DEAR ABBY: "Double-Jointed in Dayton," who complained about how difficult it is to buy a bra, touched upon a subject that has been my pet peeve for years.
Why is it that if a woman wears a 32-A and really doesn't need to wear a bra at all, she has her choice of white, black, beige, navy, shocking pink and turquoise, as well as plaids, polka dots and leopard prints? But if a woman is a 42-D (or more) and requires a bra every waking moment, she has a choice of -- white.
The lingerie industry is missing out on a large (literally) part of its potential customer base. Sign me ... THE WOMAN IN WHITE, LONGPORT, N.J.
DEAR WOMAN IN WHITE: When I printed that letter, I thought I'd do it as a hint to the lingerie industry. Little did I know that the letter would hit a nerve with so many women. My cup runneth over ... Read on:
DEAR ABBY: While you're on the subject of bras, may I add my 2 cents? I want to tell you how inconvenient it is for large-sized women -- 200 pounds -- when our size is always displayed near the floor on the racks. Every store puts the small sizes at the top of the rack. Not only are the items we need hard to reach, but it's also hard to locate what I'm looking for while bent over. Thanks for letting me have my say. -- BETTY IN SAN JOSE
DEAR BETTY: I agree. It is shortsighted to expect all heavy-set women to be farsighted -- or limber.
DEAR ABBY: I am very slender and small-busted. Underwire bras hurt. Just try to find a 34-B that doesn't have underwires. -- BRA-LESS IN OKLAHOMA
DEAR BRA-LESS: Do what I do. Emancipate yourself by using a razor blade and removing the wires.
DEAR ABBY: When someone asks if there is a "Satan," I always respond, "Yes. Who else would have invented women's undergarments and shoes?"
Truly, the manufacturers have no concept of reality when it comes to brassieres. Those of us old enough to remember the 1950s know what real torture is. That was the day of the bullet-shaped bra! No wonder the first act of rebellion in the women's liberation movement was the burning of bras. -- RUTH L. IN FRESNO
DEAR RUTH L.: We don't have to look back to the '50s to remember those bras; all we have to do is rent an old Madonna video. She wore hers on the outside, no less, so no one could miss the point.
DEAR ABBY: I wish manufacturers would design something that fits real women instead of Barbie dolls. The strap adjustments are only the beginning of the problem. We women are not fooled for one minute as to why those sharp little hooks are always right in the dead center of our backs. We know it's to keep us gals from relaxing for even a minute. It's pretty hard to lean back and feel comfortable with those little devils fracturing your spine! I'm sure I'm not the only one complaining. -- DISGUSTED CUSTOMER
DEAR DISGUSTED CUSTOMER: You're not. And if the garment manufacturers are reading, here are a few other tips from well-endowed readers. They'd like wider strap options, straps with better support and no elastic, straps that are placed a little more to the center so they don't slip off the shoulders. Listen up!