Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Adventures in bra shopping

Here's a cautionary tale of bra fitting (second in necessary, joyless activities only to trying on bathing suits): If at first you don't succeed, try on and on again!

I loathe bra shopping. It has the not-so-magical power to reduce me to frustrated tears in about 6 seconds. So, trying positive visualization (I will find bras that lift and separate, I will find bras that lift and separate), I headed out.

At Shop No. 1 (where I have had success before), I asked to be fitted. The salesperson measured my band size to be 35-36. Near tears after trying on bras that were too small (I pointed out that I might need a bigger cup, yet kept getting handed bras that were smaller than what I walked in with), I said thank you and left.

At Shop No. 2, (where I had not had luck before), I asked to be fitted again. This time I was measured at 33 1/2, and told I was definitely a cup larger than what I was wearing. Nordstrom certified fitter McKenzie Bodiford and I did a little cheering and clapping in the fitting room. I walked out with five bras (and one that works great with a dress I'm wearing this weekend) and a little sassy spring in my step now that the girls were well supported.

So who's the best expert on how a bra fits? You. It's always good to start with a professional fitting, but if you're feeling uncomfortable or unheard, speak up. Communicate!

The payoff? It's amazing what a well-fitted bra can do for your silhouette and self confidence.


  1. I've found that it's often hard to actually find someone to help you. The whole experience is a pain - so I put it off. You'd think a business (VS?) would realize that and make it better, but instead they just peddle stuff that no real body can wear.

  2. After years of saggy, slipping strap bras, I finally found Essential Bodywear bras through a local woman. they host home parties and although I didn't attend a party in order to buy the bras, she fitted me wonderfully. FINALLY no more sagging, slipping, etc. And it is amazing how much higher the bra makes my breasts look! They do a fun thing with stickers near your "headlights" with your old bra and then with the Essential Bodywear bra and I moved up 3" and in 3". Amazing. The bras are more expensive than department store, about $60 each BUT I got almost an hour of undivided professional help in trying on many models. I LOVE my new bras. They are all I ever wear now. I can't believe I am saying that after almost 40 years of unhappy bra wearing.

  3. Dillards!!!!!!WHAT A RELIEF!!!!!!!

  4. There is nothing comporable in the male shopping experience. I can just image a guy going into a story to be 'measured' for his underwear. Ain't gonna happen.

  5. Anon at 1:36, you are correct and I'll tell you why. First let me say, I'm a guy. I read the title and wanted to see what you girls had to say. OK, here it is, guys don't have this problem because guys don't care. If I wear a 32" waist and a 30" inseam that is all I need to know. XL shirts, done. I know a few guys that spend more time but nothing like you do. My wife will go to store after store looking for under garments. With regards to under garments for guys, Walmart carries Fruit of the Loom boxer briefs and t-shirts so I go in buy a couple packs of each and I'm out. We definitely have it easy. Let me also say how much we appreciate the effort you put in to looking great! I know you don't hear it enough if ever but thanks. I was talking to my wife just the other day about how much more attactive I find real women than the stick figures on TV. Give me a woman with real curves anyday!

  6. burned mine in '66February 26, 2008 at 3:07 PM

    Anon at 2:ll, do you have a brother....?

  7. Anon at 2:11 is right--we guys have it easy when it comes to undergarments. I can't remember the last time I actually tried on any T-shirts or underwear that I wear. It's varied from one size or another, but it also depends on the cut of the material.

    There is, however, something incredibly sexy to me about going with my wife to shop for bras. (Hint to the guys out there--commit her size to memory.) It's great to see how she looks in her bra, with and without her clothing on. It's equally great when the bra's daily duty is done, and I get to set her endowments free.

  8. Since discovering I.C. London, I will never buy a bra anywhere else ever again. I am a 34 FF when sized correctly. At Victoria's Secret, rather than admit they don't carry my size, they increase the number and decrease the cup size. Talk about depressing! What woman wants to hear, "You're a 42 D"?

    At I.C. London, the sales women are all friendly, non-judgemental and super helpful. They have yet to bring me a bra that didn't fit perfectly. I look forward to shopping there!

    Prices are really high ($50-$100 per bra) but so is quality. It's so worth it to have a form fitting bra that shapes and supports.

  9. P.S. I.C. London has shops in Dilworth, on East Blvd. and in Ballantyne near the movie theatre.