Sunday, July 12, 2009

Trash the Tape Measure!

So many women enter A La Folie convinced they’re one size, when they’re clearly quite another! With all due respect, mes belles, we do know what we’re doing!

Please don’t ask us to pull out the tape measure. We work without one for the simple reason that too often, traditional measuring methods don't accurately determine size. I’m the perfect example. Measure me and I should be a 36G. But what size do I actually wear? A 34F. That’s quite a leap – not only am I smaller in band size than my supposed “real size”, but I’m also smaller in the cup. We’re sure we don’t have to tell you that wearing the wrong bra size can be a painful experience, which is why we’re here to help.

Fitting bras and bustiers isn't nearly
as painful as it once was!

Nafissa has trained us in the fine art of spotting a woman’s size just by looking at her. We know everyone’s told you this a billion times, but chances are, unless you’ve been fitted recently, you’re likely wearing the wrong bra size. Don’t panic. It’s ok. It happens. Fluctuating in size each month is just part of the pleasure of being a woman. Some women can jump or drop as much as a cup size over the course of their cycle. That’s why it’s so important to get a good bra that really, truly fits you so you’re not constantly battling it out against your chest as you change sizes.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve had my own star-crossed relationships with pretty, yet badly-fitting bras in the past, but I’ve walked away a stronger woman, and I’m going to share with you a few signs (based on my own experience) that you’re wearing the wrong bra:
  1. Muffin tops. You know exactly what I’m talking about. If your breast(s) balloon even slightly above the cup of your bra, chances are you’re wearing the wrong cup size. If you’re not quite sure if that barely-there bump is a muffin top or not, submit yourself to the tee-shirt test. Put a white tee shirt on over your bra, jump around a little, then look in the mirror. If you can see the line where your cup ends and your breast begins, it’s time to get re-fitted.
  2. Popover sides. This phenomenon happens when your breasts peek out over the band of your bra, past the straps. There are two reasons why you’d get the “side peek”. Firstly, you could be wearing a cup size that is too small for you. Secondly, you may just need a bra that offers an overall differently shaped cup. Some bras have cups that are closer together, and that’s often the culprit when size isn’t to blame.
  3. Sagging swag. If you can grab your bra’s cup material just below the strap and get more than an inch’s pinch, you might be wearing a cup that’s too big for you. Before you head out to buy a new bra, try tightening the straps. If that doesn’t fix the problem, consider getting re-fitted.
  4. Under-cleavage. Ouch! If your breast tissue is poking out from underneath your underwire, but the rest of your breast still adequately fits the bra, you need to promptly remove your bra-turned-torture device and go up at least one cup size in the style you’re wearing.
  5. Hiking band. Put your bra on, move around a bit, then look at yourself from the side in the mirror. Your band should be absolutely, positively horizontal, meaning absolutely, positively parallel to the floor. If it’s hiking up in the back, guess what? Your band has either stretched out over time or it’s simply too big for you. Try going down a band size.
  6. Shoulder dents. Your bra should not feel like an over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder. Red welts or dents in your shoulders often have very little to do with the shoulder straps themselves. They suggest an overall poor fit or construction. Big-busted gals should aim for bras with wide shoulder straps to avert this issue. Bra strap width aside, I’m always inclined to check and make sure the band is tight enough. Hypothetically, the band of your bra should be doing all the work (read: tight enough to hold up your breasts sans straps). Straps and cups are more for shaping than anything else. You should be able to slide your fingers behind the bra’s band at your spine and pull outward only one inch without discomfort. If you can pull back more than that, wear your bra using a tighter hook, or buy a bra with a smaller band size.
We encourage you to check all your bras for these issues. Your arsenal should be in tip-top shape, with phenomenal fit. If you’re still unsure about your size, we’re always around, ready to eye you up and put you in a fantastic bra that you’ll love for a long long time.

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