What do bras and shoes have in common?

By Joyce Eisenberg

More than you’d expect. Here’s my list:

1. Women own more of each than they wear.

Screen shot 2013-02-02 at 11.58.05 AMThe average American woman has 19 pairs of shoes in her closet, but she only wears 4 pairs regularly, according to a poll that appeared in ShopSmart magazine. Another 4 or 5 pairs have only been worn once. There are similar statistics about bras. According to Britain’s Daily Mail, the average woman owns 16 bras at any given time but only wears 4-6 of them on a regular basis.

2. Our drawers and our closets are stuffed with shoes and bras that we don’t wear but don’t want to give away  – just in case.

Screen shot 2013-02-02 at 11.59.51 AMThese are the shoes that looked great in the store but didn’t quite match the dress you were hoping it would complement, and the bra that was really sexy but made your boobs look bad under your new sweater. These are the shoes that felt okay when you test-drove them around the store for two minutes and the bras that were comfy when you tried them on for a nanosecond. Back at home, in the harsh light of day, they are too uncomfortable to wear. But they’re pretty.

3. Because of traumatic experiences like the aforementioned, women buy comfortable shoes and bras and sexy shoes and bras, and they are rarely one and the same.

Screen shot 2013-02-02 at 11.58.20 AMManufacturers understand this, which is why bra companies market ultra-comfortable styles, like the Coobie Bra, a seamless, stretchy, one-size-fits-almost-all bra that’s so comfortable you can sleep in it. They also sell super-sexy models, like Victoria’s Secret’s Bombshell bra that “adds 2 cup sizes for instant hourglass oomph.” Shoes walk the same path. There’s the Blossom, with 5-inch stiletto heels and a rhinestone studded ankle strap, and comfy Ugg boots with their fleece lining.

I haven’t found any bras or shoes that bridge the gap, but a Chicago Tribune reporter tested shoes marketed as “comfortably sexy day and night.” One tester came close to tears cause the shoes hurt so bad; but there were some success stories. I’m sticking with my sensible Aerosoles.

4. If you lose weight, both your cup size and your shoe size can decrease. If you gain weight, the reverse is true.

“I dropped about 40 pounds – three dress sizes,” one woman wrote in an online forum. “Went from a 36DD to a 36D bra. I’m not complaining about that; I just don”t want to go below a C cup. However, some of my shoes are a little too big now, and that does piss me off as I’m an absolute shoe fiend…”

Screen shot 2013-02-02 at 12.03.51 PMAnother women replied, “35 pounds for me was more than a full cup size. Also, I actually had to get a new helmet for horseback riding because the old one got too big. Weird, huh? Didn’t know I had a fat head…”

Breasts, which are made up mostly of fatty tissue, are often the first indicators of weight change. But all parts of the body of capable of storing fat. So if you are dieting, maybe you should squirrel away the money you’re saving on food shopping to use on shoe, bra and helmet shopping when you’ve reached your goal.

5. At the end of the day, women can’t wait to get their bra and their shoes off.

Nuff said.