What to expect in a bra fitting & when your bra fitting goes wrong
I know plenty of women who have had bra fittings that have gone very wrong. Add in new breasts due to an augmentation, lift, reduction, or reconstruction and you have the recipe for a potential disaster. Any body changes, menopause, weight loss, pregnancy, breastfeeding, have a major impact on your body image and it takes time to adjust to them. But these changes, surgical or hormonal, mean that you’ll need to go to your fitter for a bra fitting.
But what if you’ve never had a fitting before? What should you expect? This is scary territory when you are working with a changing body and body image. So to start take a look at these two articles on what to expect, the do’s and don’ts of your fitting. The first is by Linda from Linda’s Online and owner of Linda’s boutiques in New York. The second is by Erica from A Sophisticated Pair in North Carolina.
So now you know what to do to make sure you get the best fit. But what can you expect from your fitting? Everywhere you go will conduct their fittings differently. Some will fit you in your bra, some will fit you over you clothes. Some will use a tape measure, others will fit you by eye, some will do a combination of eye, tape, and your current bra. The fitter will bring a bra or two for you to try. Some fitters will have you remove your bra and will actually put the bra on you. Others will leave the bra with you and let you put it on yourself. Either way they should check the band, cups, and straps for fit and make adjustments. They may ask you how the bra feels and how you like the fit. They may decide it is completely wrong and have you try something else. The fitter may touch you, the areas around your breasts, and some may even touch your breasts by scooping and lifting them in the bra.
Many ladies that have been going through major body changes will be very anxious about a fitting without a shirt. Feel free to express your needs for the fitting. Many ladies will not feel comfortable having the fitter put the bra on them, but are OK putting on the bra themselves. Some do not want to be touched at all, especially if they have tenderness from a surgery or hormonal changes. So ask how the fitting is done and let them know what you need from your fitting. Many fitters will get into a routine for how they fit, they have been doing it for years and really know what they are doing. But if for any reason you have a special need you must speak up! They cannot read your mind, and if they don’t meet your needs that is a sure-fire way to have a bad fitting experience.
Your relationship with the fitter is just that, a relationship. It is a two-way process, you to the fitter, the fitter to you. Communication is essential to this relationship! Without that communication you will find that your needs will not be met. Put some effort into building a relationship with your fitter, they will be able to help you as your body changes and your bra needs change. Your fitter won’t be your best friend, it’s a professional customer service relationship, but they will be there for you to meet some private and personal needs.
So what happens when a fitting goes wrong? The first thing is to try to stop things before they go down the wrong path. Does your fitter have a hands on method? Say something right away, don’t suffer through. Does your fitter want to help you into the bras, but you are not comfortable? Say something! Stopping things before they get bad can make your fitting do a complete 180, with you walking out happy. But sometimes you just have to know when the dialog between you and the fitter is not working. The fitter is doing a job, one that they are completely comfortable doing. If things are not working for you they won’t know unless you tell them, and even if you tell them they will continue to provide the service to you with adjustments. A fitter will never just stop unless you stop the service. And you shouldn’t be afraid to stop the fitting service. You have to remember that a bra fitting is a service, one that you can choose to decline or stop when you feel the need.
There are two sides to a good or bad bra fitting. You and the fitter. Whether the fitting is a good one or a bad one both sides have an influence on the direction of the fitting. But you need to remember that this is YOUR fitting, you are in control. Only you know yourself and your needs. If you are a shy person that may have a difficult time speaking up for your needs don’t be afraid to take a friend with you. If you are vocal about what you want in a bra and the fitter suggests something else, give it a try. You may like it and the fitter won’t have hurt feelings if you don’t. There is a give and take communicative relationship in a bra fitting.
So what happens when no matter what you do you come home feeling disappointed? Or you leave the store and cry? Or you just come out feeling down and ugly? These things can happen even if you have a great experience with a fitter! You could be fitted in the perfect bra and still have these feelings. It may not be the bra, the fitting, or the service. Your body image is your own and nothing that a fitter does will change that. She can put you in the most amazing bra that is like God’s gift to your boobs, but if your body image is suffering you’ll walk out of the store disappointed. Yes, it is possible to walk out of a bad experience that is the fitter’s fault. In those cases it is important to call or write to leave feedback. But what if it is just you adjusting to body changes? How do you handle that?
Each person will be different, just like their needs in a bra will be different. Are you struggling to adjust to breasts that have just been lifted with an implant after years of breastfeeding? Are you looking for your first bra after an augmentation? Have you just had reconstruction due to breast cancer? Did you recently lose a lot of weight and your breasts changed drastically? Has menopause changed your breasts in ways you did not expect? How you felt before these changes will directly affect how you feel during and after. It is an investment of time and self-reflection to deal with these changes. A great bra fitting may be a little bit of help, but change your body image for you. In some cases may even be detrimental. Before placing blame on a bra, the fitter, or your body you need to take a few minutes to find out what went wrong and why your bra fitting was so horrible.
No matter where you go for a fitting things can go wrong. You could go to the high end boutique in the neighboring city or you local department store. But when you are getting your first fitting or your first fitting after a major body change you need to be prepared for the emotions that will be going through you. It could be as simple as bra size shock/denial. Or it could be more personal and emotional. A good fitting bra is a necessity, but so is your emotional health. Don’t go into a fitting until you are ready, until you feel more “you” in your changing body, until you’ve accepted that your bras can work better for you. And if things don’t go how you expect, don’t place blame. Don’t let things get to you and your body image. Remember that you had the strength to lose weight, to change your breasts, to look for a more comfortable fit, or to just do something for yourself. Bad fittings happen, but what you take from it is up to you. And you can take some positive things, if you’d let that strength shine through.