Jun 23rd 2016 by bragirlthrowawa • 22 Questions • 280 Points
My short bio: I started in my store as a sales associate, and have completed a bra fitting training program. I have worked through crazy seasons (Christmas!) and also insanely slow periods, where the store might be empty for hours. I've fitted all sorts of boobs, and am a wee bit of a bra nerd! AMA!
EDIT: everyone should know about /r/abrathatfits They are very helpful, knowledgeable, and full of bra suggestions :)
Have you ever had a customer that made you feel uncomfortable?
Well it's usually a surprise when you walk in to a changing room and the lady is naked to the waist, but you very quickly desensitize to that (or at least learn not to squeal as though elvis just jumped out from between their tits!)
Luckily I've never encountered a true creeper, but older, or post pregnant women tend to tell your faaaaar too much about the health of "the girls", how they changed, lactation etc.
Occasionally a guy asks "do you think these will fit" in regards to boxers, I just avoid eye contact with his crotch, and direct him towards the sizing charts.
Also, when I am making small talk with a guy, who looks a bit at odds with the whole bra shopping experience, and I say "bet you wish you weren't here", all I expect is an uncomfortable laugh. Not a comment implying he's gonna "get some tonight". TMI dude.
My wife spent years working at Victoria's Secret, and she said her favorite were guys that would hold lingerie up and look at her and say "you're about my wifes size". Has this happened to you?
Not me personally (luckily!) but we do get a lot of lost looking men. The real winner is when they bring up a bra in a 36F and a pair of XS panties.....either she looks like an ice cream cone, or there's some wishful thinking going on.
Are bras as wonderful as Frank Costanza made them out to be?
Sadly I don't know my Seinfeld that we'll, but I assume you mean from "The sniffing accountant"? Hahaha well one thing I can tell you, D is not the biggest!!!!! We sell a 44J, and I believe Norma Sitz is a 42ZZZ
We don't sell bras with two different cups, but I believe some places will custom make them. We do however sell half and full cup inserts, to even out a small difference.
The best advice I can give someone shopping for two slightly different sizes is to buy for the larger boob, as gaping is faaaaar better than squashing :/
Have you ever had men come in looking at buying a bra for their "partner" but you're sure they're actually buying it for themselves?
Oh hell yes. Although it's a bit of a give away when they ask to be measured. Pretty sure your girlfriend isn't the same size as you! But we are perfectly happy to help, and most likely won't bat an eye at some guy buying himself a bra.
One guy came in, with his girlfriend, and asked for a fitting. He spoke quite broken English, but we eventually figured HE wanted the fitting as he "wanted some boobs of his own". Well fair enough dude.
At the end of the day, you just learn not to ask questions, if that elderly gentleman wants to buy himself a collection of lacy thongs, it's his business!
Is or will there be a market for handmade bras that can easily sell at places like etsy?
I'd say definately, especially made to order bras. If you can make a decent bra for less than $100+ (pretty normal for custom sizes) and offer sizes outside the "normal" range, customer will be happy to buy. Also cute brallettes are blowing up at the moment, so a cute one of those should sell easy!
I like the way you respond to this guy's untagged /s, on the off chance he's being real. You're good people.
Hey thanks! I figure it might help someone in this thread, if not this guy
Do you have any advice for a woman with an odd bra size, one that's not commonly found in stores?
I would advise you ask stores what size range they have, as many have a surprising stock. We are actually an outlet store, and stock 28-44, AA-J. But honestly, the larger end of the scale has very little range :(
There are plenty of boutique stores that will custom make bras, but these are quite expensive. Blogs like http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2013/08/bra-sewing-tutorial/ show how to make your own, but finding underwires is almost impossible!
Many seamstresses can alter a bra that nearly fits, our store does this for a few dollars each alteration. Also, https://m.reddit.com/r/ABraThatFits/ has a wonderful community of knowledgeable people, and a plethora of resources for buying bras online.
Bottom line, I would recommend ordering bras online from places that give free returns :)
Do you cop a lot of flak when you measure a woman, and give her her cup size as smaller than her own preconception?
Surprisingly, often it's when you measure them as a larger size. Often women who have lost weight will be quite upset that they haven't lost a lot of weight off their breasts. I had one woman almost break down crying, a small she could not find a "cute" bra in her larger cup size, and was fed up looking.
Also, women who have been wearing the wrong size (often large back, small cup), will get measured, and actually need a much larger cup. Sadly, we do not carry alot of some sizes, and it simply is more difficult to find uncommon sizes.
People generally underestimate their cup size, because "DD" is perceived as porn star huge, when in fact the average bra size is around 34DD. This means I don't often have to tell a woman she is a smaller size than she thought :)
Fun fact, you start to get a feel (no pun intended ;D) for bra sizes, and only need to look at a woman to size her. However, I still use a measuring tape, as I don't want to tell everyone I just ogled their sweater puppies!
I did a bra size guess vs actual study for a statistics class. I was like 94.2% effective guessing. Some girls called me the "BoobJesus".
Ooohh back up guys, we got the messiah of mammary tissue over here!
Is there anything wrong with Victoria's Secret, aside from their fairly unskilled fitters? From reading /r/abrathatfits, it seems like nobody who wants a quality bra shops there.
Also, personal bra fitting questions. Once when I was measured at Victoria's Secret, I was told that I was actually a 30 band, which they don't carry. They explained their "sister sizes" and put me in a 32 D. Are the sister sizes bullshit; am I wearing bras that don't fit properly?
I've also never had a bra with a gore that touched my chest, and when I try going up a cup size, I get huge gaps. Could this be related to the incorrect band size/is there a solution?
Honestly, I have never shopped at VS, as we don't have one here, but I did hear they build their bras with a six month lifespan (capitalism aye!) I have shopped at similar stores, and the back bands are usually quite "soft" and stretch out quickly.
One brand that I adore, that carries a 30, is evolove, you can buy them from bendon (both brick and mortar stores and online). They do tend to run a cup size large.
Sister sizes work for some people and not others. Technically, a 30DD and 32D have the same cup volume, and will have the same overall circumference (both measure 36" overbust). However, the smaller cup will be shallower and wider, with a larger band to cup ratio. So...yeah it works for some people. Not great for projected breasts, or narrow roots.
The gore not "tacking" could be that the cups are too shallow, or simply the bra. Many bras don't tack, especially softer cup ones. The most important thing is that the gore is centre,not overlapping your breast tissue, and the cups and wires aren't digging in. You could try a moulded cup bra. If the bra fits alright otherwise, you could try Sister sizing, and go down in the back, up in the cup. I know a 28 would be hard to find, but this can sometimes add the depth needed to allow the gore to tack.
Best of luck finding your perfect bra!
Could I try on a bra over a thin shirt at the store? I feel very uncomfortable undressing in changing rooms
You will always get a better fit trying a bra on its own (that's how you wear it!), but I suppose it would be better to try it over a thin shirt than not at all. Another option: you could take advantage of the store's return policy. If you try it on at home, and it doesn't fit, we're happy to swap it for another size!
What is the smallest bra size you have fitted? I often hear my larger-breasted friends complaining about "finding the right fit", but would imagine that small-breasted women have similar struggles.
We carry a 30AA, so can fit most people. However, many people need a much smaller band size, especially young girls getting their first bra. I fitted a 26B once, we had to sister size up to a 30AA. I have never seen a bra in a 26 or 28 back in "normal" stores, on expensive custom boutiques. In reality there is a market for them.
Also, larger breasts have a wee bit of "leeway" it might be trouble finding your size, but many styles may fit. However, as smaller breasts tend to be a bit more self supporting, they tend to hold their shape. This means the bra has to be virtually the same shape as the breast, or it just won't fit. Many women are so relieved to find a bra that works, they will just buy that one bra in every color!