My dressmaker ordered me to buy a push-up bra.
On Saturday, my friend Laura and I traveled to Chinatown to have the first fitting on my qipao. Thankfully, given the huge measurements the dressmaker took when I visited in July (over my clothes!), the roughed-up dress was enormous. I put it on, and the dressmaker started pinning.
She asked me what I thought of the collar, and I said it seemed a smidge tight. This is because I hate having things around my neck. She said that it was not very tight, and that this was "the Chinese style." That is, "Looser would look bad, stupid American."
We discussed how tight the dress should be, striking a balance between "the Chinese style" of skin-tight sexy, and my gauche American desire to be able to sit down.
We discussed the length of the sleeve and settled on something satisfactory. We discussed the height of the slit, and thankfully she agreed that with my parents present, I should perhaps not have the thing cut up to my crotch.
Then we got to the front of the dress, which is heavily darted to achieve that skin-tight look. The darts were not positioned exactly right, and so she began pinning and adjusting. Then she said, "You need to get a different bra."
"Yes. You need to be..." She made a gesture that indicated higher. Much higher.
"This is the Chinese style. UP"--here she made a boob-squishing gesture in front of her own chest-- "and then a nice body below."
Well, I'm not sure I can do anything about the nice body below, but if she wants my chest up, she'll get my chest up.
So today I ventured into Macy's, self-billed as having the largest bra selection in the country. I'll be honest: I've never shopped for a push-up bra before. I'm fairly well endowed, and have never felt the need for one. Some manufacturers don't even make push-ups in my size, because, really, do I need my boobs around my neck? But there was a bit of a thrill in having to buy one: I had been ordered to do it by the expert, and I wasn't going to let embarrassment at the ridiculousness of the task stop me.
Of course, once I settled on one (I chose it because it not only pushed the boobs up, it pushed them together, which I gathered from her illustrative gesture was what she wanted), I went for the matching panties, because why shouldn't my sweetie enjoy the full benefit of my wholly utilitarian purchase? And oh--how lucky that it comes in wedding red!
OK, I have to admit: I still felt a bit ridiculous buying it. I mean, don't get me wrong: it looks great on, and I think my seamstress will approve my new positioning. But I mean, come on. How could I not feel silly knowing the inside of the bra looks like this?
Yes. The pads are shaped...like lips.