I don’t remember buying my first bra. I remember getting my first “training bra” in a box of hand-me-downs. Pink, stretchy lace that pulled on over my head. I thought I was the most sophisticated thing on the planet. But somehow I don’t remember ever shopping for a bra (although I must have) until I was in my 20s and went to a great little boutique where the women could look at anyone, no matter how many sweaters and coats, and know–exactly–what size and style they should wear. And where they always came into the dressing room to tuck you into whatever they’d picked out of the special drawers they kept all the bras in.
Girlfriend Guru and lingerie expert Miss Kitty Plum reminds us that buying a bra can be an uncomfortable experience–especially if it is a first time fitting. She gives us great advice for taking daughters, nieces, granddaughters on a lingerie shopping experience that won’t be fraught with embarrassment and uncomfortable stares. What advice do you have for bra shopping, girlfriend? And what do you remember about the first time you bought a bra?
How was your buying trip for your first bra? If it was anything like mine and most of the women I speak to it was probably a bit awkward and embarrassing. For some it is such a trauma it puts them off getting fitted again and they spend years hurriedly picking up bras off the rails and putting up with bras that pinch and squeeze rather than repeat the experience. If you have a daughter, niece, or other burgeoning young lady in your care you can do a lot to make sure their first bra fitting trip is a positive experience
1. Lead by example. If the first time in a lingerie department or shop is when you go for a fitting the whole experience can be rather daunting. Take her with you when you go lingerie shopping so she is used to the layout, the shop assistants, and has an idea of what the process involves.
2. Do A Test Run. When was the last time you went for a fitting? Are you sure you are wearing the right size? If you haven’t been fitted within the last two years or aren’t confident you have been fitted correctly then do some research and find a store that fits well and has a fitter that puts you at your ease.
3. Don’t Rush. It can be tough to find the time for a shopping trip for just the two of you but try not to use the opportunity to fit every in errand that you haven’t had chance to do in the last 6 months. Ideally if you can set aside the time to just go to the lingerie store and then maybe go for lunch it means that neither of you are feeling flustered or agitated.
4. Brief the fitter. Explain to the fitter that this is a first fitting and that the bras that are required are for under school shirts, sport, etc. This should result in the choice of a selection of practical bras rather than anything too pretty or frilly. Professional fitters are used to dealing with young clients and appreciate that racy and lacy are not appropriate!
5. Respect her privacy. Tempting as it maybe to wade into the fitting room to see what is going on try and restrain yourself. I know I was relieved when my mother left me to it! Most young ladies will want a second opinion but let them ask for it. If you can avoid getting teary and saying “my baby is all grown up” that will reduce the embarrassment factor all around!
These tips will hopefully help make the bra buying trip a success and an experience to remember for all the right reasons. I’d love to hear your stories about your first fitting in the comments below.
MISS KITTY PLUM is a dedicated lover of lingerie. She is a professional bra fitter and co-owns Plums Lingerie, a specialty boutique that stocks lingerie for every woman. Follow her on Twitter @plumslingerie.
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