While working for Nordstrom one of the things I learned how to do was bra and prosthesis fitting . Some of you might be thinking, “Eww gross” or finding it amusing like my husband did who often told me “have fun playing with women’s boobies all day!” I loved bra fitting. Again, just like styling a client on the outside, this was an opportunity to change someone’s life and make them feel better about themselves on the inside. For any woman who has had a proper bra fitting (I’m not talking about Victoria’s Secret), you will know just what I mean.
Because fitting someone for a bra is so personal, I would often tell a joke or find an ice breaker to make my clients feel a little more comfortable. After all, I was a complete stranger who was going to have to “size them up” literally! Fitting a client in the right size bra was never an issue. The issue came in when you had to tell them that the size they came in wearing was 2 sizes too small or too big. For many women it was proud moment learning they were not a 36b, but in fact a 32d. For others the response was evident they were not happy. One grown woman who appeared to be in 40’s said she wish she could just “cut them off.” And yes, she meant it!
Another memorable client I had was a teenage girl who was having trouble finding a bathing suite so her mother brought her in to be measured. Before I saw the daughter, the mother said her daughter was a 32d or 32dd. When I looked at the girl, I knew there was no way she was either one. Just to appease the young girl I gave her the bra in those sizes so I could show her how improper the fits were. The young girl ended up being a 32ddd. She decided that she didn’t like being a 32ddd and was going to go with the 32dd instead. I told her mother what my professional opinion was, however at the end of the day I was not the one who would be wearing the bra. Her mother agreed with me, but to my surprise gave in to her daughter because she didn’t want to continue arguing about it.
That day I realized 2 things, 1) some would rather jeopardize their health by wearing a bra too small in order to appease the thought of being in a certain size and 2) I wish my daughter would tell me what she would and would not wear when I am paying for the bill! Ain’t going to happen.
That was just one of many encounters that I dealt with. I could probably have you on the floor laughing at some of things women came in saying and I am not the only one! Who knows, maybe I’ll save those thoughts for another book to write titled, “The Perfect Fit…A Guide On What NOT To Do When Lingerie Shopping!”
Here are a few things to know when getting a bra:
1) The fitter does not need to touch your breasts
2) When you are properly fitted, your bra should feel a little snug, but not to the point where it’s hard to breath
3) When putting your bra on your bra, it should be hooked on either the first or second set of loops (starting out then moving in).
4) If you are in a bra that you started out on the third (often last) set of loops, your bra is too big and your band will ride up. Also, once your bra stretches you have no more loops to hook into if you need tightening.
5) A properly fitted bra will be anchored in the back and will fit against the chest wall
6) You should not have “double boobage” as I like to say or spillage out of your cup. (put on a a semi fitted shirt and you will see the difference).
7) When putting on your bra, make sure to lift the “girls” from inside the cup to make sure all breast tissue is in and then use your two index fingers to spread breast tissue apart from the middle of chest wall out
8) You also should not have “side boobage” where your breast tissue is spilling out on the sides of the cup. This usually happens when your in a bra too small and the wire digs into the skin. The wire should be near the half way mark under your arm
9) When you purchase a bra, you should buy 3 to 4 at one time so you can wear them in rotation. If you are constantly wearing a bra back to back each day, be prepared for that bra to stretch out sooner than later
10) Get remeasured once every year. Your breast size can change through weight loss/gain and pregnancy
11) Just because you lost weight and your cup is stretched, but the band fits the same, doesn’t mean that you can just go down a cup size.
12) A “sister size” is the altering of a bra size to keep the same fit. Essentially you are going down a band size and going up in cup size. For example, you may take a 34d, but lets say your favorite store is out of that size, you can opt for the “sister size,” a 32dd for a fit that should be the same. I will say from my own experiences, sometimes the fit just isn’t truly the same.
13) Just like you wear clothes for different places and events, your bra is no exception. Instead of working out in that bra you wore to the office all day, invest in a good sports bra. (every woman needs a t-shirt bra, workout bra, a sexy feel good bra, a push up bra, a bra for your button down and sweaters, a convertible bra and strapless bra
14) Finally, what style in bra that fits your friend, may not fit you
When your in the right size bra your posture changes. Ask any doctor, they will tell you. There are health benefits to being properly fitted along with just looking great. Often times as women we pay the extra money on the outside to look good for others to see, however we forget about what is underneath. I don’t mind you buying the pretty bras and panties, just make sure in doing so, you’ve got the perfect fit!