When is the last time you had a proper bra fitting where your correct size was professionally determined and where you walked out feeling confident and like a new woman again? What if I told you 80% of women wear the wrong size and 60% are a ‘D’ cup and above! Startling statistics which surprised me and got me wondering ‘why isn’t there more of an emphasis placed on women on the importance of a correct and accurate bra size?’.
I do think a proper bra fitting service is one which most of us don’t really prioritize and is something I feel needs proper attention. I’ll be honest, I think I had a fitting when I was around 15 years old in Marks & Spencer and that was it. I presumed that was my size for life – not taking into account the fact that our bodies change and in particular after having children – our back size and cup size are likely to be totally different!
So when the lovely people at TKD Lingerie in Dubai asked me to come in to try their complimentary fitting service at their Jumeirah Town Centre branch – I thought, ‘why not…..it’s been so long….it’s probably a good idea to see if I’m the same size’. What I didn’t expect was to be totally shocked at thinking I was an ‘A’ cup (for most of my teenage and adult life – except when I was pregnant of course – then I self-prescribed myself to be something totally different ha, ha) but to be told I’m actually a ‘D’ cup! (Insert ‘gasp’). I was always under the impression to qualify for a ‘D’ cup, you need to be ‘well-endowed’ in the breast department which I’m clearly not BUT which I always wanted to be! It’s actually embarrassing as I feel my breasts have been ‘lied’ to their entire life and I’ve done them a complete injustice as I’ve always bought the incorrect size. I completely didn’t realize that I should have gotten measured after having my first child because after my second, I ‘self-measured’ myself to be a…wait for it………34/36 B when in fact after having a professional consultation and fitting with TKD – I’m actually a *drum roll please*….32D! I mean…….that’s a big difference!
I can’t express enough though at how better I feel by going for a proper personalized fitting and now knowing what size I SHOULD be buying instead of GUESSING…..which is what I was doing.
The lovely Bridgit at TKD (who’s from Ireland by the way and who’s a ‘bra fitting EXPERT’) talked me through the whole procedure and filled me in on the importance of wearing the correct bra and the benefits. Without sounding weird, Bridgit has a ‘knack’ of telling what size women are before she even measures them – it’s just one of those things you ‘acquire’ from being in the business and in this field for so long I guess! After giving her an idea about the style of bra’s I like to wear she picked some from the store and we got started with the fitting. What may surprise some people, is that TKD do not use measuring tapes for their bra fitting service as they are found to be quite inaccurate – check out more info on this on their website here. Some retailers sill like to use them but when you think about it, measuring tapes are standardized numbering – very ‘black and white’ – with no leverage to account for that ‘grey’ area. Breast’s vary in size, shape and spacing and this is not reflected in a measurement. In other words, people’s bodies are all different and your ‘cup size’ is basically influenced by your ‘back size’ so it’s extremely individual.
At TKD, they like to look and listen to you to determine your size. Bridgit has an interesting comparison where she likes to compare shopping for lingerie/bra’s to shopping for jeans, ha, ha, and asking the following questions:
- Does it fit?
- Is it too big?
- Is it too small?
- Do I like my breasts in this?
- Do I like the colour?
- Do I like the shape?
- Am I happy and comfortable in this?
- Will it work with my current wardrobe?
For the bra to be PERFECT there’s a couple of criteria’s that need to be addressed:
- The back needs to be firm and comfortable
- Underwires need to be on the rib cage or back and NOT on the breast tissue
- Moving to the front of the bra – the underwire needs to be sitting on your rib cage/breast bone.
- In relation to the cups, the breasts need to be fully encompassed with ‘nothing escaping’ or as Brigit likes to refer to it as ‘no runaway’s’.
TIP: If you can fit your phone into your bra – that’s a sign it’s not fitting properly.
Let’s look at some INCORRECT ways below to wear your bra and give you an idea about how NOT to wear them ↓
Cups TOO big
Cups TOO small
LOOSE fitting straps
Band LIFTING away
Underband TOO big
NOW – lets look at how your bra SHOULD look below and notice the difference in body shape↓
Smooth and properly filled cups
Underband is well positioned and in the correct place
Side view of underband sitting comfortably
As you can see there is a stark difference in terms of how a well-fitting bra can shape your body.
- A good fitting bra creates a new confidence.
- It accentuates your shape – by lifting the breasts up properly and giving them support.
- It highlights your waist.
- It improves your posture.
- It alleviates back pain.
- It makes you look slimmer by giving you a better body silhouette.
So now that I’ve drummed the importance into you about having a proper bra-fitting and knowing how important it is – what should you have in your lingerie wardrobe to start you off on the road to ‘happy-bra-wearing’?
- Everyone should have as a MINIMUM three everyday bras (nude, black or white – whatever neutral colour works best for you and your wardrobe) – one in the wash, one in the drawer and one on you.
- You should also own AT LEAST one strapless bra – again it’s important to get the fit right on this one coz it’s a bra that needs to give extra support.
- A good quality sports bra that washes well and more importantly fits well for that vital support while exercising.
- Also nice to have a ‘pop-of-colour’ bra to wear under certain outfits.
Again this is just the minimum and basics – once you have these, it’s easy to expand your lingerie wardrobe knowing your correct size, your preferred style and investing in good quality brands that stand the test of time.
As I mentioned above the importance of having a good-fitting and good quality sports bra in your wardrobe – this too applies to nursing bras. Think about it – exercising and nursing are times when our breast’s are under extra strain – be good to them and ensure they are being properly supported! TKD also has a fab range of nursing/maternity and sports bra’s in stock if you’re after the same – take a look here and here.
FYI…..TKD are having a party next Wednesday the 28th of February 2018 at their store in Jumeirah Town Centre to celebrate their sixth birthday. See below for all the details – but if you’ve been thinking of getting a proper bra-fitting done, why not kill two birds with the one stone, avail of all the little extras on the day like the mini-pampering, nibbles, free play for the kids and goody bags and have your fitting done at the same time – SCORE!!
To conclude, I actually feel so much better now that I’ve started to build my ‘correct’ lingerie wardrobe and one which I know complements what I’m wearing as my body shape and posture now stands corrected because of that proper bra-fitting. Anyone who has gone on a mission to lose that extra stubborn weight or after having kids – and want’s to go shopping for a brand new wardrobe – one word of advice – GO HAVE A PROPER BRA FITTING!! It’s the first thing you should do. It will pull your shape in and your ‘new’ clothes will look sooooo much better on – TRUST ME.
I’ll leave you with Brigit’s biggest tip when it comes to lingerie – “you must always feel comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing” and remember………..