Monday, July 2, 2012

In-Store Bra Fitting: Victoria's Secret

If you've read this blog much, you know that I tend to talk about how bra-fitting methods used in U.S. stores are all too often grossly inaccurate. Almost all stores use the incorrect and outdated method of adding inches to the underbust measurement (anywhere from 2-6+) to get a starting point band size, or they take an "overbust" measurement, which virtually does the same thing (adds 4-6 inches to bandsize).

One of the biggest "problem stores" in regards to ill-fitting? None other than that lingerie-giant Victoria's Secret (surprise, surprise!). June of Braless in Brasil recently followed the bra fitting advice on the Victoria's Secret website with less-than ideal results (the measurements put her in a 36C rather than her usual 28J). Maddie did a guest post where she (a 32JJ) was fitted as a 40DD at Victoria's Secret. And quite a while back (when I was wearing a 30G), I went and "got fitted" at Victoria's Secret into "a 34C or possibly a 34D". During that fitting in 2010, I expressed throughout the fitting that I didn't think the bras they gave me were fitting well at all in the cups, and I pulled on the bands to show how loose they were. The fitter back then gave me 32DD's to try, indicated they were mostly okay, and said I could try a 32DDD if I wanted (still way off, but anyway). However, I suspected that had I not sort of guided the fitting, the fitter would have simply just told me I was indeed a (horribly fitting) 34C.

But, after all, that was about 2 years ago. My size has fluctuated a bit since then (from a 30G, to a 28GG, to almost a 28G, to my current 28H/HH). Surely getting sized again at Victoria's Secret will indicate that I've at least changed sizes according to them, right? Surely they've learned something about proper fitting in the last couple of years? Maybe they'll tell me that I'm out of their size range and that I should look elsewhere for a bra that will fit me?

Measuring at Home

First of all, I decided to follow the bra measuring advice on the Victoria's Secret website. The instructions tell you to take an "overbust" measurement to get your band size. I'm not sure how taking an overbust measurement relates to anything since the band of a bra sits under the bust rather than over it, but here goes:


The website says "The resulting number is your bandsize. Hint: if the number is odd, round down to the closest even number." As you can see, I get a measurement of 35, giving me a band size of 34. Well, that's a full 7 inches bigger than my underbust measurement of 27 inches, and 3 whole band sizes up from the 28 band I usually wear, but Victoria's Secret must know best, right?

Next up, cup size.
"Measure completely around the fullest part of your bust. This is your bust measurement." I get a measurement of about 37.

Now, the website tells me to "subtract the bandsize from the bust measurement" to get my cup size. So, 37 - 34 = 3 inches of difference, which, according to Victoria's Secret, would make me a C cup. A 34C, to be exact.

In-Store Fitting

Wow! And all this time I thought a 28H fit me pretty well! But, it is Victoria's Secret after all... and they must know best! But still, after all, a 34C has a cup volume of five sizes smaller than I usually wear. Maybe there was some user error here in regards to figuring out my bra size? Let's see what a fitter at an actual store measures me as:

Well, I guess I was right! The girl there measured me pretty much exactly like I measured myself. She then asked me what kind of bras I was looking for (I said I wasn't sure, but probably unpadded) and told me to go ask for some 34C's at the fitting room.

I chose a fitting room (which, by the way, had unideal lighting for pictures, sorry) and pondered this sign whilst I awaited some bras in my "new size":
Okay, Victoria's Secret, I'm ready to be shown what the right bra can do for me!


As you can see (using for comparison the well-fitting altered 30GG bra I'm wearing underneath):
-The cups on this 34C VS bra are FAR too small to offer any sort of support (they were floating off my body and basically only served to cover the front of my breasts)
-I am getting all sorts of spillage out of all sides of the cups (falling out the bottom, top, and sides)
-The cups were so small that I had to lengthen the straps all the way to even get the bra on
-Even with the cups so small, the band was still so loose that I could pull the bra far away from my body
-The center gore had absolutely no hope of sitting flush with my sternum as it should in a well-fitting bra, and it stuck out several inches from my chest
-The wires were not touching my ribcage anywhere (they were sitting on breast tissue instead).
Honestly, none of the pictures I took (wearing a well-fitting bra underneath or not) could illustrate just how terrible the bra was fit-wise.

And yet, this bra was declared a "good fit" by the Victoria's Secret fitter. She saw the spillage, the way the center gore was inches away from the sternum, the way that my breasts were bulging out on all sides, and the way that the wires were sitting on my breasts, and said "That looks good!" She only offered to bring me a different size (34D) when I expressed some concern about "it feels a little loose" - I was trying not to "guide" the fitting too much, but I wanted to see what the fitter would say about a different size. I'll also note here that I did not "adjust" my breasts around in any bras to even better show how horrible the fit was; I simply sort of placed the bra over my breasts to see if the fitter would pull on and adjust the bra (as a good fitter should) to see how the bra was truly fitting.

Well, I felt pretty UNsexy in the 34C bra with all the spillage going on (and wondering what would happen if I actually tried, say, walking briskly or wearing a fitted shirt over the bra). But since Victoria's Secret knows what's best for me, the 34D should work much better, right?

...Unfortunately not. The fitter said it "looked good." Again, she didn't pull on or try to adjust the bra at all to better determine fit, and she only offered to bring another size when I pointed out how the center gore was still "floating" away several inches from my chest (I didn't point out the painfully obvious bulging out of the cups, or the much-too-loose band that was riding up, or the wires sitting on and cutting in my breast tissue and not sitting against my ribcage anywhere, or that the bra offered no support whatsoever, or that I was getting "underboob" from my breasts falling out the bottom of the bra).The thin straps were the only thing keeping my breasts up - the band was doing nothing to support me. The fitter said that the center gore floating "must mean it's too big for you" (what?) and offered to bring me a 32DD to compare (which, by the way, has the same cup volume as a 34D, but a different cup shape and a smaller band, but the fitter didn't seem to know this).

Now, the 32DD looked perhaps the worst of them all. That's because the band was not *quite* so large for me, so the cups were brought a little closer to where they should sit. Instead of floating/sagging quite so much off my breasts, the cups were held a little firmer against them (the wires still sitting on breast tissue instead of against the ribcage as they should, and the center gore still "floating"), which exaggerated that I was spilling out all sides (bottom included) of the cups.  Despite the fact that the cups were so massively small that the band had to stretch to make up for it, the band still managed to ride up and I could still pull it away several inches from my ribcage both in back and in front.

It seems that logically, an educated bra fitter would see that a 32 band was at least better for me than a 34 (since I could get it on with no trouble) and would bump up the cup size until there was no bulging. Instead, the fitter looked at it and declared that "The 34C was a much better fit for you, so you're a 34C."

...What? A 32DD cup is obviously far too small, so a 34C cup is somehow the "right fit" for me? I don't even understand the logic in that, even without the visual aid that the fitter got of riding bands, overflowing breast tissue, etc etc. But logic didn't seem to pervade in Victoria's Secret. A 34C I was doomed to be!

Concluding Thoughts


The thing is, if I knew absolutely nothing about bras, I would be defenseless against the terrible fitting advice. I would remember that the 32DD felt tight and too small to me, but I would assume that it was a band issue like the fitter implied rather than a massively small cup, and thus think that "a 32 band is too tight for me" (even though I could pull the band several inches away from my body when I tried). I wouldn't know that I should adjust my boobs into the cup to see how the fit was. I wouldn't know that the function of a bra cup was to support the breasts.

Victoria's Secret, you are doing a huge disservice to women with your "fittings." I am forced to conclude that you teach your fitters methods that make the fitters unable to correctly fit women. There was just no logic to this fitting at all.

If I followed the fitting and measuring advice of Victoria's Secret, I might not even know how to wear a bra at all. I mean, if the band size is determined by the overbust, why not just wear the bra like this?


(And, lest you think that this was just a fluke fitting or a bad store, tune in soon for a follow-up guest post I'll be doing for Braless in Brasil!)

Have you ever experienced unknowledgeable fitters, or felt like you could do a better job fitting yourself than salesgirls at certain stores?

What are your thoughts on Victoria's Secret and their methods? Have you ever been fitted there?

45 comments:

  1. Yikes!! This is truly terrible. I am very afraid for any woman who gets fitted in Victoria's Secret - I guess her secret is that her 'fitters' don't have a clue what they're talking about :-(

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    1. So sorry to disappoint but this article does not correctly show to take a bust measurement at VS. You nah have read the directions but the way it was done was incorrect. Yes, there maybe many associates who do the initial measuring incorrectly. But this is shadowed by the bra specialist who perform the correct and complete process of a bra fitting. Which means measuring over the clothes to give an estimate, I repeat estimate of your size as this can be skewed depending on the bra your wearing weather right size or no. This is then followed by trying on said estimated size and then the specialist.looking to see if the fit is proper. Which means the underwrite point lies underneath to encase.the breast and the straps have enough room to slip 1 finger in. I'm sorry but the woman who wrote this article if they had gone to a true professional VS there is no way she would have been fit in that size.

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    2. Anonymous, I measured exactly where the online guide shows to measure, and I have been measured in the same place (getting the same measurement of 34-35") by several different VS fitters at several different stores. My point was that their measuring system is flawed; measuring over the bust does not give a good indication of correct band size. The size of 34C I'm given by VS fitters is not just a tiny bit off from my correct size of 28H - it's WAY off.

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    3. I have sadly had a Victoria's Secret bra fitting, many years ago. I was trying to find a halter back, low back bra (which they had *just* started making) and was excited to discover that they existed. I think the size that they fitted me for was a 38DD. They did happen to get the band size correct, but I was already far larger than a DD in high school, and wore the wrong size for many years after as a result. It wasn't until I got fitted at a boutique in Australia that I learned about the larger cup sizes, and they put me in a 38F equivalent. My cup size has since changed to a G, and now it's looking like I probably have to step it up a bit farther, but at least the bra fitters there got me started in the right direction. Part of me really wants to go in for sizing, just for shits and giggles, to see if anything they have is anywhere close to my size.

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  2. I keep walking past their soon-to-open London store and shudder at the thought of the unhappiness they're soon to bring to British women too.

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    1. Apparently its opening this Friday! i'm warning everyone away from it =( but not sure if they will listen!

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  3. I love the upside down bra photo. I feel for everyone walking around in band sizes too big. :(

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  4. Jame (@jameane)7/2/12, 1:25 PM

    This makes me want to see what size they'd put me in. My overbust is 38 (under is 33) and 42 around the bust. That makes me a 38D via the Victoria's secret method. I know that will be just perfect! (I am wearing 34H-HH right now.)

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  5. 28F/FF but if I followed their fit advice I should be in a 34A/B. What a horrendous experience you had!! If I were you, to make some noise I would call the store back and tell them what an awful job they're doing, then forward this post to either that manager if you can get their email or something, and also to customer service on their website. Companies won't know how bad they are unless a customer complains. I hate VS and everything they stand for, but I love that they can come up with so many different color combinations for their bras. I only wish UK brands could have as appealing of styles.

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    1. Anon, I'm definitely looking into contacting VS about their fitting practices!
      And I know what you mean about less availability for sizes that aren't "mainstream" in the US. Have you looked at the Cleo by Panache styles, Curvy Kate, and Ewa Michalak? Those companies in particular(as well as several others, if you look!) have some really pretty styles and colors!

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    2. I love the Cleo line. Unfortunately the wires dig into the front of my ribs....strangest thing, since everything else fits. For me I prefer the bright colors and prints (or a bright color with contrasting overlay like VS usually has). I could go without all of the details and frills most of the other brands have, you can't wear that with t-shirts anyhow so I find them a bit impractical. Good luck on informing the store of their putrid ways! =)

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    3. Hey Anon, I live in a pretty rural area so getting my true size of a 28F/FF is impossible unless I buy online. When I buy at VS I go for a 32 DD/DDD and the fit is pretty good. The band is not as tight as I would like, but no riding up and the cups are doable. Obviously everyone's boobs are a little different, but it's a whole lot better place to start than a 34B!

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  6. Ugh, it's so horrible to see and read that they actually follow their awful advice in person too. :( But thanks for spreading the words I really wish women in the states had access to a good fit too!

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  7. Love this post. I have a very similar experience. I wear a 32DDD, went to VS and they measured me at a 34D. I even pointed out that the bra didn't seem to fit very well, and the woman tried to recommend a lace non-molded bra for my breasts... Pretty sure large boobs can have a normal bra, just none from VS.

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  8. "The thing is, if I knew absolutely nothing about bras, I would be defenseless against the terrible fitting advice." And this is what bothers me the most. Unless you know about bra fittings or follow lingerie blogs, you'd think that VS gave you the right size. Then, you'd wonder why the bras aren't comfortable or don't offer proper support. I have no problem with a lingerie store not carrying a huge assortment of sizes (overhead is pretty high), but that does not mean they should use it as an excuse to fit women in the wrong size in order to sell what they do carry. Completely and totally unethical!

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    1. I have been wearing a 34 since I got my first training bra, and I recently found out that all of my bras have been the wrong size my entire life thanks to VS. Like many people, my mother was fitted at VS when she was younger and thought they were experts, so I learned from her to trust their fittings. I only learned a couple weeks ago that I am actually closer to a 32F or 32G depending on the bra. Until I learned this, I thought that bras could not be comfortable. VS had me in a 34DD (but they were constantly telling me to try 36DD despite the fact that even I could tell that was way too loose), and I was getting 100% of my support from thin straps, causing severe shoulder and back pain. I really wish I could tell everyone on the planet to get measured somewhere else if they do shop at VS. Plus, I feel like most people are sized wrong and therefore don't know what sizes actually look like - I was rudely told by a stranger that "there is no way you're an F" because I don't have a bust that looks gigantic, and she is obviously one of the many women who mistakenly believes that all Ds and above are huge regardless of band size. The only downside is now that I know my real size, I can't find bras in any nearby stores, so I have no idea what to order online :(

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  10. Great post! The semi-annual sale was going on yesterday there if I recall right. After reading your post, I was tempted to go in V.S. myself, however, knowing what size I am now, and knowing the good possibility they are going to try to put D/DD cups into an A, or if I am lucky, a B, just makes me not want to try. The irony is that I am not sure if the majority of chain retailers like to have women wearing the wrong size so they can make more money, or if it is just ignorance on the part of those retailers, or perhaps a bit of both.

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  11. I'm sorry, but was I the only one who almost died laughing reading this post? The 34C looked like pasties on top of that shirt! Too bad VS won't be using this as a cautionary explanation on their website.

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    1. Veerukka, I have NO idea how the fitter kept a straight face as she told me that those 34C "nipple covers" were a perfect fit!!! I almost couldn't hold back from laughing. :P

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  12. Last time I got measured at VS, which was a couple years ago, I got measured as a 32A, which was not too far off from my real size, 28C. But what I've learned is that a too-loose band can make the cups seem like they're bigger than they really are (if they're already the right volume for your boobs). And then they show models that are busting out of the cups, and some women wonder why they can't they look like that? So in that sense, they're hurting the self-esteem of small-busted women as well.

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  13. That is EXACTLY how my 34C bras were fitting when they were telling me that I was a 34C! About a year ago, I was measured and declared a 36DD. And the last time I was there, they didn't measure me... I was asking about the DDD bras, so they asked what size I was, I told them (US) 30I, and they were hell bent on fitting me into one of their bras. I was declared a 34DDD (too small in the cup, and obviously large in the band). It seems that half of their problem is poor fitting technique and the other half is dishonesty (not telling people that they don't make their size).

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  14. I am SOOO going trolling at VS in London when it's open. Honestly, measure OVER your boobs to get the size for the band that goes UNDER your boobs? Gah. My poor 32J boobies remember the days when all I could find were DD 'minimiser' bras, and they were not happy. Now that there ARE other options, why can't VS just admit they exist, even if they don't want to stock them? It's just awful, and so sad. I was in the Bravissimo changing rooms on Saturday and I overheard such a nice moment. A woman in the next cubicle was so happy with her new, uplifted boobs - she had been wearing a 42 band and the fitter put her in a 36. Thank goodness she went to Bravissimo!

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  15. I went to VS for the first time in my life a couple of weeks ago, and they fitted me as a 34DD, which isn't too far off the 32DD I had been fitted as at a specialty lingerie store. She didn't measure though, just looked at me and gave me bras until they looked right. Perhaps the fitter I encountered had been trained elsewhere.

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  16. I went to VS today to see what they would "fit" me in. Normally I wear a 28G. Today's verdict was 32DD... The fitter said it looked "really good." To be fair, it wasn't a horrendous fit, but there were obviously some major problems, like double boob, side boob, giant band, armpit fat, etc. These were all pretty subtle though, and it made me wonder how many women who aren't that far off a 32DD come in there and get a fit that is good enough, but could be SO MUCH BETTER from a right sized bra. A firm band and the right cup is so important. When I was standing there in that 32DD, I noticed my shoulders rolling forward, and I started hunching protectively around my boobs in an attempt to stabilize them. Terrible posture! Bleh.

    The only problem with my adventure? The first bra I grabbed was super soft cotton, and had cute bright green and white stripes, with polka dots around the cups. =( If only it came in my real size! It would be so comfortable...

    I wanted to burst out with the truth, especially when I saw a woman who was probably really a 34G get fitted in a 36DD. I'm thinking of going back there next weekend and telling her I got fitted somewhere else as a 28G.

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  17. Many years ago, a VS salesgirl measured me over a hoodie jacket I had on..hahaha! The girl measured me underneath my bust (this was many years ago), wrinkled her brow, then said, "I guess 32 will work". I was even thinner then, so with the +4", I would still have been smaller than 32. So basically she just went with the smallest band they sold (at the time I didn't realize this was a problem, just assuming 32 was the smallest in existence, at VS or anywhere else). Then she said I was a B cup, but if 32B was hard to find, then I could try 34As, as they are sister sizes... As at teen I had a few 34As that my boobs would literally fall out the bottom of, so at least I didn't take that advice....

    Using the more recent VS "overbust" method, I would wear a 30D, which is closer, but still no cigar (28E or F is the best fit for me, although I can pull off a 30DD sometimes).

    I went into VS the other day to get underwear & overheard the salesgirl saying to a teenage girl, "You seem to need a 30 band, like I do, but you can still wear 32!". :smacks forehead:

    I too lament that VS doesn't carry my size though. I actually like their bra designs/styles (when not over padded), especially for the price ranges (usually under $40).

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  18. I have been measured time and time again as a 32B. Over and over as a 32B. I have recently be measured and told I'm a 30C there, so I should wear a 32B ... If I could express how uncomfortable a 32B is. I feel suffocated and lopsided.

    I am truly about a 28E/F. I was recently remeasured AGAIN as a 32B. I believe it is just the numbering system. The best bra specialists in the place gave me a 32D. It was WAY more comfortable, but the band is still too big. Worst part -- I didn't like the way one of the 32Ds fit me in a certain style so they gave me a 34B. A THIRTY-FOUR B!!!!! THIRTY FOUR! It's a miserable fit. I was embarrassed to take the bra and that they would even let me try such a bra on.

    I went to a lingerie store and they more frankly told me that I was a 28, but for marketing's sake I would wear a 30 band in what they have available. They admitted it was a MARKETING and AVAILABILITY reason for giving me the next band size.

    Sadly, my image of bras is so distorted... a 30 band on me (I measure a 27) feels too tight because I'm not used to how they should fit.

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  19. I had the same exact problem...finally after 25 years of ill fitting bra's I got up the gusto to get fitted...and much to my dismay..my chest was a floating embarrasment in the bra Victoria Secret convinced me was right for me.

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    1. Oh no, Victoria's Secret is terrible about measuring people well at all! :( I'm sorry you had to experience that - have you checked out the Bra Fitting tab and measured yourself for a correct fit? x

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  20. Oooooh... Nice post :)
    It's just put me into a bit of rebelious/mischievous mood... I'm going to visit the US in December... I might raid a VS store and see what they will offer for my Effuniak 75G...

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  21. At least they sized you at the actual size that you were! Last week I went and sized myself (the Victoria's Secret way) at home and came up with a 32DDD/E. I proceeded to go into an actual VS store and guess what they put me in.. a 34DD. A flipping 34DD! I didn't feel like arguing so I just left. They could have at least put me in a bra that their sizing method came up with but I guess they just didn't have any in stock so solution? Stick me in something else!
    I'm just happy that I found out that my poor boobs don't have to suffer anymore. All along I was shoving my 28GGs in 32Es :( thank you for bringing me to the light

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  22. They did the same to me. Before I got breast implants I was a 36B after now calculated out I'm a 36J I usually just wear 38F bigger band size means bigger cup. I went in for a fitting because I just had them done a month prior the girl told me I was a 42B cup. I told her that was impossible. I was a 36B prior to implants there is no way my band size got bigger and my bust size stayed the same. She assured me she was right. I obviously wanted to amuse her. So I tried it on and was bursting out of it at all ends didnt even cover my aerolas. I showed her and she told me it was a good fit. Ridiculously stupid. I told her forget it, I'm not spending 40 on a bra that does not fit. She had the nerve to write down the size on a card and tell me to give that to any VS girl and she would be able to help me. I felt like slapping her.

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  23. I am a former bra Specialists from VS...they fit terrible...I also sew… so I measured women different then the company wanted me to. They have a standard certification class that half the time they rush girls through to get them trained but mostly what they are concerned about is selling and credit cards. The technique they use is so WRONG and during my research over the last year they are the only company that measures this way and it is stupid!!! I lost my job to some bogus bullshit but I think the real problem that I questioned how they measure and honesty of the company...I am a excellent bra fitter and I took this very seriously I would not lie to the customers that trusted me!...How can a company that claims to specialize in bras insist on not adding the band measurement is beyond me...it make absolutely no sense…I hate that women fall for their crap everyday even the ANGELS are fitted wrong

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  24. yeah sounds really horrible...but totally cute about the upside down bra.I think I'll just try to measure myself then.Thanks for sharing.

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  25. Victoria's Secret way of measuring my bra size is just so wrong its freaky for me. My usual size is a 28GG, but using their methods I come up as a 38AA, because I'm taller so my overbust and my bust are the same measurement at 38 inches each. I'm kinda glad I don't live anywhere near one of their stores, but at the same time, I wouldn't mind getting fitted there for curiousities sake anyway :P

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  26. Victoria's Secret "fitters" are simply trained to sell you the sizes they have in the store. Disregard their advice. If you know your size and they have it, fine. If not, shop elsewhere.

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  27. Crap VS is the only place I've used my whole (boob-endowed) life. They were fine when I was small but now their product just sucks. Does anyone know a good place to get bras - GAP Body and Aerie look like they have the same problem...

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  28. I wear a 32ddd and at vs they suggested i wear a 34d, which was way too uncomfortable and the straps were very loose. Plus my boobs werent fitting into the bra! What's amazing is, that I went again on the next day, and another lady suggested I wear a 34dd! What utter crap?!

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  29. This post is hilarious. In Australia we have one company who is our Victorias Secret equivalent. Just like Vistoria's Secret all the bras are designed to make you look like you have bigger breasts than you really do and and the sizing is a few sizes smaller than true sizing to make you feel that you are bigger in the cup than what you really are. Why anyone would want this I don't know.

    Victorias Secret bras are obviously designed for the smaller bust. Even their supposedly non padded bras are padded. With the way lingerie is marketed there is obviously a high demand for this sort of thing with many women wanting to look a few cup sizes bigger and be able to fit into a larger cup size than their true size. However, what a lot of these women don't realize is that even though their breasts may look smaller than their ideal size and shape and therefore, in their mind, in need of push up and padding, what they really need is proper support. These bras may feel comfortable now but it may only be in the long term that they will start to notice the effect of wearing these types of bras.

    Victorias Secret sizing is all wrong. When you pick up a D cup bra in any back size and turn it over you quickly realize that even though the label says D, DD, DDD or whatever, there is actually no-where to put your breasts. The cups are shallow and most are pre-filled with a foam pair of boobs anyway (aka padding). So if you happen to actually have true D cup breasts or above you are not going to fit into their bras. If you are however a B or a C cup you may be thrilled to find that you can wear a D cup or DD cup. I guess that's what makes them so popular.

    The main purpose of such bras is to make you look and feel bigger breasted. Sadly, it seems the biggest priority for many has become faking it.

    Victoria's Secret seems to have become the answer for those who don't want to get breast implants but still want to fake it. Sure it seems like a better and safer option than breast implants. But what about the long term effects of ill fitted mega padded bras.

    Sure it may feel okay now but I fear that a lot of these women will end up with back, shoulder and neck problems in the future. Society seems to suggest that these problems are only for larger breasted women but many may be shocked to realize that all sizes need proper support. I wish society wasn't so focused on the fake and would get back to the real purpose of a bra.



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  30. Ashley Nicole.1/23/14, 8:16 PM

    I actually just went to Victoria's Secret a few days ago. It wasn't my first choice (or even my second), but I needed to go somewhere and get some bras closer to whatever my actual size is. See, I've always been one of those people that just goes into Target and grabs whatever bra looks simple and fits semi-okay, then goes on my way. I have always had wide-set, pendulous breasts, so I figured bras will only ever just cover my breasts, not actually support them. I figured the only way a bra would wrap perfectly around your breasts is if you had super perky, self-supporting breasts. Anyway. The 38B's I had been wearing for the past few years were the wrong size and I knew it, but I didn't want to buy new bras. I eventually couldn't take it anymore and decided I need to find -something- closer to my real size right now and I'll figure out my real size later.

    Well. I recently bought a 38C bra and after wearing it, came to the conclusion that a 38 band is simply too loose on me and the C-cup that went with it is a bit too small, as well. So I went to Victoria's Secret with the intent of trying on a 36D, 36DD, and a 36DDD. I grabbed the D and DD first, but the cups were too small. As I headed out to grab a 36DDD to try, I was attacked. A sales associate immediately blocked my path and asked if I'd been measured yet.

    "Erm... no?" I replied, hesitantly.

    "Okay, well, I can get someone over here to do that for you!" she exclaimed happily and motioned for another worker to come over.

    She quickly wrapped a measuring tape around me, over my t-shirt and everything and asked, "Is this okay?"

    "Yes..." I replied slowly, confused as to why the super-loose measuring tape around my upper chest would be painful in any way.

    She then lowered the tape slightly and measured around my bust. She never actually told me what she measured me as, just asked what I had tried on.

    "A 36D and 36DD. The D is too small, the DD is slightly too small," I explained.

    "Okay, well, I'm going to bring you some 38D's, which are the sister-size of the 36DD!" she chirped, then immediately turned away to grab some.

    I didn't even have time to protest, I just stood there trying to figure out what just happened, then suddenly, I was being handed five 38D bras and told to go try them on. I tried them on anyway and yes, they were all way too loose in the band, slightly too small in the cups. I asked for 36DDs. i had only tried on one initially; I figured maybe different styles would maybe fit better. I also asked specifically for balconettes. She brought five more, explaining that she brought me some balconettes, some demis, and a full-coverage. They all looked like the exact same bra. I tried them on.

    I got through adjusting (all the bras came to me with the straps as short as possible) one bra and trying it on when she came back asking how they all fit. Seriously? I barely had time to try one bra on and I'm expected to be done already? So I rushed through the rest. The band was still too loose. I asked for 34DDD's, expecting another five. The girl hesitated slightly, then agreed to go get some. She brought back -one-. I'm not sure she thought I knew what I was doing. So I tried it on. It fit better. I asked for more. She then brought quite a few others, but again, I was rushed through the fitting.

    In the end, I -did- actually buy a few 34DDD's, but only because I couldn't be wearing those 38B's anymore. I was fed up with them and I need something that fits better until I find what really works for me.

    What I find -most- amusing by all this? I just measured myself right now, over my t-shirt and bra of theirs I'm wearing, the way they suggest, and I came up with 42A. >.> Which, the cup size is only one smaller than the one of theirs I got, but that band would be wayyyyyy too loose.

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  31. I was a trained bra fitter at VS and I know that there were some bad fitters at my store, but most of us were well trained and polite! You must admit that 28J is a very uncommon size, so you can't be surprised if the fitter was a little unsure of what to do. I will say that it sounds as though they did not do a good job, however don't let that scare you from VS stores or VS fitters.

    My advice (especially to those who have never been fitted or who might be outside of the standard 32A-38DD range that most stores carry) is to go at a time when the store will not be so busy. If you go at 2:00 on a rainy Saturday, chances are there will be a line at the fitting rooms and the employees will not have as much time to focus on you, just like at any other retail store.

    Also, when measuring yourself, don't measure on the top of the bust to get the band size (as it appears in your picture). Instead, the measuring tape should lay where the band will lay in back and up to the armpits and across the chest, high enough so that it is not resting on any breast tissue. The measuring part is not 100% accurate (that's why you must try on bras at the store) but measuring this way will definitely get you a better result.

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  32. It is truly a blessing for me that I know that VS cup sizes don't go up far enough for me so I don't bother trying. Do you think that maybe this is all on purpose because they want to sell bras, whether they fit or not? What do they care if it fits? As long as it's a sale. i happen to know my real size (34 G) and I know that they don't make anything anywhere near that cup size therefore I don't shop VS.

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  33. I am a very tall girl with larger proportioned breasts. I had a woman at Lane Bryant look at me like I was stupid when I said they didn't carry my size, because being fluffy and having a large ribcage/waist measurement ARE ALWAYS synonymous.. Instead of having her measure me, or even refuting this fact, I took her hands and placed them ON my rib cage. (BTW I hate having strangers touch me) Her eyes looked very confused, A tshirt is the NINJA of the body fitting world. My shoulder measurement is the same as my hip, and my bust is the same as that, and in almost ALL clothing I look square because of my bust. With a tiny waist, and broad bone structure.. I am one of the many "anomalies". Victoria secret measured me out at a 38DDD...BWAHAHAHAHAHA.. No, but I will try on your 36DDD to see how it fits, and it doesn't. IF your boobs fill up a mans hand, you can not buy your bra at a department store other then Dillard's. The proportional amount of change beyond a DD is a 2 inch profile on the side, and the common hand is approximately 4 inches across. I use this analogy when I discuss bra sizes with friends.

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  34. I currently work at a VS and even my manager has put me in the wrong size, time and again. I used to wear a 36D, so when they initially put me in a 32DDD my whole world seemed to open up...but my gore still wouldn't lay flat. I was told it simply wouldn't happen because of my small ribcage and large breasts. I went into a Nordstrom's, being wary of this, and in a 30F the gore will lay flat. During "certification" we had to practice with each other and I was put in a 36B twice. That is not even remotely my size. I will say, there is a lot of pressure for sales; that was half of the certification. But it's also ignorance, because that's how we're being taught. I will say, there are high quality bras in the stores, it's just incredibly limited in sizing.

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  35. Recently I went to VS with a friend, and she told me that she only buys her bras there after getting measured there and finding out that she was wearing the wrong size. It seems that they measured her correctly, and I had never been measured before because I was self-conscious of my small boobs. The store was near closing time, and the woman working there was very friendly and I felt comfortable with her, so I allowed her to measure me. I had been wearing a 32B for the longest time, and I was shocked when she told me my true size. She told me that in VS bras a 32C would fit best, but that I actually measure as a 28DD, she told me that I would need to go to a bra boutique to get my true size. I was surprised because I never knew such sizes existed, and to this day I am very grateful to that woman for being honest with me, and I find it quite sad that so many of you were lied to so that you would buy their bras. I would hope to believe that not all of the VS bra-fitters are so horrible!

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