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Ching’s Bra Epiphany

Posted on April 18, 2010 by under Shopping.    

imageHow many times have you heard that more than 80% of women are wearing the incorrect bra size? I’m not sure that 80% is the right percentage but there is a lot of truth to this statement. I realized this first hand yesterday when I went to the bra fitting event at Dillard’s yesterday.

I’d always been a 32A since I started buying bras here in the US. I mostly just bought from Victoria’s Secret. Their 32A bras fit me comfortably and I never had any issues. I think their sizing remained pretty consistent between different styles so I got by okay for the most part. As time progressed and I started gaining weight, I just assumed that I’d just go up in band size. Naturally, I progressed to 34A and then 36A.

I wore 36A for about a year, since I peaked at 143 lbs. Up until yesterday, my favorite bra was my BioFit 7-way bra. I have it in nude color. I love it because it fit comfortably and I could wear it many different ways. Although, I just wore the straps crossed most of the time. I still find it comfortable to wear, except the band is a lot looser than it was. I think I can still wear it as long as I use the tightest clasp setting.

Since I dropped to 125 lbs, I figured it’s time to get fitted again. I’d read in a couple of places that one should actually shop for bras every six months. Although, I never really thought of getting fitted until now because I thought I knew what I was doing. I’m thinking it might not be a bad idea to get fitted every year.

Apparently, not all bra fittings are created equal. In the past, the reps would just measure me over my clothes. This is not recommended. Yesterday, the bra fitting expert joined me in the dressing room and had me take my top off so that she could measure me properly. After taking three measurements (under my bust, above my bust and at the fullest part of my bust), she told me that I could wear a 32 or 34 band. She left and came back with a dozen bras for me to try on. Much to my surprise, some of the bras were 34B. I guess I can be either 34A or 34B depending on the manufacturer or style of bra and that’s quite normal. Unfortunately, you can’t know which size to get without trying the bras on so no more buying bras off Victoria’s Secret web site from now on. I suppose I can still order online after I’ve actually tried it on at the store and figured out that proper size to get. No more buying something because it’s on sale and “I think” it will fit, though. Those days are over, for sure.

Out of all the bras I tried on, the two I liked the best were the Modern Movement “Maximum Lift” bra (which I got in 34A) and the Calvin Klein “Seductive Comfort” bra (which I got in 34B). I normally try to avoid padded bras, but these were the ones that I found most comfortable and flattering to my shape. After getting some matching underwear and a few other things, I ended up spending quite a bit but I should be set for year (unless, of course, I lose a lot of weight between now and then). Although, after getting these product links from the Dillard’s web site, I’m thinking that I should have purchased the bras online because I think they’re a little cheaper. (Be sure to watch for price differences. Best Buy seems to do this a lot too. When we got our printer it was at least $20 cheaper online and then, when we went with Matthias to get his friends 32GB iPod Touch, it was $299 at the store but only $269 online. Best Buy will match their online price, though. All you have to do is ask. I suppose they make extra profit off people who don’t know any better and actually pay the in-store price.)

But I digress.. Back to bras. How do you know if you’re wearing the wrong size? Here are some basic questions that Oprah came up with. If you answer “yes” to any of these, you probably need to get fitted.

1. Do your bra straps dig into or slip off your shoulders?
2. Does your underwire poke into your breast tissue?
3. Does your bra ride up in the back?
4. Do your breasts sag under your clothing?
5. Do you feel like taking off your bra before the day is over?
6. Do the buttons on your blouse gap at the bustline?
7. Do your breasts spill out of your bra’s cups?
8. Have you recently gained or lost more than 10 lbs?

For me, #8 is actually what triggered the need to get fitted. Stay tuned for the next blog entry. I’ll be sharing tips on how to find the proper size.

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