My girls are riding a wee bit higher these days.

9 Mar

One of the items on my 40 x 40 list was to get a professional bra fitting. I know, it’s kind of pathetic that I’m almost 40, have huge knockers, and have never actually been fitted. Especially since people (by which I mean Oprah Winfrey) swear that the right bra makes all the difference.

So I put it on my list. And my clever sister gave me the nudge to get it done: For Christmas, her gift to me was a bra made out of $20’s and ribbon, along with directions to Coup de Foudre, an upscale lingerie store in downtown DC. How awesome is that? Here’s her handiwork:

Miss Moneycups!

Miss Moneycups!

The first two months of 2014 flew by, but I finally made an appointment this last weekend with Renee at Coup de Foudre for a proper fitting.

It started in a dressing room, where I faced a mirror, still fully clothed. Renee was behind me, and started feeling along where my band ran, talking as she went. “I’m getting a 34,” she said, “though you might need to go down to a 32.” It was kind of like a magician guessing “Ace of Spades” after asking you to cut the deck. Fascinating.

Then she had me turn around, and she set about deducing my cup size, still working over my tshirt. I have no modesty, so it wasn’t awkward at all, but I think even shy women wouldn’t get flustered – she was professional, unobtrusive, and able to capture measurements in a very short period of time.

After getting a sense of the geography, she disappeared to select a few bras. It turns out that measurements aren’t reliable because bras are all constructed and sized a bit differently. So the fitting is more than simply determining your measurements – it’s trying on a bunch of bras that are in the right ballpark to determine which ones fit the best and most comfortably.

The brilliance in that approach is that you completely move away from the traditional sizing system, so you don’t get hung up on wanting to be a certain size. Apparently this is common. To prove how varied the sizing is, I walked away with both a 34DD and a 32F. And you can bet your ass I would never have knowingly tried on a 32F.

Renee has been fitting women for over twenty years, so she was a wealth of information. She confirmed that most women wear bands that are too big and cups that are too small. She summarized boob job trends over the years: Apparently bigger is en vogue now, but a 36C used to be considered ideal. She also noted that most women fail to do a few key moves after putting on a bra – namely pulling the breast to the center of the cup, and using a finger to adjust the top edge of the cup for a perfect fit.

The only tip I have for women heading into the process: Choose your outfit wisely. Specifically, you want to wear a tshirt (or something smooth) so you can test it over bras to see how they sit under clothing, and be sure you’re wearing pants that you don’t mind looking at your stomach in. As crazy as that sounds, you spend the majority of the 60-90 minutes standing in a well-lit dressing room, dressed from the waist down as you try on a variety of bras. If you’re wearing pants that make you self-conscious about your stomach, your attention won’t be on the right thing.

So there you go. One more off the 40×40 list, and I’m walking a bit taller. Or at least, I appear to be.

Oh – and because I want to make sure I’m properly caring for my fine new bras, I googled “how often should bras be laundered.” Um…

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5 Responses to “My girls are riding a wee bit higher these days.”

  1. dianeskitchentable March 10, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

    I think you should have worn the one your sister gave you. I guess I have the opposite problem as most. I have a broad back & as for cups, well there’s really no need to even bother with those. How sad is it that I was all dressed to go out Saturday with a cute sweater on & a big girl bra when my husband bonked Rightie & I was walking around with an indent? At least I caught that before leaving the house.

    • pithypants March 16, 2014 at 11:31 am #

      Sadly, the band was too small. Even my 11 year old nephew couldn’t fit into the one my sister made – and yes I tried to get him to model it for a photo.

  2. thesinglecell March 15, 2014 at 11:20 am #

    So your previous 40×40 post, and Sister 3’s recent comment about magically discovering that she’d been wearing the wrong bra size since she started wearing bras, have had me thinking for a while. Sister 3 is also large (the four of us have very, very different bust sizes…it’s so weird) and was ASTONISHED to find she was larger than she thought (this is owing to the cup thing). So I’m hoping to suddenly find out I’m larger than I thought, too, because of the four of us, I’m the second-smallest. (Sister 2 is basically the size of Roma tomatoes, if she’s not nursing..while I’ve always worn a 36B and am probably really a 34C, but for some reason have never actually tried on a 34C. Why? No one knows.)

    • pithypants March 16, 2014 at 11:27 am #

      Or you can just whip out a Sharpie and make yourself whatever size you want – because apparently the advertised sizes mean nothing. In fact, I think I’m just a poorly labeled 34C.


  1. So, this is a milestone. GULP. | pithypants - October 30, 2014

    […] Get professionally fitted for a bra. YES. You know I did. And I learned that my breasts are the ONLY reason I’m not a professional golfer. Well… […]

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