Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Professional Bra Fitting

You know how Oprah is always doing her "bra interventions"?  And saying that something like 85% of women are wearing the wrong size bra?  And then people come out for their "after" shot, and they look like they've lost 15 pounds?

Well, I have insane breasts.  I know I do.  I've always known I do.  And so far, I've managed to squeeze them into sizes that are available in major department stores, if not the local Target or Wal-mart.  But I had a feeling I was wearing the wrong size.

I live in a small town, so bra options are few and far between (unlike my breasts, which are abundant, with no space between).  But the other day I was in a larger town for work, and I happened to pass a little specialty lingerie shop advertising "custom bra fittings."  I decided, what the heck?  And I went in.

The woman informed me that there was a $15 fee, which would go toward my purchase, should I choose to make one.  I decided to go for it.

She asked what size I thought I was, and I told her...38 DDD...but that I was pretty sure that wasn't right.  She asked me to take off my coat and turn around.  She looked at my back, and ran her hand over the back of my bra, and then led me to a dressing room.

She brought bra after bra, and explained to me things I never knew about bras.  And the verdict?  Are you sitting down?  I was right on the 38 part.  Not so much on the letters.  Turns out, I'm an H.  As as, E, F, G, H.  I didn't know they made bras in H's.  But they do, and they had several.  Apparently this size is also known as FF.  So now you know.

And would you believe, the one I ended up buying is a push up?!  Could you die?  I mean, I've long avoided anything with any additional padding and/or pushing.  But really, when she put me in it, and I saw how the girls stood up at attention, far away from their natural place somewhere closer to my waist, I knew that was the one.  It was more money than I've ever paid for a bra.  But hey, it was $15 off, right?

I'll warn you, this bra fitting deal is not for the modest.  The woman started out being pretty hands-off and telling me how to do various things, but before long she had her hands inside my brashuffling my parts around where she thought they needed to be.  And she began to freely enter and exit the fitting room, whether I was clothed or not.  (R liked this story very much, until I made it clear she was old, and very overweight.  And there wasn't anyone else in the store most of the time, but still.)

Anyway, in case you are interested, the one I got is by Elomi and you can get one here if you'd like.  (That's not the right size, or the color I got, but you get the point.)

I also got this Barely There shaping tank, which I'm loving!  (And holy cow, that price on Amazon is way less than I paid.  I may need to buy more!)  I've tried shape wear on the lower half before, but really, it's my upper half that needs shaping.  And this goes over the bra, and makes me look a bit smaller.  And it's comfortable.

A few other tips this woman gave me, that I'll share with all of you:

A new bra should fit best with the straps on a looser setting, and with the back on the outside hooks.  Then, as you wear and wash the bra, it will loosen up, and you can tighten the straps and the back.  If you start out on the tightest settings, there's nowhere else to go.  (Good advice!)  Who knew?

You should lean forward when putting on your bra, to get the girls settled into their proper place.  She encouraged me then to reach inside the bra, and pull each boob up and toward the middle.  Then you should pull the back down and pull the straps in toward your neck.  She said this would keep my neck and shoulders from hurting so much, as it pulls the supporting part more to the middle.

She also told me this big hullabaloo about how wearing a proper fitting bra, that compresses the breasts, will eventually help them "learn" to stay in and up.  I'm not sure I buy that.  But my girls could use some movement towards "in" and "up" so whatever.  We'll give it a shot.

So, my hope for you all in the new year is that you'll make a resolution that's easy to keep, and will help you feel instantly better about yourself, and get a professional bra fitting!  I'm not sure I look 15 pounds lighter, but I do have a more defined waist.  And that's worth something.

(Nobody is paying me to endorse either this bra or this tank thingy.  But if you do click on those Amazon links and end up buying something, I might get like 4 cents.)


Wyatt said...

It is a real eye opener for sure. A few years back, I needed a special bra for a special dress. I ended up in Nordstroms, with a clerk doing the bra fit thing. I had been wearing the wrong size for many years too!

Wyatt's Mom

Karen Peterson said...

I had a bra fitting once and was really surprised by the result.

I know I probably need to do it again because I am quite certain I'm in the wrong size again.

Caren Gittleman said...

thanks for the great advice! I know I need a bra-fitting (even though I am nowhere near as blessed as you are in bra size!!) but I keep putting it off.

I did hear about the "bending down" to put a bra on (I saw that on Rachael Ray a few weeks back and was surprised!)

Thanks for sharing all of these great tips! Maybe in 2011 I will spring for a good bra that actually FITS!

Regina said...

Ugh. Tried to pick some bras up today - you know, based on the number / cup currently on me. Not even close to fitting!!!

May have to go your "pro" route - but am afraid of the letter of the alphabet they may throw at me.

James bra said...

It is really useful to be advice by an expert once. This really gives you another view on bra fitting. Trust me, it will solve a lot of money and problems ;)

Nice article btw. Great tips your are sharing here.