I hate bra shopping, but I’ve been twice this month. I know the statistics: 70% of women are wearing the wrong size bra. But I was sure I had the know-how to not end up being one of them. Oh, how the mighty fall!
Here’s my tale of two shopping trips. Today, I’ll tell you about the trip where I screwed it all up and wasted money (ouch) and time (extra ouch!) on bras that don’t fit. Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the shopping trip where I got it right.
I strolled into Macy’s intimate apparel department at about noon on a Wednesday, and the first thing I noticed was the giant signs advertising The Big Sale. Hurray for sales! No wonder it was so busy for a weekday. My bra size has been all over the map this past year (can you say, pregnancy?) so I set out to track down a fit specialist.
I soon found the lone employee on the sales floor, but she didn’t look old enough to be a fit specialist. In my experience, the best fit specialists are grandmotherly. My next best bet is someone my mom’s age. But this woman was my age. I might as well go to Victoria’s Secret and take my chances with one of their tape-measure-wielding teens who’s only guessing at my size. At least there they have 49 colors and $12.99 sale bras. But I set my stereotypes aside and asked her to measure me.
I joined the informal queue clustered around her and waited my turn. She measured me there in the aisle, gave me a band/cup size that made me cringe, and said, “For a size that small,” (Oh, no she didn’t!) “you want to stick to Maidenform. They make great bras for the smallest cup sizes.” And then, she bustled off to help the next customer with shapewear.
There I was, insulted and on my own to navigate a dozen racks of Maidenform bras. I duly collected one in each and every style–even the push-ups–and headed off towards the dressing room. I thought about asking for help–or at least moral support–but there were no employees to be found. I reassured myself that I’d done this dozens of times, and I could figure out the fit.
I locked myself in one of the closets and started the tedious trying-on process. Fifteen minutes later, I had two winners. I couldn’t tell if I’d found the perfect fit or not, but they seemed pretty darn close to me (and fit a lot better than the bra I’d arrived wearing).
I bought one of each, and left feeling like I’d accomplished something. As someone who hates lingerie shopping, I was relieved that for 90 minutes and $22 each, I could cross that awful chore off my list for at least a few months.
I wore my new bras for a week before I finally could admit it to myself: they don’t fit.
Where did I go wrong? Did you spot my mistakes? Do you hate bra shopping as much as I do? How old has your best fit specialist been?