A Fun Bra Experiment from Last Summer
Last summer I did a bra fitting experiment at my local mall. I was inspired by MadisonXAlexandra on TikTok and was playing with ideas for a bra-fitting YouTube channel (which never ended up happening... yet)
First, I took my measurements at home per each company's sizing and found my size that way. Then I went in-person to Aerie, Victoria's Secret, ... Soma, and Dillard's and asked for a bra fitting at each, pretending I knew nothing about bras. The rundown is below:
(As a reference, I wear a 30F/FF. If someone were to take basic measurements through my clothes, it would be about a 30in underbust and a 36in bust)
Online Size: 34B (I was afraid)
In-Store: The woman who fitted me at Soma was amazing. She was sweet and helpful, and made it feel like a fun activity to be fitted for a bra (which to me it is, lol). She used a normal tape measure and got a snug underbust measurement as well as a loose bust measurement. She placed me at a 32DD initially, which surprised me since Soma's online calculator put me at a 34B.
The 32DDs were quadboobing on me and my sweet fitting lady did not see a problem with this. I did actually leave the store with an adorable bra in 32DD that I later exchanged for a 32E. Lol. Overall experience was a 8/10, but I would not recommend to anyone outside of matrix sizing. It also depends on who your fitter is, unfortunately. I went back during this Christmas season and got fitted at a 32B. I still can't believe that one.
Online Size: 32DD
In-Store: Interestingly at Dillard's, they are not allowed to use a tape measure anymore (?). At least, that is what the woman in the lingerie department told me when I asked for a fitting. She was instantly more annoyed with me than my fitter at Soma, but there was practically no one else in the entire department. The Dillard's woman asked me what bra size I wore, to which I replied something along the lines of, "I'm not sure... I was hoping you would tell me that." She asked me to guess my own size and I told her 32DD, the size I thought I was before I discovered ABTF, as well as the size Soma had fitted me in. She grabbed me some Wacoal 32DDs that actually fit pretty well and I thanked her and left the store. Overall experience was a 7/10. Solid fitting and good selection.... if only they were allowed to use a tape measure. A very strange shame.
Online Size: 32C/D
In-Store: Aerie has a wild fitting system that is all dependent on their BFF (Best Fit Finder) measuring tape. The woman that helped me in Aerie took my measurements with this tape that placed me in a 34C to start. Obviously, the 34C fit comically on me, and the woman brought me a 34DD after seeing almost my entire boob. 34DD is a distant sister size to my real size, 30F, but it was wildly large in the band. Sigh. A weird fitting experience overall, 6/10.
Online Size: 32C
In-Store: The one we've all been waiting for. And let me just tell you, it was INSANE. I hoped that I would not get the same size I got online (for obvious reasons), but it was just destiny, I suppose. I walk inside the store and ask the first associate if I could be fitted for a bra. She pulls me into the corner of the store (not even near the dressing rooms!!) And measures me through my clothing. She did the classic over-the-boobs-for-the-ribcage-measurement and announced that I should try a 32B. A 32B!!!!!!! I could not believe my ears. I told her that I think that size may be too small for me and she said, "Maybe you could be a C, but nothing bigger." I mean WOW. She did not even help me find a bra in these sizes. I was baffled. I grabbed some 32DDs to try on in the dressing room by myself since I had never tried on a VS bra before. As I expected, they were weird and did not fit well - I left the store. Overall Experience 4/10... At least they fitted me, I guess.
This was an incredibly fun trip to the mall for me last summer. I was shocked at the amount of misinformation and weird fitting tactics each of these stores had. I hope that you all get a kick out reliving this with me
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Filed under Bras ups and downs
Hmm I'm not sure what you expected. The salespeople at these mall type stores are notoriously not trained on correct bra sizing because typically the brands they're selling don't carry a comprehensive size range but the workers are instructed to fit as many people as they can into the range to sell as many bras as they can.
The thing about Dillards and Nordstrom type stores (i.e., that have a fairly decent size range comparatively [low bar] but also sell other clothes) is that like...I don't actually think they have fitting specialists at many of them? I definitely don't know this for sure, but almost every time I've been in one looking for bras, I've very much gotten the impression that the person at the bra section didn't really know what was going on and was probably just assigned to that part of the store that day. Very unimpressed by the time I asked a person at a Nordstrom if they had any bras in UK 30H and their first reaction was "Oh, you need Elomis" (🤦). And then one of the bras they brought me was a US 30H!
Absolutely none of that is to say that the people working at mainline bra stores are fitting specialists; they pretend to be, is what I mean.
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