Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Apples and Oranges

One of the first things you learn as a new TE “bra specialist” is how to fit a bra.  Did you know that about 90% of women wear the wrong bra size?  YES, IT’S TRUE, and odds are that you’re one of them.  Here are some telltale signs:  your bra is moving, pulling, itching, irritating, puckering, or straining.  Perhaps it is too loose, too tight, too droopy, too floppy, too low, too high, or too pointy?   Your straps keep falling off, or they dig into your shoulders, the wires poke you, the band squishes out your back fat, your boobs look like rockets, or your nipples just keep popping right out of the cups! Or, maybe it’s fitting properly, but it’s too sheer, not sheer enough, too padded, too lacy, too boring?  Time for some new brassieres, my dears! 

Now, although all TE stores claim that their associates are trained to give accurate fittings, it is my experience that most of them, most of the time, don’t know what the hell they’re doing.  So, I’ve decided to dedicate the next couple of blog postings to teaching you how to properly fit yourself and your friends for a bra.  Think sleepovers and pillow fights.  Okay that was for the men-folk reading this.

Step One:
Determining Your Band Size

It is important to keep the overall goal in mind:  you want your band to fit comfortably around your ribcage, parallel all the way around, usually set to the middle clasp to start.  It should not ride up at all, and you should be able to comfortably insert two fingers between your ribcage and the band. 

Wearing your existing bra, have a friend measure around your ribcage directly beneath your underarms but above your breasts (stand up straight and relax your arms).  This number (to the closest full inch) is your band size.  Band sizes typically begin at 32 and increase by two’s up to 42 or even larger at some stores.  If you measured an odd number, you are in-between sizes and should try on both the larger and the smaller band size to see which one fits best.  Read on to determine the cup size because you may need to adjust the cup in order to get the band to fit correctly, or vice versa.

Step Two:
Determining Your Cup Size

Generally speaking, your cup should fit snugly over your breasts without either gaping or bulging when you stand up straight.  The wires should extend from the center of your cleavage to the outer edge of your breasts without cutting into the fleshy part of them.  Also, the wire should be all the way under the breasts, touching your ribs.  You may need to scoop the girls up inside the bra after getting it on, or (my preference) bend over, and grabbing the wire, shake it back and forth a few times to get those suckers all the way in.  * If your breasts are pushing the wire away from your skin underneath, either the cup is too small for you or the band is too big, or a combination of both. 

There are several ways of determining your cup size.  One way is to put the end of your tape measure on your nipple then measure from the nipple around to the side of the breast where the fatty tissue ends and your ribs begin (although for some of us this may be uncertain territory – ha!).  Subtract one from that number.  The final number corresponds to the cup size:  1”=A, 2”=B, 3”=C, 4”=D, and so on.

Another way to determine your cup size is to measure around your ribcage just below your breasts (Rib measurement), pulling the tape measure snugly (but not too snugly) and keeping it straight.  Next measure around the fullest part of your breasts (Bust measurement), again, not too tightly and making sure the tape measure is straight and not dipping down in the back.  Now take the Rib measurement and subtract it from the Bust measurement.  Next subtract 2 from this number and the answer is your cup size:  1”=A, 2”=B, 3”=C, 4”=D.  It may be a good idea to try both methods of measuring and see if your answers match.  

If worse comes to worse, you could just compare your breasts to various types of fruit, like your husbands and boyfriends do when they go lingerie shopping for you.  In this case, A = a plum or any type of produce smaller than that, B = an apple, C = an orange, D = grapefruit, DD = small watermelon and so on. 

Ladies:  Your project for tonight:  Go home, measure yourself, and see if you are wearing the correct bra size.  I'll give you a post or so to get it down and then complicate if further for you so we can really get you the perfect fit!

Keep reading, it will get sexy eventually!

Men-folk:  Pass this blog along to all the women in your life, and hang in there because the next blog is going to be a Tale from the Frontline - something which you might find more suited to your reading tastes.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Note From the Author

I decided to write this book (now a blog) years ago, when I still worked for a well-known lingerie company (let’s call them Tiffany's Epiphany - TE for short).  I worked at various locations and at various levels of responsibility within the company for over ten years.   The idea came to me one afternoon when, over lunch with a friend, I was called upon to recall the “weirdest” experience I had encountered while working for the company.  When I actually thought about it, there were so many weird experiences that I had trouble choosing just one, and so I ended up launching into an hour-long tale of my adventures at TE.  My listener’s response:  "Wow, you should write a book".

I had initially planned on writing in a simple exposé-type style, documenting all the crazy people I met and weird experiences I had while working at TE.  Then I got to thinking about women – specifically women shopping for bras.  In all my years working at TE, the one thing that was always consistent was the overwhelming number of women shoppers who were completely clueless about bras.  It was truly amazing how little most women knew about a product that they wore next to their skin every single day! There also didn’t seem to be much information out there that would help remedy the situation, so I figured, why not also include a girl’s guide to lingerie – I would cover all the bases, from the scandalous to the disgusting to the… well, sensible.  I hope that you find this blog both entertaining and informative; writing it has certainly left me with a little hope that all my years of suffering may not have been in vain.