31 Bras

 Graphic by JW Illustrations © jwillustrations.com

Graphic by JW Illustrations © jwillustrations.com


If you will, do this little exercise for me. All you have to do is say, ‘To me, success looks like ___________…” And fill in the blank.

Most people have their own version of what success is. To some it’s the ability to buy a new house with an open floor plan, four bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms on a culdesac (I watch a lot of House Hunters on HGTV). To others it’s the thrill of taking three vacations a year, and one of those trips has to be to Italy, third quarter, each year, just because it’s your favorite place on the planet. For someone else, success means getting that Ph.D in philosophy because you want to give all those thoughts an extra boost with the title, Dr.

I admit, when I was in my 20s success meant having a Saab in my driveway. No matter the car maker is out of business now. It’s still the classiest car I’ve ever seen. But my outlook has changed.

These days, as a 52-year old woman, reinventing herself, and running her own business, honestly? Success now looks like… 31 bras. That’s right – a bra for every day of the month. And not the cheap brands. Not knocking them, but I’ve done them, and I’m done with them. I’m talking the really good bras; the ones that are $79 and up. The kind that gives the girls support like they’ve never had.

When this concept first occurred to me, it was a bra for every day of the week. But then I thought, “Why be so small-minded? Go for more. How about 31 bras?” And I started daydreaming of walking into Harps Lingerie in Birmingham, Mich. (my sister, once gave me a Harps Gift Card. #BestBrasEver), being waited on, getting fitted, and selecting bras in every color, and style. Then comes the confidence of plopping down $2,449 (plus tax) on the counter, and walking out with bags full of good ole’ high quality b r a s!

See, here’s the deal. Before 2009 when I was laid off from my 9-5 of 12 years, I had a nice salary, with an every-two-week paycheck. I remember shopping sprees for summer wardrobes, complete with shoes, a purse for each change of season, and being able to buy a full set of living room furniture, all at once. And I didn’t blink and eye.

Les pic

Photo © Leslie Green

Although I deemed that lay off one of the best things to ever have happened, it came with consequences. I determined that after all those years of working for someone else, I’d gained the experience, honed my skills and sharpened my talents enough to be my own boss. I made the decision to work for myself, which was the light at the end of the tunnel. And the price has been… more often than not, right now, the light dims, and my ends don’t always meet like I’d like them to. When you have to decide between buying gas and groceries or a good new bra… gas and groceries always win, hands down. Because the thought of buying a high-priced bra makes me feel guilty, knowing I need gas and all.

And I just can’t bring myself to go back to a “job” to make it “easier.” Though when it gets really hard, I consider it. But, it all boils down to this: Self-employment has brought me lessons I can’t trade in. Lessons in tenacity, integrity, decision-making, self-discipline, faith, discernment, creativity, partnerships, time and money management, freedom, flexibility, belief in all things good; personal, professional and spiritual development, staying awake, getting enough sleep, eating right, making time to exercise, and overall, just keeping the frame of mind to Make It Work. (Thanks, Tim Gunn.)gunns-golden-rules-lifes-little-lessons-for-making-tim-gunn-hardcover-cover-art 31 bras means all my hard work, and lessons learned will have earned me the luxury of buying the much needed basics of intimate apparel… without guilt or second guessing. I want my girls to know I plotted and planned for their support. So, I know the day will come when I’ll get to look in the mirror and ask myself, “Gas and groceries or a new bra?” And the answer will be, “Gas, groceries AND 31 new bras, my dear.” Then, I might even inch my way up to 365 new bras. Why stop at 31?

So let’s go back to the beginning… What does success look like to you?


© Andrea Daniel 2014

  1. Beautiful. This make so much sense! Bras are crazy expensive but necessary.
    I would have to say that success for me is being able to pay the rent (or mortgage) of someone in need, without blinking.
    I’m not talking about one month; I mean 6-12 months.
    Just writing the check and telling them to focus on finding that job or paying off those other debts.

    • Leslie, thank you for replying. Your version of success is SOOO cool. That will be a great day.

  2. Love this. Yes to all if it. A good bra makes you feel ass supported as a good friend.

  3. Great post Andi! I never thought about a bra for everyday but I know my “girls” would love that! Right now I’d be good with a good 10! Lol!

    As far as my idea of success– working on my own time with the benefits of 9-5 paycheck. And I’m believing God for it!

    • Hi L.A. Thank you for reading it and replying. I’m glad you liked it. I’m with you in believing God for you to work on your won time with 9-5 benefits. We’re working our way toward our success!

  4. The older I get, the less I rely on looks and appearances; both can be quite deceiving. So for me success is more of a feeling and it feels like entertaining and enjoying the company of peace. :)Loved the blog piece by the way; it was funny and informative.

    • I hear you, Dana. “Enjoying the company of peace.” I love that. Thank you for reading and for your comment.

  5. A Great observation. “As time goes by” Success has been the ease and comfort of moving to “Hook in Front”.

    • Lol, Petronia. That’s just great. That does seem like a great comfort. Thank you for reading and commenting.

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