Talking to my boyfriend last week I nearly died laughing when he asked me what the circumference of my boobs was. I looked at him clearly confused and asked: "how do you think bra fittings work?" He made a circle with his hands and half it to his chest, "they measure round the outside?" I laughed and I laughed until I realised, how is he supposed to know? The poor man has never had to know what happens at a bra fitting - he's never had one!
Once I had explained to him what a bra fitting entailed he asked me, totally sincerely: "isn't it a bit weird? Having a stranger seeing your boobs? Touching them?" Well, I suppose when you say it like that, it kind of is. And I realised that the fact that it is a bit weird, might be the thing that is stopping so many women from getting properly fitted and warning bras that don't fit them. (A problem that can cause all sorts of pain, discomfort and long term damage).
And so for anyone reading this who is in that position, I thought I would answer all the questions that you might have about getting one, just in case you don't remember being dragged to Marks and Sparks by your mum for your first bra aged 12, to put your mind at ease and reassure you that you won't be judged or laughed at and that it is a very easy thing to do.
DOES IT COST ANYTHING?
Nope. Normally you will leave with a bra so I suppose it makes sense for the companies to offer them complimentary.
DO I NEED TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT?
Brands like M&S do offer an appointment system online but you can pretty much walk into any lingerie department and ask for one. The longest I have ever had to wait for one is 10 minutes and that was a couple of months ago in Selfridges.
DO I HAVE TO HAVE MY BOOBS 'OUT' FOR THE FITTING?
You wear your bra for the fitting. You don't need to be topless! At no point does the woman doing the fitting need to see your nipples!
HOW DOES THE ACTAUL FITTING WORK?
So the lady, armed with a tape measure, will ask you to face her and lift your arms up. She will then bring the tape measure around your nest and just below it. She will then tell you what size your boobs and back are.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Well I suppose you could theoretically leave at this point and shop for yourself but personally I think it is best to take advantage of having a professional present and they will more often than not go and find you some bras in your size and different styles to make sure that you are getting the right thing.
DO I TRY THE BRA ON IN FRONT OF THE PERSON FITTING ME?
No you don't have to. I'm not massively bothered as this is their job so what I do is turn around and normally the lady is tactful enough to avert her eyes! If you really would be more comfortable without her there though you absolutely can ask her to step out!
WHAT IF THAT BRA DOESN'T EVEN FIT IF IT'S APPARENTLY IN MY SIZE?
It's important to remember that bra shops are part of the fashion industry and therefore, by very definition, are fucked up. What fits you in one brand may not work in another. It's a pain in the arse but that's why it's so important to try them on. If I were you I would keep going until you find a brand that works for you, even it means you have to try a few things before you find the perfect one. (Personally I love Chantelle).
WILL IT BE A WOMAN DOING IT?
Yes. There may well be men. who do it but I have never seen one and you would be 100% within your rights to ask for a woman, they'll totally understand!
WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO HAVE ONE?
85% of women are wearing the wrong size bra apparently, and that doesn't surprise me. Before my last fitting I was totally guessing, having not been fitted in five years, when I was a totally different shape! My boobs were actually beginning to really hurt as they weren't being supported. Over a long time you can cause them to say by not getting it right. The right bra will be much more flattering as well!
AM I OBLIGATED TO BUY ONE?
No! I normally do because that's why I'm there and after 10 seconds of seeing yourself in a well fitting bra you will never want to take it off, but you don't have to and you don't owe anyone anything!
So there you go, all the things that have gone through my mind before getting fitted. It's so important though and so easy and I really would recommend it. You can take a friend, do it while you are doing other things or just out shopping. Hope online and find somewhere near you and get it done. Apart from anything, there is no feeling like the new bra feeling!