Bra fittings can be a nerve-wracking process, especially if it is your first experience. You’re standing in the fitting room in your bra—usually with florescent lighting (I’m sorry—I will replace this eventually!!) so that every lump, bump, and skin flaw is glaring at you mockingly—while someone like me flits around you talking about what’s good or bad about the bra you’re currently wearing. If ever there was a time for a cocktail, this is it! I sympathize, which is why I want to take today’s blog to give you some “Dos and Don’ts,” which will hopefully alleviate some of the stress and anxiety of the bra fitting experience!
Don’t come for a fitting after a meal, especially a big one: You’ve just eaten. You’re feeling a little bloated, and if you were heavy-handed on the salt, you’re probably retaining water. The bands of the bras will feel like vice grips (even if it is the band you should be buying), and the mirror will be your enemy.
Similarly, don’t get fitted while you are menstruating. Unless you are buying a bra specifically for that time of the month, do not get fitted because your band and cup size measurement may be larger than what you would need for everyday wear. And then there’s that mirror . . .
In fact, do plan on getting fitted when you are relaxed, in a good mood, and have plenty of time. Depending on how crowded the store is, you could be there thirty minutes to an hour, and if you are rushed to get home or stressed about work, you’ll be less inclined to try on multiple bras and more critical of what you do try. Feeling upset or rushed is a surefire way to leave frustrated.
Do leave behind anyone who isn’t interested in being there with you while you’re fitted. Your good mood counts for nothing if the person you brought with you is bored, uninterested, or impatient. If possible, do leave young kids at home, and only bring your spouse if he/she feels comfortable sitting in the lingerie department and giving opinions.
To streamline the process, do write down what you need and want in a bra. Take into account not only what you need in terms of your wardrobe (lots of light colored shirts = more flesh-tone/white bras) but also what you want the bra to give you, e.g., full coverage, cleavage, side support, etc. If you tell me “no preference,” I’ll show you lots of different styles when I should be narrowing my focus. Furthermore, do either wear or bring a sample of the clothing you turn to frequently to ensure what you buy will work for most of your clothes.
However, don’t be inflexible with what you need/want and listen to the advice of the fitter. For example, higher cup sizes often eliminate certain style bras, which means you may need to compromise to find a bra that fits perfectly. One of the biggest and most frequent problems I see are women who want a foam cup bra but whose breast tissue does not “fill” the cups the way it should. Sometimes, it’s better to buy something like Dimrs and opt for a bra that ditches the foam.
To this effect, don’t swear off a bra by how it looks on the hanger. Think of bras like that one dress you tried on for giggles only to be shocked at how perfect it was for you. Some bras have great hanger appeal but work for only a few people whereas other bras look a little “meh” but exceed your expectations.
For the fitting, do wear the bra that fits you best. The better a bra fits you, the easier it is to quickly determine your size and what will work for you. In some cases, a few minor tweaks is all you need, and don’t be afraid to ask questions about what the fitter is doing and why it is important. The more educated you become about how bras work and what styles are perfect for you, the more pain-free it is to make future purchases.
Do bring a basic tee shirt or tank with you. When you’re staring at yourself in the mirror (under those aforementioned dreaded florescent lights), it can be difficult to tell how much lift you are receiving and if you like how a bra looks. Because tee shirts are less forgiving, they let you see your new silhouette so you can decide if the bra is right for you. Additionally, if you’re buying a bra for a special piece of clothing, do bring it with you so you can see what the bra looks like with the item before you buy it.
Finally, don’t wear a perfume or use makeup on your chest. Makeup can stain the bras, and perfume can leave a lingering scent, which can irritate the next person who tries the product.
Follow these tips, and your first (or next) bra fitting should be a breeze!