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Saturday, November 29, 2014


According to my informal research while watching movies set in the 1950s, "Go stuff your bra" was a major insult at the time. It was a reference to someone's lack of body development. (If only they knew that as of 2014 many Hollywood types have had their implants removed and a smaller size up top is considered chic. But let's get back to the topic at hand. I run a G-rated or sometimes PG blog here and I don't want to shock you awake from your turkey coma by discussing boobs so early in the morning. And you thought a post entitled "Stuffed" would be about post-Thanksgiving full stomachs. Fooled you again!!!) Anyway, the bra-stuffing punch line led me to consider how I sometimes throw things into my sports bra, which gives a whole new meaning to stuffing a bra.

Women's clothes often do not include pockets. (Men's clothes always have pockets.) Maybe fashion designers assume women will carry a purse large enough to house anything and everything she might need (and whatever her dog, boyfriend, kids, family, friends and strangers might need on a given day, too). So pockets in women's clothes apparently are deemed unnecessary. I agree about the purse assumption. My purse is chock-full of the necessities, plus lots of other items for "just in case" scenarios. But there are times when I don't carry my purse. If these times coincide with times I'm wearing pocketless pants or shorts, what's a gal to do? I'll tell ya.

Every day I walk for exercise. I don't bring my purse and my shorts have no pockets. It's freeing not to have to lug a giant purse but still, I might need a few things while I'm out. If I'm walking for exercise I'm wearing a sports bra, which can house a few small items in addition to housing the parts it is designed to hold in and up. The elastic around the bottom of the sports bra ensures that things won't fall out. They stay just where you put them and are easy to find, unlike when I dig around in my purse, wondering if it has a trap door where my keys are hiding.

This bra-stuffing idea first occurred to me over the summer while I was at the beach with the kids. We chose a few special shells to bring home with us. Not planning ahead, I didn't have a bucket with us and I wasn't clutching my purse as I stood calf-deep in water. What to do if you don't have pockets? Stuff your bra, of course!

(I actually think this concept has been germinating in my brain for years, ever since I learned that in Spanish, the words for "purse" and "pocket" are the same: bolsa, which means bag. And a pocket really is a small bag, one that happens to be attached to your pants, so this is all quite logical.)

Anyway, a sports bra can hold quite a bit without anyone knowing anything unexpected is in there. I have tossed in lip balm, money, my driver's license, keys, tissues and shells. There are limits, of course. Let's say you need both your hands to push a stroller or hold your phone while walking your dog--I don't advise sticking your umbrella in your bra. No, I'm not concerned about weird stares you'd get by having an arrow shape pointing off your chest. I'm concerned only that the elastic in your sports bra would be stretched out to the point of no return if an umbrella were kept in there. And then you'd have to go buy a new sports bra and you'd be mad at me for telling you the old one could hold an umbrella which led to your needing to buy a new bra. I'd feel badly and I'd feel compelled to accompany you around for a while, holding your umbrella for you, just to redeem myself. And I've got things to do. So please, just believe me now--don't put the umbrella in there. We'll all be happier.

But lots of small things can fit in a bra. I think it makes excellent sense and since you're probably already feeling like you have too much to carry and do (simultaneously), just do what I do. Stuff that bra. Bras may not be a new invention, but carrying things in them is going to be the big new trend once word hits the street. Purses won't go the way of the dinosaur but it's nice to have an alternative for the times when you don't want to lug your bag.

Bras: the latest hands-free device. 

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