up in the awkward miscommunication and social obligation zone. You know, where one person thinks that the other said they didn’t want to celebrate, but actually does and they plan something when the other doesn’t or where the person says they don’t want to celebrate, but they actually do and the other person blows off the holiday entirely, taking their declaration at face value?

    I am the type of person that gets embarrassed by large, materialistic displays of affection and when I get embarrassed and nervous, I usually end up getting fairly angry and annoyed which often leads to trouble. (One boy from high school can attest to that: he asked his parents, his sister – a friend of mine, and my parents if he could ask me out…then presented me with a bouquet of roses in the very public high school hallways between classes. I was mortified. The flowers got smashed. He was denied further romantic inquiries. And this story frequently gets told by any and every member of my immediate family.)

    On the subject of lingerie, I’ve always loved lingerie which is strange because I’m such a tomboy to the point that I can’t do hair and I rarely wear makeup. Anyway, I’ve never met a male that likes lingerie. I think that lingerie is for the woman. When I wear lingerie, I feel powerful and sexy and when I wear it only for me, there’s no problems about the significant other “not caring” enough that I went out of my way to do something that allegedly for them. Pick your lingerie on what makes you feel your sexiest and leave it at that. It’ll totally work then.

  16. Kate responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    Yay, Adam! Love the story. Are you guys together this VDay?
    It really IS good that our guys are like this. But there is also that little voice in my head that’s going, “But wouldn’t it be FUN if he was into sexy lingerie?” Because I think I could rock it. Or maybe because it’s an easy trick. Sometimes, and I recognize that this is not exactly the thing to complain about, I feel like I don’t have to do anything in my relationship– Bear just wants me. But sometimes I want to do something goofy or weird or classic or slutty anyway. Luckily, even if it’s not what he’s craving, I think he’ll let me :-) As long as he doesn’t have to hang out in Victoria’s Secret

  17. Kate responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    HA! You smashed the roses??
    And I think it’s cool that you like lingerie, and you like to wear it for you. That sounds empowering and nice. I think I’ll follow your example when my red bra arrives :-)

  18. Valerie responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 1:26 pm #


    Smashed is an understatement. I obliterated the roses.

    I hope you feel empowered when your bra comes in!

  19. Kate responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    I wish someone had caught that on camera. Poor guy…

  20. BrokeElizabeth responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    I’m trying to wear my old bras out before I buy some new ones, but the ones that I’ve got are built like battleships so it may be a while. Lucky you… and Bear ;) .

    As for plans… no boyfriend, and my family is spread out in three different countries, so I might curl up with some ice cream in spite of my lactose intolerance and watch my favourite film. Who says you need romance on Valentine’s Day? Blade Runner hasn’t let me down yet.

  21. Kate responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    I like the image of a bra built like a battleship :-)
    Blade Runner could never be a let down. Suddenly I want to watch sci fi…

  22. Kimmy Sue Ruby Lou responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    kate…i had a lover once who was into sexy lingerie…he carefully bought 6 pairs for me, on his own, as a surprise…he also liked to wear said lingerie…he also had a pretty aqua prom dress he wore for me one night…i was so not expecting that, but hey…i knew what was under that taffeta…so, maybe it’s a good thing bear doesn’t care…just saying! (truthfully, that man was the best lover i’ve ever had!)…

  23. Frankie responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    I like to surprise the boyfriend with sexy lingerie occasionally. However, I get all weirded out when he requests it. It’s not that I don’t like wearing it- because I do. It’s just that I don’t like when he asks for it. It makes me feel like I’m not enough, even though that’s silly because I know I am.

    Also, I would be like Bear waiting outside while the boyfriend shops at VS. I hate shopping in public for anything sexual. All the lingerie I own has been purchased online. I cringe if the boyfriend forces me to wait in line at the supermarket when there are condoms in the cart, I usually hide them under boxes of cereal. I also still get uncomfortable buying tampons and pads. I’m twenty five, I should be over that, but really what if I run into my mom’s best friend, or worse, my third grade teacher? The awkwardness would seep into my bones and it would take weeks for me to recover.

  24. Kae responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    Here’s what I’m doing:
    Lying in bed, curtains closed, lights off, with a migraine-y headache. :(
    That’s not something I’d recommend, haha.

    Happy Valentine’s day everyone though! :)

  25. Alpana Trivedi responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    Hello, Kate. Happy Valentine’s Day. Regarding the lingerie incident, it was probably one of those days where there was pressure to have fun. Have you ever been to one of those parties where everybody’s asking “Come on!! Aren’t you having FUN?” And you just feel like you want to have fun your own way, but then one person or another is trying to hard to pull you into a crowd or conversation? I’m sure Bear thought any of those bras looked good on you. But even more so, he loves you for you. Lots of hype is made during Valentine’s Day and much of it gets too commercialized. I prefer to enjoy it in a quiet, personal way.

    On a side note, long time ago I tried on a soft cup bra at Victoria’s secret (I didn’t buy it; it was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy too expensive for me at the time) and the first thing I noticed about it was that I could take a hit in the boobs if I had to in that thing. I mean…..punch-proof soft cup bras. Just what a modern feminist needs. LOL. Sorry…..I had to go off on that tangent. But I hope you and Bear are enjoying your Valentine’s Day.

  26. Kerry responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    Sexy shopping hint!:

    My husband LOVES sexy lingerie, and I buy it for special nights. But I have A cups and most bras look absolutely ridiculous on me, because there isn’t anything to “push” anywhere but skin.

    So, I look for sexy bottoms – garters, a bodysuit, maybe some thigh-highs, throwback high-waisted lacy briefs – and pair them with heels and plain bras I already own (always good to have a black or red lace). Saves tons of cash, and honestly, my husband rarerly realizes that half of it is something he’s seen before – it’s the whole picture (most importantly the body under it) that does the trick.

    Also – that “Jonathan Franzen” moment made me laugh out loud at work. NOT GOOD. Not good at all.

  27. Sarah responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 3:06 pm #


    No, we are not but he is coming here for his spring break and I can’t wait. And I know what you mean about having fun with underwear. I didn’t mean to come off like a jerk, I promise! <3

  28. Kate responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    Feel better!!

  29. Kate responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    Totally. The up 2 sizes bra was like armor. I could march into battle in that thing. And hope that I always got shot in the boobs and nowhere else.
    OK, that was weird. :-)

  30. Kate responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    I don’t know why I never think of bottoms…Especially since I’m really proud of my butt and feel less interested in my breasts. Maybe I can’t seem to shake that practical aspect, where I know I can wear the bra regularly, but the fancy underwear are really just totally frivolous. Like I said, not good at lingerie. It’s SUPPOSED to be frivolous sometimes!

  31. Kate responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    You could never come off as a jerk. Not even slightly. Spring break 2012!! WHOOO!!!


  32. Kelly responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    Your story sounds so much like what my hubby and I would do in that situation. We’ve resorted to buying stuff online because it’s easier. And really, he’s not into boobs all that much, so I have 2 bras and every year for Christmas he buys me a new bunch of cute undies. The last 2 years have been the cute cotton-and-lace ones from the VS Pink line. Comfy, but still not totally boring. I used to like to spice it up with thongs and sheer and mesh and sparkles…but my body isn’t the same after 3 kids and even though he says they look good I’m just not comfortable in them. And what good is cute lingierie if you feel awful wearing it? As for plans, we have NONE. Probably get the kiddos to bed early, have a glass of wine, and see where it leads from there.

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  33. Also Kate responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 3:24 pm #

    I once asked my girlfriend if she wanted me to acquire some sexy lingerie and wear it in front of her. She stared at me blankly and then said: “Um, I guess you could, but I’m just going to want to take it off.”

    And I said: “Right, but maybe this will make me look really sexy! And then you’ll REALLY want to take it off.”

    And she looked confused and said: “That’s /always/ how I feel about you in underwear.”

    In conclusion, I have never once purchased an item of sexy lingerie. And somehow, she still keeps managing to get my clothes off. :)

    (It doesn’t help that Victoria’s secret appears to be that only ladies with boobs in a fairly small size range are allowed to have bedazzled push-up bras. Nothing comes in a 32F. =/)

  34. Angel responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    My husband preference is no lingerie. “Just naked, please.” But when I am shopping for bras, he is a whiz at finding the size/cup/color combo I want. I can look for twenty minutes, and he finds what I want in under two. :-D

  35. Heather responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 3:52 pm #

    My husband and I are going to pick up japanese food after work and eat it while watching TV on our comfy couch. I bought him some silly heart printed undies from american eagle and a box of candy from see’s with a kitty on the box. He bought me sixteen 7oz bags of lucky charm marshmallows because he didn’t realize that 7oz would be so much. Best gift ever.

  36. Abby responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    Interesting post, as usual…

    Valentine’s Day? It’s actually been one of the best Valentine’s Days I’ve ever had—and I’m STILL single. My friend and I decided to dress up fancy, I got valentine’s day cards from theater people and flowers from my friends! And chocolate. And a very awesome batman tattoo in a card.

    And this weekend, I’m dressing up again to go out with my friend to a restaurant(because we’re both too busy to go today). JUST BECAUSE WE CAN.

    It’s funny, to look back and think about how much I used to stress about valentine’s day because I didn’t have a boyfriend. It’s so much more fun to celebrate the love I have for my family and friends!!! I mean, I never really thought about it before this year. And I’m currently loving it.

    Anyway, that’s all I have to say about Valentine’s Day.

  37. Renae responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    This post made me lol. Sorry to laugh at your misfortunes, but it’s was cute!
    I have the big boobs. The bra I’m wearing at the moment says 36F (or down here, 14F). Totally natural. Bra shopping is an enormous butt pain.
    I have four bras. In total. 2 everyday (but still kinda pretty with lace and stuff) white ones, one sports bra and one SEXY bra. At least, I thought it was sexy (so did my Bear). I got a bit deflated when I showed my sister (a much more ordinary cup size – like the kind of person who can buy bras almost anywhere rather than needing to go to expensive specialty stores) my SUPER SEXY bra and knickers set, and she says “oh but that’s just like my everyday stuff…”
    yeah, ok, it’s just a dark red bra with black guipuire lace, although the knickers are truly vintage style gorgeous. (the bra was $AUD120 which is about normal for boutique bras in my size… But I had to pay $AUD80 to get the matching knickers. THAT is an insane price for that amount of fabric! You’d expect the lace to be handmade or something!)

    My Bear isn’t into lingerie either. I had the exact same reaction you had!
    It’s mind baffling. You mean Hollywood and the media and women’s magazines have been LYING to us? Men are not all slightly (or extremely) horny, perverted individuals who want women to look like the Victoria’s Secret models???

  38. Mandy responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    I tried on one of those up 2 sizes bras once–strictly out of curiousity. I’m already a D and don’t need any help in that department.
    So, you can imagine what I looked like when I tried it on: I grinned at myself in the changing room mirror and said “Well, hello Dolly!”
    Then I practically fell over laughing.
    I cannot imagine what the designers of this bra were thinking when they made them for anyone bigger than a C cup. I’m betting it was a guy(s.)
    Only thing I can say is that it might be fun if I ever decide I want to dress up as Dolly Parton for Halloween…

  39. Wanett responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 5:04 pm #

    We don’t really do holidays in my family. I actually forgot what today was until my kiddies started showering me with glitter covered hearts they made in school. My hubby is not feeling great, but still dragged himself to work, so I will probably spend tonight checking if he feels better and doing what I do every other Tuesday night, making dinner and drawing baths for little ones. And that’s okay with me.

  40. Mandy responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    Right now, I have to post again. My husband got home a little early from work (we’re going out for dinner) and came in to kiss me hello while I posted the last comment.
    I explained what the blog entry was about–then said maybe I should just stick to what he calls my “fuzzy red Elmo robe.” (the thing not only adds about twenty pounds to me, visually, it also takes all of the curves out of my figure. But it is WARM!)
    He immediately did an ecstatic Homer Simpson eyeroll, and said “oooh!”
    Grinning now, I added “and my big, slouchy socks!”
    Then, my darling husband leaned in, with a mock-lecherous gleam in his eye, and said “And the READING GLASSES!”
    At which point, I giggled so hard I almost fell out of my chair.
    I’m STILL grinning!

    GOD, I love that man!

  41. Val responded on 14 Feb 2012 at 11:48 pm #

    Oh, lol. It’s so easy to misunderstand each other, and then the prickly mood that follows, and trying to find our way back through it again.

    This was funny and touching and I loved it. love, Val

  42. Anna responded on 15 Feb 2012 at 1:03 am #

    Since I’m not in a relationship, and neither are any of my friends, we’re prepping for the upcoming sale of heart-shaped chocolate with coconut in it (my favorite) and heart-shaped pillows (they’re always pretty soft and since I have 3 dogs, they work as an easily replaceable sleeping surface for them; every year I look forward to the sale on heart shaped pillows… for some Jack Russell terriers =D)

    I’ve always preferred to think that Victoria’s real secret involved her secretly being a superhero and the bras were a way to fund her super-secret Batman style lair

  43. Claire Walsh responded on 15 Feb 2012 at 2:12 am #

    Thanks for a laugh. I only tried going shopping at Vicky’s with a significant other once (and will never do it again)! I am glad you guys resolved your tiff.

    Bra shopping brings out the worst in me. :/

  44. Liz responded on 15 Feb 2012 at 7:16 am #

    Lingerie is important to my husband. The week after we were married, he marched me to the nearest shop and bought about $600 worth of matching bras and undies. We’re in France, so I have to say there is much more variety than the crazy stuff at VS. My husband hates VS cause he said it’s ugly lol

    I never had anything nice before that – but now I’m hooked. The confidence and za za zing that it gives me to wear my nice lacy matching things – plus my husband being very vocal with his praise – has worked wonders on accepting the fact that, yes, I am a beautiful woman!

  45. Grace responded on 15 Feb 2012 at 6:00 pm #

    Ha!!! Poor Bear…but I totally understand where you’re coming from. Sometimes I’m seized by this manic pressure to “have sexy fun the way everyone else is having sexy fun, a la Heidi Klum and Seal before they went kaput!!!!!!” And then both me and my manfriend end up feeling weird and awkward and kind of stand-offish, because it didn’t work. Question: what are your thoughts on the SI Swimsuit Edition? It’s been hanging over my head, because I know it arrives in the mail today (the DAY AFTER VALENTINES…cruel, I say!) and I feel like it falls under the same “be a good sport and enjoy this” umbrella that shopping for ridiculous, inane lingere does.

  46. Kate responded on 15 Feb 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    Thoughts on SI swimsuit addition: Ugh. Sigh….I wish it wasn’t a thing.
    I am already older than most of the models. Which is weird.
    And also, I have another story about coming into sudden close contact with one particular supermodel who has been on the cover of SI swimsuits a lot….The story’s coming out in the Frisky soon, and I’ll link to it on the blog when it does.

  47. Emily M.M. responded on 15 Feb 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    Kiki de Montparnasse. Bergdorf. the classic guy in the dressing room with the girl and then the sales clerk busts you when she is bringing you another size.

    No biggie, she was laughing and was glad we had fun… Giggling.
    Kiki made me a lingerie thing both me and hubby love – and comfy too!!

  48. Kayla responded on 15 Feb 2012 at 11:49 pm #

    This had me giggling the whole way through. You are adorable. Pretty much.

    I have such mixed, awkward feelings about lingerie… and I feel like I have expectations to live up to in a few months… not that the fiancé has directly said anything, but there have been hints and clues… eesh.

  49. InsomniaticGradStudent responded on 16 Feb 2012 at 3:54 am #

    Enjoyed your writing as always and hope the rest of your Valentines Days was delightful. Feel hesitant but also obligated to share reasons to avoid Victoria’s Secret (and/or make your opinion known to them) other than the pink and the catalogues: violently coerced child labor

    My belief that children shouldn’t be beaten and forced to make us sparkly things, and that we shouldn’t be able to be ignorant of it when they are, is outweighing my desire to not be a downer or be interpreted as critical of others buying. Happy belated Valentines Day.

  50. Kate responded on 16 Feb 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    Wait– you went lingerie shopping at Bergdorf? Damn, woman! That’s some seriously stuff! :-)

  51. Grace responded on 17 Feb 2012 at 11:31 am #

    @Kate, oooh!!! I’ll keep an eye out for it…definitely something I’d be interested in hearing about. But then again, I love all your writing. :) Also, it’s a relief to know I’m not alone in my…dislike? weirdness?…over the swimsuit issue…I can’t even fully articulate WHAT, exactly, I think is so wrong with it, but there’s definitely something there that gives me a major case of the icks/sads.

  52. Kate responded on 17 Feb 2012 at 3:08 pm #

  53. Jill responded on 18 Feb 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    I’ll get to my thoughts on lingerie in a sec…

    What’s this about a favorite roast beef sandwich shop near Union Square? I work near Union Square and I love roast beef sandwiches! What’s the name of the restaurant?

    Now that the important business is out of the way, I don’t like buying bras at VS. I like my ladies as-is, I don’t need them pushed up or bedazzled. Their bras are all way too complicated for me. However, VS is my go-to place for cute cotton undies. I think they cost $25 for 4 pairs and they always have cute patterns. Though now that I just read that Jezebel post, looks like I’ll need to find a new undie supplier. Ugh.

  54. Kate responded on 18 Feb 2012 at 12:54 pm #

  55. Jill responded on 18 Feb 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    I just looked up the menu on menupages… it looks amazing! Thanks!

  56. RJ responded on 19 Feb 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    This may not be useful or helpful to you but I am forced to agree with Bear. Normal guys don’t like that stuff. At least no guy that ever seemed normal to me.

  57. Lara responded on 22 Feb 2012 at 3:24 pm #

    You know, it always makes me sad when I read about women online who become desperate because they don’t find the right lingerie. I’d like to leave some totally well written, insightful reply now about how to find the right lingerie and especially the right bra size, because I’ve also been having so many problems about this and it’s actually such a revelation to finally know how to shop for that stuff … but I’m just very tired right now and I’m not a native speaker, so sorry if my reply is a bit sloppy and incomprehensible. Please still pay some attention to it and google for more information – trust me, finding the right bra size is so totally worth it, even though I can’t find my right bra size in the stores where I live and thus have to buy bras in British online shops.

    From your pictures I don’t believe you’re a 36 – your ribcage looks waay smaller and the +4 / +5 inch rule is quite ridiculous. Your band size should be your underbust measurement in inches, measured considerably snug, and if it’s between two band sizes, just try both. (If this feels for some reason uncomfortable to you, you can of course always try a larger band size, but it should be very tight, since the band carries your breasts’ weight and not the straps). Also, there’s no such thing as “THE B cup” or “THE D cup”, since the cup size depends on the band size – a 32 B is way smaller in the cup than a 36 B. Actually, a 32 D is also smaller in the cup than a 36 B. Most women don’t know about that, though. Most women also wear the wrong bra size.
    For your cup size, you have to measure your bust in inches, leaned forward or simply upright – you might try our both – and subtract the band size you chose from it. Every number coincides with a cup size:
    A (=1), B (=2), C (=3), D (=4), DD (=5), E (=6), F (=7), FF (=8), G (…), GG, H, HH, J, JJ, … although the result you get now is just a guideline; something three-dimensional just can’t be fully categorized by taking two parallel measurements. You should perhaps google for signs of an ill/well fitting bra, since most salespersons aren’t very helpful in my experience. I’m not sure if I can post links here or if that’s some kind of advertisement, so I just don’t.
    Don’t be scared if the bra size you get is completely unexpected. I am what people might call “a C cup”, used to wear 36C or 38C and am not all too skinny, but still I’m now wearing a 28GG and I’m perfectly happy with it. (The fact that I have to buy in online stores for “bigger busted women” now still gives me giggle fits from time to time, though.)

    I hope my reply is sort of helpful for you. I’d wish to write so much more about this and also tell you how much I appreciate reading your blog since I can relate so well with almost everything you write, but I should really go to bed now. Good night, although it’s probably noon in New York right now.

  58. contrary kiwi responded on 07 Mar 2012 at 8:08 pm #


    Yes! I was waiting for someone to post this. Reading any sort of lingerie post without someone pointing out that 36B seems extremely unlikely on Kate. I’ve found that usually your bra band size is smaller than your top size. I’m an NZ 10/12 in the top and my band size is 8 (or 30 in the US). My cup size is FF/G (which I believe might be G/GG/H in the US) and my boobs are extremely average size.

    Victoria’s Secret, if I ever get the pleasure of visiting there, will never sell my size. I will probably be put into a 34C or possibly (but unlikely) a 34D, which is totally and utterly incorrect.

    Your bandsize is your underbust measurement (measured just under your boobs by keeping the measuring tape parallel to the floor and quite tight against your chest) in inches (not cm!). My underbust is 29 inches and I wear 30 inch bras. Band sizes differ by brand and style, but I’m always between a 28 and a 32.

    Lara didn’t want to post links to other blogs, but I’m going to because it’s important! If you (Kate) get the correct size bra, you might find your boobs do know what to do with it after all. – She’s an American bra blogger and her resources page has links to other bra bloggers – Cheryl is a UK blogger who has some good posts on recognising your fit – The first bra blog I came across – about the bra matrix and how to break out of the idea that there is such a thing as an “A” or “B” or “C” cup.

  59. Sarah responded on 06 Apr 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    I brought lingerine on my honeymoon.

    Didn’t wear a single piece of it.

    I mentioned this to my husband and he said “Well I could have told you that[you weren't going to wear them]”

    I have come to the conclusion that lingerie is really for women. We buy it because it makes us feel pretty.
    Men basically just want you naked ;)