Working It Out: Saying Goodbye To The Ta-Tas

February 17, 2016  |  

Working It Out is a health/fitness column chronicling MadameNoire Manging Editor Brande Victorian’s journey to drop the pounds and get healthy. Follow more of her story on

brande breastIt was a random Tuesday morning at the end of last Summer when I looked down at my bra and realized the gaping. It was like the reverse of the four-breast struggle, my bra was creasing and standing out in my shirt because there wasn’t enough to fill it. I’m not sure why the change seemed so abrupt that day, it was literally almost as though I’d shrunk a size — or several sizes as I’d later come to find out — overnight, but the gap bothered me so much I made a beeline for Lane Bryant on my lunch break. I had to get a new bra ASAP.

Immediately, I went to the Cacique intimates section of the store and asked to be fitted. The bra specialist slid the tape measure around me and two minutes later told me I was a 36DDD. I told her she was a black lie. Okay I’m kidding about that part but there were several rounds of “Really?” “Are you sure?” “Let me see” before I finally agreed to let her bring back a few options in that foreign figure I’d never seen on my bra tag in my entire life.

At the time I began my weight loss journey I was a 42G and, if I’m being honest (see four-breast struggle reference), probably teetering closer to a 44-inch band. I can’t even remember ever being anything smaller than a 42DD for most of my life so this 36 business was literally a whole new world, not to mention a segue into a whole new realm of bra options as I’d also never gotten a bra from anywhere other than plus-size retailer Lane Bryant. This was a big deal, and unlike some women who love being big breasted, I was happy to have that physical weight off my chest, but this was also a weight loss milestone that gave way to a very unexpected reaction.

I love to shop so part of the thrill of losing weight has been buying new clothes, losing sizes, and discovering new brands. But when it came to the idea of buying new bras, all I thought about was money going down the drain. I’d literally just purchased a few new bras at around $40-$50 a pop, and as I thought about already being a 36DDD and wanting to lose 50 more pounds, I thought, I can’t afford to keep buying new things and replacing every single thing I own. I didn’t mind replacing clothing so much because I knew my old clothes wouldn’t be discarded in vain. This past winter I sent a friend home with a large suitcase of my old clothing that she immediately started wearing the next day and anything she didn’t want I dropped off at Goodwill so someone else in need could have it. But bras?! This was just wasteful and when I filled up a large shopping back of 40-plus DDD, F, and G cups I literally sat on my floor and cried because I felt like I was just throwing away money (even if it was for a good cause like my health and my figure).

To this day I haven’t been able to throw those bras away which is a good thing since I’ve put a few pounds back on — though I don’t expect them to stay long. But I’ve also since learned that old bras can be donated to several different charities who find ways to reuse them for homeless women and those undergoing treatment for breast cancer. So now I don’t feel like saying goodbye to my ta-tas or the things I used to wear to hold them up is so bad. Plus I forgot to mention how strapless bras are actually a legitimate option now and I can stop wearing clear straps under shirts and pretending the lines are invisible. I am going to have to do something about the remaining sagging skin dropping so many sizes has left, but as my doc told me when she saw the fruits of my labor: “Wait until you have kids and then we can talk about it.”

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