Okay, let’s back up a bit.
After reading through some reader emails and Bratabase fit requests, I think we need to talk about what happens after you get your new bra measurements, along with an idea of what type of bra you want.
Adjust your expectations. Your first shopping experience will probably be a complete bust (pardon the pun). I’m not trying to deflate your balloon of boobie joy; however, I’m trying to inject a bit of realistic expectation. You’re about to put something on your body that you probably haven’t experienced before – a bra close to the right size. It will probably feel different from your old bra – perhaps a tighter band, bigger cups, and your boobs will probably be remolded into deeper appendages that change the fit of your clothes – in fact, you may instantly outgrow your shirt!
You may feel completely uncomfortable with how the new bras look and feel. This is normal. You may also wonder how you are supposed to know if the silly things really fit. If you’re at a retail store you won’t have your computer in front of you to read fit tips, and you can’t post to your favorite bra fit group and get answers before you leave the store, right? The salesperson at the lingerie store may or may not be helpful, and you’ll probably be questioning her motives until you’re more comfortable shopping for your new size.
If you’re at home and trying on a bra you purchased through an online retailer, the experience can be gentler because you have time to think about the bra, take pictures, post them, and wait for responses. Still, you may be second guessing yourself, questioning your sanity about the entire experience – wondering if you’ll ever get used to this new “properly sized bra thing”.
Your first bra in your “new right size” probably won’t be your best fit. Odds are, you’re getting desperate for a bra and wonder how long you can keep trying on poorly fitting bras before you find that “perfect bra”. Well, it’s okay to compromise. Does the bra feel comfortable? Does it (mostly) do what you wanted it to do? Is it a better fit than your old bra, according to all the fit advice you’ve received? Is it within your budget? If so, buy it. Wear it. Take photos and notes. Record what you like and dislike about the bra and start perusing stores and online retailers for the next one.
Breathe. Maybe this should be Two?
Don’t be afraid to reassess. Did you try on balcony styles because you read they’ll give you the best support (and don’t we all want that?), only to find none of the gores tack? Don’t be afraid to go back to the beginning when it comes to assessing breast fullness, shape, width, placement, etc. If you try on twelve bras in the same basic style and all of them are poor fits, figure out why. Try on twelve bras that are completely different and see what happens.
Start planning your next shopping experience. Did you find yourself wishing for something during the frenzy? Water, a pen and paper, camera, or a glass of wine? Write all of that down in your bra fit notebook or in the Notes on your smart phone. Make lists of bras your want to try. Categorize them, label them, and make good/bad lists like they’re some idiot you can’t decide to dump or not.
Lingerie shopping will get easier. It can be disconcerting to feel out of your comfort zone over something made of satin and lace. Remember, you’re quite likely dealing with more than just finding a piece of underwear – you may be changing how you view your body. And if you wear a difficult to locate size, you may feel inconvenienced by driving long distances to find bras, or being forced into shopping online.