A Way Out of the Full Bust Bra Fitting Desert with My Bra Concierge

When I fit a customer into my shirts in person, I often take along a set of bras in a range of sizes. That way, when I measure a woman with a 31″ waist and a 40″ bust who is wearing a 36DD bra like the woman below, I can show her how a better-fitting bra makes a better-fitting shirt. In this case, a 32G bra did the trick.

bra difference before after

It’s another story when a woman emails her measurements and bra size to me before placing an order online. Then I have to remind myself that they came to buy a shirt, not a bra. However, when Sharon (not her real name) from Wisconsin told me she had the same measurements as the woman above and that she wore a 38D bra, I couldn’t help myself.

“Are you happy with your 38D bra?” I asked.

“I struggle with bras, but I have spent a fortune on them,” she answered.

I knew of a great lingerie store an hour away from her, but a quick check on Yelp showed complaints that the store was now cutting the size tags out of its bras! There was no way I could send her there. I also didn’t feel comfortable fitting her by email and giving her a shopping list at Bare Necessities.

Instead, I remembered My Bra Concierge (which purchases advertising space on this blog). When I met Jenn Baker and Velaire Elliot in April, they told me that they had also grown up in small towns with limited bra shopping options, so I knew my customer who lived hours away from a reputable bra fitter would have a special place in their hearts.

Regardless of their hearts, however, I couldn’t recommend My Bra Concierge without trying it first, and since my last fitting was for Ewa Michalak, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to find my current fit in the mainstream busty brands. Armed with the discount code you see in their ad, I began their TruFit Survey.

[Read more…]

Mission Accomplished: I Tried Corin at Bra Spectrum

It’s been six years since I first wrote about Polish brand Corin, and two weeks ago I finally got to try their bras–one of the perks of having a pop up shop for my big bust button-downs in an amazing lingerie store. (At my next pop up shop, I’ll finally get to try Ewa Michalek at the only brick and mortar store on the East Coast that carries them!)

Before I go into detail about the bras, here’s what I like about Bra Spectrum:

  • ALL the styles and sizes are out on the floor. This meant that I could browse to my heart’s content.
  • During each fitting, they make sure to give “scoop & swoop” instructions.
  • Owner Tatyana and store manager Kristin will run back and forth to bring whatever you request. I had created a pile of bra rejects by the time I was through, but Kristin never showed impatience or tuned out of the process, and I watched them cater to everyone the same way.
  • Ultimately they defer to what a customer wants rather than being militant about fit. This explains their giant selection for women who hate underwires, but more on that later!

I was especially excited to have a fitting because I’ve gained 10 pounds and don’t fit my 32F/FF bras anymore. Kristin began by measuring 79 cm beneath my bust and 103 cm around my bust and started with a 36F. A lot of fitters do this with me, so I let the process take its course, and eventually we found that most of the Corin bras that worked on me were around a 34F/FF . . . or a 75H if you want the Polish size. For the record, I’ve just measured myself ahead of writing this post, and I measure 33.5″ beneath my bust and 41.5″ around my bust, so a 34F/FF sounds about right.

Corin Semi-Soft Bras

I tried two semi-soft Corins in 75H, beginning with the Rosa, which I loved until I tried the Jacqueline, which I loved even more.

rosa flat final

 

jacqueline flat final

Maybe it’s my imagination, but I felt more contained, lifted and slimmed in the Jacqueline.

Corin Semi Soft Profile Collage

Corin Semi Soft Front Collage

Here’s a comparison of the two bra diagrams from the Corin lookbook. Can the angle of the seams down the front of each cup make such a difference?

[Read more…]

Book Review: The Bra Zone

I recently finished another book that Hourglassy readers will be interested in: The Bra Zone by Elizabeth Dale of The Breast Life. More than a how-to-fit instructional, this book promises to delve into all the different styles and shopping experiences that could work for a woman–hence the “zone”–and I was excited to receive a review copy.

Even though I was already familiar with most of the content, I love having all of this information in one place. It’s become a handy reference book for me.

Other than a personal reference book, would I recommend this book to a less knowledgeable friend who needs a well-fitting bra? My answer is yes–if it’s a friend who learns best by reading and I could highlight the points most relevant to her ahead of time. The book is only 142 pages with appendices, but Elizabeth covers enough scenarios in it to make it applicable to a variety of friends with a combination of different issues. It originated from the kind of conversations that you and I have all the time: “During conversations with fellow bra wearers, I suddenly realized that despite years of bra wearing, no one felt confident about their own bra shopping skills. Everyone knew what they liked, but no one seemed to know quite how to find it.”

Here are the things I especially like about this book: [Read more…]

A Happy (Big Bust Bra Fitting) Ending at Empreinte

It’s my dream–and I’m sure it’s yours–that if a brand makes bras in my size, to be able to walk into a store and try EVERY style available in my size. Since this didn’t happen for me earlier in my week in Paris, I squeezed in a visit to Empreinte¬†an hour before it closed the evening before we left. Dream accomplished.

empreinte purchase

Despite the late hour, my fitter Céliane was incredibly thorough. She answered all my questions and accommodated my every preference. After confirming my size, she wheeled a rack into my dressing room that held every bra that Empreinte makes in 32F.
[Read more…]