In defense of undergarments

I was definitely distracted the morning of my defense.  So much so, that I didn’t notice the Iphone camera was on “video” and not “photo” — hence the ridiculousness in my attempts to document my outfit.

See what I mean?  (Don’t blink!)

I also wore shoes.  (They are cute, though I did rub some skin off a toe on my right foot.)

For accessories, my glamorous jewelry designer friend, Georgia, came by with a box filled with hand-made, one-of-a-kind pieces.  It was her personally designed collection of most favorite sets.

I’m calling a design trend: a Georgia-designed jewelry set is the key to dissertation success!  (Movie stars, take note!)

In the end, I wore a set of her silvery pearls: a double strand necklace and simple, dangling earrings.  Though I rarely wear bracelets, I could not resist one which bore a quotation: “Nothing is worth more than this day.” When I asked her about it, she told me that it quoted Goethe (natch to G: stylish, thoughtful, and readily quotes German philosophers!)

The bracelet is seen in the mirror at Galatoire’s, when I took photos of my bloody arm.

Between you and me?  There was one more detail of my outfit that made a big difference.  UNDERGARMENTS.

Of COURSE I wore Spanx.  I’m not a heathen, forgoodnesssake.  But brassieres?  Well, it’s been years and years of asking recommendations, measuring and estimating sizes, trying and retrying… with a small fortune invested in wires, straps, and molded cups that don’t seem quite right.  Enough was enough.

So, the day before the defense, I went to Basics Underneath.  A shop roughly 200 steps from my front door that I had never before visited.  If there is ever a reason to shop local, good gracious: LET THIS BE IT.

Because all that measuring?!  Meaningless!  Bra fitting is the sort of thing that requires at least two other women grabbing, twisting, and juggling you — showing where straps should sit, pointing out what flesh goes in what places, and discussing the finer points of cup shape and hook positioning.  Sure, you CAN measure.  I measure 36D.  In the past few years, I’ve worn 36D, 36C, 38D, and 38C off and on in different styles, based on those measures.

But it turns out I’m actually a 32DDD.  Also called 32F.

It’s a big difference.  I’ll illustrate.

This is me, in a picture of the defense dress on the day I bought it.  I was wearing a bra I would have, at the time, called “very supportive and well-fitted.”

And here I am, in a still photo taken out of the video Will took on the morning of the defense.  See how I have a waist?

So what did I learn from my defense?  That all women need bra fittings.  Just like it took me 6 years to finish the PhD, it took me more than 6 years to walk 2 blocks to learn how to wear a proper brassiere.  (The bra one is the embarrassing number.)

So, hoorah for bra fittings!  Whose with me?!