One of the down-sides of being a girl is that every now and then you have to make a foray to Marks & Sparks for 'the perfect bra'. Not just the perfect bra (and the perfect fit) for our own individual assets but also the perfect bra for every outfit, every occasion, every season, every mood.
In the summer, that usually means strapless.
And that means wading through a series of contraptions that make you look like you've got a pair of padded pyramids, ice cream cones or a couple of ballistic missiles strapped to your chest.
Though I am a well-rounded lass in every sense of the word, my boobs are among the better-behaved parts of my body. Still relatively pert, they're a lot closer to my chin than my waist. I'm just not used to being particularly busty. They're definitely there, of course, but not in any high-profile in-your-face sort of way.
These days, I find the ever-growing array of FFs & GGGs et al (you know, the ones that look more like crash helmets for Siamese twins than underwear) frankly a little scary. I don't recall there being so many of them when I first started shopping for something more than just moral support, but now the frillies section of your local M&S is swamped with the things in a variety of shapes, colours and a titillating selection of designs that bear no relation to the 'sensible' support we were urged to opt for way back then (good news for naturally well-endowed girls, of course).
And can anyone tell me whose boobs most of the moulded cups are modelled on? I was under the impression that most breasts were round-ish (mine certainly are). So why, oh why, do so many bras seems to have ambitions in the conical direction? Most off-putting.
Whether you are super-sized or a bog-standard C-cup, it can come as a bit of a shock to my system to look down when wearing one of those shaped, padded bustenhalters and nearly poke your eye out on one of your own boobs!
If you're not used to it, it's very weird to feel like your breasts enter the room 5 minutes before you do. You feel like your body has been invaded by Jessica Rabbit or you've morphed into a reincarnation of Jayne Mansfield.
Of course, you could just slap on the strapless, get dressed, walk out the door and get on with your life without a second thought. And, believe me, that's what I try to do - until I catch a fleeting glimpse of myself in a mirror or a shop window, and then it’s like "What the...? Where did they...? How the hell did that happen!?"
Mind you, there are advantages. On those days when you just don't have enough hands to do everything at once, you can simply wedge your frappe (iced coffee) glass into your heaving cleavage (bbrrr!), add a long straw - and hey presto! You're free to get on with things and enjoy your caffeine-kick at the same time. Look Mum, no hands!
Like it or not, summer is now here (at least here in Greece - he, he, he!), and with it the strapless, backless etc. tops that let the warm breeze tickle your pasty flesh after the long winter under wraps.
But let's face it, most of us girls need all the support we can get.
So, bring on the bustenhalters, girls, so we can shout, loud and proud: June is busting out all over!