I’ve been lamenting for a while about my girls, my breasts, the twins. As I’ve reached Club Fifty status they seem to be in a race to see which can reach my knees first (righty is currently in the lead, but lefty is not far behind). No amount of exercise – bicep curls, chest presses, hammer lifts and the like – seems to affect their descent. I’ve become so frustrated that I’ve talked about the possibility of a surgical breast lift. One incredulous friend asked:
“Why don’t you just try a better bra?”
Come on, surely this would not do the trick, right? To get these puppies back in place I would need, at a minimum, something perhaps steel-plated…
Truth be told, up until about two weeks ago I had never succumbed to a bra fitting. Like – I suspect – most women, ever since my first training bra at age 14 (I was a late bloomer) I’ve fumbled through cups and sizes and lace and under-wires in search of something comfortable, pretty, and supportive.
I reached out to a gal pal whose chest has always impressed me. Well into her forties, her girls still ride high and proud. I’ve often suspected that she may have had a little surgical assistance to place everything back where God intended things to be. I was surprised to discover that she credits her perky silhouette to her extensive bra collection. She directed me to her best resource for undergarments; highly recommending that I ask for a bra fitting at a place called Trousseau.
As I entered I had no idea what to expect. I was immediately impressed with the surroundings: lacy, tasteful, and very colorful bras and panties lined all the walls of the store. Silk robes and cute t-shirts were interspersed amongst the vast array of every type of undergarment I could possibly imagine.
A wonderful sales associate named Kaileigh greeted me and would spend the next hour helping me discover the magical world of a well-fitting bra. Kaileigh’s first question:
“What size bra do you wear?”
“Hmm, OK,” she replied, “let’s take a measurement.”
I was surprised that she measured below my breasts, around my rib cage. First lesson: the correct band size for a bra is not across your breasts, it’s below them. Guess what: I’m a 34! As background, click here for an article from Real Simple magazine about how to correctly measure your bra size.
Kaileigh’s next move was even more surprising. Without telling me the cup size, she brought me a t-shirt bra to demonstrate a little before and after magic.
The cup size, my correct cup size: DDD! That’s not a typo! I couldn’t believe it. This was not some sort of uber-constructed push-up bra; it was a well-fitting yet fairly basic nude colored bra. As you can see from the before and after photos, it gave the girls a much needed lift. I was assured that a 34 DDD is a very common bra size for American women.
Kaileigh explained that most American women wear bras that are too big in the band and too small in the cup. This causes up-creep across your back and the dreaded “third-boob” spill over in the front. She also explained that a DDD in the US is the same as an “F” in France or an “E” in England. I gotta tell you an “E” or an “F” sounds a helluva lot better than a DDD. DDD sounds like something my Aunt Gertrude should be wearing. But I had to admit, this new bra did feel very comfortable; and was having the intended effect.
Here are some additional lessons I learned from a proper bra fitting:
The twins are not identical. True. I’m left-handed, so my right breast is a bit bigger than my left. Makes sense; leftie has obviously been subjected to more toning exercises over the past five decades. The correct bra should compensate for this.
Size matters. True. I went from a 38 to a 34; that’s a pretty big difference. You would think that this new bra size feels very confining, but it doesn’t. It’s also very important to adjust the shoulder straps; your breasts are different sizes so the bra straps should be adjusted to different levels as well. The strap should give about an inch when you pull it away from your shoulder, but not much more.
Big bras are ugly. False! Kaileigh showed me a huge selection of bras in all kinds of sizes. Big girls are not relegated to beige or white. Some of the very large bras were down-right sexy.
You get what you pay for. Definitely True. My days of digging through the sales bin looking for the $20 bargain are probably over.
White t-shirt, white bra. False! I was surprised to discover that you shouldn’t wear a white bra under a white t-shirt. It’s better to opt for a flesh or neutral bra or, get this, a red bra! It’s all about skin tone, not the color of the shirt. I must admit I’m not completely sold on this idea… what do you think?
A good bra can make you look younger and thinner. True. Sagging breasts really do age a gal. I don’t begrudge one bit the women who have decided to let it all hang out. More power to ‘em. As for me, I’m all about putting my best chest forward.
After giving the new t-shirt bra a trial run over the past two weeks, I’m now a true convert. I’ll be organizing a bra-fitting field trip for my gal pals and their girls for after the first of the year; I’m sure I’ll purchase a few more well-fitting bras as well.
Have you ever had a proper bra-fitting? Were you surprised by the results?
PS: A big thank you/shout out to Kaleigh at Trousseau for all her patience and assistance.