I know, I know: ladies who have worn bras since puberty are already familiar with bra-shopping. There’s already a plethora of guides to ensure the best fit, and for those willing to fork out the money for it, Third Love wants to reinvent bras to be truly customized and comfortable.
And doubtless everyone’s got their own approach, their own tricks, their own methods to make this hellish task slightly less hellish. By all means, carry on with your favored approach!
I just had a particularly and surprisingly smooth bra-shopping trip, and wanted to share the things that made the day a success. Here are a few tips to keep your sanity and good humor in the fitting room and thereafter!
– Schedule it well.
I mean this in two senses. The obvious sense is to hit the shop when it’s less busy, when you’re not already exhausted, when you aren’t pressed for time.
The less obvious sense was a particular breakthrough for this fat girl. I’d been using Lose It! for about a week when I went shopping. At that particular point in time, I had a week of very modest workouts under my belt and had lost a (comparatively) tiny amount of weight – but I had not yet hit a plateau. My body hadn’t really changed much, but the mental benefits were profound. Going into a fitting room armed with your own self-improvement is like going into battle with sound armor and a sturdy shield. My roommate was amazed that I came home smiling, and this was probably the primary reason for that.
– Eat before you go.
Trying on clothing with an empty stomach and low blood sugar? Such a bad idea. Don’t do it.
– Check your band size at home.
Some shops might be better than others at measurements, but the most comfortable option as far as I’m concerned is to get your own measuring tape and wrap it around. The band size is the measurement directly beneath the breasts; the bust size is measuring the breasts at their widest point. I missed this distinction for years and wondered why I was a 36C (back in the day) when my bust size was closer to 40.
– Check your old bra.
I don’t know about you, but usually I find one bra that works and buy it in several colors. And, typically, the size and cup change, but the brand doesn’t. Vanity Fair continues to work for me (or Warner’s, or whatever); Maidenform and Playtex continue not to.
– Remember your priorities.
Do you need a particular color? Because buying a red bra is not going to help when you really wanted a black bra to go under your black choral gown. Need something sporty? Do you need two, three, or more hooks in back? How wide do the straps need to be to distribute the weight as painlessly as possible?
– Go early.
I already said to go at a time that works for you, which is obviously the most important thing. If you can, though, try to arrange for that time to be earlier rather than later. The earlier the hour, the fewer people around; the nicer the displays; the emptier the fitting rooms. You’ll feel less weird about doing jumping jacks in a sports bra. You’ll have less guilt over how long it takes to put the things back on those weird clippy hangers. You’ll probably feel a bit less awkward.
So there you have it. Good luck and Godspeed!