Remember that time Oprah turned the undergarment world upside down when she revealed that almost all women are wearing the wrong bra size? I do. Like many of you, I filed that one under "good to know, will look into...eventually." Here I am, probably a decade later, still wearing the size I think I should wear.
I've had my rack measured a few times before, but it was at Victoria's Secret and I wasn't super confident that they'd done it right. The last time I went to VS, I decided to get a bra fitting. I'd always been a 34B (in my estimation), but Megan (a 22-year-old VS associate that smelled of vanilla), was certain I was a full 32C or more likely, a 32D. This sounded suspect to me. Those two sizes are reserved for the Jayne Mansfields of the world. That can't be me. Regardless, one of these larger cup-sized bras looked and felt nice, so I got one.
I liked my new bra, but within a week, it was kind of stretched out and gapping in the boob area. I knew I should've listened to my inner voice! Instead of demanding my money back, I decided to go to a real bra store... you know, the ones you're afraid to go to because the bras will be amazing, but they're going to cost a fortune!
I made an appointment at La Bratique in Edina (Minnesota), conveniently located a few miles from my office. Unlike VS, their ratio of employee to customer is basically 1::1.
When I arrived, my personal bra professional lead me to a changing room, where she measured the girls and informed me that I was a 32D. Guess Megan at VS knew what she was talking about after all! However, as my bra professional pointed out, VS uses cheaper materials and often firmer cups, which allow their bras to "fit" more people. Really, you're just pouring your boob into a form that sorta-kinda holds you in. She then selected about a dozen bras in my "new" size in a variety of colors, materials and styles.
Each of her options were significantly different. Some offered too much coverage and made me feel like an old lady. Others made my boobs look like torpedoes... in a bad way:
Eventually, I found three bras (a black, beige and a fun hot pink number) that did all the right things for my chest. Lifted, separated, contained...without the weird gapping of my previous bras. I was also talked into a sports bra (apparently if you're over the C mark, you should wear sports bras with an underwire. Who knew?!). Very happy with that purchase, too.
And here's the kicker: the thing that had been keeping me from investing in proper undergarments (ahem, PRICE) ended up not even being a factor. All of these bras fit 100 percent better than the ones from Victoria's Secret and cost less about $60 apiece, just slightly more than their mass produced, ill-fitting counterparts. If I care for the bras properly (wash them every three wears, not wear the same one a few days in a row, avoid smashing the cups when I put them in my drawer), they should easily last me a year or so.
I'm quite pleased with my purchases. Any one else had an epiphany experience buying proper undergarments (or any other clothing product... I the first time I bought "nice" jeans and had to tailor them was a revelation for me, too.)? Please share!