I could tell that my bras weren't doing me any favors by the way I looked in my clothes. My shape wasn't as defined as it could be. And I just felt a little...off. So I've made two trips to Lane Bryant over the past few months in order to buy new bras. And every time, I came out of the store empty handed.
My experience went a little like this:
- Breeze into the Cacique department, smile and nicely refuse help from a Sales Associate.
- Please. I know what I'm doing here.
- Confidently grab the first bra in front of me.
- Start to feel unsure of myself.
- Do I need a Balconette? Plunge? Full coverage?
- Go into dressing room and try on bras.
- Start to feel warm. Hair begins to frizz.
- Examine myself from every angle.
- Are my breasts in the right spot? Is that how they're supposed to look? Why are the straps so short? Why are they so long? What length should they be?
- Break out into full-on sweat
- Hastily put on my own (poorly fitting) bra and exit the store. Empty handed.
Diana Healms is one of the store managers, and she spent time guiding me through a bra fitting and all the different bra types within the Cacique line.
Diana and I got to know each other pretty well over the course of my shopping experience, since I stood around in my underwear and boots while she checked the fit for each bra that I tried on. I usually have to know someone for longer than 20 minutes before I'll take my pants off, but Diana made me feel so comfortable. (She's a pro at maintaining eye contact!)
After what felt like a transformative bra fit experience, Diana kindly pointed out that this is something she and her team do every single day. What feels like a big deal to me and lots of other women is, in fact, simply their jobs. Which made me realize...why the heck had I made such a big deal out of bra shopping? If I'd just asked for help from the get-go, I could have been strutting around in bras that fit and feel great several months ago. Lesson learned.
Diana's Top Bra Fit Tips:
- Bras last about 12 months- unless you have a collection of 10 or more and aren't wearing the same 5 bras every single day.
- Not every style will fit you in the size that you're measured. Just like I have to size up in skinny jeans, I might have size up in a skimpier bra.
- If you size up in band size, you will probably need to size up in cup size, too.
- Oftentimes if a bra is not fitting, the cup size is the problem - not the band size.
- If your straps are falling down, try a bra style with convertible straps- you can criss- cross them in the back.
- If your straps dig into your shoulders, have your band re-sized to ensure it's as supportive as it should be. Or, place a bra pad under the straps for more support.
- Try a bra without underwire for lounging around at home. It's like a pajama bra! (I tried it and can vouch for this one...so comfortable!)
- Ask for help. Be honest with your sales associate - tell her what you like and don't like. Bras are not supposed to be uncomfortable.