image of fitting kit
What would do with it when you’re done???

I suppose it is possible that there are women out there who walk into the lingerie section of a store and easily find a bra. Or several bras.

I am not one of those people. In fact, I am a bit bra-lore illiterate. For me, bra shopping usually goes like this:

I walk approach lingerie section of unnamed large department store. I see what appears to be veritable sea of bras in all sizes, shapes and colors. I approach salesperson who either gives me dubious look or eager look (which eventually turns to dubious). I get measured and assessed. it is not fun. Salesperson begins to forage for my size and preference. Out of sea of bras we find three that might work for me. After painful period of trying/discarding, we finally find one bra that meets my comfort/color/fit expectations. Mostly. I ask for more than one.

“Oh, sorry,” I’m told by salesperson. “That is only one, but I am sure you can order it online.”

Only I can’t. It has been discontinued. Or is sold out. Indefinitely. In fact, I never see that particular bra again. Anywhere. Ever. Except endlessly in my wash.

So I soldier on, keeping new bra (and older bras) on life support in hopes of keeping them on the job until I can summon up courage to go through that again. So when I got a mailing from Jockey Bra, I didn’t throw it away, even though it had skinny girls with pert, well-positioned boobs on the cover.

I opened it. Cautiously, but a bit hopefully.

It had me at “you can do this at home.”

That’s right, they send you a “fitting” kit (pictured above), with clear concise instructions on how to self-fit. Just me and my girls. No middle sales person assessing my assets (and finding them unduly influenced by gravity). Nothing personal, but if I can eliminate the middle-salesperson from my bra purchases, I’m willing to receive a package clearly identified as boob fitting kit through the mail.

I was excited to try this and did some mail watching, grabbed it when it arrived, and headed in for the fitting. I read the instructions. I examined the parts of the kit. I read the instructions again, then began my experiment in self-fitting.

I was a bit skeptical of the results, but they did promise a unique fit, so I had faith and ordered two bras (because I didn’t have THAT much faith). I did it knowing that if my fit worked I could order MORE.

My bras arrived in a very large box for two bras. That was my first intimation that I might have flunked fitting. I opened the box and studied one of the bras. And realized there were a few things missing from the simple instructions. Well, maybe just one thing.

There is a difference between “spillage” and “sag-age.” (If you don’t know what I mean, you will some day. Cuz Life Happens. And so does gravity.)

So I had to call their help line and admit that not only had I failed in this adventure in fitting, I’d failed badly. Miserably. Possibly epically. She suggested a re-fit. Then I had to admit I’d tossed the kit. Because what does one do with all those boob cups? They really aren’t suitable for anything but cupping boobs. Yes, my actions lacked aforethought, but so did my attempt at fitting.

Like I said. #Fail.

She very nicely sent me a new kit and offered some, um, parameters for which part of the kit I should focus on during my next fitting.

At least the “salesperson” wasn’t in a hot fitting room with me. And she didn’t see my face or my boobs. Now I’m once more awaiting delivery of round two in the Great Bra Fitting Adventure. But I give Jockey Bra high marks for a) kindness and b) actually having more than one of the bras I want.

UPDATE: The bras arrived and Houston, I think we have a fit! Comfortable. The girls are up where they are supposed to be (had to remember where that was) and no spillage (though the sag-age will always be with me). Score!

So how do things go for you in that fitting room? Have you had an epic fitting fail that you’re now willing to talk about? Please share, because I don’t want to be lame by myself. And I enter all comments into my monthly drawing for an AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value) of awesome with no embarrassing anything. A winner will be announced the first blog post of the new month.

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Perilously yours,

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The Great (Actually Really Sad) Bra Fitting Adventure
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14 thoughts on “The Great (Actually Really Sad) Bra Fitting Adventure

  • August 5, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Lol Pauline! I am a large busted woman and as much as I hate it – I do have myself measured professionally once a year at a local bra shop that specializes in regular and specialty bras. Then when I have the chest and bra size – I usually go out into the store and buy one or two of their bras (they are pretty expensive) and then I will go to a local department store and get some more. While they may not always have the color or style that I lurve (you know the ones on the skinny as hell mannequin), they do usually have a couple of the bras that I like. I try to keep at least 6-7 bras in my rotation – but I’ll admit that when I like a style – I tend to buy all the ones in my size so I might have 10 or 12 from this years spree

    • August 6, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      It really wasn’t a case of not liking the styles, so much as there not being anything there. Seriously. LOL I look out on those seas of bras and it’s kind of interesting when you start diving in and looking. There are apparently a lot of sizes that fit NO woman. LOLOL I’m hoping to get my level up to yours. Trying the two new ones. So far, I like. 🙂

  • August 4, 2014 at 9:54 am

    This cracked me up! Primarily because bra fitting doesn’t work for me either. Victoria’s Secret insists I’m a 32B but if I try on a B cup my boobs are outta there. Falling out. I’ve used the calculators on line and they keep insisting B cup. DOESN’T WORK. Thirty-four around the band is actually too big according to the measurements and yet if I get a 32C the C cups fit like B and are too small because of the way the tighter band makes the cups fit. It’s CRAZYYYYY. So I feel your fitting pain.

    • August 4, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      At least they looked at you! I went into VS with my daughter and such a look as I got! I wanted to say, wait until you’re my age… but of course, we don’t believe aging will happen to us until it does. O.O

  • August 4, 2014 at 9:45 am

    I gave up on fitted bras years ago. When nursing my kids, my cup size varied by as much as two letters, in one sitting. That’s when I stumbled across these lovely sports bras. They’re stretchy and designed to accommodate a range of boobs. Except when you’re at the upper end of their range. And when you aren’t as perky as their models. But after much searching, I found some sports bras that a) have longer shoulder straps to help with lower hanging fruit, b) come in white which is my preferred underwear color, c) aren’t “pull-over-your-head-like-a-contortionist” but have actually hooks in the back, d) actually give me some support without jabbing me with wires, and e) are available at Wal-Mart and don’t cost a fortune.

    I’ve never had the courage to go through a fitting with a real person.

    • August 4, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      It is a tough gig having someone fit you, that is for sure! I did try Walmart once. It went very badly (don’t get me started on humiliation of returning a nursing bra because I didn’t notice….) yeah, had more bra fails and successes. LOL

  • August 4, 2014 at 8:47 am

    This is me with one piece bathing suits. My bottom half is small, my top half is proportionately large (not the girls, though, just my ribs and shoulders), and my torso is extra long relative to my stubby legs. And thanks to clothing manufacturer’s liberal interpretation of sizing, that could mean anything from a size 4 to a 10.

    Thanks goodness for mix and match bikinis!
    L. E. Carmichael recently posted…So The Thing About Bats Is…My Profile

    • August 4, 2014 at 12:32 pm

      Oh don’t get me started on swimsuits, which seem to multiply the problems of sagging and spilling, because there is hiding either under more clothes!! My sister uses board shorts now and yeah, have to split my bottoms from my tops. Apparently they aren’t “speaking” the same size. LOL

  • August 4, 2014 at 6:54 am

    okay well not EXACTLY that experience – I didn’t get as far as the self-fitting thingy but I’d be interested in having a go!
    Carrie Bean recently posted…Writing Through GriefMy Profile

    • August 4, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      it was totally the self fitting thing that grabbed my attention. And Jockey has been really helpful, though it was so embarrassing to have to call and admit how badly I goofed the first time. LOL I look forward to assessing my skills in the second round. LOL

  • August 4, 2014 at 6:50 am

    I’ve had exactly this experience this week, and my daughter and I wailed together ‘can no one make me a pretty bra which supports, can be washed without falling apart and still comes at an affordable price?’ The answer – NO!
    Carrie Bean recently posted…Writing Through GriefMy Profile

    • August 4, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      I have begun to treat my few, well-fitting bras like queens of the laundry, but they still end up looking a bit ratty. And yeah, so hard to find enough that fit and don’t cost price of a small country!

      • August 5, 2014 at 10:43 pm

        Oh…and I hate to say it…but the washing machine kills…yes kills…your bras….you really need to hand wash them…sigh…I do and it kinda sucks but it saves the bras!

        • August 6, 2014 at 2:45 pm

          Yeah, I use lingerie bags and gentlest, shortest cycle. We’ll see how the Jockey bras hold up over time. Will try to treat them gently. LOL

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