The Bra Whisperer

OC Weeklys Kristine Brooks can guess your size in one glance

I have had sex. This is key. I have had sexand offer as proof my two children, which is not to say I have had sex only twice—though I'm not exactly not saying I have had sex only twice since having two kids—but this is beside the point. The point is I have had sex and therefore can talk intelligently, dispassionately and completely non-staringly at a woman's chestals while talking to her about women's breasts.

The woman is Kristine Brooks, who works at this paper as an ad exec. I'll talk to her because a while back, I read there was this lady in New York who could just look at a woman and tell what bra size she wore, and I thought it would be cool to find someone local who could do that. I announced that I would be looking all over Orange County for a woman with this skill, and someone said, "That's nice, dingus, but why don't you just walk over and talk to Kristine?"

Turns out our Miss Brooks sized women for bras at Victoria's Secret for a number of years and got so that she could visually size a woman up and has on many occasions.

"I've probably sized most of the women in the office," she said. "They'll say, 'I bet you can't guess mine,' and most of them I nail on the head. People are amazed, but really, if you do something for eight hours a day, five days a week, it just becomes natural to you. It used to come in handy as a party or bar trick; you'd be shocked and amazed how many free drinks I've earned over the years."

Are people amazed by this skill?

Well, men tend to get all Oooooh, reeeealy?! when I say I can do this, and then they look at me and I can tell they're thinking, "I wonder what she's wearing underneath her outfit?"

Sounds like some guys haven't had sex, as I had . .have! I mean, clearly, your undergarments, their dark outline hinted at against your pale sweater exuding vitality and youth, are of no concern to me; what do these matter to a man of experience who has not only had sex but also closed escrow? Which, I guess, is a roundabout way of asking how someone becomes a bra expert?

You have to be confident. Victoria's Secret, like many retailers, hires a lot of females 18 to 24, so you're often going to be younger than the client, and the product you're selling is expensive. Training consists of learning how to measure someone, but you also have to go through sensitivity training. Not everyone is comfortable taking clothes off in front of a stranger. Then you have to be prepared that if you measure someone for much larger than they are wearing, they're going to feel like you're calling them fat. If you measure them for smaller, they're going to feel like you're saying they don't have large breasts. The bra-and-panty realm is pretty sensitive mentally.

How do you measure someone?

You have them raise their hands above their breasts and touch their fingertips—this makes them stand up straight. Then you measure the chest underneath the breast; that's going to give them their band size. Then you measure directly across where their nipple would fall, and the difference in inches between the two measurements determines cup size: one inch difference is an "A," two is a "B," and so on. But women's bodies are constantly changing, and even if your weight only fluctuates a few pounds, it's going to be felt in your breast since they are pure fat tissue.

Men tend to be pretty proud of their, you know, whatnot. Are women the same way with their, you know, boys?

They're the ladies.

Okay. Do they name theirladies the way guys name their, you know, thing and give it a backstory and imbue it with special powers, say, the ability to . . .?

Women with augmented breasts are more likely to be proud. Plenty of other women are proud of what they've got. Others aren't, and it comes from an absolute gazillion societal reasons. I am somebody who is proud of my breasts. I have a great pair, a nice set. It's good stuff for me. On the other hand, I'm horrified of my ass. And you could walk around our office and find some woman who thinks she has the world's best ass and the worst chest. Men have a little more leeway when it comes to being arrogant. Women, if you have something you like, you damn well better have something you don't like as well to even it out, make it seem like you're not arrogant.

Are women obsessed with breasts?

I think that women aren't as obsessed with breasts as men, although I think women learn from an early age you can use them to your advantage.

So why are men so obsessed with breasts—and by men, I mean not me because, clearly, throughout this interview, I have not been looking at your breasts and, in fact, have been making clear, constant and hyperintensive eye contact with you to the point I may have detached a retina. You would agree to that, wouldn't you, and sign papers to that effect if asked?

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