Bra Straps, Tank Tops and Dressing for Others

“I’ve given up trying to hide my bra straps,” I announced to my friend before yoga the other day.

She looked at me like I was crazy.  To be fair, she often does.

“I have so many tank tops and so many bras,” I explained.  “And none of them ever line up.  I’m just showing the straps, I don’t care anymore.”

When I was young there were lots of rules for clothing.  Matching your clothes was so important that we had a line of clothing called Garanimals whose sole purpose was to make sure your outfit matched.  We were told not to wear white after Labor Day.  Our purse should match our shoes.  If you have cellulite don’t wear shorts.  If you have “bat wings” don’t wear sleeveless shirts.  Don’t show your bra strap, it looks “trashy”.

So. Many. Rules.

And many of these rules have gone to the wayside, but not all.

I see kids today in full outfit creativity wearing the most amazing mix of fabrics and colors and I smile.  A couple weeks ago on a sunny day I was walking the dog and we passed a little girl wearing rain boots, flowered tights, a tutu and a striped shirt.  It was freaking adorable.  Trust me when I say no child in my neighborhood growing up would be allowed to leave the house looking like that.

Even with the casualization of our dress over the years, there still seems to be a lot of “rules” people have for clothing, especially those not deemed to have the ideal body.  Somewhere along the way, I stopped caring.  Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s enlightenment, but I really don’t care about clothing rules anymore.

I mostly like to match my clothes, but I’m more flexible than I used to be, especially in my personal time.  I don’t usually wear too much white regardless of the season, but only because if I do I’m sure to spill something on myself or lean against something dirty within 30 minutes of getting dressed.

And I’m done worrying about my bra straps showing.

I have an entire drawer dedicated to tank tops. My work “uniform” almost every day is a tank with pants or skirt and some kind of jacket.  After years of stressing over work clothes, at some point in the last ten years I created this uniform, harkening back to my Catholic school days, and it’s served me well.  In this scenario, the jacket covers the straps, so it doesn’t matter where the bra straps and the tank edges land.

But what about when I’m out and about in my free time?  One day I tried on every single bra I own with a particular tank top I wanted to wear. None of them worked, the bra strap peeked out somewhere on every option.  Then I switched to a totally different style of tank top.  Same result.

I know, I know, first world problems.

I think there is some conspiracy between the tank top makers and the bra designers.   Do they think if you’re too large for the shelf bra in many tanks, you shouldn’t wear a tank? Then why do they make tanks in large sizes?

It’s summer. It’s getting hot out.  I’m not going to wander around in sleeves because my bra strap shows, or I don’t look “good” in a tank top.

And you know what? I think you should not do this either dear reader. If you’re not wearing a tank top or shorts or whatever because of how you look,  stop baking yourself in the heat, stop waiting until you lose weight/get fit/have plastic surgery and just be freaking cool and comfortable.

Unless I make some amazing and accidental bra discovery, you are going to see me in the warm weather wearing a tank top, and you’re going to see a bra strap.

Fair warning: I’m a 51-year-old woman who has always been, let’s say, well endowed, so they aren’t those tiny cute bra straps you see peeking out of tanks that the young A-cup girls wear.  These are heavy duty industrial bra straps.   And I’ll show them proudly because I’m done wasting precious brain energy trying to conform to people’s rules. And I’m done making myself uncomfortable.

If people don’t want to see my bra straps, or my arms, or what I look like in leggings or shorts, that’s fine.  They can look away.  I’m just going to be comfortable, happy and me now.  You should too.

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  One thought on “Bra Straps, Tank Tops and Dressing for Others

  1. Brenda Jose
    July 18, 2019 at 10:22 pm

    Amen, Sister Rose, amen!!


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