A couple of weeks ago I shared an article from Buzzfeed about one woman's trip to the mall to find a bra. She visited 6 stores and was given 8 different sizes to try on. The article is a brilliant example of how confusing and misleading bra shopping can be. I felt so sorry for Kristin as she was put in size after size without being offered any explanation as to why some styles fit her better than others. Kristin has a tall shallow bust and needs a fitter who can explain which features to look for in a bra (besides size) to get a great fit.
Naturally I think online bra shopping is a great option (especially with us!) but I also want to arm you with the survival skills you need for a bra shopping trip to the mall. You need to be prepared because in some stores you're going to find poor fit advice and a sales hungry, rather than fit focused, sales person.
|If your fitter measures over the top of your breasts then you know it's a bad fitting!|
There are a few things you should expect from a fitting:
- You should expect to have a friendly, respectful and courteous fitter who listens to you.
- Some fitters will not use a tape measure and as long as you end up liking the bra and fit then that's OK but the very act of not using a tape measure does not make a fitter right.
- If your fitter does use a tape measure then she should stand behind you and take your measurements with your bra on but your top off. If you are anxious about taking off your top then make sure you wear a fine material (like a t-shirt) so that your measurements aren't distorted by a heavy fabric.
- Your fitter should measure around your ribcage (where your band sits) and around the fullest part of your bust over the nipples. If your fitter measures over the top of your breasts, under your armpits, then leave the fitting because they don't know what they're doing.
You can learn a lot from a good bra fitter but it's also good to be on your guard ready to spot a bad fitter. After putting you in a bra the fitter should adjust your straps for you and ensure your breasts are settled correctly in the cups by pulling slightly on the tops of the cups and possibly asking you to move your breasts. Once this is done a good fitter will ask you how the bra feels. A good fitter knows that a bra has to feel right to the client.
|The empty cup at the bottom of Kristin's cups is caused by the wires being too long for her breast height|
There are lots of nuances to bra fit but there are 3 really obvious fit signs you can learn to make sure you're not being cornered into a bra that's not right for you:
- The band should feel secure and not easily pulled away from the body more than an inch. It can feel snug, that's natural for a new bra, but it shouldn't be painful.
- The cups should not wrinkle, gape or have breast tissue spilling out of the front, sides or worst of all there should not be breast tissue below the band.
- If you can see flat empty cup underneath your breasts (like the image above from the Buzzfeed article) but the cups look to fit nicely at the top, then the wires of the bra are too long and this style will not work for you. Ask your fitter for styles with shorter wires.
Bras and bra fitting can be intimidating and it's easy to assume that your bra fitter knows best but they can only do their best if you give them honest feedback so tell your fitter what you think of the fit. You can learn more about your fit from a great fitter but ultimately you need to be happy and comfortable in the fit so your opinion really matters! xx