Thursday, May 10, 2012


Ask a Clean Person: Laundry School - Bras and Mildew and Taffy, Oh My!

Get out your notebooks, sharpen your pencils, hone your note-passing skills: Laundry School is in session! We're devoting the entire month of May to the subject of laundry. And what fun would Laundry School be if you couldn't backtalk the teacher, right? So! The Twitter hashtag for this is #LAUNDRYSCHOOL. If you follow me on Twitter (@joliekerr) you can holler at me when you do your laundry! Or lemme see those beautiful piles of folded clothes! Or ask questions! Or tweet at me in emergency situations! Or maybe you just really, really, really need to talk to me about how folding a fitted sheet sends you into fits of rage. This is me, being here for you. And because I try to be here for you in as many ways as possible, I've started a pinboard devoted entirely to laundry to serve as a reference source. Most importantly: got questions? Ask away!

I have two bras with deodorant stains on them that I cannot wear with tank tops for fear of people seeing how gross they are. One is black and has white stains, the other is red and has sort of dark and splotch-y areas in the armpits. Is there anything that can be done to save these bras? What about my beige bra with the darker pit areas? In the event that I have to accept that I have ruined these bras, what can be done to protect future lingerie?

As longtime readers of this column will remember I LOVE WASHING BRAS. Or as they're called in my native tongue, brawrs. Can we all get behind calling them 'brawrs'? I really would enjoy that so much.

So yes, there are absolutely ways to get the stains out of brawrs, and also ways to handle them so that the staining doesn't get to the point where your boulder holder is no longer salvageable. That's prevention and maintenance, as opposed to triage. Let's take prevention and maintenance on first, and then talk triage. Oh and then when we're done with that can we talk about our prettiest brawrs and what brands we really like and just totally GIRL OUT on the topic? Cool thanks! I just bought this set and am so in love with myself I can hardly stand it. Betsy Johnson, btw, is one of my favorite lines for underthings. They're fashion-y, but also give great support and look super under clothes. But ole Bets isn't so great for the gals who are DD+, which I hate. You and your glorious girls should have all the great choices available to the less busty among us!! 

Prevention and Maintenance

The first thing to keep in mind when caring for your brassieres is that you'll want to rotate your collection. A general rule of thumb is to not wear a bra more than once in a row without giving it a day off to recover from the trauma of holding your bosoms up all day. This is to help preserve the integrity of the elastic, which is sensitive to the heat and oils produced by your body. In terms of washing cycles, it's obviously going to depend largely on the size of your collection, but for the sake of providing guidelines let's go with trying to wash your frilly lacies every 3-6 wearings. Now I can hear some of you out there shouting, "But Jolie! My boobs don't get dirty!" to which I'll remind you that no, they don't, but under your arms things get smelly, and also when it's warm your back probably sweats a lil' bit (JUST A LIL'. I KNOW — YOU ARE A DELICATE FLOWER WHO DOESN'T SWEAT, SHE GLISTENS.) and also your entire body produces oil and dead skin and alllllll that stuff ends up on your brawr. So you can howl at me all you want, but the fact of the matter is that your brawr is dirty, girl.

Before we get fully into the specifics of handwashing a brawr, here's a little tip for handling deodorant residue in between wearings: wipe the stained areas clean with a washcloth that's somewhere between damp and wet. A clean sponge or rag or whatever will also work. Don't rub too, too hard, but also don't be afraid to put a little muscle into it.

Okay and now for your washing instructions!

1. The best place to do your handwashing is in kitchen sink (CLEAN THE SINK FIRST), though the tub or bathroom sink will also work. Or a bucket. Whatever, you just need a place where you can create a standing body of water.

2. Plug the drain, begin filling the sink with warm water and a mild detergent of your choosing. You all can discuss among yourself the detergents you like — Tocca, SOAK, Ivory Snow, Woolite, all fair choices. (The Woolite deniers are already salivating in anticipation of a fight, I can tell.) You don't need or want to use a lot of detergent; a teaspoon up to a tablespoon will do it. Now add in your brassieres and let them sit in their bubble bath for 10 or so minutes.

3. After they've had a chance to let Calgon take them away, you'll want to go in and gently press on each one just a bit, while submerged, to help release dirt and oil trapped in the fabric. Then drain your wash water and rinse each brawr very very very very well with clean water. Oftentimes I find it easiest to drain, rinse, replug, and refill the sink with clean water before re-submerging my unmentionables as the first pass in rinsing them.

4. To dry, you'll first want to gently squeeze out as much water as you can, being careful not to wring or otherwise get too rough in your handling of these delicate items. Then lay out a clean towel and place each clean brawr on it, leaving a bit of space between each one so that you can roll the towel up in order to squeeze more water out of each item. The final step is to reshape each bra and allow to dry either flat or on a drying rack.


If any of your clothes ever stain your bras with dye, you'll want to treat them in the same way your would stains on other clothes. You just want to be mindful of the products you choose — go for as gentle an option as you can find. I think OxiClean is a great choice, but I would say that, wouldn't I? You can throw some Oxi right onto the stained areas and do a little chh-chh frottage action of rubbing the fabric against itself. Then put the bra right back in the wash water, add a sprinkle of Oxi to the mix, swirl it around and let everything have a good soak. It's also a really great thing to try to wash a bra as soon as you notice staining. Deodorant will come out more easily; just rubbing the fabric together while the brawr is submerged will go a long way in getting it gone.

Now then, this reader mentioned dark stains on her brawrs, suggesting that she might be using a gel-style deodorant, which may be leaving behind an oily residue that's causing darkening. To treat oily stains, try a product like Lestoil as a pretreat. In the case of more delicate items I would suggest using it very sparingly and only as a pretreat, and not in the wash water because it will be too damaging. If you continue to have a problem, maybe try out another kind of deodorant and see if it's less upsetting to the delicate constitution of your brawrs.

I have a lined wool sheath dress from Banana Republic that I LOVE LOVE LOVE. It is perfect for work, and I wear it a lot. Of course, it's dry clean only. I am both skeptical of this claim and a little cheap. But if I destroy this dress, I might cry. So do I need to dry clean? And if the answer is "no, you can handwash," can I use the handwash cycle on my front-loaded machine?

The answer is yes, you can handwash. And yeah, you can probably use the handwash cycle on your front loader, but I wouldn't. At least not until you've tried handwashing with your actual hands to see how things turn out, and here's why: while handwashing wool and other fine fabrics is generally pretty much fine, there are some things you'll sacrifice in choosing not to take your "dry clean only" items to the dry cleaner. Most notably, the fabric may lose some of its softness and you may also find that there's a little bit of shrinkage and/or color loss, particularly in wool. If true handwashing goes just fine for you and your beloved dress and you're feeling confident, go ahead and try out the machine version, but know that wool doesn't love to be over-handled, and even on a delicate cycle, the friction caused by the machine washing might leave the fabric looking a little on the shabby side. So with those warnings in mind let's get to the hows of it.

When handwashing wool you'll always want to use a mild detergent and either cold or lukewarm water. Never ever ever ever ever use hot water on wool. I want you to live in fear of using hot water on wool in the same way that you live in fear of putting stained items in the dryer. You will end up with tiny persons' clothing if you wash your woolens in hot water.

So! Make a bubble bath for your clothes by swirling the detergent around in water, submerge the garment and let it soak for 3-5 minutes. Then, while it's still submerged, gently press/squeeze it so that the water and detergent can get into the fibers. HOWEVER. Do not wring it. Wringing is too hard on the fabric. Be kind to your wool! Then, with clean water, you'll rinse it free of soap, squeezing gently to remove excess water. Squeezing. Not wringing.

Once you've squeezed out as much excess water as you can, it's time to lay the garment out to dry. With wool you want to let it lie flat rather than hanging it dry, because the weight of all that soggy wool will cause the fabric to stretch out in ways that you likely don't want it to and all of a sudden your nice office-appropriate sheath has turned into a floor-length wool gown and we can't have that.

Air drying my pants leaves them smelling not so clean. The smell is a bit musty, but definitely not mildewy. I tend to wash my pants inside out on gentle cycle with a non-chemical detergent, and then I either lay them flat or hang them up to dry. I've noticed that my denim is more susceptible to becoming smelly, though now some of my leggings have acquired this particular smell as well.

I've tried soaking the pants with offensive odors in OxiClean prior to washing them, to no avail. It honestly seems that once the odor has gotten into the fabric it won't go away. I'm pretty sure no one else can smell it when I'm wearing the pants, but I sure can, and it's making me paranoid that people think *I'm* smelly and gross.

Ah well … the thing about Oxi is that it's great for stains but doesn't do much for smells. So what you'll want to do is this: use a ½ -1 cup of white vinegar in your wash, along with your detergent. The vinegar will help to eliminate odors in the clothes, and also serves as a fabric softener, which is nice with items that aren't going to benefit from the fluffing powers of a dryer. Another thing that will help is rolling the pants up in a clean towel to squeeze out as much excess water as possible. A dark towel is probably best for jeans and leggings and such so you won't risk getting light colored lint pills on your clean pants. This will help to speed along drying, which means they'll have less time to develop an odor.

Jolie! I forgot about clothes in the washer and now they are mildew-awful. WHAT NEXT?

Oh man, a soggy, stinking pile of laundry is sort of the worst in that you're faced with a dripping heap of your own failure to function as an adult. ("I forgot my own laundry. I am a child who is ill-equipped to handle the most basic of tasks.") Except? Don't be like me and conjure up those kinds of thoughts, because that's crazy thinking and also? It's just laundry. Plus there's a super easy fix for it.

Run a cup or two of white vinegar through with your wash. A note on amounts: for a regular washing, a half cup to a full cup of white vinegar is more than enough. But when you're dealing with serious mildew smells you'll need to up the ante and I want you to be aware of those differences so you can apply that understanding to various laundering situations you may find on your hands. Baking soda is another option, but I prefer vinegar because have we met? I mean … because vinegar is also a fabric softener, which that crunchy, half-dried pile of laundry might benefit from. As an alternative, soak everything in the tub in baking soda before laundering as usual. The one thing you don't want to do is to mix the baking soda and the vinegar, because as much fun as volcanoes are, they're not super in the washing machine.

Which leads us to ...

The washer in my new apartment has a slight mildewy smell. Help?

Sure thing! The easiest (and cheapest!) way to deal with a stinking washer is to run an empty load of wash on the hottest water setting possible, and use 2 cups of white vinegar — so  you'll need to make sure to buy at least a 16 oz. bottle — in place of detergent. You could use bleach but the vinegar is a better choice, because you won’t run the risk of having any bleach residue ruin your clothes and/or being looked at like you're an earth-destroying monster by the more environmentally conscious among us.

Last week I put a Laffy Taffy wrapper in the pocket of my favorite trousers and apparently there was still some Laffy Taffy on that wrapper. How do I get the goo out of my pocket?! Even though I wash everything cold, I worry that washing it could compound the problem and I would hate to spread green goo to other parts of my awesome pants and/or other items of clothing.

Get an ice cube and a knife. (Do you like how my advice is getting weirder and weirder and weirder?) Hold the ice cube on the goo until it hardens, at which point take the knife and very carefully scrape it up off your pants. If the ice cube is too unwieldy for you, you can also just freeze the pants in their entirety before getting after the taffy goo with your knife.

If heat is more your thing, you can also grab a brown paper bag and your iron, which you'll turn on to a low setting, place the paper over the goo and then run the iron over it until it comes up onto the paper. Either way will work, and then when you're done you can launder as usual.

Soooooo … know anything about mysterious maybe-grease spots appearing during washing? Does this only happen to me??

Oh man, mystery spots. Mystery spots happen to the best of us — any of you ever end up with unidentified orange splotches on your towels? Yup, me too. It's ENRAGING. We've talked about the orange spots before, but I'll leave this here as a refresher since September 2011 seems like it was a million years ago.

But back to the mystery grease stains: if I had to blindly pick a culprit, I would say it's probably residue from fabric softener jacking up your ish. But really no matter what exactly it is, the treatment for grease spots is Lestoil or Pine Sol, used as a pretreatment or added right into the wash cycle.

Previously: Laundry School Is In Session!

Jolie Kerr is not paid to endorse any of the products mentioned in this column, but she sure would be very happy to accept any free samples the manufacturers care to send her way! Are you curious to know if she's answered a question you have? Do check out the archives, listed by topic. More importantly: is anything you own dirty?

Photo by Pixel Memoirs, via Shutterstock

260 Comments / Post A Comment


I found switching to a hippie deodorant nixed the crazier sweat stains on bras and lighter-coloured shirts (JASON brand).

This is not so much a laundry question as a brawr question, but does anybody have any good brand recommendations for those of us with small band sizes but larger cups? I'm a 32D or DD (thanks so much, postpartum body. No really). Bonus points if they don't cost a mint and exist in/can ship to Canada.


@falconet Do not get me started on how much I love soapwalla's deodorant cream. It's as good as I was told. And no residue on my clothes!!


@falconet I am also a 32 D-and-a-half (and I am not postpartum, woe betide me if I ever get knocked up) and I find Wacoal to be a consistently good brand. They are supportive and have some pretty ones that don't look like orthopedic devices (5-hook sports brawr I'm lookin' at you). Downside: Pricey. In the US they run $40-60. Upside: They last for years if you take care of them.

Also: YES hippie deodorant, I always thought those stubborn pit stains were sweat, but nope, apparently it's aluminum hydrowhatever that's in conventional antiperspirants!


@falconet Yep, just logged on to vote for Wacoal too. When I go to old-school "foundation" stores that's what they always recommend, and I'm a 34F. They do last a long time if you take care of them.


@falconet I'm wearing a 32D Natori now. Love it and have it in two colors. Pretty and fits nice. Moderately pricey (about $60), but sometimes when new colors come out the old ones sometimes go on sale at Nordstroms


@falconet my sister used to be a 28H and is now a 30H. She likes Lunaire and Fantasie because they make pretty bras that come in a ton of sizes. Fantasie also makes cute bathing suits with underwires. HerRoom.com is a good site to look on, they carry multiple brands that come in bigger sizes. There is also a post right here on this very site: http://thehairpin.com/2011/01/bra-shopping-for-busty-women-in-denial/


@falconet I have yet to find anything that was 1.In Canada 2.Not insanely expensive 3.Not hideous

2/3 isn't bad:
hilariously THE BAY makes hideous but ridiculously comfortable bras.

I get mine from figleaves, which is in the UK. Given the great deals it works out not TOO expensive.


@falconet Can we please have a 32D(D) party? Women laughing together with bras.

NuckingFux Nix

@falconet I am also a 32D or DD depending on the time of the month, and I have the added bonus of having boobs that are apparently naturally extremely close together, although I don't have any cleavage no matter what, which is totally not fair.
Anyway, the point being that I have to look for bras that have about a half inch or so between the cups at the bottom and I have actually found that Calvein Klein makes awesome ones that are expensive, but can usually be found on sale for $35 or so. I get mine from Nordstroms, which I know ships to Canada, I think the style numbers are 3317, 3318, and 3319, but bear in mind that I do like a little push up (aforementioned complete lack of cleavage).


@falconet Me too. I use crystal roll-on now and I never get bra or shirt stains any more. I used to own no white tops at all because the underarms always got yellow. Now I own white tops which I just stain other ways, like with splattering marinara.


@falconet If there's a My Top Drawer in your Canadian region, I definitely recommend their selection of small-band-large-cup bras. Plus they go through the store for you and bring you all the things which is my favourite way to bra shop. I'm a 32 DD/E and buy 2 bras a year from them; they last ages if you take care of them. Their Fit&Flatter bras are comfortable and are under $50. I spent too much on this fancy Marlies Dekker one but it fits so well and it's hotttt.


@falconet Macy's has a ton that might fit the bill and I know they just started shipping internationally. These are all the ones that come up when I filter to 32D. If you scroll to the bottom, you can change your country/currency, too. Fancy!

raised amongst catalogs

@MademoiselleML And I just want to be another 32D lady who sings the praises of Wacoal. Their "Opulence Underwire Bra" is fancy looking but comfy, but definitely not super super supportive. It's good for a day at the office or for showing off to a special someone and then removing.


@MademoiselleML Thanks for the rec! I am a pretty diligent over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder caretaker, so the price doesn't freak me out too much.

all the kittens in the club gettin nipsy

@falconet I recently went to the states and stopped by Nordstrom's for a bra fitting, after the internet told me to do that. They were super helpful! The salesperson said that lots of the brands they carry are also in Canada at Holt Renfrew. Dunno about HR's fitting skills though. If you're in Toronto, I hear they are getting a Nordstrom's soon? Anyway, the brands they carry are on the pricey side, but what I got feels well made and will last for a much longer time than my old bras from the Gap or whatever (if I follow Jolie's washing advice of course).


@realtalk Augh how did I not catch this post earlier?! Thanks for the link. Seriously, prior to a proper fitting awhile back, I thought for a longgg time that I was a 34B.

Denial: not just a river in Egypt.


@falconet hi hello 32G here (cue mamastonefruit: "I didn't know they came that size!"). so frustrating. I get Chantelle lately (which I amuse myself by calling Chanterelle), very nicely supportive and comfortable if not particularly fancy/frilly. I also have a Freya number that is very cute, but not as comfortable.


@Jade My very fashionable sister buys all her undergarments from The Bay (alongside the older crowd who've been shopping there since the store was founded in the 17th century)! I actually bought a transitional brawr there when I got knocked up and my boobs started to get out of control. I think I have a bunch of HBC points to spend so I'll definitely go back.


@falconet Longtime lurker, just created an account to say: Ewa Michalak! (http://www.ewa-michalak.pl) They're a Polish company, but they ship anywhere in the world for about $13. They make *beautiful* (and sturdy and comfortable) bras in crazy sizes (including my own 28FF), and have saved me from my dismal life of boring beige bras. For the quality of the bras, the prices are great: usually somewhere in the $40 range.


@liverwortlaura Only if we can book a masseuse for our aching backs.


@zeytin Take some Sunlight dish soap & cold water to fresh marinara stains! That shit works like a charm. Coffee stains also.


@khanyo This appeals to my petite, busty, eastern European heritage. Will investigate.


@falconet I'm a 32D and Calvin Klein and Elle Macpherson are my two favorites. (Wacoal bras give me boob muffin tops. Though maybe I should try 32DD? But I can't find any in stores to try on.)


@falconet This conversation is relevant to my interests as a 34DDD who is constantly low level grumbling about finding a brawr in my size, let alone a fun one.

nevernude cutoffs

@falconet Also 32d, and for whatever reason, Calvin Klein bras are awful for me. I couldn't hate them more. I do second Chantelle and Betsey Johnson made my perfect bra which lasted around 3 years but the hook broke the last time I washed it.

lavender gooms

@falconet Fantasie lover here. I went to a fancy bra shop and got fitted (30F for are you F-ing kidding me?) and got a bra that I really like. Now I just keep an eye out for it on Amazon and buy more copies of it whenever I can for waaay cheaper than the bra shop.

Also, I too have switched to Soapwalla deodorant and it is amah-zing. And this is coming from someone who was afraid to wear anything less than Lady Mitchum.

tin can phone

@falconet I'm a 32D and I realllllly like Calvin Klein. For whatever reason they fit my boobs well, and I'm pretty sure they at least go up to 32D. They are on the pricey side but the three bras I have from them still look wonderful after a couple years.


@falconet If you are near a city, odds are likely they will have a fancy lingerie store. (Don't go the Bay, the Bay is awful unless you already have a brand you know and like and most of the brands they carry don't have 32-more-than-Cs.) Get a proper fitting and then you can order online from figleaves, which has good sales and decent shipping rates, or freshpair, which has free shipping over $50. I am have a few Fantasie and Panache that I really like, and I've found Betsey Johnson 32C's fit pretty well on the second hook (and those do go on sale at the Bay sometimes!).


@falconet I'm a 32DD or DDD, depending on the time of the month. I love Wacoal, and Donna Karan (which are made by Wacoal). Wacoal even has a youth line that goes up into the doubles and triples called B.Tempt'd, that I adore, (although I think the quality is slightly lower than the others) All three lines often show up at TJ Maxx, Stein Mart, and Nordstrom Rack for about half the price, which is usually when I buy them.


@falconet Have you looked on figleaves.com? Gazillions of bras in gazillions of sizes. 32D/DD will be a piece of cake there.

fuck fuck fuck

@falconet i'm a 30FF or some shit, and i love panache, which i usually buy at herroom.com. they're super supportive and they can be really pretty!


@SarahP As a former 32DD and a current 32G(only in my first trimester, egads,who knows if I'll need a wheel barrow to haul these suckers around post pregnancy) I concur Elle McPherson makes lovely brawrs for the busty. And they can often be found at half price at Nordstrom Rack.


@liverwortlaura Heeeeyyyy 32D party!
For my everyday comfy and not too ugly bras, La Senza works for me. If I want something actually pretty and lacey (and NOT PADDED) the only luck I've had is through independent bra stores (I'm anal retentive about trying them on) but those certainly aren't cheap. Sigh.


@NuckingFux Nix I second the Calvin Klein bras, if you are okay with the soft foam molded cups. I am a 32DD, and they have a convertible (can't remove the straps - just cross them in back if wanted) full coverage bra that I LOVE, and that keeps everything in place while still offering a peek of the ladies. I often find non-seamed bras less supportive, but this one is great for me. Sorry, don't know the style number! Bought at the Bay, $60 a piece but often on sale for 25% off.

Calvin Klein also tend to have cute non-molded bras, though none have worked for me in recent years. I once got the best sheer floral pretty thin strapped supportive sexy bra from La Senza (usually they make crap) and bought 5 of them. They are all dead now, an I mourn their passing on a regular basis. I have never loved a bra as much as those ones. *wah*

Marquise de Morville

@swirrlygrrl I had some luck finding Calvin Klein Bras and other brands in 32DD at outlet stores (TJMaxx, Loehmann's etc.). Betsey Johnson makes 32DD bras which I found out recently at Lord&Taylor.
Personally I would need a 28 or 30 band, which is even harder to find in an actual store. DD+ is not even large, especially for small band sizes. Having a small band size is pretty common, and it does not correlate too much to body size. Getting fitted is really a good idea as others already pointed out, but it is almost better to just measure oneself proper. In case someone is interested, this survey is pretty neat: Braless in Brazil Underbust Survey


@khanyo You have united me with my people!!! This is amazing on so many levels. I and my Polish-descended rack-o-doom thank you!


@falconet 6pm.com can be a great place to get bras on discount. Fancy brands and everything! I think this would be especially great if you already have brands you know you like. Here's a link to the brawrs in 32D and 32DD:http://www.6pm.com/womens~1b#!/women-bras/CKvXARDG1wEY1NcBegT2BPYEggEG3dgD_pMEwAEB4gIFGAECAw8.zso?s=percentOff/desc/

Also, I get mine at TJ Maxx. I know there are 32Ds at my local one, since I bought some of them.

Sorry, I have no clue how to make that ish a link. This is like, my second comment.


@KatPruska Hooray! I hope you like them! I was giddy when I first found the website and now I love telling people about it. I also love that they actually show most of the bras on both large- and small- breasted models, so you can tell what it's going to look like scaled up to rack-o-doom proportions.


@KatPruska Will be borrowing the phrase "Polish-descended rack o' doom."

Marquise de Morville

@Marquise de Morville Here with working link: Braless in Brazil Underbust Survey

I also just found that ASOS sells Freya, Panache etc, in harder to find sizes, and they offer free shipping both ways.


@khanyo I love that! Like, the first category I clicked the model was all rolls and adorableness and boobs like miiiiine! Ugh, I needed this so much today. Thank you again.


@TheLetterL All credit for "rack of doom" is due the fatosphere...not sure if it was Kate Harding, Marianne Kirby, Lesley Kinzel, or one of the pseudonymous/anonymous contributors on one of their blogs, but it is not originally mine and I need to say so as a non-subtle shout-out to the fat acceptance movement!


@KatPruska Yay! Have you seen any of the ones where the models are inexplicably posing with cupcakes? Excellent stuff.


@falconet TJ Maxx and Marshall's, yes! I am a 32DD (or I was before I had a baby- who knows what I am now...only 2 more months of breastfeeding to go, and perhaps my boobs will be reunited with the glorious land of underwires.) Anyway, yes, TJ Maxx and Marshall's often have 32D and 32DD sizes in cute styles at deep discounts. Plus, while you are getting them, you can get yourself some weird marked-down gourmet tea and, like, a throw pillow you don't need.


@OlivettiValentine YES and Target now makes 32DD!! They're so cheap ($10-$12) that you can buy a million and throw them out when they get weird. The bras, that is. Not the boobs. Post-breastfeeding boobs are great because they're finally yours again.

Laura Rog@twitter

@bocadelperro Is DDD a thing? I have literally never heard of that. I thought it went, DD,E,F,FF,G,GG (for some reason I have never heard of there being a double E cup).
I used to get full on angst until I realised that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A "CORRECT" BRA SIZE, PEOPLE!! Different makes are different fittings, plus that changes between styles in the same brand.
I'm now buying bras that are 28F/30E/32DD, using the "up a cup size, down a back size" rule.
I would give bravissimo.com a go- I've had some really nice things from there, and they also do clothing designed to fit around more generously proportioned breasticles. They're a UK based company but they ship worldwide. They can be quite pricey but I can definitely vouch for the quality,and lots of the styles start from a 28 back size.


@falconet totally a thing There's no rhyme or reason to bra sizing. I'm sometimes convinced that the bra manufacturers think a-b-c-d-CIRCUS FREAK, especially when you see how ugly bras get when you get into the big sizes (and really, as a 32DD, my boobs aren't that much bigger than a 38c, it's just my tiny back, I don't understand why that's such a big deal to manufacturers/retailers...)


@bocadelperro I feel this is relevant to everything we've been saying:


@falconet This is a silly question; I feel I should know the answer to this, but: Do you have Victoria's Secret in Canada?

I know, I know, the construction isn't fabulous; there are better bras to be had. BUT. I'm a 32D too, and no matter what sales associates tell me, a 34C is NOT the same thing. And one of the only places I'm going to find 32D that doesn't cost a mint is...

...The Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale.

That is the time to stock up. And (because inevitably, you will end up with 34Cs, too) you can find a 34C that's comfortable for you. I have always had amazing luck finding more-than-a-handful of 32Ds to choose from, and it's lovely, because I don't have to hunt through the store for them; they're all in one li'l bin. The sale helps, too. I usually end up buying about 5 bras/year and spending roughly $100-$125.


I am a 30H, and seconding Bravissimo! All my bras are from there. My current everyday bra is a Panache.


@Laura Rog@twitter I think it depends on the country the brand is from. Once you get past DD it becomes really murky and hard to convert sizes between brands because some brands think DDD is the same as F, some think F is bigger than DDD, some skip E and some don't, some think E is a DD...and the WORST is when a website tries to just convert sizes for you without telling you. I had to order the same item from Asos THREE times because they kept not sending me the size I ordered. Finally I emailed and said "stop sending me the wrong thing, you must have a bug in your system" and they said "oh no, you're in the US so we just converted that size for you and sent you the right one" ughhhh


is seriously amazing and very well made.@m


"A general rule of thumb is to not wear a bra more than once in a row..." I'm already failing this class.


@Decca Seriously. I can't afford some vast closet of ever-changing bras. Guess I need to switch up the colors of my outfits instead so I don't wind up wearing my nude bra so often.

Porn Peddler

@Decca Yep, I'm sitting this month out.


@Decca I don't even remember the last time I washed mine.


@BosomBuddy You truly are a *wink* bosom buddy.



Word. I mean I only have four bras.


@Decca i was like this until, in one of the clean person threads, a GENIUS GIRL recommended something GENIUS. she has three bras. at the end of the day, she takes her bra into the shower, where she keeps a bottle of delicates detergent. wash the bra while you're in the shower and hang it up to dry. so at all times you've got one bra on, one drying, and one in the drawer. i don't remember who you are, genius girl, but thank you for changing my life!

Porn Peddler

@DH@twitter Me too. And two of them really only fit when I'm PMSing so hard I'm retaining seven extra pounds of water. I wish I had money to blow on lingerie because at my size, I SHOULD have excellent options...but in the affordable category for me is the very rare bare bones basic bra, push up bras and more push up bras and of course you want a little extra for those itty bitty titties PUSH UP BRAS, and uh...glorified training bras. I want fun bras! Colorful ones! Lacy ones! Bras that give me a boost in the boobs and the spirit, knowing I have a fun secret under my shirt!

But as a tiny and not top-heavy lady I should not. even. discuss. my bra woes because they are so ridiculously minor.


@plonk Oh, wow. This is actually a great idea. BRAvo, genius girl.


@DH@twitter I have dozens of bras, but only 3 or 4 fit properly and I love them.

I just.. can't bear to part with the others! So pretty!


@Third Wave Housewife

I think I'm just going to start wearing bra-top tanks all the time. Until then, stealing The Genius Girl's idea!


@Decca Yes, but her advice to wash every 3-6 wearings is the most realistic I've ever seen printed on this topic. So often it's more like, "I wash my bra after every wear!" And my response is, "?!?!?!"

RK Fire

@plonk: aaaaaaahhhhh this is brilliant and solves the whole "I don't have a large bucket and I can't stop up my bathroom sink" dilemma.


@plonk I also thought the washing bra while in shower thing was genius! Absolutely genius! I set out that day intending to slowly and over time catch up on washing all of my bras in this fashion!

...and I shall set out today, intending to slowly and over time catch up on washing all of my bras in this fashion!


@Decca Even if you only have 2 bras and wear each every other day, it's better for the elastic. I learned this from Marth Stewart. And now A Clean Person.


@Jade Saaaame! Plus it seems like every so often my size changes so maybe I'll just cycle back into my pretty old ones?


@SarahP That's what I do, or at least try to do. I know I should buy more, but even after reduction, I still have a hard time finding cute, affordable brawrs.


@Decca Oh god, yes. I am appalling when it comes to bras.


@Third Wave Housewife I kind of feel like a total mouthbreather for suggesting this after all the links to Really Nice Lingerie, but Target's Gillian O'Malley line has some really colorful, fun bras. They don't have really frilly, lacy stuff (and what they do have that's lacy looks like my mom's lingerie from the 70s), but I got my shiny royal blue one for $9. It fits better than any of the ones I bought (and then donated) after being professionally fitted.


OMG I NEEDED THAT MYSTERY STAIN ADVICE SO BAD. Mystery stains have ruined many a shirt, thanks a lot communal washing machines!
Also this is hilarious because I really need to do laundry. Like, I have probably gone two more weeks than I should have.
Also I always use Dryel for dry clean only stuff, and it has not done me wrong yet.

Lee Van Queef

@Megano! I have used Dryel, but I'm still always so skeptical, maybe because I know nothing about real dry cleaning. Is it really clean?! What about stains, do you pretreat them? Does it work????


@Woman Laughing Alone With Boas Yeah it has a stain remover, and these little pads you put underneath to suck up the stain, and then these fresh smelling sheets you put in the bag and dryer.
I did used to work at a dry cleaner but they used a kind of dry cleaning that used water (I have no idea how it worked, it was from Germany)?


@Megano! This advice is SOOO timely, because I just pulled a brand new shirt out of the clean laundry this morning, only to find it aspeckled with mystery grease stains! I knew that Jolie would no doubt have the answer in the archive somewhere, so I was thrilled to find the exact answer I needed brand new and shiny today! Now I just need to use the Lestoil and pray to the laundry gods HARD because it's already gone through the dryer. Ugh.

On a related note, I'm anxiously awaiting technology to advance until communal washers have an "I'm polluted with some juicebox's residue bleach or fabric softener!" alert.


@SuperGogo I found that this happened a lot when I was using the dorm washers and dryers, because dummy freshman who had never done their own laundry would do stuff like leave chapstick in their pants and the residue would get all over my shirrrrrts rargh! But annnnyway, I found that if you took some of that super-concentrated detergent, dabbed a little bit on both sides of the stains, let it sit for a day, and then washed it with cold water, it came right out! And that was after it had gone through the dryer.

Tuna Surprise

LW who is tempted to handwash her wool dress - don't do it. It's not the washing that's a pain, it's the ironing. It's gonna take you forever to try to get both the dress and the lining to be crisp and wrinkle free. Whatever the dryclear charges will be worth it once you're knee deep in iron hell.

Lily Rowan

@Tuna Surprise YES. I definitely have clothes I only dry clean because I can't deal with the ironing. Worth every penny.


@Tuna Surprise SERIOUSLY. Ironing anything lined is a huge pain in the heinie. It's worth the $7 or whatever to avoid throwing your iron across the room in a rage.

Maybe try dress shields to get some more mileage out of your wearings? They're little fabric crescents you pin into the underarms of your clothes. You can get them at fabric stores.

Faintly Macabre

@Tuna Surprise Yeah, fabrics that are finicky or lined-and-finicky, like lined wool or linen, go to the dry cleaners. I just try to wear them minimally or with tights/a shirt underneath to keep them cleaner longer. I'd rather shell out maybe $15 a year to keep them than ruin something I love.


@Tuna Surprise I've cured the ironing post hand washing issue by purchasing a steamer. And to be quite honest sometimes spot treating and a good going over with the steamer eliminates the need for hand washing all together.

Faintly Macabre

@Lucille2 Steamers are my favorite things!! I got to use an industrial one when I briefly worked retail, and other people hated steaming things but I loved it. It was like having a magic wand!


@Lucille2 What about those dry cleaning bags you throw in the dryer? I too do the dry-clean-and-spare-the-ironing-hell, but sometimes in between I'll do the Dryel dry cleaning bags. Not for stuff that has to be crisp though.

le mango

@Lucille2 I, too, love my steamer. But here's a question: is it okay to steam wool? It seems like the hot+wet factor could do me wrong here (unlike everywhere else in my life, where it is great).


@le mango It should be okay, as long as you don't agitate the fabric. BUT, I have never actually tried this, so you may want to wait for someone else to answer.


When I am dead my headstone will read: She Told The Hairpin 100 Times, To Fix Stinky Laundry, Add Half a Cup of Lysol or Mr. Clean

Genghis Khat

@noReally I am just wondering where you acquire this liquid lysol. That is how bad I am at being a clean person, I only ever see it in spray.

Genghis Khat

@noReally Thank you! Previously my methodology was to lay the garments on the floor and spray an entire can of lysol on them prior to washing. Your way seems so much more effective.


@noReally Add it to laundry itself or run it through the washing machine empty?


@mabellegueule In with the laundry. It will fix the washer at the same time. Or I guess if the washer was really, really ick, like I guess the front load kind can get if they're not used all the time, you might do a whole bunch through the machine empty.


@noReally So this doesn't hurt or discolor the clothes? I'm impressed. My boyfriend has some stinky work shirts that I'm desperate to de-stink.


@Stevie I swear I have never ruined anything. And I have resurrected towels that you couldn't ride in a closed car with. And shirts that still smelled mildewy after many hot water washes and long time in the dryer.


@noReally All detergents are, by the physical structure of bacteria, anti-bacterial. Adding compounds to triclosan to soap products doesn't do anything useful, in terms of cleanliness.


@Xanthophyllippa Whatever. The stuff that makes stinky laundry not stink anymore, when no kind of the stuff labeled "laundry detergent" will, is the stuff sold as Antibacterial All-Purpose Cleaner.


"You will end up with tiny persons' clothing if you wash your woolens in hot water."
Truth. I lost a favourite sweater this way. And I still keep it in my apartment in case it magically grows and fits me again. This is why I do not give advice on being a clean person.


@teaandcakeordeath I'm keeping mine in case the '90s trend of midriff-baring 3/4-length sleeved v-necks comes back. Or for a halloween costume in which I dress as a character for 90210.


@teaandcakeordeath When my daughter had head lice a couple of years ago, I freaked out and, without thinking, threw EVERY ITEM OF CLOTHING she'd worn for the past week in hot water wash. This included the HANDMADE WOOL PONCHO my mother had made for her the previous year. It is now a doll poncho, and I am officially the worst mother and daughter in the world. *sob*


@Bittersweet I think this is a perfectly reasonable response to head lice. There will always be more ponchos, God willing.


How does the dryer know what are our favourite things!?!

I think its time you threw a costume party :)

Genghis Khat

My bras trap a shocking amount of lint on them from my stupid shirts that I wear to work, and handwashing doesn't do much to rip the lint free. Right now I have an adrian-monk-like process of putting on a tv show while plucking individual chunks of red fluff out of my bra. Because of their laciness, a lint roller isn't super helpful.

Is there a better way?


@Genghis Khat I wish I had a better strategy to suggest but for me, it's the same: "Bones", a pair of tweezers, and me adding to my ever-increasing myopia.


@Genghis Khat : 1) red bra. 2) wrap a strip of clear packing tape around your hand, sticky side out. It's a lot more lint-pick-up-y than most lint-picker-uppers. If your bra fabric isn't super fragile, you can also scale up to duct tape, which is extra fun because it comes in like treebark camo and zebra and polka dot prints!


@Genghis Khat What about a lint shaver? Or are they too delicate? I usually go with bras that are more padded, because I feel like I get so freaking cold if I wear lacey bras, even if it's not that cold out.


@meganmaria Or try a dry swiffer sheet? It might pick up more lint, given how it likes to grab dust? Dunno, but it seems worth a try...


@Genghis Khat I love Adrian Monk and that is all I have to contribute.


I asked this on Twitter, but I'm about to do laundry again tonight and would like to avoid the same problem: white spots on black clothing after coming out of the washing machine? What is that about? Is it like detergent that didn't wash out or something? How do I stop it from happening? It only seems to happen on stuff that is air-dried, because my boyfriend's black tumble-dried shirts are fine.

(This is a problem that has only been happening since I moved into a new apartment and have been using the complex's laundry areas.)

Tuna Surprise

Do you use powdered detergent? If so, dissolve the detergent fully before putting it in the washer (and better to put it in before any clothes).


@Tuna Surprise

Nah, I just use the 7th Generation liquid stuff and it always goes in before clothes...it's weird. I thought maybe it was because the clothes weren't circulating properly somehow, but I'm never doing super loads of laundry. Hoom.


@DH@twitter Could it be other people's powder detergent that has collected in the nooks of the machine? When I get careless with dissolving my powder detergent, I see similar spots on dark clothing. They brush off with a lint brush, so I could see this kind of accumulation coming off during a tumble dry.


@DH@twitter My washing machine always did this when I did sheet loads, by which I surmised that it's because certain areas of the fabric didn't get rinsed well enough. Since I started setting the machine to do an extra rinse the problem has more or less disappeared.



That might be. I sponged off some of the spots from a pair of black jeans with a damp washcloth (which kinda worked), but didn't try a lint roller or bristled brush. That might be it!

Damn communal washers.


@DH@twitter Also maybe mineral build up or hard water? Calgon makes a liquid laundry additive that cured this problem for me.


I just want to give a holla to the lovely people who suggested I clean my grungy grosgrain ribbon sandals with OxyClean. They are beyootiful and sparkling now! Thank you all! I am already planning a general sandal cleaning for this weekend (I have my eye on you, ancient Tevas).


I hope there is a course in Laundry School on what you should do with said laundry once it is clean, folded, and ready to be put away. In other words, my underwear drawer is a disaster. I've purged it a few times, but I own so many pairs of white Hanes crew socks that have nothing wrong with them, and keeping them from encroaching on my panties is a full-time job. And I don't really know how I should be putting my bras away, either. HALP ME, HAIRPIN.


@camanda I am not ashamed to admit that I separate my unders, sport socks, tights and bras into shoe boxes within my dresser drawers. It is not the most glamorous solution by any means, but the shoe boxes are the right size for my drawers and this way I avoid spending hours at the Container Store staring at all the options with no freakin' clue what to buy.


@Cavendish (Your comment disappeared!) I actually have been coveting those exact cubes/shelves every time I go to Target. And, bonus, I actually have space to put one in my room! Never thought of using one for my underthings; that is super clever.

@hulia I'll have to try shoeboxes. I have some plastic containers in there for my trouser socks and my frillier/fancier panties, but it's OBVIOUSLY not helping.


@camanda I used to use shoeboxes too! A folded pair of undies fits a Converse box perfectly, so you have a nice little "file" of underwear. It's a bit neater than my bucket o' panties solution.

Does Axl have a jack?

@camanda My favorite new sock storage thing: an over-the-door shoe organizer with clear pockets. Roll socks, put in pockets, save drawer space. Tada!


@camanda I also do the shoeboxes to separate bras from grannies from thongies from spicier underthings. I have a big boot shoe box under my dresser for all my socks. I sit on the floor to put my shoes on anyway, might as well keep the socks within reach.


@Cavendish I also file my underwears. And my folded t-shirts. And my jeans. It makes finding what I'm looking for so much easier.


@camanda You know those plastic strap bins at Target, with the metal frame? (sort of like this?) Meaure your drawer and find one that fits snugly, depth-wise front to back, in your drawer. Then you have one area on the side for sports bras, either socks or undies in the actual bin (I vote undies), socks on the far side. 3 compartments, one bin.


@camanda I just toss all that stuff in a giant Tupperware bin. Because I am Klassy. (This is fun, because I have 89 pair of underwear and at least 50 pair of socks.)


Hey does anyone have a cute hamper recommendation? It needs to be fairly narrow front to back because of my tiny bedroom's layout, but it can be tall or wide side to side.

This request brought to you by a lovely made bed in a room that's made repulsive by the perpetually overflowing ugly plastic basket I use as a hamper.

ayo nicole

@OhMarie I need help with this, too! My hamper is blue mesh and I don't know why I ever thought it was acceptable. Now it's even less acceptable because some of the wiring has come out, and it just sags sadly in my closet.


@OhMarie I recently bought this one after my old dorm room type gave up the ghost after ten years or so. I'm loving the pull-out bag part; it's super convenient.


@TheCheesemanCometh YES! This is great!!


@OhMarie Cheap, too!


So how long should you keep a bra before upgrading to a new one, as far as strap stretchiness / cup wonkiness, etc.? I think I probably keep mine too long because buying bras is not super high on my "things I enjoy and want to spend money on" list, but I also find it hard to tell if I'm being too picky.


@KatieBarTheDoor I JUST went to a great lingerie store and they explained this to me: if you can fit three or more fingers at the back of your band (perpendicular to your spine) without squishing, it is too loose. Your ideal is 1-2 fingers.

I have no idea about cup wonkiness, though?


@KatieBarTheDoor You're supposed to buy a bra so that it is tight enough on the loosest hook. As it stretches, you move down the band. When you're on the last hook, buy a new bra so it can lay in waiting for the day you put your old bra on and realize it's not going to cut it anymore (see: SarahP's comment).

But if the cups are wonky...I say it's time to go already. I think generally cups get wonky a) because the bra was cheap to begin with or b) it should have been tossed months ago but you didn't do it. Cups wonk out slower than bands stretch out, IME. So if the cups are wonky, it's time to go for sure.

ayo nicole

@SarahP This is a great tip! Thank you!

Marquise de Morville

@KatieBarTheDoor If it is just the strap being too loose and not the fabric or cups you could try sewing a straight stitch along the elastic to keep it from stretching too much.


@KatieBarTheDoor Thanks, all!


"trying to wash your frilly lacies every 3-6 wearings"


The Lady of Shalott


YESTERDAY I GOT A PROFESSIONAL BRA FITTING AT INTIMACY. It has literally changed my life. I thought I wore a 34A and I hated, hated, hated bra shopping because it sucked. But my mom dragged me to Intimacy, and the fitter took ONE LOOK at me and fitted me into a 32C.

Magic. Everything suddenly fit. It was COMFORTABLE and it looked so much better! So I bought an expensive bra and IT IS THE BEST THING OF MY LIFE. Then I went bra shopping at other places with my right size and HOLY CRAP, FOR THE FIRST TIME, EVERYTHING FIT. It was so easy. It was so magical.

So all I'm saying is, go get fitted. It has LITERALLY CHANGED MY LIFE.

Tuna Surprise

@The Lady of Shalott
Amen to all that. Wearing my beautiful red lace Intimacy bra (also 32C although I had self-sized to be 34B). It was worth every penny.


@The Lady of Shalott YES, GET FITTED! I am always amazed by people who have never bothered. Either you've been buying the right size all along or your life is about to be changed. What's there to lose?


@The Lady of Shalott Word. <3 u, bra fitters of the world.


@The Lady of Shalott I washed my three intimacy bras yesterday (let's not talk about the water turning brown) and they were still wet this morning and I am wearing a bra from "Before" and my boobs feel like they are all over the place, I am wearing a scarf to cover my cleavage area!


@The Lady of Shalott I was really excited about getting a fitting and potentially having my mind blown by my Real Bra Size. In fact I was only buying bras that were slightly too big (36C instead of 34C). But I also learned that depending on the style of the bra I can wear a 36B or a 32D (!) and the fit will be pretty much the same, so that is pretty exciting.

sarah girl

@The Lady of Shalott Am I the only person who had a not-great experience at Intimacy? The bras they put me in made my boobs look fantastic, but I could hardly breathe, and I had the ABSOLUTE WORST back-fat/everywhere-fat spilling over, even after adjusting it like the lady suggested. And I am a pretty average-sized person! She basically said "Sorry, that'll sometimes happen even if the bra fits. Besides, it's not that noticeable."

UH, YES IT IS. I left the store and cried a little because I felt so disgusting. Ugh. I'll stick to my not-perfect bras, please.


@The Lady of Shalott fuck yeah. I cried in my bra fitting. A little bit because I felt like my boobs were an out of control monster, but also a little bit because I didn't know they could be that comfortable.


@Sarah H. : Oh GAH, that's the worrrrst. Ignore the unhelpful bog troll and just roll with the fact that it'll take a little more effort for you to find something you really like.

It's helpful to look at stuff online to find styles you like, and THEN go into the store. This works for chains, and also department stores who seem to all carry the same brands. So at least you're not walking in the door and freaking because WHERE TO START, SO MANY BRAS. Get the ones you liked online and drag them into a fitting room in a few different sizes each. Do not even worry about the numbers and letters and buying "the right size." Everyone's boobs have a different shape/size/positioning, and every bra style will fit differently -- different cup angles, strap positions, distance between cups.

Oh, and? BACK LUMPS. The worst. Look for longline bras, or bras with a wider back strap. A skinny back strap with a single hook is lump city. The standard two-hook width is not much better. Often a two-hook bra style will come in "full figure" sizes and will have a wider back with three or more hooks. (Frederick's has a lined but unpadded stretch lace demi that this applies to. It's pretty good, doesn't shift around a lot, and comes in lots of colors. Yay!)


@Sarah H. I had this happen when I got fitted last year. I went to Victoria's Secret which, I know a lot of people don't like them, but I have an easy to find size, they're near my apartment, and I knew I could afford anything I wanted from there-- no surprises.

Everything felt so much better even though my size hadn't been that off-- my old bra was just clearly shot. But I probably made the poor bra fitter bring me at least three different kinds of shirts in addition to my own, in various sizes, to confirm that it wasn't going to be a huge mistake, and it still hurt my feelings. Definitely disappointing to go from "This looks/feels so much better" to "This looks/feels so much better... From the front. :("

I'm sorry that happened to you! I try to be calm about that stuff (I know most of this stuff doesn't fit me, that's why I haven't paid money for it and brought it home!) but it still hurts to actually get fitted and have it still... not.


@Sarah- Yeah. I bought an astonishingly expensive bra from them after a fitting, and... It didn't feel great. It's like the straps were too long or something and adjusting them to my short torso just kind of made them feel like they were digging in to the skin.

And the band on one bra rolled when I wore it. On the other, it had two hooks and just didn't feel supportive.

Add to that, that the bra cups felt like they were... I dunno, gonna slide off or something? I don't think I looked that great in a shirt, either, afterwards- I felt saggy.

ANYWAY. The point is. Intimacy. The bras felt fine in the shop and by two wearings later, I was like THIS ISN'T RIGHT I DO NOT FEEL BETTER.

Also, my Less Expensive More Snug Supportive Bras? I think the elastic is giving out. Or maybe I have lost some weight/added some muscle tone in the core/torso. So they don't feel good either.

I am very bra frustrated right now. How is it you can tell if shoes are not going to work out pretty easily, but bras...

There should be a ten-day bra trial rule so you can bring it back and say this and this and this are the problems.

Finally- Other Bra Place? Not carrying things in my size anymore, it looks like. And at 36/8 DD/DDD, that means no one but Intimacy is.



@PistolPackinMama I have never heard of this Intimacy place, but I would suggest finding an actual lingerie shop near you, or perhaps trying Nordstrom. I wear a 36D/34DD, and I have had great luck with a (formerly) local lingerie shop in McLean, VA called Trousseau, and Nordstrom is always a good backup.


@Sarah H. This is what I am always convinced will happen to me if I were to get a professional bra fitting. I feel like there's all this prejudice against big band sizes, but...I have a really big torso/rib cage, so I think I pretty much need a big band size? I really hate having tight, suffocating clothes on, especially bras, so I don't really need some lady who listened too hard to Oprah's "everyone is wearing the wrong bra size" mantras to cram me into a too-tight bra. I don't know.


@mlle.gateau I've had some good luck with Nordstrom in the past. Intimacy is a small chain, and I think the good luck a lot of people have had is a good sign. I am pretty sure if I took the bras I have in, and explained what I didn't like about them, they would be responsive. The independently owned bra stores in my city don't carry my sizes.

And I think explaining to a fitter "I know about band-size. But I am not kidding. I know I am big through the torso and my X-size band? Is uncomfortably tight" might be something they respond to.

sarah girl

@WaityKatie Yep, I'm the same way - I have a wide torso, and pretty much actually need a 36 (maaaaaybe a 34 in certain brands, but not really). So damn frustrating. Especially since I'm not that tall (5'6") and am reasonably slim, I think they didn't quite believe that my chest was that broad? I was like JESUS FUCKING CHRIST can you just go off-book and recognize that this looks awful?

I might try again, but I'll probably do a different place like Nordstrom, and warn them ahead of time that I need to breathe!!


@Sarah H. Yeah, I kind of wonder why they even make the bigger band sizes if "nobody" needs to wear them? I mean, people come in different shapes and sizes, so... I can't even cram into a 36 without being in pain, and I've tried the whole "go up a cup size and down a band size" thing repeatedly - it don't work. I've got, like, man-width shoulders, so. I would be really good at harvesting crops, probably. With a scythe.


RAYON (real rayon, not synthetic). I am the handwash queen with wool and cotton knits and lingerie, but I am afraid to get water on this rayon blazer I have (considering the bitch of a time I had with just a little water spot).
It is possible to handwash this without ruining it?


@gobblegirl I handwash my rayon stuff all the time, no negative effects! In fact, I often now wash it in the "handwash" cycle on my washing machine. But I'd start with actually handwashing it before you get too cocky. But make sure the water is very cold, just in case the color tries to run.

fondue with cheddar

I get mystery grease stains all the time and I DON'T EVEN USE FABRIC SOFTENER. :(


@jen325 Me too. I'm not completely unconvinced someone didn't throw a cheeseburger into the wash right before I close the lid.

fondue with cheddar

@parallel-lines What a waste of a perfectly good cheeseburger!


@jen325 Me too!
I've left a tube of chapstick in the wash and had grease stains, but I swear I haven't done that in years.

fondue with cheddar

@gravie OH NO. That is totally something I would do if I used Chapstick. I use the Blistex that comes in the tiny jar, and it feels really uncomfortable in my pocket so I never have to worry about leaving it in there when I wash my pants.

Ten Thousand Buckets

@jen325 Me too! I do use dryer sheets, but not fabric softener. I had some spots on one of my favorite tees a couple washes ago and I was so mad. I knew I hadn't spilled anything because I'm super paranoid about stains.

I just pretreated the spots with this Buncha Farmers stain remover stick I got at the hardware store, and it came out of the next wash just fine. Very mysterious.

fondue with cheddar

@Ten Thousand Buckets Ooh! I'll look for that stuff. Thanks for the suggestion!




@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher You made my day.


@marianlibrarian I'm waiting for someone to finish the quote...


This is probably part of Bra Ownership 101, which I apparently missed, but what is the consensus on washing bras in the machine using a bra bag thing? I kind of hate hand washing clothes (I feel I can never get them rinsed enough. Also: lazy.) So I know it is clearly not the gentlest, best way ever to wash underthings, but is it a fine enough way to wash utilitarian (not fancy) bras? Is it really going to put a huge dent in the life of my bras?


@WhiskeySour *shifty eyes to the left and right* Okay, I do this. All my current bras are utilitarian, and I haven't noticed an issue. The machine has probably contributed to the destruction of lace and netting on some previous bras of mine (at least weakened the fabric), so I guess I'd take the time with anything expensive or lacey.


@WhiskeySour For everyday bras, I do this. I use Forever New lingerie detergent and lingerie bags and the gentle cycle. I know it's not technically what I should be doing, but I do it and I haven't had too many problems with this method. For super expensive/delicate stuff I'll handwash, but even then I use Soak wash because it's super easy (you literally just soak your stuff in it. You don't have to sit there swirling with your hands. I don't even think you have to rinse if it I remember correctly, but it's been so long since I've not used the machine that I don't remember).

fondue with cheddar

@WhiskeySour This is me! And it's good timing because my boyfriend just bought a Groupon for this lingerie place that does fittings and has really good quality stuff, but I'm afraid to buy nice bras for this exact reason. But my boobs are big and I'm very short, which makes finding the right bra extremely difficult. I haven't had a well-fitting bra since I was in my teens.


@TheLetterL I'd really love some sort of scientific study of this. Because yes, there is anecdotal evidence that hand washing is better. But how much better? Because if it's say, 300+ wearings better than machine washing, then I would definitely put in the effort. But if it's only, say, 15 wearings better over the life of the bra, then forget it, into the machine it's going. (Come on, get on this Consumer Reports!)

Prostitute Robot From The Future

@WhiskeySour I throw 'em in the washer as well, never had a problem. My aunt had her washing machine destroyed by a bra, though (the underwire jammed something in the machine and then firey stuff happenend). So...maybe not so bad for the bra, but possibly harmful to your washing machine?

Faintly Macabre

@WhiskeySour The things I've read in my internet research say that machine washing bras on cold/delicate in a mesh bag is totally fine, it's drying them that's not okay. Bed Bath & Beyond sells these cylinders, which are probably even gentler.

Carrie Ann

@WhiskeySour I'm right there with you. Maybe because I don't spend very much money on my bras, I'm not willing to spend much time caring for them either. I use the lingerie bag, and I air dry the bras (and my more delicate undies), but I just wash them in the same load as whatever color they are. Regular permanent press cycle, regular detergent. I have bras that are going on five years old, so I think it's working.

But, I will say that apparently in contrast to other 'Pinners, I have a pretty solid collection of everyday bras. I have two black, four beige, and two whites in my regular rotation. So I'm getting a lot of life out of these guys because I have a large enough stock on hand that I'm not wearing them out.


@WhiskeySour I would be all over that study!


@WhiskeySour My general feeling is that for all of the "t-shirt" bras I buy at the Gap? They can just go into a bra bag with the rest of my laundry. Bras that are made out of lace and/or mesh get hand-washed.


Not really on topic, but I do ever so wish that more solutions called for an ice cube and a knife.


@lil_bobbytables those tools also work for gum on your pants. Like, say, if you think you spat your gum properly into the trashcan at work, but instead missed and it landed between your thighs on the seat cushion, and then you sort of shifted back and forth because you have ants in your pants or something (which is ridiculous because you are a grown-up, good lord stop fidgeting), and then you get up to go get more water and VIOLA, ABC gum on your tushie, good thing your friend keeps an emergency pair of pants in his desk drawer but bummer that he's easily 9 inches taller than you and very differently shaped about the waist/butt.

I mean, hypothetically.


@stonefruit Your friend who keeps an emergency pair of pants in his desk drawer is intriguing. I would like to hear more about this friend.


@MoonBat I have an emergency pair of pants in my desk drawer. I also have enough running gear in my office that I could outfit myself and three other people should they ever sit and fidget in their ABC gum. That running gear came in very handy on Monday when I arrived at work, went to change out of my waterproof bike pants (it was raining) into my skirt, and realized I hadn't brought any underwear. Thank you, short running spandex!

(I don't wear undies with the rain pants because the waterproof tape has come off the crotch seams and once the wet bike seat soaked through.)

@lil_bobbytables You're the only person aside from my mother I've ever heard use "ABC" as an abbreviated descriptor. I applaud you.


Yo! On the mysterious orange spots (or pink streaks, even): if you're using any kind of benzoyl peroxide on your face, that shit can bleach the hell out of your clothes, so be sure to wash your hands and such after applying (and when you wash pillowcases, towels, etc., just maybe be prepared to do a "zit cream ugh wash" where you expect the streaks to occur, I guess).

Aunty Christ

MIMI HOLLIDAY for cute bras in all sizes. And EUCLAN for washing it. You don't need to rinse. I wash my nice underwear in the sink with it, too.
There's a site online evesappleslingerie.com specializing in petite busts but always try shit before you buy it online!


@Where Pies Go When They Die I would love this advice. I own one bra. It is an "A". It is too large for me. And while, yes, it is "nice" to not "have to" wear a bra all the time, there are a lot of clothes that don't look good braless.


@Where Pies Go When They Die My sister is small (I don't know, like, numbers, but I know it is inconvenient) and she likes Elle MacPherson.

Regina Rizzo@facebook

I'm gonna say it.
I've been using the Woolite for regular clothes.

I love it! It smells so nice! I don't care what y'all think! ;)


@Regina Rizzo@facebook I have ALWAYS done this. ALWAYS. I use Woolite Dark on my darks! And since I started doing my own laundry, I gave up buying All or whatever just to do towels and stuff. WOOLITE ALL AROUND.


A thought on the slightly stinky pants: If you air-dry clothes in a damp environment (my New England basement in the summer, for example), they can acquire a mildewy odor in the time it takes them to dry, simply because it takes them longer to dry than usual. "Usual" being an environment with less humid air. I deal with this by using baking soda in each wash and then making sure I keep an eye on the clothes and take them off the rack and out of the basement as soon as they're dry. Sometimes I have to run stuff through the dryer briefly to finish it, which I'd rather not do, but it's better than a persistent mildewy smell. Another option would be to avoid drying clothes in the basement, but I don't really have anywhere else to put them.


@pinecone My jeans feel like they become nasty smelling really quickly if I wear them more than once. It's kind of awful, actually.


Mystery stain LW! This was happening to me and it turned out to be actual grease because the bearings in my dryer were leaking. The dryer turned out to be toast, which sucks, but if this continues to happen after you change fabric softener, look into it.


@Where Pies Go When They Die - Have you tried http://www.thelittlebracompany.com ? I don't fit in their sizes so I don't have personal experience, but I was a lingerie blogger for several years and from everything they sent me about their process, it sounds like they absolutely come at it from a small bra POV - they don't just create 34C bras and scale them down or something. I forget all the details but I do remember being very impressed with how they put a lot of care into making the cups the right depth for petite frames, making the band the right shape, etc.


I love "Brawr"! Thank you! It makes me sing the "well you know my name is Simon, and I like to do drawrings" from that Nickelodeon show!


@MoonBat It makes ME sing The Lumberjack Song. Except I'm not wearing any suspendies (today).


@MoonBat Wait, Nickelodeon show? Isn't that a Mike Myers SNL skit where he sits in a bathtub?


@MoxyCrimeFighter The SNL spoof was based on an actual show, Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings.
(p.s. I'm an Old)


@MoxyCrimeFighter: Yes, Pinwheel, I think!
High Five to a fellow Old!


@MoonBat Three-way high five! And I'm enough of an Old to remember it on Captain Kangaroo - before it was on Pinwheel.

(Also, remember Calliope, with Gene? I wrote in once and got back an envelope full of balloons with the show name and his cartoon face on them.)


So...wearing a bra into the shower, not okay then?

Cause I really wanted to try that.

mine de rien

@parallel-lines I've found it works well on the condition that a) you rinse them really thoroughly, and b) every six weeks or so, wash them the long involved way, because the shower-wash freshens them up nicely but doesn't really deep-clean. Oh, and probably not a good idea if your bras are padded, because then they just turn into sponges.


@parallel-lines I usually just chuck mine into the tub when I take a hot bath. Yeah, I'm both that disgusting AND that lazy.


Handwashing suiting you need to iron is not worth it. However, handwashing wool sweaters and other knits by the method above? TOTALLY worth it, especially if you own any handknits.

To squeeze the water out of just-handwashed knits, lay out a bath or beach towel on the floor. Arrange your garment on top of it, also flat. Now roll the whole thing up into a giant sausage. Stand on it for a few minutes to press out the bulk of the moisture without agitating the fabric. Then unroll and lay the knit flat to dry like you would normally. Voila!


CLEAN PERSON, THANK YOU. I'm studying abroad in Germany right now, and I don't know what the deal is with all this awesome German technology that does not extend to dryers in student housing, but the dryer (yes, there's only one for about 200 people) in my building and in my friends' buildings will not dry anything on any setting. I tried to dry towels because air-dried towels are icky and instead it just made them smell weird. EVERYTHING gets air-dried.

Which means everything smells bad in some way, and I hate it. I'm definitely going to do the vinegar/towel thing for my jeans. (Although my towels smell bad, too.....)


@Lirby Maybe air dry and then fluff them up in the dryer?


@Lirby I had the same problem when I visited Germany with my family. Eventually I ran some clothes through the dryer so many times that they were literally SMOKING but still wet?

The system I eventually used was to start the heavier stuff (towels/jeans) in the dryer and then finish them by hang-drying (didn't want to carry laundry downstairs twice because I am lazy/efficient or I would have fluffed them after).

Also, I put vinegar in pretty much every load of my laundry. My colors stay so colorful, and my clothes smell so fresh :)

Marquise de Morville

@Lirby I think the reason the drier does not work proper is because they do not have air vents as the US but use water cooling to dry the clothes. That is much less efficient, and you can only dry very small amounts at a time, maybe one towel? You could try finding a laundromat, but they are pretty rare.


@Marquise de Morville Yeah, but the minimum amount of coins we can put into the machines is 4 coins, which is 2 Euros... I feel like they wouldn't charge me 2 Euros to dry one towel.

And if they do, that's really terrible of them. And I may cry.

Marquise de Morville

@Lirby That is probably the case? I am sorry that this is terrible, but driers are considered a luxury thing? Essentially most people live with ever-drying laundry in their apartment, which must suck if you live in student housing and are used to having a drier. (The trick is to get a large folding rack and pegs and leave enough air in between and continually air out your room, and even then it still sucks.) Real laundromat driers fit more and are more efficient, so if you can find one it may be worth it. Also, line dried towels become less rough if you rub them a lot before using.


When dealing with laundry, my husband refers to my delicates as my "delightfuls" and it's pretty adorable.

(I'm sorry but I had to tell someone at some point and it doesn't come up much in conversation.)


@punkahontas My brother once, when I almost kicked him in the balls, said, "Ah, my soft and delicates!" So that's what I think of when I hear "delicates."

Yours is much cuter.




@Where Pies Go When They Die I think I'm in love with you.


Oh, Jolie, thank you so much for the mention of the limited options for we unreasonably be-bosomed. I have so many thoughts and too many feelings and I can't get them sorted, but I wanted to let you know that it made my tummy all warm and happy when I read that, so thank you!

je suis un ananas

Long time lurker, in a total "I need a clean person" panic here. I'm getting ready to move out of my apartment and I need to deal with a stain on my carpet that was caused by a red, beeswax candle getting knocked over about um... 10 months ago.
I have already scraped the wax off. But there is a rather larger red stain remaining in the center of the carpet. Does anyone have any suggestions? I really can't afford to lose my security deposit.


@je_suis_un_ananas I remembering hearing vague ideas of an iron on a warm setting over paper (like a brown paper bag or something with a bit of a rough texture). Heat the wax enough to get it to bond to the paper and then lift it off? I wouldn't know where to begin with the details here, probably depends on what sort of fiber your rug is, but I think with wax you need to use heat.

eta - Oh, wait, you already got the wax out. Sorry so unhelpful - no clue about the stain.


@je_suis_un_ananas The iron/paper bag solution that Jolie mentioned should work in your situation too. Oh, and also? Welcome to commenting!

je suis un ananas

@KatPruska maybe it's residual wax I'm dealing with here? I'm no expert so I'll give your method a try. What's the worst that can happen?

je suis un ananas

@SuperGogo Thanks for the welcome. I've been reading the 'Pin since it began, but only just finished my last grad school final, so now I feel like I am allowed to participate!


@je suis un ananas FIRE. Fire could happen.

Just kidding. I hope it works! Security deposit uncertainty is the worst!


@je suis un ananas Mais les ananas ne parlent pas!

(Nous nous appellons Les Squellettes!)

je suis un ananas

@Xanthophyllippa One thousand points awarded to you, my friend.


@je suis un ananas Bonjour! Allo! Salut!


I got a text from my husband literally this afternoon just saying "I forgot the laundry."

Jolie + Vinegar = laundry saved!


@KeLynn I am very interested in hearing more about lingerie blogging! Signed, a busty lady.


Jolie! LATEX PAINT. I stepped in a massive puddle of latex paint while doing field work, and now I don't know how to get it out of my 100% cotton pants. Can I get it off of my Keens without destroying them? HELP! PLEASE!!

Wandering Shelver

@mlle.gateau My favorite new thing for getting dried latex paint off things is Gloves Off Tough Stain Remover. I bought some after a review on a tool blog mentioned the reviewer used it to get latex paint out of a carpet. Now all my grubbies are paint-free... for now, anyway.


@mlle.gateau Ahhhhh, I will have to find this product and purchase it! Thank you!


to dry things after handwashing, first lay the item on a bath towel (the old shreddy one you use for this kind of thing) an roll it up in the towel. then press gently to push out the water. Unroll it and then hang or lay it flat to dry. This will help it dry faster and keep water from dripping all over everything as you go to hang it up.


Have sweat stains already been covered by Jolie? Prevention and triage would be immensely appreciated.


@ohyeahmetoo whoa, i am really tired and don't know how to delete or edit this. what i meant was prevention and TREATMENT (or similar term). but as mentioned before, braindead today. please help resolve my fear of white shirts.

mine de rien

@ohyeahmetoo Hey, if the stains are bad enough, "triage" is probably the right word. I know some of mine are in critical condition and my work shirts are DNR.


@ohyeahmetoo I would like more info on this too! I think it has been covered in past ACP posts? But my shirts...even the Oxi does nothing. Anti perspirant is a monster.


@ohyeahmetoo Prevention-wise, I found that rinsing out any shirt I knew I'd sweat (sweatted?) in before putting it in the laundry helped tremendously. 20-minute soak in the sink, squeeze out, hang in shower... When it's dry, you can then either wear it again or put it in the laundry for official washing.


@je suis un ananas sorry this is super late, but thanks! of course she posted that while i was on my terrible trip to australia. and @Xanthophyllippa, thanks, i have done that once or twice but wasn't sure it did anything. now i'm more likely to try it more often.


I just bought a pile of lovely new jeans and would love to crowdsource some advice on the care and keeping of Nice Jeans. They're all superdark indigo wash, and I'm going to run them through a full launder (cold water wash, normal tumble dry, right side out) first time through so I don't get dye all over my hands/arms/couch. (This will be a Jeans Only For The Love Of Your Laundry load, obvs.) THEREAFTER, I don't know what to do--should I just continue washing them normally? Wash them inside out? Hang dry? I am not a huge fan of air-dried jeans (so crunchy...) but I just bought these and want to keep them in working order as long as possible! Hints?

le mango

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I wash mine inside out. I have no proof, but I firmly believe it keeps them dark for longer. Also, and I cannot remember where I read this-- maybe Real Simple?-- but you have to do up all the zippers and buttons and whatnots before you wash 'em.


@le mango Hmmmmmm, I will keep that in mind! I will try and remember to do up zippers and whantots.

mine de rien

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Cold water always (unless there is a really good reason not to) and the vinegar trick should also help you with both the crunchiness and the retention of dye. I haven't done this with jeans, but my work uniforms are dark pants/white shirt/red apron (and at the moment, hot pink apron), and I have escaped the fate of several of my now-pink-shirted colleagues despite the fact that these aprons are cheap and don't want to hold their dye, so I can definitely say it works. Best of luck!


@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Definitely cold water always. I would use a gentle detergent too, to reduce fading. Air-drying is the best, although the crunchiness is annoying. You could stick them in the dryer for a couple of minutes to soften them up, or shake them/beat them/crumple and uncrumple them by hand, I suppose.


@Where Pies Go When They Die Scrap the "let's get small bras" mission. I am now going to go braless under clingy white garments all the time.


I can confirm the magical ability of white vinegar to remove laundry funk.

When I lived with my brother, for some reason his bath towels smelled super-duper, permanently funky. He hung them up, but I think at some point they'd been left in a wet pile and had grown some kind of invisible mildew or something. I washed them* repeatedly in hot water, detergent, and Oxy Clean, and dried them thoroughly, but the funk remained.

And then I happened to experiment with putting a cup of white vinegar in the rinse, which I'd been told was a good substitute for fabric softener.

The towel funk was GONE. 100% totally disappeared. AMAZING.

As fabric softener, white vinegar is just okay -- better than nothing, not as good as actual softener. But it's brilliant at removing moisture-induced funk.

*N.B. I did NOT generally do my brother's laundry. The funky towels hanging in my bathroom just bothered me so much that I had to try washing them myself.

mine de rien

@snowmentality What is it with guys and their towels? Husband's are the same, except I've tried the vinegar trick and his man-bacteria or whatever they are somehow survived that. Mine never do that and I used to leave them crumpled up for ages before hanging them up. I don't get it.


Late to the party, but as a warning to the lined, wool sheath dress LW: One time, I put a lined wool sheath dress in the washer on cold-cold, delicate cycle and it *still* shrank the wool. So now it quite shorter than it ought to be and the liner shows at the bottom. I think I actually cried when I noticed it (although I just decided to start wearing it again anyway).


How do I clean my couch pillows? Years ago the tags were removed, so I can't be sure of the fabric type (but I'm almost positive they don't contain ANY wool or silk). The covers aren't removable. I've done the vacuum and and damp cloth method, but I still feel like they contain a lot of built up skin oils and other... stuff. What else can I do to make them smell good again (they smell constantly musty) and feel clean?


@FlyBy Can you take them to a laundromat with large washers?

Susie the Bear

This just in: I just discovered wet, stinking laundry in my washer (omg... it was in there for two weeks! HOW did I forget?). All I had was baking soda - with the addition of the entire box of baking soda my wash came out smelling nice! THANK YOU, CLEAN PERSON


today i decided i was going to properly wash my bras The Jolie Way for the first time in my life (i.e. not just throw them in a washer bag which is what I always, and rarely, do)



Our after-school forays into the cellar became half teenage boys wanting to find. Vintage Watches


So I have a bra that denom stains and I was wondering what I should do to get those stains out becuase I am a DD and It's really REALLY hard to get a good bra that supports and lifts... So I really need to get the stains out! Any suggestions are welcome!! And I really appreciate those directions and methods!! :)

Ghulam Hussain@facebook

Once Zack Greer Lizard Outlaws put back by one with eight minutes left in the half. JoJo Marasco scored without the aid of the second night, and his career.Corel Draw X6


She likes Lunaire and Fantasie because they make pretty bras that come in a ton of sizes. Fantasie also makes cute bathing suits with underwires. HerRoom.com is a good site to look on, they carry multiple brands that come in bigger sizes
what does bubblegum casting do


am wearing a scarf to cover my cleavage area!
what does bubblegum casting do


I see that there is some celebrity, an actor perhaps, with this same name combination. On the upside, he received a valentine at school from two girls who love One Direction, ostensibly because they like that my son shares his name with their lead singer.
copiadoras blanco y negro


I am keen about the several styles of which side producing requires.
bubblegum casting reviews

Shu-Chip Tho@facebook

The website layout is perfect, the subject matter is very wonderful : D. Poker Online Indonesia


Your blog is very informative. The topic, which you highlighted above, is very informative.cpac imagingpro 3.0


I am always searching for quality posts and articles and this is what I found here, I hope you will be adding more in future.Download GOM Player


Lovely just what I was searching for. Thanks to the author for taking his clock time on this one. vigrx ingredients


Attractive portion of content. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to claim that I acquire actually enjoyed account your weblog posts. Anyway I'll be subscribing for your feeds and even I success you access consistently fast. vigrx scam


Your blog is very informative. The topic, which you highlighted above, is very informative


Your blog is very informative. The topic, which you highlighted above, is very informative


Your blog is very informative. The topic, which you highlighted above, is very informative


Hey, great blog, but I don’t understand how to add your site in my rss reader. Can you Help me please? bulk sms in nigeria

Post a Comment

You must be logged-in to post a comment.

Login To Your Account