When we visit places like airports, restaurants and shops we tend to assume that the people that work in those places know their trade. We trust what they say, as surely they, as professionals know what they are talking about. I believe that this is why so many women wear the wrong size bra – a lack of knowledge from some individuals whose job it is to help women build the foundation of their outfits.
This is not meant to be a snobbish know-it-all jibe, and I do not profess to be superior to anyone who works as a bra fitter. But ten years of owning tits, seven of which were spent oozing out of cups and yanking on my back band has made me realise that the lingerie world still has a long way to go before everyone is up to speed.
Don’t ever be scared to go for a bra fitting. Don’t think for one second that your body is not worthy of being seen in a state of undress by a stranger. That your boobs are too big/small/saggy/uneven and therefore something that the fitter hasn’t seen before. Bra fitter are like doctors – they see so many bodies, and their focus is not on how the body looks as a whole, but more on how the specific part they are dealing with needs their assistance. If a bra fitter ever makes you feel anything less than comfortable and at ease then it is NOT your fault or problem, and you should report them to their company as they are not fit to deal with something so sensitive and personal as bra fitting. You are in a vulnerable situation and they need to act professionally and respectfully.
A good bra fitter should ideally assess the bra you have on and work from there. Some may use tape measures, but that is only part of the process. A well fitted bra isn’t some equation that can be solved by knowing a measurement, it’s something that is so personal depending on the person being fitted. They should firstly check your band back and see how well it’s fitting you. They will probably need to know how old the bra is and how often you wear it. They will then check how the cups fit you and bring you a few styles and sizes to try. Should they feel that they do not stock something in the size you need they should relay that information in the nicest manner possible without judgement, and possibly even refer to you another store. A good bra fitter does not cram women into any old size just to get them out of their changing room and to the tills, just like a shoes salesperson wouldn’t cram your size 7 feet into some size 5s and dismiss the discomfort that you will inevitably feel.
A good bra fitter should take the time to ensure you are fitted correctly into a bra and you know exactly what to do with it. They should bring you a size that you can fasten on the loosest hook, explaining that the next hooks are there so you can fasten the bra snugly as the brand stretches out over time. They should ask that you scoop all of the breast tissue from under your arms into your cups so that the bras underwires sits flat against your torso, and not on any breast tissue. They should tighten the shoulder straps enough that they stay up, but not so much that they take the strain of the weight of the bust – the band should be doing 80% of the work. And everything they do in order to fit the bra should be explained to you. It sounds so obvious, and maybe implies that women do not understand what bras are for, but it should just be a simple helpful fitting process to give the person getting the fitting the best chance of comfort and value. Ideally you should try a top on over your bra and move around, just as you would walk around a shop in a pair of shoes. Bras can be expensive, and as they are worn for most of the day they need to be as perfect as possible.
In my experience and from the comments left by my readers, so many bra fitters seem to body shame women and give them poor service. It makes me sad to know that these women are out there, making other feel bad about their bodies and causing them discomfort. Just remember: the bra fitter is not always right and as long as you go to a fitting armed with the knowledge of how a well fitting bra looks and feels and what you should and shouldn’t be told with regards to your body, then there is nothing to worry about.
If you have had any outstandingly good or bad bra fitting experiences then share them in the comments.