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Tue, Dec 06, 2011
The New Paper
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Married man test: Cheap v expensive
by Zaihan Mohamed Yusof

My task, if I chose to accept it, was to go out and see if I can tell the difference between an expensive bra and a cheap one.

The assumption is that as a married man, I should have enough experience to be able to tell.

I don't know whether to be thrilled or daunted. But surely telling or taking them apart wouldn't be too hard, even when blindfolded or under low-light conditions. So I go shopping and check out three bras. Two expensive ones seem suspect only because they lack "coverage".

Such minimalist bras are likely to strike fear in most men because for much less (bra), we may have to pay a lot more.

Dotted with tiny holes, a turquoise bra and matching panty seem to have more ventilation than a cheese grater.

The saleswoman tells me the bra "is so light that it feels like not wearing one at all".

At the risk of sounding like a woman's liberationist from the 70s, if that's the case, what's the point of wearing it? Might as well free up your assets so your man can hold on to his (his money, lah).

The other suspect bra, a brown one which shimmers incessantly, is both an accident waiting to happen and a Venus flytrap.

It has no hooks to secure the bra, only a pair of strings. You had better know your Boy Scout knots to avoid a wardrobe malfunction.

And men who have made an art of unhooking a bra with just one hand (the other could be busy elsewhere) don't like complicated knots. Ever tried untying one with just one hand?

And that's provided your naughty fingers don't brush against the hundreds of sharp Swarovski crystals. Ouch!

We've all heard that wearing expensive undergarments makes a woman feel special as it can boost her confidence.

I can dig that. I imagine that it must be similar to a towkay wearing a diamond-studded gold Rolex watch.

The difference, of course, is that everyone can see that expensive watch on the towkay's wrist.

Unless you are a Victoria Secret's model, it's unlikely you'll be flashing your bra in front of a horde of admirers. So why pay so much for something you are hiding inside your dress?

But I can see why women are tempted by pricey bras. The two bras I examined were well-made, with delicate hand-braided straps and smooth-as-silk surfaces seamlessly sewn onto translucent panels.

The intricate workmanship arguably justifies their hefty price tags of more than $1,000, unlike the $4.90 bra which didn't even have a country-of-origin label.

If men had to wear bras, I suspect most of us would feel more at ease with cheaper bras, though not necessarily the $4.90 one.

Cheap bras use material that's built to last. No handwashing needed, just chuck into the washing machine and give it good spin.

Even for their wives or girlfriends, the no-fuss, no-label bra should appeal more to men because of its familiarity.

We want a bra that we know where to go to remove it (the back) and in the fastest way possible (a hook), because for men, the main thing about a bra is that it should be anywhere but on a woman.

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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