Metal wire sewn into a bra to aid in the support of breasts. Some women find underwire bras uncomfortable while others require them to be comfortable.

"I didn't get much sleep last night, I had a date, I spent hours removing underwire from my teeth."

I have never liked bras. However, I started wearing them as a teenage Introverted Thinker, because the boys kept looking at the embarassing and inconvenient breasts. I did not want them to look. Cover up, right away!

My mother was a time warp beatnik artist, so she scorned bras. She wore no bra with her usual t-shirt and jeans. I found this uncomfortable as a pre-teen and teen, the usual "she looks different from other moms." Everyone thinks the weirdness of their parents stands out. My mother had very risque dramatic underwear for when she dressed up. Teddies, bustiers, garter belts. Ooooh, creepy, is what I thought as a teen. Yuck.

So it was a bit difficult for me to ask about getting a bra. Got teased by mom. Didn't like it. Persisted. I chose the plainest cotton stretchy tube things that I could find. My mother was not into bras and it never occurred to me that they could be fitted. Mine never fitted very well but I disliked the stupid things anyhow.

So fast forward. Around age 50 a boyfriend took me to a fancy lingerie shop. By then I had one swimsuit with underwires that actually fit right. I don't need underwires, I'm not that hugely endowed (I do not mind!). At the fancy shop, they fitted me for a bra. She said I was a C cup and explained that the A, B, C thing is not the breast size, but has to do with position on the chest wall.

Oh. So I'd been getting the wrong size since I was 12.

I had noticed as a doc that quite a few women have a ridge of scar tissue at the lower edge of the breast that I blamed on underwire bras. I revised my opinion. It's probably from underwire bras that don't fit. I must not be the only teen whose mother wasn't particularly interested or knowledgeable about bras.......

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