“I’m a 38C and I know that for sure. I got measured at Victoria’s Secret,” Mary, recently unemployed but with a great severance package, says as she sips her second mimosa (without the orange juice) at Chubo on Clinton Street. “I am going to win that money.”
It’s estimated that 80 percent of women walk the streets everyday wearing the wrong sized bra. So the six of us decided to make a wager on our bra sizes, with the cash pot split between the poor sucker with the most ill-fitting one, and the girl who is dead-on accurate.
We write down the opening stats. Annie, a librarian: 34B. Sarah, a ph.D student: 34A. Jane, an art director: 36 triple D. Mary: 38C. Jenn and Molly, the authors of this article: 36C.
We enter Orchard Street Corset, which has been around since 1931. Inside, store owner Peggy Bergstein has been making women happy for over a quater century. “If they’re even, they’re fake,” says Peggy, who wears all black...save for hot pink Crocs.
The walls of the store are lined with slim boxes labeled Lady Marlene, Exquisite Form and I Can’t Believe It’s a Girdle. But all the action takes place behind a green curtain.
“Let’s get you up, girly girl.” Peggy says to Molly. She takes one look, cops a feel, bends her over and snaps her in.
“I look slimmer, taller, happier. Forget pilates,” confesses Molly in a 32D black Wonderbra ($22).
“That’s porn star size,” Sarah adds.
Peggy explains that this is one of the most common misconceptions. A lot of gals who think they are 36C are really 32D. This place is like the wand shop in Harry Potter—but for knockers. The same way the wizard guides Harry Potter to his perfect wand, Peggy guides Mary to a fire engine red corset ($55) and Annie to a black bustier.
A stranger passes through as Peggy squares Jenn off in front of the mirror and tells her to be proud of her form.
“Women get boob jobs to get boobs like yours,” Peggy tells her.
Jane has yet to be fit and cups her bare breasts in both hands, “Look,” she says. “The Janet Jackson bra!”
Peggy hands Jane a Warcoal bra in a shade of boring Grandma blue ($21). “Ugh,” Jane groans.
Peggy shakes her head, “Concentrate on looking good with your clothes on” she says.
Life pushing 30 is hard. Little things like this make it bearable. We spend less than 80 bucks each, but leave with newly shaped bodies and better self esteem.
“We are doing the walk of confidence,” Jane says as we head over to Vasmay Lounge, our favorite watering hole on East Houston.
The Sunday afternoon bar patrons cheer as we enter holding our bras above our heads like heavy weight champions. We pick a table, dump out our goods and empty our wallets. It’s time for the final tally. In our point system, cup size is worth two points and band size is worth one.
“She thought she was a 36C. But really she’s a 32D. It might sound sexy but it only earned her 4 points,” Molly says about herself as she announces the winners.
“And now the triple....Going from a Don’t Dog me Daddy D to a Fuck-me F...Jane!” (“Janie! Janie!” The three patrons at the bar chant.)
“But the most confused –the ill fittest and most all around uncomfortable gal is Mary! With 6 points up from a 38C to a 34DD.”
Annie is closest to the God’s honest truth with her perennial 34B.
“And the blondes win!”
“I’m going to buy a cappuccino,” Annie says of her winnings.
‘I’m gonna buy a cocktail,” Mary says and coaxes Katrina, the bartender, into inventing a new drink for her—the New Jersey Dry Hump.