Women, if you haven’t been to an official bra fitting at a bra boutique, please do go and have your tatas felt up by a total stranger who is fully dressed in really nice clothes. It is an eye-opening experience, but also one that will leave you looking better in your clothes – since you will have a good fitting bra. Depending on the boutique and the styles you get, it could also leave you a little poorer. However, we hold steadfastly to the belief a good bra is like a good suit or great jeans…worth the investment. And you might be surprised by the actual size you are in a good bra vs what you might have been wearing all along.
Earlier this summer I ended up at a Rigby & Peller boutique; I’d had several other bra fittings before this one, so I knew what to expect. The first one was in a ritzy part of town, and an older woman was my consultant. The way she ‘handled’ me was with the tender care of a grandmother touching her first-born grandchild. She was so sweet and helpful, gentle, but not too touchy. The second fitting was in a newer local boutique, and a young woman with jet black hair, lots of tattoos, and a nose ring was my consultant. She was lovely, but didn’t really know much about actual fit, and she genuinely seemed afraid of touching me to help get a good fit. And the man who seemed to be with his wife in the next dressing room seemed a little too interested and too close to my dressing room. The whole experience irked me, and it cost me far less that day than it did on the first fitting.
Fast forward to fitting number 3. I knew unfamiliar hands might get friendly with me, but I was unprepared for how well the young gal who was my consultant would handle me and do her job.
The dressing room was like a dressing area I want to set up at home – chic, well lit, lots of mirrors. I was informed to drop top, and put on the silky robe. I told her I needed some basic colored bras – beige, black, white – I’ve worn the heck out of my old ones, and they need to go adios. My lovely consultant told me they don’t measure, but start at one size, and go based on look and feel. OK, I thought. No measurements, hmmm? She took a good look at me while I took off my top, and left. Just, poof, left. Curious. I’m not self-conscious; I’ve had two babies, and a full European body wrap – when you’re butt naked that long and in those situations, you no longer care.
She returns with a lovely beige bra (#1). It’s basic, but I told her that was exactly what I needed. Besides, I like the circle details on the strap; it takes the ‘basic’ up a notch.
I slipped my arms in, she clasped the back for me, and I turned around so she could see. She looked at me with her head cocked sideways, asked me to lean forward (I thought this an odd one), and WHOA! She reached right in one cup and grabbed my boob, adjusted it by pulling it seriously forward, and proceeded to the do the same to the other boob. I knew she might get ‘touchy’, but hello, mama! She got seriously touchy.
She told me to stand up straight, and she pulled down the bottom of the bra sides; too stunned to do anything other than look down at my chest as she was doing this, I actually smiled – I had major cleavage based on how she had just adjusted the girls in my ever-so-basic beige bra. She had done her job with swift efficiency! She looked at me smiling, “You like it?” I repsonded, “I’ve never had cleavage like that. At 44, I think you just showed me how to wear a bra correctly.” She laughed pretty hard at that, and commented, “Well, good. I did my job then.” We’d just a moment (but she was only doing her job), and I liked her for showing me what none of the other consultants I’d worked with had shown me.
We both agreed on the fit, and she came back with a pile of bras. After two more of the hello, mama! moments like above, I told her I had the rest of them – I understood how it worked now. You can watch a video of a photo here (yeah, a video of a photo. Imagine that).
I ended up keeping the above four in the collage picture- #1-#3 are Marie Jo bras, and the pink one in #4 is Le Mystère. All fit wonderfully, feel amazing, and make my clothes look great! And I actually think they’re all quite lovely. So does my husband 😉
Total price for all four? Well, it was pricey ($430), but it’s something I’ll wear every day and they’ll likely last me a good 4-5 years. If I do a CWA – cost per wear analysis:
365 days inn a year x 4 years = 1,460 days/ 4 bras = 365 days of wear on each bra
$430/4 bras – average cost of each bra = $107.50 (some were pricier than others, but we’ll go on average)
$107.50/365 days = .2945 = about .30 cents a day. You tell me what else you can get that makes you look great for $0.30 a day?! And some of you are spending about $3.20 more each day on your fake pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. Take your pick – perky boobs or fake PSL. Choice is yours.
And am I the size I thought? I think the picture below answers that question.