If you have stopped in to check us out, you probably noticed 2 things... the first being that we are a bra store, with not a lot of bras on the sales floor. Secondly we have probably asked you if you would like a fitting and if you can spare 45 minutes to do it.
You have questions... and I have the answers!
My name is Shonda, and I have been fitting bras at Romantic Notions for a few years, and I have answered these questions many of times. So why does a fitting take 45 minutes? You would think it would be easy, find the size, find the options in that size and off you go! Yeah... if only it was that easy.
Let me take you through a typical fitting...
Kick off your shoes and step into our office. Or change room as it were. We see many grad dresses and bridal gowns in our shop, so we will ask you to remove your shoes going into the fitting room, if there are mobility issues for you let the fitter know and we can accommodate. Then we will eye ball you and most likely touch your back to gage where we need to go for a starting point... while we do this we are going to ask you some odd questions that might feel invasive, such as if you're near your cycle. Simply put a lot of women change shape and size during their cycle. It will make the fitting easier if you are a week or so before or after your menstruations. If you know you tend to puff a bit let us know, so we can find options that will work for you during that time. Its all about the correct bra for you and your life style, we want to make sure you're happy every day. We are probably going to ask you if you spin (gasp) your bra when you put it on! I kid, we do not judge how you like to get into your underwear, and if you do spin we are going to take that into account. If your band is snug and you spin it, you may end up stretching it faster, or twist a wire so we want to make sure you're in a band size that will work for you. All of this takes 5 -10 minutes or so and we haven't even begun.
Next up here comes the starting bra... We all have different favorites when it comes to sizing. Most of us will start in a soft fabric cup to confirm band size and cup size. It may not be what your looking for or you might love it. The first bra is going to tell us a lot of information - where the breast tissue sits, what cup size you're needing, and where the band needs to be. The band is important and this part we will help with, we always connect the band for you during our fittings. (Reasons being that it lets us feel how much room there is, and if we need to adjust. The second reason is spinning the bra can be hard on it, and we want to make sure it does not stretch out or bend a wire for the next client.) We may nail it on the first try, or we may need to make an adjustment and bring out a second size. We are pretty good, so we usually nail it right out of the gate... years of practice and training has paid off! We are probably 15 - 20 minutes into the fitting at this point.
Now here come the options! Once we have your size locked in, we will pull you bras that will work for your size and shape. We are going to ask you what your wanting your bra to do, and then find all the bras that are going to do just that, and since your here and already trying things on we will bring some styles and colors you might not have thought for yourself. However.... if you hate pink... we won't bring it to you. That being said on the occasion we might have a style or shape in a color you don't love. Just ask if there are other colors available and we can check it out and possibly order it in. One thing you will notice as the bra train rolls through is not all the bras are going to be the same size. You may see variations that all seem close, but you may be a 34F in one, a 32G in another brand or a 36D in something different. Bra brands are unique, and not all of them are exact. Some cups are deeper than others, and some bands have more give than others.
This is the most important reason we ask for you to book a fitting, or if you have the time to do one. We can bring all the bras onto the sales floor, and we can let our clients pull some and try them on, but this can lead to frustration. If you think you're in a 36D and only one out of 5 bras in that size is fitting, it gets discouraging. We take the guess work out, and bring you great items that will fit you beautifully. While all this is going on, we will chat and joke and laugh. It will be comfortable and feel like you're shopping with your friend. And that, my friend, is what sets us apart. Our clients are not $ signs, and we are not making commission on our sales. Our goal is to make sure the women who come in feel supported and heard, and leave with items that make them feel like a million bucks!
Next question is... what are we looking for in terms of "fit". That part is easy - we are looking for the band to be snug without cutting into you. Cups that encompass all the breast tissue, and the wires back behind the breast tissue so that nothing is getting pinched or dug into. We are looking to make sure wires are low enough under the armpit to avoid digging into you. And in the front we want that center to sit flush against the chest without pushing into the breast tissue. Some of these things will take an adjustment or two, so bare with us if we need to ask you to shake or shimmy or smooth out the tissue. The band is the majority of your support, so band is important. If you have been wearing a band that is too big you may feel like the right size feels to snug. Once you get used to a properly fitting band it will change your whole bra wearing experience. Many of our clients can not believe the difference it makes to comfort once they find that properly fitting band that keeps everything where it should be.
And lastly you might be wondering about price points for certain styles and brands... in which we encourage you to check out our other blog post that goes over why those price points are where they are! You can find it here!
So go ahead... book that appointment, we promise you won't regret it!