When was the last time you had a bra fitting?

Nikki ParkinsonFashion 80 Comments

Do you think that our hang-ups with getting a bra fitted can be traced back to the first time?

I know mine probably can be.

I didn’t even want to acknowledge that I had boobs, let alone have my mother see them and declare that those tiny puppies needed to make a trip to Myer Indooroopilly to get them strapped into something appropriate.

In the words of today’s tweens … AWKIES.

It’s been a long, long time since that first fitting at age 11.

My “girls” have changed in shape and size with three pregnancies, they’ve attempted to feed three babies (sorry kids, yet another thing to blame your old mum for … starvation) and they’ve thankfully been healthy for my 47-plus years.

I know I should have a bra fitting every six months – every 12 months max – but I haven’t done so.

I’m really good at is putting off things that are things we should or have to do. Especially in the shopping department.

Let’s face it, bra shopping just doesn’t have the same appeal as shopping for shoes or tops that sparkle.

It’s a necessity shop.

when was the last time you had a bra fitting

A few months ago I was prompted to deal with the realisation that it had been almost two years since my last bra fitting.

I had had a Victoria’s Secret moment in New York, walked in late one afternoon to the 5th Avenue store and walked out an hour later with a huge bag filled with $500 worth of lingerie – bras, knickers, a couple of sexy things and some cotton pyjama undies.

I got back to the hotel and promptly binned every bra that was in my suitcases (yes, “s” … there were two suitcases by this stage of the trip). I almost needed a third just for the new lingerie.

Those bras were good. Very good. I’ve still got a couple of the coloured ones as they haven’t been harnessed on as much as the black and beige.

The collection that best worked for my boob shape (I have 16D sideways-shaped girls) was the Body Demi Cup range. The demi cup or balconette works much better for my breast shape as most of my breast tissue is at the bottom, not at the top.

My 2014 bra rut was actually the result of finding the perfect bra and not being game to say goodbye to a good thing. I’d been tempted to buy online from the US but had never gone through with it as my weight and shape has changed over the past 12 months.

So, when the good people at Triumph Australia called up and asked whether I’d be up for a fitting with one of their top bra fitters, it was just the kick up the bum (or boobs into gear) I needed.

I don’t know about you but walking into a department store or lingerie store with wall-to-wall bras is a little intimidating. It’s difficult to know where to start.

I suggest that unless you’re confident in choosing what works for you that you allocate enough time to spend quality time with a trained fitter. On this day I was guided by one of Triumph’s trained fitters. They’re not in store to sell but to help so it’s worth asking when they might be in and planning your trip around that.

Otherwise, find a lingerie specialist retailer (please share your favourites in the the comments below so we have a good reference here for everyone).

Mentally prepare yourself for the task ahead. It’s an important one. Just like buying a pair of jeans or a swimsuit, buying bras takes effort and perseverance. The right bra is out there for you. If you’re still stumped in finding a perfect bra, then check out Linda’s Lingerie. Linda custom makes bras in sizes 8AA to 34N – or as required.

A bra that fits can not only make your day in the comfort stakes but it can help your look better in your everyday outfits as well.

According to my fitter, these are the most common mistakes we make when bra shopping.

Top 4 bra mistakes

1. 9/10 women are wearing the wrong size. Just because we were a 12C in our 20s doesn’t mean we are now.

2. One of things we do is go up a back size to compensate and avoid wearing D cup.

3. Some of us will wear a cup size too small to get a spill-over effect. Unfortunately a spill does not a cleavage make.

4. Some people can wear a specific bra and brand for long time but that bra can stop working because our body shape can change.

Create a bra-robe

I’ve found over the years that to maximise my wardrobe, I’ve had to have a diverse range of bras at the ready.

So when I do have a fitting, I bulk buy an entire bra wardrobe and ditch most of the old ones in my drawer. This means that my bra-robe works for the current size and shape of my boobs. And it means that I can pull out any outfit and know that I’ll have a bra that will work for it.

What should be in your bra-robe?

Just like in our clothes, the basics need to be covered off before we get seduced by the pretty show ponies.

A black and a nude t-shirt bra (no.1) will serve you well for most outfits. Nude is essential for under white tops, tees and dresses.

I like to add into that lace nude and black bras (no.2) because they feel like you’re wearing something fancy but they are still practical enough for under most everyday outfits.

A good sports bra to suit your girls is a must if you are active. The one I’ve featured below (no.4) is an absolute fave and has gel in the shoulder straps for comfort and support like no other.

A strapless bra (no. 3) might not be something you’re keen to wear every day but it’s something I have in my bra-robe should a special occasion dress require me to ditch the straps.

And then if your budget allows, add in a lingerie set in a pretty pattern and/or lace (no.5 and 6). There is something about wearing something pretty underneath and no-one knowing except you.

Create a bra-robe

1. Triumph Body Chic T-shirt bra $59.95 | 2. Greta bra $69.95 | 3. Beautiful Silhouette Strapless bra $69.95 | 4. Tri-Action Endurance Sports bra $59.95 | 5. Jewel bra $29 (on sale) | 6. Embroidered Minimiser bra $59.95

Over to you? When was the last time you had a bra fitting? Biggest (or smallest) bra issue? Found a great bra retailer? Please share your own bra size when making any recommendations for others. 

* I was invited by Triumph to receive a fitting and gifted four bras. I then bought another four based on the recommendations my fitter gave me. 

Comments 80

  1. I missed this post, thankfully KP posted a link. As soon as school is back I’m heading for a fitting. I”m embarrassed to say how long it have been since I’ve been fitted. But I’ve gained and lost 22kg, and been pregnant {failed at breast feeding too} in that time. Its been at least 10 years! Shameful, I feel well prepared after reading your post Nikki, thank you!

  2. Bra shopping is a nightmare. I used to be a 12C (34C) and could go into any shop and pretty much get whatever I wanted off the rack. That was until I lost 20kgs. Also a Victoria’s Secret fan I was measure on a recent trip to Hawaii and was pronounced a 10D (32D). I did buy 4 bra’s but the back was on the tightest hook from the get go and never really quite tight enough but sadly they do not make their bra’s in and 8 (30). I was pinning all my hopes on VS and actually put off buying for a few months before my trip as I have always bought ALL my bra’s from them on my frequent trips to the US or on-line. Deflated and dissapointed I returned home. Then I found Mary Holland in North Sydney. They measured me again and I was pronounced an 8E (30E). Having been a mainstream size all my life I did not understand the significance on being a size that is not in the standard range. Luckily they were able to help be out with three very beautiful bra’s from The Blonde. They fit perfectly and I’m very happy.

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  3. I need to do this after I stop Breastfeeding. I got fitted during pregnancy and was surprised by my new size and allowance for when my boobs would inflate post baby. I usually go to Myer for a bra measurement service and get then to give me the bras that suit and fit me best.

  4. Two years ago at Victoria’s Secret in Hawaii, best bra fitting experience ever! Love their bras too. Whenever my husband is overseas he is quite happy to go in store and stock up for me!

  5. I have a healthy wishlist at Victoria’s Secret online (I haven’t bought a new pair of bras for a couple of years… terrible I know!) They look beautiful but I am just wondering how comfortable they are for everyday wear? I never wear anything other Berlei Barley There and often find pretty fashion bras always rub or irritate. Can anyone help?!

  6. Heavenly Curves in Wetherill Park NSW are lovely ladies and great fitters as well.. My family has buxom bosoms to say the least and these ladies keep us comfortable. highly recommend them.

  7. As an E cup, I have recently bought two Playtex bras with no wires. Why did I wait so long? The support and comfort is unbelievable Them boobs stay put, the shape is excellent (as good or even better as a minimiser), they don’t shift around and there is no wire digging into me. I bought beige and white, def an everyday type bra. Will be going back to stock up in case they stop producing them!

  8. This is the one area (besides swimwear, of course) that is severely neglected in my wardrobe…and I can totally pinpoint the exact moment why. A not very nice bra fitting lady at David Jones who made me cry. It was awful. Time to try again (somewhere else) I think…

    1. That’s terrible! It’s amazing how a good (or bad) a fitting specialist can make me feel too. Definitely give somewhere else a go 🙂

  9. Amazing !!I was just thinking this morning that I need to have a proper bra fitting as haven’t had one for years and then read your post. After 4 children and menopause, my boobs have increased in size but I can’t seem to find a minimizer that I like. If anyone knows of one with smooth lines for wearing under T shirts would love to know.

  10. I’ve had several professional fittings over the years, and asked enough questions (and read up about it!) to be able to size myself fairly reliably.
    My biggest problem would have to be finding bras that don’t have silicon bands on them or elastic that’s guaranteed to make my skin break out. May I just say that I love Berlei (and Simone Perele when I can afford it)?

  11. I dropped $300 at Victoria’s Secret in Waikiki in January. I had never had a ‘real’ bra fitting before, always too intimidated and it was such an easy and pleasant affair. Now the only problem is I do not want to go bra shopping in Australia (how’s that for an overseas holiday excuse, ha!)

  12. Thank you Nikki for the awesome article and for putting Linda’s Lingerie out there! I have had a call from Rosanna today and I will be able to help her with her small frame of 8C/D by shortening the backs of her bras to fit firmly across her back. It is not always about making a new bra as we also do repairs and alterations to bras, lingerie and swimwear. I also recommend some of the Lingerie stores mentioned below.

  13. I can highly recommend Brava for anyone in Melbourne with a larger bust. Very experienced and patient fitters who generally spend about an hour with you. Best way to get a bra that doesn’t look like it belongs on your nanna! I go back every year to replace my three workhorses 🙂 x

    1. I am a Brava (Armadale shop in Melbourne) convertee for the last 4-5 years, yearly fittings as expensive pieces but when you are up there in the alphabet of cup sizes, you have to look after your back as well as appearance.
      They have exquisite lingerie and great great sports bras. Discreet and professional. Absolutely no affiliation but always happy to recommend too.

  14. For Brisbane and Ipswich ladies – try Underfashion world in Ipswich. The ladies are trained fitters, they have a nice range of bras for the bigger boobed and they don’t onsell too hard. You can buy matching sets of bras and knickers too. My fave is Fayreform – beautiful

  15. Great post, Nikki! I live in Gympie, the staff at Lady Bird in Mary Street are very good when you require a fitting. If I’m in the city or at the Sunshine coast I like Myer & I skates ask for a fitter because as you said, styles change & so do we.

  16. Great post Nikki ,my girls now resemble wet footy socks and I do not like to glance in the mirror when moisturising when I am bent over,as they have lost their density over the last few years.i must say though with a good bra you can’t tell I’m a B cup now after being a full C before children and a DD when I had my son.I had a bra fitting last year actually totally by chance as I was in Myer and I was looking at bras and a lady walked up and asked me if I wanted to be fitted ,I thought why not.
    I agree with what you have chosen I wear my nude and Black bras the most.The only thing I haven’t been able to find is a strapless bra as I detest them so any readers that know of a good comfortable brand please lmk.

    1. hi lisa, I have had some really good bras from target!
      I was doing belly dancing a few years ago and had to have some stapless ones … so I bought the target brand as I thought I would only wear them with my belly dancing costume … they fitted really well and never come adrift! plus I’ve worn them under sheer tops if I have a cammie on so there aren’t too many straps! … lovely with or without straps and versatile, giving a very good line … actually the best bra fit I’ve ever had for a strapless! good luck hun! m:)X

  17. Funnily enough I was saying to my husband on the weekend that I need to replace most of my bras given my body shape changes in the last year.

    I am guilty of buying the same style in different sizes for years and have managed to erase the memory of the last fitting from my mind. My plan is to toss out every bra with stretched elastic that I’m wearing on the tightest clips, as that will force me to buy some new properly fitted bras.

  18. De-lurking to give “More than a handful” in Sydney CBD a nod. I wear a GG cup and the range and service there is fantastic. It’s expensive, but better than wasting money on bras that are no good!

  19. I’m a big fan of no underwire and have found Ibiza in Byron Bay were really helpful finding some non-maternity no-underwire bras. Although they’re meant for teenagers, I highly recommend Girls Room brand, but my girls are on the small side 🙂

  20. must do that! … a good reminder thankyou nikki!
    it couldn’t be that long ago! … but it was! … one of those lingerie shops in westfield! … btw very good and helpful!
    I have nos.1 and 3 and lots of others floating around! … need to sort that one! … love m:)X

  21. Triumph minimiser are the BEST style and bra for my 16d boosies (that’s something else we have in common!) I have it in about ten different colours and have worn this style for years!

  22. Highly recommend Regina from “Miss Scarlett Did It” in Melbourne. lovely experience, really professional, fabulous bras and she bought us coffee! My girls have never been happier:)

  23. In 2012 I had stage 3 breast cancer. I had to have a mastectomy and find it difficult to find flattering, stylish bras to fit my prosthetic. At this stage I’d just settle for comfortable! All the bras available in Australia are very “granny” style and that’s not fun for a 30 something newly married women. Shopping online overseas has just been an expensive exercise in ill fitting, uncomfortable purchases.

  24. Thank you for this! I finished breastfeeding my third son a couple of months back and now all my lovely bras don’t fit anymore (too big for me). 🙁 I am in desperate need of a fitting as I only have two bras that ‘sort of’ fit! Katherine xxx

  25. This is on my ‘to do’ list! I haven’t bought new bras since I fell pregnant 7 years ago. After 3 kids, I am in dire need of a fitting and restock. I used to be an Intimo consultant (true story!) so am tempted to go down that route as it’s just so nice not having to go into a department store and enter overwhelm (esp as an F cup – gosh, to be a D again!!)

  26. Fabulous thought provoking tips Nikki. I actually have a little post on my blog today as well to remind ladies to fit their bra. I will link your feature as well. V x

  27. I had a bra fitting 8 weeks ago which literally changed my life, my wardrobe and my confidence! Ashamed to say, but the one prior to this was about 5 YEARS AGO. Went to a fantastic sports bra specialist in Kew, Melbourne; the store is aptly name ‘She Science’ and Tish the owner (professional but warm) understands the difficulties (especially us in the DD cup or larger variety) in finding a bra. For now my 2 new Berlei sports bras, size 10DD have become my everyday attire.

  28. Hi Nikki,
    I love lingerie and bra shopping as much as shoe shopping! I could write a whole page. Lol.
    I was forced into a bra (C cup) on my 13th birthday. I look back and think “what was I thinking not wearing a bra?”. Lol.
    Biggest issue I used to have was that all the bras in my size (now a 16E) were so boring and ugly. Thankfully in recent times pretty things are more readily available in bigger sizes. I’ve never bought online as my size varies according to the manufacturer.
    So many options. Here’s a few:
    DeBra’s is a specialist bra/lingerie option in Sydney (Wentworthville and Penrith). It’s a bit of a drive but they do a brilliant job of fitting me.
    Target does some nice lingerie but on my wish list is to get something more from ‘im boutique’. They’re in the CBD. Everything is French lace and so beautiful and they do big as well as small sizes.
    A family member who barely fills an A cup and has trouble finding a bra has had great success lately with her local bras’n’things outlet.

    1. Love DeBra’s – so professional and helpful. I am happy to let them make some suggestions and I always end up with bras that are suitable for my requirements. If you are looking for a bra for a special outfit, they are happy for you to try the outfit with each bra that you try. I am a 16D.

  29. Love this reminder about getting a bra fitting. I always go to The Hope Chest in Coffs Harbour, they are so helpful and have a great range of bras.

  30. My last fitting was for one of those amazing strapless boned full torso numbers for our wedding (eight years ago!). It’s naive to think after two babies my nanoos are the same. I’m a fan of the online store “Big Girls Don’t Cry Anymore”. I was so close to making it to their shopfront in Brisbane this week, but the school run thwarted my plans again!

  31. Don’t suppose Triumph offered this same deal to one of your readers? This post has come at just the right time for me (but without the cash to do anything about it 🙁

    1. The fittings are available to anyone in their stores or where they have consultants in store. I was very lucky to have been offered some bras and then have bought more of the recommendations. Actually picked up some from a Brands Exclusive sale as well – so that’s worth signing up for. I wouldn’t have bought on sale without knowing they were styles/sizes that had been fitted on me.

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