In any business there are some who are better at their job than others. But how do you know you've put your boobs in the right hands (or tape measurer) when it comes to proper bra fit? Given all the different styles and brands on the market, it's hard to know who to trust.
You could turn to the person who works with lingerie retailers and manufacturers to train employees on how to be the best in the bra fitting business.
Do good bra fitters all measure you in the same way (with bra on or off, taking overbust and underbust measurements, or some other way)?
Quality #1: The one thing you can say for sure about the rules of fitting is that there are no rules. Not all fitters use a measuring tape at all. Not all fitters who use a tape use it the same way. Whether a fitter uses or doesn't use a measuring tape says nothing about the quality of the fitting you're about to experience.
Ali Cudby's book
Do good bra fitters ask lots of questions about your bra habits? Do they attempt to “get to know you,” as more than just a sale?
Quality #2: A good fitter should ask questions about your personal preferences because that matters in a fitting. A bra is like clothing - it's a matter of fit and style, and the style element involves a customer's opinion. So, yes, I think asking questions is an important part of a good fitting!
Many different bra styles from which to choose.....
Where do you find a good fitter and is there a way to politely ditch a bad fitter?
Good fitters can be found anywhere - and so can bad fitters. If you don't click with the person fitting you, it's going to be hard to trust their suggestions. Pay attention to your gut instinct and if you're unhappy, simply request someone else.
Quality lingerie costs money - plus it's one of the most intimate items of clothing women buy - so feeling comfortable and boosted by the person fitting you matters!
A good shop should understand that it's a personal decision and respect your desire to work with someone else. Of course, being friendly and polite about it also goes a long way. Fitters work hard to find the best items for your body, and a sincere thank you is always appreciated, even if you work with someone else.
Quality #3: A good fitter listens to the customer. Fitting is both art and science - if it's not comfortable for a woman, she won't ever love the bra or her buying experience. Plus, nobody but the customer can tell a woman how the bra feels on her body.
Quality #4: A good fitter invites the customer to think bigger about the world of lingerie and what it can do for them, without pushing it too far. It's a balance.
Quality #5: A good fitter considers the FIT and not the size.
Quality #6: A good fitter knows that the same rules for fit don't apply equally to all women. The firmness of a band is going to be different for someone who's all skin and bones vs. someone who is naturally "padded" in the ribcage. Fit standards will also differ for someone who is 20 vs. 80. These are all important variables to keep in mind and they all require really understanding a wide variety of women's bodies and preferences.
Any final thoughts, Ali?
I think you can find great - and terrible - fitters everywhere. The least expensive, most cheaply made product in the world can fit some bodies perfectly. At the same time, people have bad fit experiences at the most exclusive boutiques. That's why the world of fitting can be so complicated. It's really a person-to-person experience (and even great fitters have bad days). The best way to get great fittings every time is to understand what fit looks like on your unique body, while being open to trying new things.
What about you? Have you been fitted by a professional? What makes for a good, or bad, bra fitting experience?
Featured image: Panache Porcelain Balcony Bra via Bare Necessities