Chick Wit Classic: Half Full

by Lisa Scottoline

I just read in the newspaper that an Italian lingerie manufacturer has instituted a program whereby women can return their used padded bras to the stores to be recycled into insulation for home construction.


I was wondering if this would work in the United States, but I don’t think so. Why?

We don’t throw out our old bras.

I don’t have evidence on which to base my opinion, but I bet I’m right. I confirmed my theory by asking my girlfriends if they throw out their old bras. All of them agreed with me, which is why we have girlfriends.

I cannot throw away an old bra. I don’t know why. Even if I don’t wear it anymore, I keep my old bras in my drawer, where they ball up in a tangle of frayed lace, spent elastic, and underwires that could put out an eye.

I can tell the oldest ones because they’re black and red, a veritable checkerboard of youthful enthusiasm. And they’re made of nylon or some sheer synthetic that was eventually replaced by good old-fashioned white cotton, like an old Maidenform commercial.

From the days of maidens.

One of my friends does exactly what I do. Rather than throw away her old bras when her drawer gets too full, she simply starts a new drawer. And she buys new bras more often than I do, as she has a more active personal life, if you follow. I don’t get a new bra unless I get a new husband.

So right now, I have ex-bras.

I don’t know why my friends and I save our bras, except that it may have to do with the price. I remember when a bra cost twelve dollars. Now, you need a second mortgage, especially if it’s what we used to call padded, which they now call formed. And instead of the soft cottony stuff they used to pad them with, they now use removable things called cutlets, which you can stuff in your bra if you like wearing veal.

I like the old padding better, of course. I have one bra that’s padded with some sort of airy honeycomb. It used to make a minefield of bumps on my sweater, telling the world that not only I was wearing a padded bra, I was keeping bees.

The price of bras reaches its peak with a brand known as La Perla. The more financially prudent among you might not know about La Perla, so you’ll have to trust me on this, as you should in all things. I’ve never lied to you, and will tell you now that a La Perla bra cost as much as a strand of pearlas.

How I came to possess a La Perla is a boring story, but the short of it is that I was going on TV, and the saleswoman told me I needed a special bra for TV, so I tried it on and it fit me like a cupcake pan in which the cupcake doesn’t quite rise, if you follow.

Though I prefer to see the cup as half full, not half empty.

Anyway, the cup’s shape was amazingly breast-like, though completely fake, which made it perfect, so I told her to add it to my bag without really checking the price. And when I looked at the receipt, it was too late.

But I have a solution.

I’m putting it in my will.

There’s financial planning for the future.

Heirloom underwires.

Copyright Lisa Scottoline