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Smackdown Updates: Reunion Fashion & Bra Dilemmas

By Amalah

Photo by jenny downing (on the run)
Hooray for updates! A couple follow-ups on recent (ish) questions. Have you asked a question, or maybe just seen yourself reflected in a question, and happened upon The Perfect Solution? Send it in!
UPDATE ON: What to Wear: High School Reunion
Hi, Amy,
I asked you a question a couple of months ago that you so kindly answered about what to wear to my 20th reunion. I wanted to let you know that your advice was super-helpful, and so were the comments — particularly the self-tanner suggestion. I am now hooked on the Nivea one! It has a better smell than most of the others.
I didn‚Äôt get the Anthropologie dress but found this one in a similar style — V-neck, ruching at the waist, sleeveless, drapey skirt. It was black with white dots and I wore cute little red sandals and my favorite red necklace. Also, the dress was $35 on sale (yay, me). I shouldn‚Äôt have worried so much; everyone else was pretty casual, but I felt super-fantastic and don‚Äôt regret all the obsessing over what to wear! Best of all, I had a GREAT time at the reunion and am looking forward to the 30th. Except for the part where I‚Äôm ten years older.
I’m attaching a picture—not for posting!—it’s not great but you get the idea. My mom offered to take a pic before I left and I got all teenagery—“Moooooom, no!”—so this is the best one I’ve got. Thanks again for your help!
Sign me,
Reunions Aren’t That Bad
Houston, TX

Hooray! I’m glad it went well and you had a good time and that you were able to glean something vaguely useful from my ramblings. See…I’m so with you on the whole “I felt super-fantastic and don’t regret all the obsessing” thing. I always, ALWAYS prefer to show up a tad overdressed, or at least wearing something that I truly love and feel great in instead of “well, this is sort of like what I expect OTHER PEOPLE to be wearing.” You do that, and you blend in. Which is safe, I suppose, but personally my social anxiety gets worse the more I disappear into the wallpaper, silently wishing I’d just gone ahead and worn my favorite dress and High Heels Of Confidence.
And bonus, your obsessing has resulted in a perfect go-to, wear-anywhere dress that you’ll get waaaaay more than 35 dollars worth of wear out of.
(PS I covet your hair color. Please mail me some.)
UPDATE ON: Your Bra-Fitting Dilemmas: SOLVED!
I wanted to share with you the success I’ve had after reading Nicole’s response to my ill-fitting bra issues in your column (“Your Bra-Fitting Dilemmas: SOLVED!”). Though answered MONTHS ago, there wasn’t a decent lingerie store anywhere near me in small-town Ohio. However, the parents? They live in northern Virginia. Lingerie stores galore. On my most recent trip home I found a store via Nicole’s suggested link and went in. The fitting? Not at all what I expected. One band measurement and a quick hand-to-cup measurement over my shirt and we were done. Then she brought me the bras. The glorious, perfect-fitting bras. All these years and I didn’t know bras could fit that well. I obviously knew they could fit better, but not like this! And my, did they make everything look better. So. Much. Better. And as recommended, I’ve now sworn off of Victoria’s Secret. Last I was measured they told me I was a 36C. I knew this was wrong so I went with 36D. Still very very wrong. My actual size? 34G. The bras were somewhat pricey so I could only afford one at the time, but my new promise to myself is that every time I’m visiting the parents (about twice a year) I will go back, make sure my size hasn’t changed and buy a new, well-fitting bra.
Thanks to you and Nicole!

Oh, this one is all Nicole, who I think totally rivals Oprah when it comes to bra-fitting dilemmas and the importance of a good, real, personal fitting. Now that you know your size, don’t forget to visit the websites Nicole recommended and keep an eye out for sales in your size and preferred brands and styles. Sign up for email newsletters to get notified of clearance deals. As happy as I am to hear of your success, you NEED MORE THAN ONE BRA. Your glorious and pricey bra is going to wear out quickly with too-frequent washing and wearing, so now that you’ve done the specialty boutique fitting, it IS okay to buy bras elsewhere when you find them within your budget. Just…not Victoria’s Secret, of course, but it sounds like you’re in perfect agreement there. Heh.


Published July 9, 2009. Last updated July 9, 2009.
About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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  • anon

    July 9, 2009 at 11:28 am

    I live in northern VA, could you (Nicole) share where you went??
    Editor: in the original post (link above), Nicole recommends how you can find shops via

  • Lar

    July 9, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    It’s me, reunion lady–thanks for the hair compliment! I use L’Oreal Medium Brown, which sounds blah but it always goes a little red on me so I like the results.

  • Christine

    July 9, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Can anyone tell me what I should do with a bra that no longer fits? I guess the obvious answer is to throw it out, but I feel guilty because the bra is in fairly good condition, but just doesn’t fit. On the other hand, I wouldn’t feel right handing it down or donating it, because I don’t want the next person wearing a bra that’s not the right size.

  • Kate

    July 9, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    I *just* went to Intimacy NYC yesterday (and then blogged about it because it was SO fabulous).
    To sum up: old bra fitter–Target dog. New bra fitter (and potential BFF)– Stephanie from Intimacy.
    The Amex bill is going to be huge, but me and my 5-straight-years-of-nursing breasts feel like new!

  • ClassyFabSarah

    July 9, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Hey Christine,
    I haven’t tried it so I don’t know for sure, but on my post the other day (about my surplus of bras), a couple girls told me Goodwill takes them. Hate to get rid of expensive bras that don’t fit, but I feel much better knowing someone else will get good use out of them!

  • Corinne

    July 9, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    I was looking for a dress to wear to a bridal shower a few months back and remembered the column with the Velvet dress that Amalah linked to so I went in to Anthropologie and bought it. I’ve worn that thing so many times it’s ridiculous. It saved my rear on my honeymoon because it packs well, doesn’t require ironing, looks really nice, but is really comfortable for wandering around hot climates and beaches. My husband loves it and is always suggesting I wear it. So uh, three cheers for the Advice Smackdown and making me look girlier!

  • Kat C

    July 10, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    I’m not sure if you ladies have Change stores down in the US (I’m in Canada), but they are the best ever for good fitting, reasonably priced lingerie. Their staff do the same kind of modest boob-sizing (tape measure around ribs, hand outside of shirt), and then they start producing pretty, well-priced (40 – 60$!) bras that will change your cleavage and your life. Maybe that’s where they got the name. Ultimate proof – I took my Mom there 6 months ago. She still talks about how pretty the new bra makes her feel. Success!

  • Anon

    July 10, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Yes, I checked, but the closest one listed (Della’s Bra Boutique) closed (a year ago). I was hoping the original poster actually went to a store “near” northern VA.

  • Marianne

    July 11, 2009 at 12:16 am

    I echo KatC’s recommendation of the Change stores! They are mostly in Europe, the Middle East, and Canada. This store has seriously changed (har har har) my life – finally I can afford bras that are in my size (36J – yikes). Plus they have PRETTY bras in big sizes!

  • M

    July 12, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Amy, yes! I will be looking for bras online as well. My old ones now just don’t compare.
    And Anon, there’s a second page of VA stores on the site. I went to Trousseau ( in Vienna, though there’s another store (The Full Cup) listed in Alexandria.

  • Diana

    July 15, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Trousseau in Vienna, VA is great, they have a large selection.
    If you’re closer to Richmond, Blythe is really good too, slightly smaller selection than Trousseau.