Bra Seller Tells Customer To Get A Breast Reduction

If there’s one thing this writer has learned over the years, it’s to never tell a woman to get breast reduction surgery. It’s rude, insulting, and can quite possibly get you kneed in the groin, slapped, pushed into a train, cut out of the will, and so on. But apparently the salesperson at Penningtons—sort of a Canadian Lane Bryant—didn’t get that memo. “North of 49” writes:

I’m a woman of “ample girth” but still have a figure. At 226lbs, I have a 38J cup. We’re getting married on leap day and I have had issues with bra shopping before. So I went to “Penningtons,” an above average store that should have had bras in my size. They didn’t.

Here’s part of the email she sent to Penningtons’ corporate offices:

I’m a bride to be and will be married on the 29th of this month. I am searching for a bra to wear with my dress and entered your store. First off, there was only one woman out on the floor, the other two were hiding in the back. I had to go to the woman at the cash registers and ask for help in order to get any.

The next part really hurt. Although she wanted to sell me a bra, she realized that at 38J, your store doesn’t have any in my size or even near my size. In the ensuing conversation, she told me that I should have a reduction.

I have been on a waiting list since my now 5 and a half year old son was 10 months old. I was told that I would have to wait half a year or more after my children finally stop nursing before I could have a reduction. My youngest is 16 months and won’t be giving up nursing anytime soon. This is entirely besides the point anyway, what she said was offensive and insulting to say the least.

To tell a customer to “get a reduction” when not only is day in question less than a month away, 20 days in fact, but to even suggest it is absurd and insulting. It has left me in tears and I will never walk through your store doors again no matter how good the sale seems.

It is hard enough to go bra hunting without being humiliated once again because the sizer thinks they know better. Or worse, to suggest that my body is inconvenient to them so I should change it surgically for their convenience.

Thanks a lot, Penningtons. Don’t expect me to shop there anytime soon. And I will let all my friends know about how I was told to get a reduction.

We think the response from Penningtons was a step in the right direction, but it did little to make the customer feel better about what happened:

We appreciate your comments as they are important to us.

Okay, not that part. That part sounds fake. But it gets slightly better:

As you know, we pride ourselves in our customer service; therefore, we are very disappointed to hear that you had an unsatisfactory shopping experience in one of our stores.

The Director of Sales & Operations along with the District Sales Manager of this particular region needs to be advised in order to coach the employee in question to ensure that the service level meets our high standards.

Please provide us the store that this happened.

We hope to see you again in our stores.

I know this is not the reason you sent the email, but I would like to congratulate you on your upcoming wedding. I hope you have a beautiful day!

The customer points out that she had to sign up to their website to reach customer service, so they should have her personal info and know that there’s only one Penningtons in her area. However, we were able to find their contact info on their website without registering so we’re not sure their CSRs have access to personal account data.

So to “North of 49,” we suggest you continue to communicate with the CSR who originally responded to you, and make it clear that you don’t think this salesperson should be making such suggestions to customers. Their email seems halfway between a stock response and a sincere attempt to solve the problem, so do what you can to tip the scales in favor of “sincere attempt.”

The best thing you can do with this situation is work with Penningtons to make sure they properly train their staff to avoid future incidents like yours; the worst is to come across as someone who can’t be pleased, because then they might disregard the very real problem you encountered.

(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. vr4z06gt says:

    i would think back problems would be higher on your list of complaints, honestly at that size they have to have substantial mass.

  2. vr4z06gt says:

    but on a more serious note, thats not very nice….nor appropriate.

  3. Dashrashi says:

    Oh, my God. Poor girl. Fuck them.

  4. bohemian says:

    Wow, what a highly inappropriate thing for anyone to say let alone someone working in retail.

    Do they sell that particular size but didn’t have it in stock? They don’t carry that size? If they carry it wouldn’t checking with other stores or offer to have the item overnight shipped be a good faith option?

    The tear in the space-time continuum occurs in the women’s underwear department. The media pushes the idea that the ideal female figure is thin with big boobs. Yet the fashion industry sells nothing anywhere near fitting that.

  5. Moosehawk says:

    @vr4z06gt: The insensitive part of me wants to burst out laughing at that (and honestly, it did).

    But still, there was no reason why the employee should tell her she needs a breast reduction. Why can’t she just say “sorry we don’t carry that” and end it the easier way?

  6. acherusia says:

    Huh. I got that from a saleswoman in…Macy’s? Nordstroms? One of those stores back when I was 16 or so. I’ve gotten enough comments of that nature that I just ignored it though.

    For the person who sent that in, if you’re still having problems finding a bra, there’s a few good online stores that carry at least up to an H-cup. I’ve had good luck at, and has some amazing bras, though I’m too poor to pay the shipping and conversion fees at the moment. They might have whatever style you need, though. Other than that, you can look for a custom corset maker and order a bra from them. Custom, over the bust corsets are surprisingly supportive and comfortable, and if you need something strapless, that’s probably your best bet. You’re awfully short on time though, so good luck!

  7. HalOfBorg says:

    I would think that someone who needs bras of this size would know where to get them.

  8. North of 49 says:

    huh.. I didn’t think they’d go with “Anon” since I signed my email “North of 49.”

    I won’t buy a bra site unseen. I have to try them on first. That’s when it starts to get pricey. I’d love a corset but, yah, when the day in question is, 10 days away, getting a custom corset won’t work.

    Anyway, I got a call from Pennington’s today. Some upper management woman who has offered me a gift certificate for the insult. I don’t even know if I’ll walk through that door again. The salesperson I talked to in the store originally was actually the manager. I don’t think it was done out of malice or spite, but to try to be helpful. The problem is that even if I had the surgery tonight, it would be months of healing. I’ll wait.

    Anyway, Walmart usually has bras that will work, even if they aren’t perfect. That and duct tape. My bride’s maids have threatened to duct tape me into my dress.

    I was actually lucky. I found a dress that fit me off the rack. That almost never happens!

  9. @HalOfBorg: It really depends on the type of bra she’s wanting. If it’s just an everyday bra it’s probably not too hard to find – but if she wants something nice, or special (strapless or the like) it’ll be harder.

  10. Chris Walters says:

    @North of 49: Wasn’t sure how anonymous you wanted to be. I’ve updated it to include “North of 49.”

  11. Moosehawk says:

    @Randal Milholland: Could something strapless even hold colossal melons of that magnitude?

  12. Adam Hyland says:

    @Moosehawk: []

    nope, can’t repel melons of that magnitude.

  13. TheMenace says:

    38J. Hmm. Nope Penningtons wouldn’t have that. maybe. But not strapless (tops out at 38G). The sales rep was quite rude. Hardly Canadian at all.

  14. BlondeGrlz says:

    @North of 49: I can’t remember the whole thread now, but if you have the time check out this post about finding larger sized bras.
    Doesn’t the store realize sending you a gift certificate when then don’t carry your size is kind of silly?
    And congratulations on your wedding!

  15. Parting says:

    @blondegrlz: Well she could buy something else, or even use it for a gift for someone.

  16. macinjosh says:

    Heh, you’re doing your fiance a favor. He has 3 extra years to remember each anniversary. :)

  17. So, I have sympathy. Or empathy. Or whatever it is when I feel bad for someone else’s misery.

    But, if you are 38J you are probably talking a mail order bra. It’s not like you’re just slightly big at a J cup.
    Let’s see, A, B, C, D, DD, E, F, G, H, I, & J
    At an inch a cup, that’s 10.6-11.5 inch difference between waist and biggest part. That’s a very big bosom. Considering probably 95% of women come between A and D, we’re talking very far outside of the curve.

    Buy a range on the internet and return the ones that don’t fit. You’re a multisigma bra customer. Doesn’t ease the pain, or the sales person’s stupidity, but would save you trouble.

  18. morganlh85 says:

    @HalOfBorg: Sooo…once you find one place to get a particular item you should never see if they have it anywhere else? Good thinking there. You obviously have never heard of “comparison shopping.”

  19. Parting says:

    @Moosehawk: @Adam Hyland: Guys (definitely guys, not gals) that insensitive and rude comments. You wouldn’t laugh if it would concern your big/small balls.

  20. brookeln says:

    I think the salesperson was trying to be helpful, not insulting. It’s probably true that a reduction would help you a lot. My cousin had a reduction and it was a wonderful choice. Her back pain is gone, she can wear normal clothes, and she looks much better.

    And, am I the only person who think that waiting until only a few weeks before your wedding to find the right bra is a bit last-minute?

  21. yesteryear says:

    can we get a nude picture… just to like, understand this better? i’m kidding! i actually feel your pain — literally. a few years ago, after having horrible pains on my left side for months, i finally went to see my doctor and he told me i needed to get a different bra. i was furious. i was ready to file a complaint, but first i tried getting different type of bra and it turns out he was right! my male GP knew more about bra sizing than all of the women in the macy’s lingerie department. unfortunately not everyone working in a shop like that is an expert. sorry to hear about the crappy way they treated you. :(

  22. welsey says:

    That’s really awful, it’s just not the salespersons place to say anything like that about your body. So not an appropriate comment, what could she have been thinking? Even trying to be helpful, that’s a bold statement to make to someone you know well!

    Bra shopping sucks, I realize I’m lucky enough to be able to just grab what I think my size is and that’s good enough and that’s still the most effort I really want to put into it.

  23. lasciate says:

    Telling someone they need surgery, especially a total stranger, is not helpful by any means.

    And some weddings are planned in a short time period. Not all weddings are massive galas requiring years of preparation.

    And Pennington’s bra selection stinks. Very small range of sizes.

  24. AlexDitto says:

    @brookeln: How is suggesting a surgery helpful when she’s clearly looking to buy a bra? It’s like recommending someone buy a refrigerator when they ask to buy an ice cream cone.

    So if stores don’t carry someone’s size in pants, they suggest gastric bypass, or a height-reduction surgery? It just seems somewhat out of line, coming from an employee.

    Last minute or not, this customer came into a store looking for a product, and instead of getting a simple yes or no answer, was not attended to and was then embarrassed. Unacceptable.

  25. That’s really unfortunate…but, on a brighter note, I’ve never been so happy about being flat-chested.

  26. Sherryness says:

    You may or may not be the only one thinking it, but you’re the only one who thinks it’s ok to say it, apparently.

  27. StevieD says:


    I do.

    BTW I am male and will stop my comments.

  28. memphis9 says:

    A shop owner of my acquaintance made an Ex-Customer For Life (later heard the story from the shopper) because the customer mentioned that she had 6 kids, and the owner said “better you than me, honey”, and then “why so many?”.

    I’ll admit that the same thoughts crossed my mind, but I kinda know better than to blurt them out, and I don’t even consider myself particularly tactful! However – maybe we all need to give each other a bit of a stupidity pass now and again, EVEN where “ambassadorship” is kinda implicit to the job title. It is the rare person who never, EVER inserts foot in mouth. Particularly when there is at least the outside chance that Stupid Comment was meant in kindness. (North of 49 does – admirably – acknowledge that possibility.)

    Also, and I know this as someone with a family member who is very tall and overweight as well: with some garments and sizes, you just have to suck it up and catalogue order from a specialty retailer. (Though it bugs me that he could buy off the rack if he was the same height but skinnier or even a head shorter and MUCH wider.)

  29. Frostberg says:

    Pic or it didnt happen!

  30. azgirl says:

    I guess the point some folks are missing, is that she is nursing- so there is that milk to consider- increasing the “normal” size. Although, admittedly that is still large pre- milk…

  31. rkmc12 says:

    @meanwalrus18: Can we do something about the trolls?

  32. firefoxx66 says:

    @meanwalrus18: Wow, just wow. While I fully support trying to make America more health-concious and combat the health problems related to obesity, I SERIOUSLY doubt that you /or/ a salesperson being downright rude is going to help anything at all but your own pathetic ego.

    There is no reason for the salesperson to have suggested that… There are a million better ways to handle the situation than that.

  33. amoeba says:

    I think she shouldn’t go to a department store. I even had problem shopping for a cup A at VS. She should have gone to a Bra Shop or like someone mentioned above, look up for a bra store online. For the rest, this woman had bee already offended, so stop commenting irresponsibly.

  34. mrjimbo19 says:

    Like most things context is important. If the sales rep(manager) blurts out first response to “Do you have this size in stock” the comment “You need a reduction” then I can not only sympathize I would help get the lynch :) . On the other hand if this came up after some candid comments being made and it was made as more of a “Well you might always run into trouble finding that size in stores, have you considered other options… reduction, custom order etc…” Then I think there is some room to live and learn.

    Regardless I feel for you so close to your wedding trying to get everything in order. When my wife and I were in the home stretch it seemed like everything was loading up at once. Good luck to you.

  35. amoeba says:

    @meanwalrus18: You don’t deserve to post comments in here if they are not related to the story. Whatever you bad experience is with people who are oversize shouldn’t be posted in here. The story is about an inappropriate comment made by a stranger to a customer. If she shops or not at Wal-Mart, Do you care? Are you the clerk who offended her? Maybe…

  36. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    MEANWALRUS18 is no longer among the ranks of the comment-enabled, so we’ll just have to warm our hearts with the memories of his unbelievably stupid and trollish comments.

    Maybe he was just testing to see if a moderator was actually awake?

  37. I have a similar, if not quite so outrageous, story.

    I’m a sturdy little 36DD. Small chest, big woopsies, but not yet into the specialty ranges … quite. [Give this grandmother a few more hot flashes, and maybe.]

    Shopping Victoria’s Secret, who USED to have a small but lifesaving stock of my bra size in my local outlet, I began to run into problems a couple of years ago.

    Used to be, I could poke my nose into the deep dark recesses of the pink-striped drawers, and find the four or five bras in my size. I’d do a quick try-on, and usually two or three of them followed me home. Then I could order sisters for the survivors online, and we’d all be happy for the next year or so.

    Well, my retail outlet took a turn for the worse, or worse-endowed, about two years ago. The bigger sizes got hard, hard and harder to find.

    The sales staff got younger, less educated about the product line, and finally, more obnoxious.

    Last time I ventured into the place was about a year ago. When accosted by the flat-chested child manning the cash register, I asked for directions to the 36DDs. “Do you want a minimizer?” asked the little twit.

    “No, just directions to the drawers holding that size,” I answered.

    Whereupon I was told that if I wanted that size, I’d have to shop online.

    Huh? How ARE we to get fitted, VS?

    No offense, but a 36DD needs a bit more than catalog copy to get fitted for a foundation garment. By chasing me out of the store, VS lost a very, very loyal customer.

  38. North of 49 says:

    Well, if I could do the mailorder, I would. But we’ve got 10 days to go. I’ve been given the names of two specialty shops, but they are a bit out of my way. I still say duct tape is the way to go. ;)

  39. HykCraft says:


  40. dinoman1989 says:

    that was one harsh walrus

  41. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    He was giving all the other walruses a bad name, and he had to go. Sorry.

  42. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    Oh, and thanks to all the cool Consumeristas who brought the Walrus to my attention with comment flags.

  43. North of 49 says:

    There’s no Vicy’s here. There is “La Vie En Rose” (I’ve found underwear there) and a few other places, but Pennington’s is supposed to be for the amply endowed. They should have had something nearer my size than what other stores had – I had tried on some 20 bras at different stores that day and found a couple that were close, but wouldn’t last long.

    That’s my problem – do I buy something that will do for the day, or something that will do me good?

    One other thing I forgot to mention, when the person phoned me today, I suggested a cup bra that you can get from England. Its silicone and is designed for larger breasts. I plan on ordering some when our income tax comes back.

    Thursday and Friday, I get to go bra shopping at the specialty stores. I’ll try the more local one first and then the one that has been recommended later.

  44. North of 49 says:

    and before I forget, thank you mods! you rock!

  45. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    @North of 49:
    Bra shopping sucks. Good luck on your quest!

  46. North of 49 says:

    here it is.

    + Watch video

    The Faveo Freedom.
    I would love this bra. I can’t wait to get one.

  47. amoeba says:

    @North of 49: I have problems getting a 34 A at some stores, they either make them a bit bigger or smaller (not a true size). So, Finding a size over the “regular range” must be so hard. So I wish you the best in your quest for the perfect bra. I know, We girl must find the right one fr our girls ;-)@Consumerist Moderator – ACAMBRAS: I never like to take credits, but I flagged this guy also. but I dislike people who are just fooling around. Glad you were awake and ready to kick out this bad Walrus

  48. amoeba says:

    PS. sorry about missing words, my keyboard (apple) is not working 100%

  49. SavageSalad says:

    Breast reduction? Thats like slapping god in the face for giving you an awesome gift.

  50. Rask says:

    “My youngest is 16 months and won’t be giving up nursing anytime soon.”

    Err, lady, if the kid can eat solid foods, he’s old enough to get milk from a bottle.

    I think your children might be old enough that breast milk is no longer necessary.

  51. 16 months and he won’t be quitting nursing anytime soon! My daughter is 17 months and eats steak!

    When the kid can ask for “boobie” it’s time to let it go…

  52. Keter says:

    I’m sorry to hear about this. I often have the same problem…almost no one carries a bra in my size (36F), although occasionally Macy’s has a couple. I’m not overweight, and I don’t plan on getting surgery. But I’ve also learned not to ask for help. Depending on the sales gal’s attitude, I get responses varying from jealousy to “you ought to diet/exercise more” – which is ridiculous because bust size in my case is obviously GENETIC — nothing short of absolute starvation would do anything at all! And yes, I’ve gotten the suggestion that I should have reduction surgery, although it was offered much more kindly in my case than in this poor girl’s.

  53. scraejtp says:

    I don’t see the big deal. People are too PC. She probably does need a breast reduction, and probably to lose 50+ lbs too.

  54. KIRZEN2007 says:

    Actually, the devil’s advocate inside me really feels there’s something going entirely unsaid here, and that’s the conversation itself. I’m not sure if someone with a 38J has a right to be grievously insulted if someone asks if they’ve considered having a breast reduction.

    There’s a big difference between each of the following.

    1 > “You’re 38J! Holy $#*&, you should get a breast reduction”
    2 > “I’m sorry, we don’t carry anything ‘that’ big, and you should probably consider getting a reduction”
    3 > “I’m sorry, we don’t carry anything that large, have you ever considered the thought of a breast reduction, you might feel a lot better ma’am”.

    I honestly can’t imagine anyone saying #1 or #2, and I have -no- problem with #3, sure its a little insensitive, but we’re talking about a size that’s probably applicable to <1% of the population, and is to the point that it will cause health problems.

  55. KIRZEN2007 says:

    Not to mention walking into a random store in the mall with a 38J chest and going “Do you have a 38J?” is like hanging a giant “Have you seen my TITS!” sign on your chest…

    Rare size, rare to the point that you’d -have- to go to a specialty store to find much of anything in that size (Zellers stocks some really outlandish specialty sizes)

  56. Sherryness says:

    I’m sorry, but can I ask – Why the picture of the hot-air balloon with this story???

  57. Sherryness says:

    That store IS a specialty store.

  58. Sherryness says:

    I can’t imagine the word’s “breast reduction” ever entering into polite conversation with a stranger, unless said stranger had asked, “Do you think I should have a breast reduction?”

  59. Sherryness says:

    And you need a new keyboard – this one is making you look like an ass.

  60. witeowl says:

    @HalOfBorg: My thoughts as well. Sure, the salesperson was incredibly insensitive. But the customer certainly has a responsibility to look in appropriate shops. I’m not going to go into Victoria’s secret and ask for garments for my plus-size body.

    But, ultimately, were I to become somehow deluded and wander in, I certainly wouldn’t want the sales clerk to suggest a diet or, worse yet, stomach stapling. I’d expect a firm but polite, “Sorry, ma’am, but we simply don’t carry that size. I wish I could help.”

  61. witeowl says:

    @Sherryness: Yes, but it specializes in clothing for plus-size women. This woman’s bra need is outside the normal plus-size range and would suggest a need to seek out a store that specializes in undergarments for unusual sizes.

  62. EtherealStrife says:

    @SavageSalad: On this issue I am Pro-Life.

  63. KIRZEN2007 says:


    Penningtons is by no means a specialty store, they don’t specifically cater to larger people any more than any other clothing store that chooses to respect the fact that there are larger people in existance. They’re certainly not the GAP, but they don’t cater specifically to larger people, in fact their MXM clothing line tops out at around a 32 chest and a single D… for the entire clothing line… a line specific to their stores.

  64. KIRZEN2007 says:


    Perhaps I’m simply a great deal more liberal then, I figure that anything you can talk about casually with an acquaintance shouldn’t be considered a totally taboo topic, if its approached in a sensitive manner.

    This is no more or less sensitive (or shouldn’t be) than someone suggesting that you lose some weight, the nature of the situation is different, but the level of sensitivity is not… Its still your body, and they’re suggesting you may want to change it. They key is that it be approached as sensitively as possible.

  65. nardo218 says:

    @North of 49: Have you tried Lane Bryant? If they don’t have it in-store, they can order it with free shipping (only if you have the sales woman order it for you) and you can return in-store. They probably have speedy shipping options too.

  66. Fusioned says:

    hit the treadmill for six months. it’ll do wonders.

    wait, better get in the consumerist mindset: go jogging! it’s free and healthy!

    months later you will have an easier time finding stuff.

  67. oneswellfoop says:

    Noooooooooot gonna comment. Will only say there’s an awesome book called The Abs Diet.

  68. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

    To the insensitive boors here telling you to diet – ignore them. Obviously they never learned manners.

    As a woman of size, myself I know exactly where you are coming from. I have found one of the best places to get large-cup bras is “Dawn til Dusk Lingerie” on eBay


    they carry up to JJ cup

    Also – try the Fantasie line at []

    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

  69. meeroom says:

    The salesperson may have just been trying to be helpful. I had a breast reduction and I tell everyone who complains about their large chests it was the best thing I ever did. I think you’re going to have a really hard time in life if you are “of ample girth”, with a “38J” and a 16 month old child “who isn’t going to give up breastfeeding anytime soon” and you don’t like unsolicited personal comments.

  70. Bill Brasky says:

    My mother and Sister are “of ample size”…I’ll call and ask them.

  71. Bill Brasky says:

    OOps…Kind of vague. I’ll ask them where they get theirs

  72. bonzombiekitty says:

    I’ll play devils advocate a bit and suggest maybe the salesperson was just making a joke, not intending to offend, but more making fun of the situation itself.

    I have size 14 feet, and it’s a pain in the arse to find shoes other than sneakers that fit me (really, at this point I think I’d blow up a bus full of orphans and their brand new puppies for a pair of simple black Vans like I used to have before I wore them out). While shopping for shoes and getting a bit frustrated that shoe companies don’t seem to think that people with feet over size 13 wear casual or dress shoes, I’ve had more than one sales associate suggest that I cut my toes off.

  73. RandoX says:

    @Chris Walters: Good move on posting it as anon until you’re sure she wanted her identity public. Very classy.

    @North of 49: Good luck with your shopping, I hope you can find what you need. I’d give them another chance, especially since it seems more like a momentary insensitivity as opposed to malice, and it seems that they’re genuinely trying to make it right. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

  74. SWFL_Dan says:

    @morganlh85: I think Half was addressing the “Well, they SHOULD have had them!” attitude. Nothing wrong with comparison shopping, but do you get pissed off if you go into a store looking for something and it turns out they don’t carry it in size that would be considered highly uncommon at best?

    We’re also missing the context. If she walked in, asked for her size, and the clerk looked at her and said “Heh. As if. Get a reduction, those things are way to big!” then yeah, inappropriate.

    If there was a longer conversation, and the topic came up about the health benefits that go along with the reduction, then maybe the clerk had a friend or family member that went through something similar, and she was trying to be helpful and concerned.

    I hate to say it, but when I see “first off!” in any sort of correspondence, the first thing I think is “uh oh – this is someone with an attitude problem and entitlement issues…”

    Add to that the whole “hiding in back” statement, when there’s no way for her as a customer to know WHAT the other employees were doing in the back.

    I dated a woman for years that had a GG size, and she was always having to have her bras specially ordered. I can’t imagine that someone in an even larger size would be telling us that “So I went to “Penningtons,” an above average store that should have had bras in my size.”. Again, it just seems like the attitude and entitlement issues that one finds in a Walmart shopper in not-so-nice sections of the U.S., rather than in someone at a department store in Canada.

  75. ninabi says:

    When my daughter gets married I don’t think she’s going to the regular shoe stores to find the “over size 10” dress shoes. Not going to happen.

    I’m sure salespeople in regular shoe stores wouldn’t suggest she lop off a few toes to fit the shoes they do have but she’s not going there in the first place.

    That was a horrid comment by the salesperson, but if you need unusually sized clothing items don’t start in a regular clothing store.

    I’ve only seen J sized bras in specialty shops for women.

  76. North of 49 says:

    Thanks for the help people. I’m real proud of myself for loosing 20lbs in the last few months.

    The problem, of course, is that I can’t do mailorder. The wedding’s in 9 days! I don’t think anything could get here in time.

  77. theblackdog says:

    Why is it that every comment I have been trying to flag says “Failed to flag”?!

  78. mike says:

    @Michael Wales: You know, I thought the same thing. That kid is going to be all sorts of messed up.

  79. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    @Michael Wales:
    This comment thread is not a forum for you to prescribe some sort of fitness regimen for the OP (she didn’t ask you) or for you to comment on when you think she should wean her child (again, she didn’t ask you). Keep your comments on topic.

  80. kimsama says:

    @ninabi: Oooh, tell her to order a bunch from Zappos! She can return what she doesn’t want for free, and they seem like they would have a decent selection in the size she wears.

    @organizedhome: You bring up a good point. Why wouldn’t lingerie stores at least stock one or two bras per style in the larger sizes they carry in their catalogs so that customers can try them on? I understand them wanting to carry more of the stock in the average-size range, but being prepared for more customers without necessarily fully stocking “the long tail” would be a good idea. Or they could offer free return shipping like Zappos, in which case people could feel free to order and then try on the bra without having to pay shipping for something that might not work out. Seems like they are adopting some stupid policies, which is great if they want to go out of business in an era when catering to every customer (not just the average customer) is becoming easier through the internet.

    @North of 49: If you call the company, they may be able to offer an expedited shipping service even if they don’t normally offer one. I did this when I went to a baby shower recently and didn’t leave myself enough time to order and have the stuff shipped. It cost a little more, but was totally worth it to know I’d have the gifts when on the day of the shower. Especially if you call and let them know it’s for your wedding, they may be able to pull some strings. I’ve found this works best with smaller retailers who don’t have warehouses in 20 locations (that slows shipping no matter what).

    I have the most statistically average-sized boobs in the world, but I can empathize. Good luck!

  81. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @nardo218: I’ve never been able to find a bra in my size in Lane Bryant and I’m smaller than a J. They recently extended their sizes a bit but they never seem to have them in the store.

  82. The Porkchop Express says:

    @Sherryness: thats’ the comment that got you going?

    anyway, this is rather last minute considering that she seems like most clothes are hard to find (she said it herself in the comment about the dress actually being off the rack).

    If clothes are hard for her to find, hse should have known to start planning something like a wedding a bit sooner.

    This is in no way my way of blaming her. I still think the employee was a complete ass for saying anything like that, ever. the fact that she waited until the last minute doesn’t change any of the problem. If the store doesn’t carry the item, the employee should have said so. If that particular store didn’t but another location might have, they should have made a call for her.

    So…it was a bit last minute, but that really has very little to do with the experience.

  83. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @Rask, @Michael Wales, @sohmc:

    As a cure to your ignorance, please see the table at the bottom of the page.

  84. Amelie says:

    @KIRZEN2007: Since when is being an insensitive clod, considered being more liberal?

  85. @North of 49: I can’t look at the sites because of a work blocker, but I bet that has some kind of express order/shipping type deal. It’s your wedding. If you’re anything like every other bride I’ve ever known, you will need all the support you can get. The extra $15 for overnight shipping is probably worth it in the long run.

  86. feralparakeet says:

    @North of 49:
    I know you don’t want to buy sight-unseen, but I strongly suggest you buy a slightly smaller size Cacique bra from Lane Bryant online. By measurements I should be in a 42H, but their bras not only run large (I’m wearing their DDD/F cups) but have amazing support and are just plain awesome. They have a 6-in-1 covertible that’s simply the best bra ever made, and their everyday ones are amazing too. I know what it’s like to try to shop for ANYTHING when you’re so large chested, and it sounds like you and I are of similar size.

    Hey Consumerists, did you know that most ladies’ blouses are made for people with a B cup? You can go up a size if you’re a C/D, but if you’re past that, you have to buy at least two sizes up to find a blouse that won’t seriously pucker.

    I strongly considered getting a reduction at one point, but I won’t do it. I may decide to have kids one day and I’d like to be able to breastfeed them, plus my SO really enjoys them. Yoga’s helped solve many of my backache issues after years of suffering, and you know what? Yes, I do get SOME joy out of knowing that not only do men tend to look twice at my chest, but so do those skinny sorostitute types that barely fill out their B and C cups. I’m a not-skinny woman with a nice figure and mammoth mammaries, and I’m ok with that! Hopefully you are too. Nobody at any store should EVER tell you that surgery is an option.

    Good luck bra shopping!!

  87. erratapage says:

    The appropriate snappy comeback is: If I get a breast reduction, it will ruin my chances to become a porn star!

  88. North of 49 says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: Thank you for the Unicef link for the unenlightened. :)

  89. As a 36G cup (who was easily 36 K while nursing) – it is VERY hard to find anything above an F cup in a real live department store.

    Yoga only helps so much. Same for massage therapy and chiropractic.

    Also, I agree on the above comment about Lane Bryant’s Cacique bras – their G cup is just about a half cup bigger than average. Also, since I wear a 36, and their larger sizes start at 38, I buy up a band size and take them in. For the OP a 42 H cup would be the same cup size that would fit her breasts, and if she sews, it’s an easy 5 minutes to fit and trim off an inch from each side seam – if she doesn’t, any tailor can fix it.

    Also, and are both FANTASTIC resources for the D cup and above.

  90. bohemian says:

    @organizedhome: I had the same experience with Victorias Secret. They were one of the few stores that carried DD in a 34 or a 36. About two years ago they suddenly stopped carrying them and the stores started catering to teenybopper fashion.

    I got the same snotty reviled look when I asked if they had bras in DD sizes. Not only is Victorias a problem but Macys and Bostons quit carrying larger sizes also. If I do ever find anything it is usually designed for an A size then made larger so they structurally don’t work.

    The only luck I have had is digging through the racks at JCPenney once that scored some bras that had been stuck in the bottom or the size racks.

  91. OH! I nearly forgot!

    See if there is a masectomy/specialty bra shop anywhere near you – that was literally the ONLY place in the entire state of Utah that I found real live bras to try on that were bigger than an F cup.

    Most full chested women don’t think of our other hard-to-fit sisters when we start looking for bras.

    And Lane Bryant has a bra that is listed as a microfiber plunge bra, and in the back the straps un-hook, you can easily wear it as a halter style bra, or else snip them off for a fairly supportive strapless bra (but if your neckline goes too low, beware of Jello-boob seepage!). You may be able to find that one in larger sizes in the shop, and if they don’t have it, you can request that they order them in to the shop for you to try on – definately ask for a large range of sizes (Anything you think might possibly fit!).

    My local shop does that for me, and they have always been friendly and gracious.

  92. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @North of 49: No problem and congratulations!

  93. bohemian says:

    Oh, add to the insanity that the lack of size consistency in the same item or brand of clothing seems to go for bras also. Pick out three of the supposed same size by the same manufacturer and even sometimes the same style will all be a different actual size.

  94. Eilonwynn says:

    @North of 49:

    I’ve got the same problem – rather frustrating, isn’t it. My suggestion is to go to a small, specialty bra fitter – they’re worth the travel time. They usually stock odd sizes, or some will even do alterations, etc. I know that’s hard w/ a wedding coming up, but for future reference, etc.

    Another problem with buying online is that if an item is shipped from the US, it can take weeks or months to clear customs, not to mention the customs *fees* for clothing purchases tend to be somewhat on the outrageous side. Then if it DOESN’T fit, you’ve got to do the whole thing in reverse.

    If you’re anywhere near Southern Ontario, there are some in the Hamilton area that I know of, and one that advertises all the time on local cable that *i think* is called “my top drawer” that a friend of mine liked, which has several locations around the province.

  95. Melsky says:


    What the heck are you talking about? You are totally wrong to say that Penningtons is not a specialty store. On their store signs it says 14+ and if you look at their website it says they carry sizes 14-26. It’s very reasonable to expect that they would carry extra large size bras.

    After I lost a lot of weight I got “fitted” for a bra at Penningtons and they said I was 44 DD. I was always uncomfortable though. Then I went to a real bra store where they specialize in fitting bras, and found out I was a 40 h! Now I’m very comfortable and my clothes look better. I’d encourage anyone with a large bust to go out and get properly fitted.

    Suggesting that someone have surgery is way out of line.

  96. justapost says:

    I won’t say anything about Pennington’s customer service (that hasn’t been said already ;) That’s just terrible. Calling them the Canadian Lane Bryant is an insult to the real LB. Hopefully this post will knock some sense into them.

    But if you need 38J bras try

    They actually look pretty, not frumpy. They don’t have strapless bras at 38J (I think saw 38I strapless bras … maybe if you stuck with US/Can brands it might fit with their fuller cups).

    Ooh! You could call Glamorise or Goddess bras they should make J cup strapless bras or point you in the right direction w/o giving you surgical advise.

  97. Gann says:

    If you really have that hard of a time finding a bra, a breast reduction is not an insensitive thing for a bra specialist to suggest.

  98. mangopants says:

    I really can’t add any more value to the conversation then what has been said above..

    But a big tip of the hat to whoever picked out the picture to post with this article. Made me laugh. A lot!

  99. KIRZEN2007 says:


    Happened about the same time that “shopping” became entitement and a passing comment about a possibly life altering, beneficial surgery became “inappropriate” to the point of “insult”.

    I’m simply saying that there is a degree of fault on both sides of the fence, and unfortunately because we don’t actually know the entire conversation, or the method in which the subject was broached, we can’t automatically assume that the sales clerk was 100% out of line. Given what we have to go with, we’re looking at a customer who’s retail experience is as follows.

    1 > Goes into a random store in the mall.
    2 > Is too impatient to browse (goes to fetch a clerk)
    3 > After pulling someone away from whatever they’re doing, (I can’t imagine it was a gentle “Hi, could I get some help please miss?” based on the tone of the rest of her post. More than likely a “Hey, I could use some help out here!”)
    4 > Feels that the store should have a rare specialty size

    You know, I can’t see the conversation going well, and I think the original poster was -looking- for a reason to be upset. She herself admits that she’s been on the waiting list for a reduction surgery for more than four years, I think if you’ve been waiting for the surgery a more tacit response is “Yeah, I know, but its so hard to get it, I’ve been on the list for years. Do you know any stores that might cater to someone in my size, I’ve got the wedding on the 29th, and I’m really strapped for time, since its in only nine days”

    That’s the response I expect from someone who’s being reasonable and adult, bursting into tears and refusing to ever shop at the store again? I think that’s either a gross over-reaction, a serious issue with entitlement, or someone who’s fishing for freebies.

  100. bbbici says:

    This story is unbelievable. Photos might help convince me.

  101. Shadowman615 says:

    @KIRZEN2007: This has nothing to do with entitlement.

    Suggesting that someone have certain types of surgery is more than subtly implying that there is something wrong with the way they look that needs to be fixed. It’s rude, hurtful, and offensive, and someone in the position of customer service has no business suggesting something like that, no matter the context.

  102. Truthie says:

    This story is awful.

    I didn’t realize there was such a think as a J-cup though. You learn something every day…

  103. KIRZEN2007 says:


    That arguement bears little credibility in an instance where the ‘way someone looks’ is an integral part of their health, so integral infact that they’ve been alloted a perscription surgery to correct it. Its rare to have to be placed on a ‘waiting list’ for cosmetic surgery, but there are very long waiting lists for cosmetic surgery that has been perscribed by a doctor to improve a patient’s health. I’m going to step out on a limb and suggest that the OP probably has a list of health problems related to the weight of her chest, and has probably had a breast reduction perscribed through her doctor. At that point its no longer insulting someone’s body image, its commenting on their health…

    Whether you may feel that its inappropriate for someone in customer service to advise a customer on their health and offer suggestions that you honestly feel would help them in the long run, is another matter. I’m certainly not going to get affronted and flee the store in tears if someone tells me I would feel better if I lost some weight. Depending on -context- I might be insulted, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

  104. Shadowman615 says:

    @KIRZEN2007: Just because *you* wouldn’t be insulted by something doesn’t make it an acceptable thing to say. Whether it’s a health issue or a aesthetic issue is immaterial.

  105. Sherryness says:

    So if she had gone in there and asked, “Do you have any pants in size 2X?” you’re saying it would have been ok for the clerk to say, “No, why don’t you get weight-loss surgery instead.”

  106. Dervish says:

    @KIRZEN2007: I can see where you’re coming from, but sales clerks are there to do their job, which is (among other things) to assist customers in finding items and not to dispense medical advice. I would be pretty put off if a salesperson suggested this to me – if I wanted a medical opinion, I’d go to my doctor, because it’s certainly none of the clerk’s business. Plus, it sounds like you’re assuming an awful lot about the OP and the particular sitation…

  107. North of 49 says:

    To quote my original email about being on a waiting list for the surgery : “I was told that I would have to wait half a year or more after my children finally stop nursing before I could have a reduction.” The specialist I saw wanted my breasts to return to a “pre-pregnancy state” before doing the surgery.
    So even if I stopped nursing today, I’d have to wait 6 months or longer before I could get the surgery. Or at least high enough on the waiting list to get a date for surgery. Cosmetic surgery is not a priority in my province, even for medically necessary reasons. Canada might have universal health care, but its lowest common denominator health care, and long waits can happen.

  108. Razzler says:

    So you ARE going to have a reduction, but you’re insulted by being told you need one. Okay.

  109. KIRZEN2007 says:


    No, I’m saying if she walked in and asked for pants in an 8X, it might not be out of line for the clerk to suggest that she’d feel better if she lost some weight (depending entirely on how the subject was broached).

    There’s a substantial difference in carrying around a few extra pounds and being dangerously obese, just like there’s a difference between a 36DD and a 38J

  110. Razzler says:

    Also: Your kid is 16 months old and it’s not going to stop nursing “anytime soon”? Yikes!

  111. KIRZEN2007 says:


    Not necessarilly, I’m saying by extension that I’m a normal person, and that I don’t feel a normal person would be insulted to the point of tears when a sales clerk suggests a medical procedure that they’re already on the waiting list for, to correct a medical condition that affects their health.

  112. KIRZEN2007 says:


    Its not as much an assumption as an extrapolation, using the tone of her original post, you can feel that she’s upset, but the way she describes her experience leaves a lot of things left unsaid, and usually when someone only tells you ‘half’ of a story, its to reinforce their arguement. In this case I feel that they’re telling only half the story to try and generate shock value, because this wouldn’t be a shocking story if she spent 15min candidly speaking with a sales clerk and complaining bitterly about how hard it was to find clothing in a certain size. If the sales person was abrupt and abusive, then she has a reason to be affronted, but if the sales person was gentle and was responding to her complaint that no stores seem to carry her size by asking whether she had ever considered having a reduction, then its a different matter.

    If you ask someone what you should do about a problem that they cannot correct, or you’re complaining about something that they can’t change, then asking them what to do, you’re going ‘beyond’ the relationship between customer and sales person, and asking a personal question. “I know you don’t have my size, but what should I do?” isn’t a question you can ask your clothier and expect to get an impersonal, professional answer, because by nature, its a personal question about their opinion.

  113. Rectilinear Propagation says:
  114. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    No, I’m saying if she walked in and asked for pants in an 8X, it might not be out of line for the clerk to suggest that she’d feel better if she lost some weight (depending entirely on how the subject was broached).

    @KIRZEN2007: Yes it would.

  115. Razzler says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: Wow, that didn’t do anything to respond to my post! You’re so awesome.

  116. Dervish says:

    @KIRZEN2007: OK, and I’m just extrapolating here, but maybe the sales clerk “suggested” the procedure in a tactless way. Maybe she didn’t and the OP, being just 10 days out from her wedding, was so stressed out and frazzled that she reacted in a way that she normally wouldn’t (I know I was before my wedding). We weren’t there and so we don’t know the whole situation. The tone of her comments posted here don’t sound to me like she’s overreacting and trying to prop up a flimsy argument.

    I’ve been there. I’m on the upper limit of “standard” size but I’m built a little out of proportion, so I have a lot of trouble finding adequate bras in store. It’s hit-or-miss. I can envision a situation where I’m commiserating about this with the clerk, but it’s certainly not a solicitation for any medical advice. And nowhere in the post does it ever suggest that she asked the clerk “what can I do?”

    You feel differently, and that’s fine. But the OP’s reaction is not as over-the-top as you are arguing.

  117. Razzler says:

    And seriously, 226 pounds and a 38J? Either that woman is a walking pair of tits, or she’s lying about her weight.

  118. yesteryear says:

    wow, i cant believe how many of you think it’s ok for a retail clerk to suggest surgery to a customer… are you people kidding? it’s not like she was talking to a doctor. this is someone who is being paid $7.00 an hour to scan a bar code and tell you to have a nice day. it’s 100% inappropriate to suggest a medical procedure as a consolation for not carrying a particular item – whether or not you’re supposedly a specialty store.

    even if i walked into an office depot and asked them where to find their chicken pot pies it would be inappropriate for the clerk to suggest i become a vegetarian. the right response is simply ‘sorry, we don’t carry that – you might want to try store A or B’.

    it’s too bad that just because this is an issue having to do with a person’s weight/body type people think they have a right to make some kind of critique.

  119. KIRZEN2007 says:


    By her own description of the result of the clerk’s comments, she left the store in tears, I would say that’s an over-reaction.

  120. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @Razzler: See the table at the bottom of the page. The one about trends in breastfeeding patterns from 0 to 23 months.

  121. SisterHavana says:

    @rhondalicious: They have F cups in department stores? (Although I guess DDD and F are in theory the same thing)
    The Store Formerly Known As Marshall Fields on State Street in Chicago did carry some Goddess bras up to I cups, but I don’t know if they still do now that they are Macy’s.

    I will say that it was a very happy day in my life when Lane Bryant started carrying some of their bra styles up to H cups in the actual stores! Made my life much easier.

    And I think it is totally out of line for a sales clerk to suggest a breast reduction – I’d be upset too. Doctor? Suggest away! Salesperson? No.

  122. thalia says:

    Not to be mean, but why is she upset about the employee suggesting a breast reduction when the woman was ALREADY ON THE WAIT LIST FOR A BREAST REDUCTION? I’m pretty sure the employee said it without thinking it would offend her. It’s not like she told her to get a boob job or anything, or was blaming her for them not having her bra size. I see woman all the time in town and whisper to my husband, “Her back must ache horribly! She should consider breast reduciton”, not to be mean, but out of sympathy, because my bra size has gone up from a B to a DD in the past year and yes, it hurts to have all that strain on your back! I also have a hard enough time finding DD bras, so imagine trying to find a J!

    Sorry, but I think this woman was going out of her way to be offended.

  123. KIRZEN2007 says:


    Its more the tone of her complaint that makes my skin crawl than anything else, it comes across to me as an unstable over-reaction to a poor situation. I won’t argue that the customer service person’s response was possibly out of line, but not so drastically out of line that one would burst into tears and leave the store, vowing to never shop there again. Per her posts in this thread she seems like a reasonable, stable person, and because of this I can only assume that she’s either over-reacting to an innocent suggestion (that’s completely valid, given that she’s already on the waiting list for the surgery involved). Whether the suggestion is tactless and brusque, and whether or not a sales clerk should be providing medical advice that’s possibly hurtful (depending on how the subject is brought up) is debatable, but I don’t feel that it warrants a serious complaint, because I feel the customer service person was probably trying to be helpful and was probably engaged in a personable conversation with the OP. Perhaps she chose a poor suggestion and came across as insensitive, but people are being way to uptight about it.

    If you walked into a computer store with your old laptop to ask if they could upgrade your RAM and they went “OMG, we don’t carry parts for that piece of junk, you should just throw it away and but a new one” it would be very different than “I’m sorry sir, but that’s a pretty old model, we don’t carry parts for those. Have you considered buying a new laptop?”

    One is terrible customer service, one is great customer service, its a matter of discecting this issue, half of this issue is the customer experience and half of it is the question of whether its appropriate for a sales clerk to offer medical advice. My impression is that its alright -depending- on how you broach the issue, YMMV.

  124. Dervish says:

    @KIRZEN2007: Thanks for reading my whole post. I guess I’ll take the stance that neither of us was there, so we don’t know the facts – but in a time of such huge stress, that’s NOT what I would appreciate hearing come out of a clerk’s mouth.

  125. Dervish says:

    @KIRZEN2007: Sorry, I missed your last post.

    I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree here, because (as stated) I think it’s totally inappropriate, even if the clerk had been solicited for advice. If I had been in her situation I don’t think I would have broken down but I sure would have been irritated.

    Maybe the chain can use this as an example to teach their clerks that is appropriaet to say during customer interactions.

  126. SadSam says:


    I’ve noticed the same with VS and I’m a 34D. I’ve also not been very happy with the recent VS bras I purchased on-line in my size, seems liek quality and selection has gone down hill at VS and I’m in need of a new shop.

    Anyone have any suggestions??

  127. Dervish says:

    @Dervish: I meant “what is appropriate.” Sorry.

    @SadSam: I’d suggest going retail at first, until you find a particular model that you know fits you well. Or order from any of the sites listed here that has a good return policy – I’ve had luck with

    As for retail stores, I’ve had some success with larger Macy’s stores (or Marchall Fields or whatever they’re calling themselves these days). It’s still intermittent, but they generally have a large enough section that you can at least find something. I feel your pain, though – I’m in the same boat as you!

  128. KIRZEN2007 says:


    I’d definately give the nod to customer service re-training on sensitive issues regarding customer body image and tactful interaction. There are things that you don’t really want to say to your customer base… part of my own position is that I’ve been to lots of different Penningtons (the ladies I shop with measure in the H range as far as cup size goes) and I’ve heard plenty of tactfully brought up, very personal discussions about weight, diet, and even breast reductions. These surgeries are becoming more talked about and more commonplace, and I don’t know very many women who are painfully large that would be insulted by such a comment from a well-meaning sales person.

  129. CuriousO says:

    WTF? she’s still breast feeding her son at 16 months!!!!

  130. kimsama says:

    @SadSam: There’s some suggestions for various bras in this jezzie thread and this one. You might be able to head over there and search “bras” or “lingerie” — there are definitely threads wherein people share their fav places. Or you can ask the editors over there to start a thread on it!

  131. mmaSENSEI says:

    I agree with RAZZLER. My sons were breastfeed until about a year. 23 months though? That is damn near a two year old, start the solids already.

    Also, does “ample girth” equate to FAT? If so, then just say it.

  132. Dervish says:

    @KIRZEN2007: I see where you’re coming from, and I have to admit that I’d hate to get that reaction if I was honestly just trying to help someone.

  133. Dashrashi says:

    @Gann: The shop-lady wasn’t a doctor. It’s inappropriate for her to suggest surgery to someone who never mentioned wanting surgery.

  134. Razzler says:

    @mmaSENSEI: Also, does “ample girth” equate to FAT? If so, then just say it.

    Fat people have co-opted a ton of terms in order to avoid having to call a spade a spade when it comes to their size. Voluptuous, curvy, full-figured, and ample are now all euphemisms for “fat”.

  135. FightOnTrojans says:

    @Dervish: You stole the words outta my head! This would have been appropriate for a doc to say to her patient. The clerk, however, should have just kept it at “Sorry, we don’t have that size, but I’ve heard that XYZ store carries them” or something along these lines.

    I’ve seen comments saying that buying online from vendors in the states takes too long, etc. Do you possibly have friends in the states who can make the purchase for you and ship them to you? I don’t know, just thinking out loud. Anyways, congrats on the pending nuptials.

  136. tsunamibombsquad says:

    BY NORTH OF 49 AT 08:39 AM

    Thanks for the help people. I’m real proud of myself for loosing 20lbs in the last few months.

    The problem, of course, is that I can’t do mailorder. The wedding’s in 9 days! I don’t think anything could get here in time.

    im a 6 ft 2 male weighing 210. not overweight thin and in good shape. losing 20 pounds would only amount to me not eating egg yolks and sticking to water not juices or anything to 10 days…20 pounds is nothing.
    also, you are dumb if you think 9 days is too long to get something shipped….overnight it if its so damn important. bring back the walrus.

  137. Razzler says:

    @tsunamibombsquad: To be fair, it’s way easier for men to lose 20 pounds than it is for women, particularly an already heavy woman who’s popped out a couple kids.

  138. veraikon says:

    @Razzler: Yes, let us call a spade a spade. Let us distill the situation down to its most basic elements: the OP was mad because a stranger called her fat.

    She knows she is overweight. She is try to improve that situation. She’s already lost 20 pounds, she’s going to get the reduction surgery as soon as it’s feasible. But the saleslady didn’t know any of that.

    And I’m sure many of us can agree that it’s hard not to blame overweight people for their situations. It’s hard not to look at them with more than a bit of scorn. “Why should WE accommodate YOU? You disabled YOURSELF!”

    “But I AM trying to change”, the OP says. I for one believe her. But the years of dirty looks from strangers, the years of overeating and hating yourself for it, the years of crying yourself to sleep because you’ll never look like the girls in the magazines…It wears you down. And then one day you’re stressed and you’re trying to get something done and somebody says the wrong thing and you just snap.

    “I know what I look like, Goddamit. I know and I’m just trying to find a friggin’ bra that fits and won’t show through my dress. Is that so much to ask?”

    Should the saleslady have said what she said? No. But people say dumb things all the time. It’s not always malicious. Sometimes stupid words just spill out.

    Two sides. Neither side could’ve read the other’s mind. Circumstances collided. But that’s life. Take away whatever lessons you can and move on.

  139. Razzler says:

    She’s not mad because a stranger called her fat – as far as we know the F-word never came up. She’s mad that a stranger suggested she undergo a procedure that she already knows she ought to undergo and is taking steps to undergo.

    Assuming she actually is only 226 pounds wearing that utterly massive size, it’s possible she isn’t THAT big minus the boobs, which would make her quite a sight to see -not to mention a prime candidate for breast reduction surgery.

  140. veraikon says:

    @Razzler: The f-word doesn’t need to be said to be implied. I have never seen a woman with massive breasts who was not also overweight (implants excluded).

  141. Kounji says:

    So much for trying to come up with suggestions. I guess we’ve come to end of an era, where people can have simple conversations when it comes to business anymore. Even though its potentially insulting its not like she set out to call 49 fat or anything. Though as a merchant its always best to take the guarded route. people aren’t always easy to brush off certain comments.

  142. tsunamibombsquad says:

    i think society, should stop accomodating obesity. hopefully we’re just one law away for having to sell customers clothing in this sizes….after all tennessee or mississippi i believe passed a law saying its illawful to serve an obese person food. you dont feed the animals at the zoo. and you certainly shouldnt make 16xxl lycra and bras. i mean it certainly costs more to make a size 14 shoe than it does a size 6 so im assuming im paying for all her extra fabric, her insurance rates, everything.

  143. Razzler says:

    @veraikon: Overweight, yes. But I wouldn’t expect to see warlocks that big (38J?!) on a woman under, say, 300 pounds. If she’s actually weighing in at 226 as she claims, it’s reasonable to assume that a good portion of that weight is in her bosom. If that’s the case, a breast reduction could bring her down to, say, 200 pounds – still overweight, yes, but not terribly so. I know 200 pounders who don’t even have to shop at specialty stores.

  144. TBT says:

    Poor North!! I can remember feeling your pain…literally. After many years of similar comments from what seemed like EVERYONE (I was a 42I), i finally did get the reduction. While my back doesn’t hurt anymore and I can now buy women’s shirts, its a huge adjustment period. I still sometimes feel flat chested…also, if you do go through with it, ask if you can see some post-surg photos before the stitches came out…I remember waking up, looking down, and feeling like the Bride of Frankenstein.

    As far as bras for large sizes, there is a brand called Edith Lances sold in some specialty shops. They are pretty pricey but VERY supportive. They say they have to be hand washed, but I used to put mine in the dishwasher.

    If you need strapless and have spaghetti straps on your dress, pin the top of the cups to the inside of the dress and those straps will hold it up.

    ok, advice over…anyone who needs more is welcome to send a private message.

  145. TBT says:

    oh yeah and i just read comments posted while I was writing my post…it is possible to be 226 and have boobs that big. I did…I was somewhat overweight, true, but most people are SOMEWHAT overweight. I wasn’t spherical or anything…actually had an hourglass figure (I’m 6′ tall). I had J cups while wearing a size 16. While women do often gain weight in the breasts when they gain weight elsewhere, gigantomastia (the medical term) is genetic.

  146. CumaeanSibyl says:

    It’s none of anybody’s fucking business how much I weigh or what I do with my breasts, and I’ll thank all the retail employees of the world to keep their opinions to themselves.

    Between this and the Panera thread, I’m appalled at how many people find intrusive personal comments acceptable. And I don’t care if the customer was rude or upset first, whatever happened to taking the high ground?

    Miss Manners would be the first to tell you that rudeness is never an acceptable response to rudeness.

  147. Paul says:

    My girlfriend is a size 2, in fantastic physical shapem, and wears a 32GG. Enough people already stare at her chest and make her feel self-conscious without needing total strangers to begin recommending surgery to correct how she looks. She’s hardbodied from getting ready for OCS, and while nobody I know thinks that every shop should stock rare sizes that won’t sell well, I’m really starting to believe that either the supposed obesity epidemic is complete bullshit, or underwear retailers are the laziest people on the planet.

    I’ve been in men’s clothing stores that manage to sell pants from 30-30 to 60-30 without too much hassle. If, as some news reports say, the average dress size has gone up to size 14, wouldnt’ someone think that your average lingerie shop might have at least increased cup sizes a little?

  148. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

    Ye Gods…I think we need to put up a disclaimer on the site warning women not to mention their weight OR bra size, lest they be subjected to the ridicule, ignorance, judgment, and outright insensitivity that’s being displayed by some individuals here. Where has compassion and understanding gone these days?

  149. lasciate says:

    I am at a loss at how anyone can say a store that advertises carrying sizes 14+ to 32 is not a specialty store.

  150. sibertater says:

    @Rask: Finally. I was wondering what the hell! If you can hold a fork and a knife, you can stop with the boob suckling.

  151. tsunamibombsquad says:

    the more i think about it…16 months is big too…gross…overweight people have overweiht babies. people think they dont harm their dna but they do for up 4 generations you can slow metabolism and transfer diabetes and other thyroid problems. Same thing applies to smoking.

  152. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @Paul: I think some brands don’t want to be associated with larger women, so they don’t sell those sizes, or they only sell them online, or something — but if there really are that many fat women in America, they are missing out on some serious cash. Either the vast majority of women’s clothing retailers are run by complete morons, or there aren’t that many fat women, or possibly some of both.

  153. North of 49 says:

    I’d say complete morons. Look at all the walking skeletons in the modelling industry. When I was 18, at a “size 16” (more for modesty, I was 145lbs), I was “too fat” for even the plus size models. They wanted a size 12. I was wtf. “We want the clothes to look good.” uh, then why not use women of the appropriate size instead of models many times smaller than the average size you’re aiming at!

  154. Derp says:

    Did anyone else catch the OP statement of having already waited five plus years for the surgery in Canada? Socialized medicine at work!

  155. XTC46 says:

    this is the equivalent of saying “sorry…we don’t have your size…get liposuction…

    harsh to say the least.

  156. rjhiggins says:

    @KIRZEN2007: Yes, being told by a store clerk to get a breast reduction is EXACTLY like being told to get a new computer. Very sensitive of you.

  157. rjhiggins says:

    @Derp: Read it again: “I was told that I would have to wait half a year or more after my children finally stop nursing before I could have a reduction.”

    Nothing to do with socialized medicine.

  158. KIRZEN2007 says:


    Wouldn’t it be pleasant if people actually read your ‘entire’ post before spouting off like morons.

  159. kallawm says:

    I know you’re not keen on mailorder, but take a look at the cacique line from

    My friend is a 36DD normally… well, now she’s breast feeding. She says they feel amazing. Everyone one of them I have ever tried on has fit like a dream and if it didn’t, I’m sure they’d let you return it.

    Best of luck.

  160. rjhiggins says:

    @KIRZEN2007: I read the entire post. Just thought it was a silly analogy.

  161. virgilicious says:

    I think if it were me I would have just said “Are you kidding? I just finished paying for these suckers…”

    Of course, that’s unlikely to happen, since I’m a man. Unless the conversation were about balls. Which would be strange, and I’m not sure how I would react to it. Do men get ball-augmentation surgery? What’s the size limit? Can you get more than two?
    Hmm. Food for thought.

  162. North of 49 says:

    I wish I had paid for these suckers, then I could just ask to have the implants removed. But no, they are completely natural. Thanks for the valid suggestions folks, but due to a freak medical situation, we are cancelling the reception and are just having a small ceremony at the most.

  163. vrn3b says:

    (apologies if this shows up twice: there is wireless network configuration going on in the background!)

    @Gann: Pennington’s sale staff are by no stretch of the imagination “bra specialists.” For those of you in the US, Pennington’s isn’t even on par with Layne Bryant, it would be the equivalent of “Kmart” for plus sized clothing. I go there when I want to see what I can get on the cheap, and because it’s one of the few stores that does carry clothing (though not bras) in my size.

    @Northof49: I scanned through all the comments, and no one’s mentioned yet. They’re not exclusively plus-sized, but I have had luck with finding a few, reliable styles just a shade smaller in the cup size than yours.

    And, in agreement with the person (too lazy to scroll, sorry!) who mentioned how shirts are made for B cups, plus sized clothing is similarly not well-proportioned for the top heavy. It’s easy to find a 50B bra in any plus-sized clothing store, but impossible to find say a 40G.

  164. JohnnyE says:

    If a poster has a substantive complaint — e.g., the terms of the contract were this, but I got that, etc., etc.; company A is engaging in practice X, which is illegal under law Y — I’d expect comments to likewise be substantive.

    However, if a poster’s story is basically “someone hurt my feelings” or “I felt bad/disappointed”, all bets are off.

    Subjecting the public at large to one’s emotional whining is rude in and of itself. Those types of people fired the first shot in the incivility war. They (the ‘victims’) deserve (are to ‘blame’) for what they get.

    And, yeah, being able to cry the loudest and get your feelings hurt the fastest doesn’t make you a victim, consumer or otherwise — it just makes you an emotionally unstable person.

  165. bria says:

    So we shouldn’t have sympathy for the emotionally unstable?

    A lot of people in this thread are complete assholes. I’m a woman with huge feet. My largest shoe size is 11.5. Try finding anything like that in stores! And buying online hasn’t been a good experience for me. I understand the annoyance of trying to find a rare size, but there’s no reason for people to PICK ON somebody because of that.

  166. bria says:

    PS, I don’t think the OP is emotionally unstable at all, she’s just miffed at a rude saleswoman. Just trying to make a point.