A bra fitting is something most women try to avoid, but in the article Sharon wrote about her experience at Undercover Secrets Lingerie, it helps you to see that it is not as traumatic as you may remember. In fact, there are many benefits gained by having a bra fitted.
This article was published in "The Weekender" in October 2008, we hope you enjoy reading about her experience, and that it motivates you to come and see us for your next bra fitting. We are sure you will find it an 'uplifting' experience.
'Breast Support Act'
Sharon Stephenson tells you all you need to know up front.
I can clearly remember my first bra. I was 13 and it was plain, white and completely the wrong size.
This pretty much set the tone for my undergarment future. I’ve never been professionally fitted
for a bra and, for the past few decades, have corralled the ‘girls’ into any old piece of fabric I can get my hands on.
Not surprisingly, buying a bra sits somewhere between having a melanoma removed and deciphering my mobile phone tariff on my Fun Things To Do List.
It would seem I’m not alone. According to the experts, between 80 and 90 percent of Kiwi women are wearing the wrong size bra which, aside from creating such major fashion crimes as the four or six-boob effect, can also lead to neck, back and shoulder pain.
And let’s not forget the damage an incorrectly fitted bra can do to the ligaments that hold your breasts in place – once those ligaments are gone, they’re gone, and no amount of exercise will ever bring them back. Which could be why my breasts are so keen to introduce themselves to my knees.
But then Christine Vendt came into my life and things changed for the better. The guardian angel of bras, Christine has owned Undercover Secrets Lingerie on the Kapiti Coast for over 20 years and has never seen a mammary she couldn’t tame. “The right bra can not only change you look, it can also change how you feel about yourself. I see women walk out of here totally transformed.”
Like the customer who came in yesterday to request some control-top knickers. “I said, hold on, let’s get you a bra that fits properly, which immediately lifted and separated her breasts and gave her a defined waist. She didn’t need the pants after that.”
The former sales rep is well known for being able to guess your bra size just by eye-balling you – expertise that around 3000 women make the pilgrimage from Wellington every year to avail themselves of.
But it’s not just a matter of fit – getting the right bra also comes down to what you’ll be doing in it. My needs are simple: I want something comfortable that I won’t have to spend all day readjusting, nothing too girly (lace makes me itch) and as minimalist as possible, which automatically counts out some of the scarier industrial scaffolding-type numbers. As an active woman, I also need a bra that lets me jog down the street without exciting builders, or threatening to suffocate me during yoga class.
Christine gets me to whip off my sweater and has the good grace not to wrinkle her nose in distaste at my bra. “I see all sorts of body shapes, sizes and bras in this job, but I’m here to help, not judge.”
I relax my arms by my side as she slides the measuring tape under my bust, which gives her the band size. She then appears with an armload of what she proclaims to be the best bras in the world – Fantasie, an English brand endorsed by Trinny, Susannah and Gok.
I lean forward and ‘drop’ my breasts into the first bra – “this lets gravity put you where you need to go” – and Christine does up the hook on the first eye. This, it would seem, is as much a fitting as an economic tip.
“You can fasten the bra on the second or third eye when the bra stretches, but this way it’ll last you longer.”
I stand up and am immediately transfixed by how much uplift the sexy black number has given me. I feel lighter and instantly my posture improves. I’m no longer slouching, my bust feels properly supported and, under my sweater, I’m just the right side of perky.
Which is probably because I’m now wearing the right size – 8C, whereas previously I’d gone through life as a 10B.
I spend an hour trying on all manner of bras. But it’s the first one I keep coming back to. It’s a little pricier than the rest, but there’s a reason the holy trinity of British makeover artists loves the Fantasie brand and that’s because it does what it says on the packaging: it lifts, separates and enhances womanly curves in all the right places.
I immediately buy it – and a sports bra with such a hold my breasts wouldn’t notice a scale eight earthquake – and leave in better shape than I’ve ever been in my life.