Winona Ryder looks a lot like my niece here.

Today is the two-week anniversary of my 22-year-old niece moving in with us. Because of dual enrollment, she completed her college degree at the end of 2010 and then taught English in South Korea for the 2011-2012 school year. This past fall, she walked 500 miles of the Camino de Santiago, lived for a month with a family in Spain, and spent some time in Switzerland. Now she needs to earn money so that she can travel some more. I suggested she look for a job in New York City, where all car-less world travelers belong. She thought that was a great idea, and here she is.

Before she left for Korea, I took her to a bra fitting in Ocala, Florida, and hoped for the best. When she arrived in New York, I resisted talking about her bras for a few days, but I couldn’t suppress a few surreptitious glances to check her fit. FINALLY the subject came up! She was wearing the Rhonda Shear bra that she’d purchased in Ocala. What a disaster–way too loose and way too much room in the base of the cups. Unlike the Rhonda Shear bra I reviewed last September, this one had hooks in back, but it was fastened on the tightest hooks. Thankfully, she told me that she rarely wore it out of the house.

Instead, she wore some really cute bras that she’d found in Korea. The cups don’t contain all of her side breast tissue, but at least the bands are super snug. Although my niece wasn’t wearing perfectly fitting bras, she had figured out that tight bands gave her more support.

Curious about her size, I took her measurements: 27″ underbust and 34″ apex. She’d lost an inch from her underbust while overseas! Then I pulled out two balconettes I’d been saving for her, leftover from the Busty Clothing Swap: a 30G Parfait by Affinitas and a 28H Bravissimo. The cups in the Parfait wrinkled at the seams, but the Bravissimo was gorgeous on her. I can’t wait to take her for an “official” fitting at a boutique in New York soon (once she’s saved more money)!

Understanding my best bra fit has been an evolutionary process–I pick up a few tips here, discard a few bad habits there–so I was pleased to see the same thing happening for my niece. I hope this encourages you in your own efforts to help others discover the joy of a great-fitting bra. The people we try to help may not be able to take in everything at once, but if they’re taking in anything we share with them, it can make a difference.

It turns out my niece is also willing to share her overseas bra and boob experiences with us in a series she’s creatively titled “Abreast Abroad”! I hope you enjoy her first post as much as I did. For now, she’s chosen the pen name “Lelaina” [Now changed to Shana to avoid confusion with fellow columnist Leila], from the job-searching character played by Winona Ryder in the 1994 movie, Reality Bites.