Friday, March 11, 2011

Properly Fitted

Properly Warned: Gentlemen, this is a post about bras. Feel free to read on, but this is some of the most informative and least sexy talk about boobs you’ll ever hear.

Alright ladies, it’s time to talk about bras. That’s right: brasseries, over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders, tit slings (?!)--whatever you call them, the one you’re wearing right now is probably the wrong size. At least that’s what all the sales people are trying to tell us, and you know what? They’re probably right. I recently went in for a fitting at Intimacy, an upscale retailer that boasts life-changing bra fit makeovers (Sorry, but those haphazard fittings at Victoria’s Secret just don't cut it). I had saved up and was willing to spend a lot of money on a new bra or two that fit properly, because being the base of what you wear every day, I knew wearing the correct size would make me more comfortable and improve how i felt each day.

Intimacy specializes in holistic fittings, which means no measuring tapes. Be skeptical if you will, but I ended up feeling more comfortable in a bra than I have for most of my life. Here’s the key: the band is supposed to be really tight, tighter than you probably think it should be. Not so tight that it’s cutting off circulation to your head, but tight enough that the straps don’t pull the back band up. The band should be level all the way across. The idea is to support the girls in the front, not let them pull everything else down (duh). Here’s the best part, when you get yourself into a smaller band size, you’ll likely also wear a larger cup size (yay!). *

The fittings at Intimacy are free, and unluckily (or luckily) for me, they didn't have anything in stock in the style, lift, and color that I was interested in, so I was sent on my way with nothing but a number and a letter. I took that new information straight over to Macy’s and dove right in to their intimates department, and left with three new Calvin Klein bras for a fraction of the price that I would have spent at Intimacy.

Three bras is a great start, and I say start because obviously the more bras you own and wear, the longer they will last. Another good tip from my “bra fit stylist” is to rotate your stock--don’t wear the same bra day after day. You’ve got to give them a break, they work hard for you all day long! But, remember, they don’t last forever. Whether your size changes or not, once the straps start pulling up that back band, it’s time to retire it.

Now that I’ve got the basics covered with a few “boring” bras that look great under clothes, I can head to any store armed with my new size and buy any fun style or color I want, cheap or expensive, to expand my arsenal.

* * *

Daily Candy has a great video on finding your bra size (using that measuring tape) that demonstrates the smaller-band, bigger-cup phenomenon I talked about, plus lots of other great tips for a perfect fit (One big one that will extend the life of your bra, and save you money, is that you should start with the last hook and work into the tightest one over time as the band inevitably stretches with wear).

*But don’t think this means that the cup of one letter is the same size across every band size. As Charlotte points out on Swelegant Style Shopping, “a 32 DD and a 36 C are superficially the same size bra - in that they will accommodate the same sized boobs - but the back size is massively different.”


Charlotte said...

I have always been surprised when in the States, at how long it's taken the bra-fitting wisdom to reach your side of the pond. I had my first proper bra fitting when I was 18, back in 1992, at Rigby and Peller (UK), and went from a 38DD to a 30FF in one fell swoop. These days I'm a 36JJ! If your American readers are struggling to find the really big cup sizes, they might want to try UK site for pretty styles and colours Up to an L cup, and international shipping available.

Mich said...

Thanks, Charlotte! Love your blog! It is crazy how difficult it is to find this wisdom. It's like a secret you have to seek out. But now that I'm in the know, I just had to share.