It is time to discuss how we fit you and what we look for in a perfect fit. Our store specializes in bra fittings and you can rest assured that at Bits of Lace, you are being sized by a professional who will treat you with respect and honesty.
That said, we begin fitting you from the moment you walk in the door. It only takes a fitting specialist a few moments to size up a new client and begin considering fit options. Remember our customer from last post? Let’s use her as an example, and let’s name her Lola, just for fun! When first approaching a fitting, we begin by assessing band size and cup size. To do this we take into account what you are wearing currently, our own visual assessment of your approximate size and sometimes quick a circumference test using our hands on the back of the ribcage. I’ve assessed Lola’s size by sight in my previous post at a 34D, and once I return with some bras we can begin to test them out.
Once in the fitting room, we work with each customer using a set of guidelines to ensure the perfect fit. I prefer to go into the fitting room with the customer, if they are comfortable enough, and help them into the bra. This ensures proper fit, which means maximum support and good shape. Putting your bra on right the first time is just as important as having the right bra on. Lola is anything but modest and politely invites me in to fit her. I decided to bring down a strapless and a PrimaDonna Satin which is a great molded cup bra for a smooth, supported fit that runs very true to size.
When we assist our clients into their bras we encourage them to slip the straps over their shoulders, set the underwire beneath their breast tissue and lean forward as we hold the wings in the back and joggle the band. This gentle jiggle settles the breasts into the cups and creates the most natural shape. Standing up, we advise our clients to clasp their bras on the second hook, as that allows for a bit of expansion and reduction throughout the wear of the bra.
At this point we can check the band for fit by hooking a finger in the back and gently pulling. If the band stretches too easily or too far (more than an inch or so) away from the body, it may be necessary to move into a smaller band size. The band provides most of the support for the bra, so it must be snug and secure. When I pull on the back of Lola’s band it only stretches about an inch and a half, which means she is being supported, but will be comfortable in the 34. Nothing cuts in and the band doesn’t ride, so we move on.
Following the band test, the customer may lift and settle her breast tissue into each cup so as to sit higher in the cup and fill it out fully. To adjust the straps, we pull from the front to the back, taking in any excess strap and shortening/lengthening it until you can only fit one finger underneath the strap. The straps are secondary when it comes to support, but they must be taut and set vertically on the shoulders to complete the support structure for the bra.
It is important that: 1)the center gore and underwire are flush against the chest, fitting into the crease under each breast and sitting against the ribcage, 2)the band is horizontal along the back and not riding up, 3)the straps are not digging in or slipping off and 4)the cups are sufficiently full, not bulging or bagging. If any of these items appear, the fit needs to be adjusted.
If the center gore or underwire are not lying flush against the ribcage, it is likely that the cup is too small; the same goes for breasts that overfill the cups and bulge out from the top or bottom. This is Lola’s problem. I notice that the tissue around the cups is pinched and the underwire seems to bite into her. Anytime the cup is cutting into the tissue, the underwire is poking into the side of the breast or there is no contact in the center front, the structure of the bra is compromised and this takes away from your support. Moving up a cup size can help resolve this issue. We move up a size to the 34E and the fit is perfect. No bulging, no puckering and no sagging! She’s very happy with the fit and now we know her size for a whole line of beautiful lingerie by PrimaDonna, which will all fit similarly. Lola is also thrilled to hear that PrimaDonna’s sister company Marie Jo makes a lovely strapless bra in the Avero style that compliments her shape perfectly. All is well as I clear out the dressing room and Lola saunters off to peruse the silky chemises and lacy teddies.
Of course, keep in mind that these are just guidelines and getting fitted professionally is the best way to find the right fit. Make sure to pay attention to how you’re wearing your bra, too. I know that first thing in the morning, strapping on a bra can be as automatic as your coffee maker, but a tiny bit of attention to your cups, band and straps can make all the difference. Make sure your support system is properly in place and adjusted to fit your needs before you fly off into your day, Superwomen!
Until we meet again…
Lace and Love,