While I may be the proud owner of a full-bosomed-figure, I am not the proud owner of very many bras. It’s a dilemma I’ve put off for years.
Yes, despite wearing a cup size 36 F (or G, depending on my bloat and the brand), I despise bras, often traumatizing children I jog past as a result. But it’s not my fault; I’m an F in denial. Just five years ago, I wore a size HH, and compared to that situation, my boobs now look like cupcakes.
For context: I underwent a breast reduction surgery in 2011, going from a HH to a “small” D.
But alas, breast reductions aren’t always permanent. Outlying factors like weight fluctuation can interfere with the ultimate outcome, and it seems I’ve suffered a severe case of Revenge of the Tits. So here I am, once again stuck with unnecessarily large breasts, desperately seeking to suppress them. (Though I haven’t purchased real bras since the said surgery. Oops.)
Now, I originally wanted to write an essay about how much I hate my boobs, and how much I hate bras, and how the only bras I like are those seen-on-TV ones from Rite Aid.
Every bra with which I’ve been acquainted looks, well, antiquated, as if it emerged from the Stone Age, or moonlights as a swim cap. Full-coverage bras actually make your boobs look bigger, push-ups do no good unless you’d like to utilize your breasts as travel pillows, and pretty much anything with an underwire gives me what my mom calls “cakesters”— the side-skin that gives you two small breasts underneath your armpits…which are kind of cute if you consider them objectively?
…But then I went to The Rack Shack.
Located at 155 Central Ave., The Rack Shack is body-positive oasis. It’s an empowering, one-woman-owned, LGBTQ+ friendly boutique dedicated to body positivity, inclusivity, and making its customers happy. They offer a whopping 75 sizes from 28A to 38HH, including band sizes which go up to a size 40. That means everyone can enjoy a beautiful well-fitting bra.
At first, I was skeptical; I’ve heard this about brands and stores abusing the “body-positive” tagline by profiting off of the curvaceous, yet refusing to carry plus-size products, or cup sizes larger than Ds.
But The Rack Shack is the real deal, and I spent a day having my breasts fondled and sweating in a dressing room to prove it.
It was the Friday before my birthday and I (full-body) figured, if not now, then when? So off I went to face my F-sized fears, a choice with which I couldn’t be happier.
Upon entering The Rack Shack, I was greeted by founder and owner Laura Henney. I knew I liked her immediately (and it turns out our birthdays were just one day apart. She shares hers with Eminem and Brandon Blackwood!)
Having grown up in a small town in the Netherlands and, like myself, wearing a G cup at the age of fourteen, Laura’s no stranger to the plight of shopping for bras while big-boobed.
As a teen, Laura had no choice but to bra shop at “specialty stores,” often frequented by elderly women, and while they technically carried bras that were big, those bras were far from aesthetically pleasing.
When she moved to Amsterdam however, everything changed.
She was finally able to find bras that were cute, accommodating, and comfortable. When she moved to New York City six years ago, she knew she wanted to bring this inclusive, boob-friendly mentality with her.
Knowing I was literally in good hands, I allowed Laura to eyeball my size (she doesn’t use measuring tape). I was not a 36E as I had previously thought, but a 36F.
“Oh great,” I thought. “There goes any hope for a cute bra.” Discouraged, I entered the dressing room, expecting the same thing all over again. “Oh, this is cute, oh, my nipple is on my chin!” And then the bra-testing began.
In Laura came with an armful of hand-picked bras, varying in style and shape, but with two things in common: they were all gorgeous and they fit. One by one, I tried them on, Laura adjusting my breasts to wear the cups properly, which really wasn’t awkward at all, and loving each one even more than the last. Laura also managed to magically conceal my cakesters! I eagerly purchased as many as I could, along with a pink frilly robe.
Over a week later, I’m still loving my bras and boobs more than ever. I proudly wear them everyday, photographing myself with fervor. I even sent the pictures to my friends and I don’t care if they felt weird about it!
I can’t wait to return to The Rack Shack, and this time, I’m surely dragging all my friends and anyone who will come along. It’s an empowering, confidence-boosting experience that everyone deserves, at least once. Laura and The Rack Shack are genuinely life changing, and while the business is not even two years old, The Rack Shack’s impact on the Brooklyn community is legendary, and for very good reason.
In short: Laura is the boob whisperer. I don’t know how she does it, but I will not question it, because all I know is that my F/G’s are thrilled. My fiancé, too.
Ah, yes, brief anecdote, and this might be a coincidence, but I can’t be sure — after just five days of wearing and flaunting my bras and intimates, I got engaged. Serendipity?