Finding the right bra can be a painstaking task. How do you figure out your size? What material works best for your style? Does price matter? It is common to hate wearing a bra and feel uncomfortable. Typically, this is the case because you aren’t wearing the right bra for your shape, size, and clothing style. Because we know the struggle is real, we reached out to Leigh James, who has been a fitter at a boutique in Toronto for over five years.
How Do Professionals Measure Bra Sizes?
Every boutique will have its own procedures, but your fitter should discuss them with you after you’ve been greeted and led to your changing room. James says she typically starts by asking customers a few questions about their expectations for a bra before taking some measurements over the lightest layer of their top.
“Your fitter will always work within your comfort levels and will provide assistance as needed,” says James. Once you’ve been measured, your fitter will bring you a range of bras that are within your size range and budget. For example, if you measured 36, she will bring you bras with 34, 36, and, sometimes, 38 bands, depending on the size and style.
“Your fitter will also ask you to test the bras by wearing a shirt over-top to see the shape, then ask you to slouch and touch your toes,” James says. Doing this allows you and the fitter to determine if the bra is comfortable and has enough support. It also tests out the fabric of the bra against your skin for irritation.
Need to know more tips and tricks for getting the right bra size for you? Check out “How to Properly Determine Your Bra Size” in another Rethink Beautiful article.
What Should Your Fitter Know About You?
When you show up to your appointment, James says you should inform your fitter of what you are looking for in a bra (e.g. support, comfort, foam cups, unlined cups, etc.), what your expectations are, and if you have a budget.
Are Good Bras Expensive?
There is often the belief that the pricier the product, the better it is. This is not always true! “The more expensive bras will usually be of higher quality, but they won’t necessarily feel comfortable or suit your needs,” James says. Bras are less about price and more about your needs and the silhouette you want.
Advice From a Bra Fitter
When we asked James her best piece of advice to our readers, she said to examine your wardrobe, the colors you wear, if your blouses are loose or fitted, and generally what silhouette you prefer. She says it is important to “keep an open mind but have realistic expectations.” Her favorite brands include Simone Perele, Empreinte, PrimaDonna, and Cosabella.