It’s so much fun doing girly stuff from time to time. I couldn’t do it all the time – the expense alone makes it prohibitive – but very once in a while it’s nice to indulge my girly side.
Elsie was tossing up going into the city so I suggested we meet up and do our girly things together. So here’s what we did.
I was in desperate need of new bras. I don’t buy them often because nice well-fitting bras in my size are generally from Europe and are unbelievably expensive. Most mainstream shops don’t go up to my size. E cups are getting more common, but I’m a few more letters down the alphabet and those hardly ever show up in department stores.
I don’t even attempt to go buy bras in a regular shop anymore. It’s just too frustrating and makes me feel ungainly and that I’m being told See these pretty little things, in gorgeous colours and styles? They’re reasonably priced too. See how comfortable and yet stylish they look? Now STEP BACK. How dare you want to wear nice underwear? It’s these beige monstrosities for you, bras that make even the most conservative of women weep. Actually no. Just put a sack on and get back into your cave! (I might be reading more into it than the shops intended) Also the department store bra fitters are often employed by a particular brand and aren’t interested in fitting you properly or showing you a wide range of options.
These days I go straight to the wonderful women at More Than a Handful, just opposite Town Hall. I was keen to show Elsie where it was, just because I think it’s a great shop, and it’s kind of hidden away. These women know how to fit a bra! They get the size and fit spot on almost every time. I don’t have any issues with a fitter being in the change room with me and adjusting things as needed, and the whole thing was very quick and easy. I didn’t even look at the sizes til I got home, and noted I’m a bigger cup size than a couple of years ago; that used to make me cry, mainly because each letter higher you go in a cup size, the harder it can be to get anything to fit (note that even when I was losing lots of weight elsewhere on my body, it never moved from my chest, which was very frustrating). But now that I know I can buy underwear to fit, I don’t even care what size I am.
However, although I got two beautiful bras and am very happy with them…they cost me $385. Ouch. Although, given how rarely I buy bras and the fact that I have to wear one every day, it does get the Cost Per Wear right down (this is also tangentially related to the Jee Taxi/Bus Fare Comparison Rationale, but I’ll go into that another time).
I know it’s a lot of money. But it’s worth it. Believe me.
Side note: when I got home I checked online to see whether this high price was consistent across the board. In Australia and NZ, yes, the prices are all much the same. But in the UK you can get the same style for about $100 less. What’s with that?! I guess that’s the only time it pays to know what size you actually are.
I loved looking at makeup with Elsie. I hardly ever do this, and it’s not something you can really do with most people. You have to both be into it and in the mood for it. Though that mustn’t be the case for everyone; the Myer makeup section was packed. (There were also topless men at the Biotherm counter, which Elsie wrote about over on Jelssie, and who made us both feel a bit uncomfortable, and many other women who just avoided whatever they were handing out as well.)
We briefly looked at clothes, though that wasn’t especially interesting (I bought a work top for 40% off). Then I got my eyebrows done at the Benefit brow bar, which I’ve kind of always wanted to do. I’m not shy about getting stuff done to my face in a public place!
The lovely Cecilia did a fantastic job and showed me how to use their Brow Zings kit, which I probably would never actually use but was fun for someone else to use on me (I secretly love getting my makeup done, mainly because I’m fairly crap at doing it myself and it’s nice to have someone brushing your face with soft brushes). I also bought lip gloss but am reserving other possible makeup purchases for the duty free shops when I go to Malaysia next week.
Elsie got her brows done at her regular place on Pitt Street, and I had an iced coffee while I waited for her. Had the strange experience of an old Asian lady sitting down at my table and totally invading my personal space…another preparation for Malaysia perhaps.
We then walked down to the Japanese shop Daiso so Elsie could buy a couple of things (and I was remarkably restrained and didn’t buy anything), quickly into Market City for a fruitless vitamins search for E, and then through Chinatown back towards my car. I saw people queued up for something called Emperor Puffs.
“They must be a thing, huh?” I said.
Elsie stopped. “You haven’t had Emperor Puffs?”
“Even Jess Green has had Emperor Puffs and she’s from the country! I’m getting some.”
And so Elsie treated me to my first Emperor Puffs. Piping hot, sweet, perfect little balls of custardy goodness.
Then a little bit further into Dixon Street and Elsie said, “oh, I have to show you Extreme Gelato.” And she did.
We shared a cup of black salted caramel and oh. my. goodness. It was amazing. Silky smooth, sweet, salty, creamy. One serve was more than enough for both of us. I can’t believe I had never been there before!