As of 2016, The Telegraph reported that 1/3 of UK women still buy the wrong sized bra. 70% of 2000 surveyed women claimed to prefer to wear an old grey bra which feels like a second skin than an expensive new purchase which turns out to be uncomfortable. Buying a new bra should be a huge treat, an exciting luxury! It shouldn’t be something that costs an arm and a leg but somehow ends up gathering dust in your underwear drawer.
How many times do we need to be told that we’re wearing the wrong bra size? From personal experience, I know how easy it is to be wearing a bra that is completely the wrong size without realising. It was only until last year that I was professionally fitted and discovered the horror of wearing the wrong band and cup size on a daily basis. That is often the case before you get fitted: you don’t realise how uncomfortable you are until you wear something comfortable that fits you perfectly!
I know that a lot of women are concerned about getting their bra fitted because they don’t know what it entails and how intimate the fitting will be, which is totally understandable. I went to Boux Avenue to get my free professional bra fitting. The staff were friendly and understanding despite her attempts to hide her alarm at the state of the bra I was wearing. The way they measure your bra is just getting you to strip down to your current bra and they measure around and over it. They do remember that ‘regardless of what the tape measure declares your underband to be, certain factors affect your size; the style of bra, the fabric, the shape of your bust and, of course, your own chosen preference.’ They remember your own personal preferences so even if the measure says one thing, you have the ultimate and final say on all elements: style, colour, shape and size.
A lot of the places that offer professional fittings do sell quite expensive bras, however they are guaranteed to fit you perfectly. It’s undeniable that Primark bras are cheaper, but as much as you think your bras may be absolutely fine and perfectly comfortable, what harm will a free fitting do? A third of women frequently discard a purchased bra as soon as they get home and discover it doesn’t fit properly. Don’t be lulled into the trick of pretty bras. Lace is the biggest trick of all. I often found that I would look at the prettiest bra and get the size that was the closest to what I thought I was. I’d get home, excited to try it on but then realise how uncomfortable it actually was.
The Telegraph also claims that you should be wearing a ‘fresh, clean bra every day.’ I think this is a bit unnecessary and highly depends on what you have been up to that day. It is more expected that if you’ve been to the gym that day, you should wash your bra but if you’ve just been wearing it for support and did a food shop, don’t feel under any pressure to wash it afterwards. If you’re finding that with more expensive, detailed, lacy bras they come out of the washing machine slightly stretched, why don’t you try putting them in a pillowcase? It works out brilliantly if you need to wash your sheets too. Place your bra inside a pillowcase and make sure that you have secured it inside. Put it in the wash as you would normally and you will find that you are protecting it from getting caught on other clothing. If you have spent a lot of money on this new, nicely fitted, pretty bra then do all you can to protect it and make it last as long as possible.
You’re still on the fence about getting fitted? It’s free – you won’t be wasting money. There is no pressure afterwards to buy a bra there and then. You can happily peruse. When you get fitted, choose a shop that you think you will buy bras from afterwards. You will then know for certain which styles of bras from that shop will fit you perfectly. The measurement is not awkward unless you make it awkward. If you pick a highly rated, luxury brand to do your fitting, this will be an expensive buy however it is likely to last much longer than any ill-fitting bra from a cheaper brand.
Boux Avenue has a student discount with UniDays of 15% off, both online and in store. They also offer free returns with a simple and easy form, like ASOS. You pop over to the Post Office and will get your money back so there’s no need for you to feel obligated to just keep the bra that doesn’t feel completely comfortable.
There really is no excuse. Treat yourself and get fitted! You never know until you try!