Today’s guest post is by the lovely Susannah Perez, an experienced fitter and lingerie fanatic who wants women to recognize when they’re not getting the fitting service they deserve! You can read more of her thoughts on Twitter. For more posts from good bra fitters, check out “The Dos and Don’ts of a Bra Fitting” from A Sophisticated Pair and “Is Your Professional Bra Fitter Giving You the Right Size” by Butterfly Collection, and take a look at druber & drunter’s thoughts on “The Best Fitting Experience”.
It’s a sad fact that a lot of lingerie stores and departments don’t ensure that all of their staff are well trained at bra fitting, or provide them with a set of out of date skills so they simply don’t have the knowledge to get women into the right fit. Almost every woman who has ever been fitted on the high street has had at least one experience where they walked away from the store unhappy with the service they received.
Unfortunately, if you’re not 100% sure of what you should expect in a bra fitting – other than walking away with a comfortable, well fitting bra – it can be really difficult to know whether you’ve had a good fitting or simply been conned into buying the wrong bra.
So, here’s a checklist from a bra fitter that cares: here’s exactly how to spot a bad bra fitter.
Everything is done by the tape measure.
Bra fitting is hardly anything to do with what a tape measure says – it should only be used to provide a starting point for the fitting (if your bra fitter isn’t working by sight), and should not be treated as a rule. It’s only rarely that the first bra you put on during a fitting will fit perfectly.
They only try you in the one size.
Following on from the first point, a good bra fitter should try you in several different sizes to be sure you get the perfect fit – not just try to squeeze you into whatever size they’ve measured you as – they should know that numbers and letters are simply guidelines!
They only try you in one style.
Even if you’re looking for a particular style, your fitter should be honest about whether this will work for you or not, and if not, which style will. Every woman is shaped differently, and has different needs to cater to: no one style will work for everyone.
They only look, don’t touch.
A good bra fitter will adjust the straps to the optimum length for you, fix the band on the loosest hook, pull gently on the back to check it’s the right tightness, and will check how the central gore and wires sit. You can’t tell simply from looking if a bra is completely the right fit.
They use the +4 method.
+4 is an old fitting method that is no longer applicable to the stretchier materials bras are made of today. If your fitter adds anything to your initial band measurement, then they will not be calculating your true size and you will most likely end up in an ill fitting bra.
They take the band measurement by measuring over your bust.
This practice is typically used by companies that try to size you between a 32A and 38DD, like Victoria’s Secret. This practice is completely nonsensical and will land you in an entirely inaccurate size – after all, why would your band size be anything other than the measurement of where your band would sit?
They try to size you up or down to fit you into ‘conventional’ sizes.
If your bra fitter tries you in a bra size completely different from your initial measurement as they’ve sized you up or down to fit you into the store’s size range, call foul play. No good fitter will put you in the wrong sized bra simply to get a sale – if you’re measured 28-36, they should be trying you in a 28G/H, not a 32D.
They don’t ask you how the bra feels.
Bad bra fitters will often assume that because a bra looks half decent, it feels okay too – which is simply a sign of negligence. Your fitter should make sure you’re comfortable in the bra, and if you’re not, they should try you in others.
They don’t address your concerns.
If your fitter doesn’t care or know what to do about any concerns you have with the fit, walk out of there. Though a well-fitting bra can feel tight if you’re not used to wearing your correct size, anything from digging in or falling out to space in the cups or wires sitting away from your torso should be addressed and rectified with either another size or style.
They’re not dedicated to finding the right bra.
If you aren’t happy with the fit of the bra they put you in, they should try you in different styles and sizes until they find one that you love – and if this isn’t possible, offer to order bras in for you or recommend another store that may be able to service your needs better. Every woman has the potential and right to sexy and amazing lingerie that fits exceptionally and makes you feel fabulous, and your fitter should embody that promise – if they try to fob you off with a “that’s as good as it’s going to get” attitude, leave!
Do you have any more pointers on how to spot a bad bra fitter? Do you have any fitting horror stories to share?