We originally wrote this post back in 2011. But times have changed and bra fitters now work remotely too! Read on for the inside scoop on bra fit from Jenette Goldstein, remote bra fitter and founder of Jenette Bras.
A reader asks: I’m in desperate need of new bras. Do you have any tips on finding professional bra fitters in my city? Help! ~Spill Out
Where to find professional bra fitters
In-store bra fittings
Most major department stores have professional fitters on staff. Try:
Some stores like Victoria’s Secret also have fitters. But in my experience, these fitters tend to try and sell you bras — regardless of the fit. Often, you’ll find more genuine service at local boutique shops (like Jenette Bras) that specialize in bras and undergarments.
Remote bra fittings
If you live in a rural area that’s short on professional bra fitters, you can always connect with a remote bra fitter. She may not be “near you” in the geographical sense, but who cares? If you come away with a properly fitting bra, then mission accomplished.
Jenette Bras has a team of professional bra fitters ready to size you up. To book a consultation, visit JenetteBras.com and tap the big button that reads, “Book a Fitting.”
Bra fitting sessions: What to expect
Jenette recommends you wear your favorite bra to your fitting. You will have to take off your shirt, but a good fitter will ease the tension with some small talk. If you’re not getting that friendly vibe or feeling uncomfortable at any point, you’re working with the wrong fitter. Walk away and find someone else.
The fitting process itself is pretty similar, whether you’re doing an in-store bra fitting or a remote one. A face-to-face bra fitter will measure you, while a remote bra fitter has the harder job of identifying the best bras for you without the help of a measuring tape.
Jenette’s team of remote bra fitters are trained to analyze — by eye — the width and slope of your shoulders, the distance from shoulder to foot, and the shape and orientation of your breasts.
The next step of a professional bra fitting experience, whether you’re in a store or meeting remotely, is the recommendation process.
You don’t really have “a size.” With correct fitting, you will wear different sizes in different styles. Women will buy a new bra in the size that worked for them last time and it won’t fit the same because it’s a different make, a different model. Even changing the color of a bra can affect the fit, believe it or not.
Jenette Goldstein, founder, Jenette Bras
Trying out the options
Normally, you’d try on several bras, which could be in different sizes. In a remote fitting, your consultant will present hand-picked recommendations — based on your shape and the ways in which the different bra brands fit and flatter.
If you see a style you like, you can buy it straight away. Or, your remote consultant can follow up after your fitting with pictures of the options she’s picked for you. You can also schedule follow-up fittings with the same fitter.
Spotting a good fit
Your breast should fit completely into the cup with no spillage, no wire digging into your sides. The band should fit snug, but not too tight on the first set of hooks. You should be able to sweep your hands from your collar bone across the bra without feeling any flesh bumps.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and walk out if they aren’t knowledgeable enough to give you answers or blame you (it happens) for their own inability to find you a proper fitting bra.
Why you need a bra fitting
wearing the most uncomfortable bra EVER today.. all my others are in the wash.. #brafail lol
— Megatron 🦄 (@iScaffy) April 12, 2010
A shocking number of women wear the wrong bra size. Jenette cites three big reasons for this:
- The bra is diabolically hard to fit. The bra has more body contour parameters than any other piece of clothing. Many women don’t even know how a good fit feels.
- Bra manufacturers and retailers cut corners. Mass market stores won’t guide you into your perfect size — they guide you into the size they have. If you’re shopping online, you can only go through so many returns before you settle on something “close enough.”
- You don’t really have “a size.” With correct fitting, you will wear different sizes in different styles. Women will buy a new bra in the size that worked for them last time and it won’t fit the same because it’s a different make or model. Even changing the color of a bra can affect the fit, believe it or not. Different dyes can tighten the fabrics differently.
As Jenette explains, many women try to save money and time on bra shopping, because they imagine the bra doesn’t show the way that shoes and purses show. (Guilty!)
Here are the ways your bra shows:
- Your bra lifts and shapes your bust.
- The shape and orientation of your bust reveals and creates your waist and sets the draping of your clothes.
- When your bra fits properly, you stand up straight and beam confidence because you’re not hunched forward in pain.
The takeaway? It’s a mistake to skimp on the foundation.
If you’re nervous about a bra fitting
I asked Jenette to share some thoughts for the women who’s nervous about being fitted for a bra, because the process is so personal. Here’s what she had to say:
Bra-fitting trauma is real! Imagine a man going to a tailor, and being told “Oh, brother, that belly is impossible! How am I supposed to cover that? Wait, I think I have a tan seersucker in the basement that the circus fat man never picked up.”
Wouldn’t happen, right? Men wouldn’t stand for it, and women aren’t standing for it anymore either.
The new bra-fitting paradigm is empowering, feminist, and fun. The variety of the female body is a joy, not a problem. Just make sure you’re going to a reputable fitting specialist. Big chain store fitters are often untrained and working from single-brand inventory. Department stores can be hit-or-miss with fitting. A well-reviewed, independent bra-fit boutique is your best bet.
I really couldn’t have said that any better.