MAAREE Founder: My Very First Bra Fitting Experience... Sound Familiar?
If you're like me, you did not look forward to or enjoy your first bra fitting.
Being dragged along to the big, fuddy-duddy department stores as an awkward, self-conscious teenager and being measured half naked by this complete stranger. You'd get man-handled by a seasoned bra fitter who had done this so many times that she could have done it with her eyes closed. Someone who had long forgotten how to adapt her service for the clearly withdrawn young girl standing in front of her. Working so quickly she was easily missing the unspoken cues in her customer's body language so that she could have turned her service into something more comfortable, informative and fun.
I learnt nothing at my first bra fitting
I didn't gain anything positive from my first bra fitting. I didn't learn how sizing actually works and so I, like many other, would wrongly assume what the letters represented in bra sizing for years to come. The only thing I did walk out with was this new off-white, old-fashioned straight jacket that I was not looking forward to ever wearing and an almost-traumatised feeling.
I had no idea how she came to the conclusion of what size to give me, she didn't teach me how to put it on, as she did it for me. Which, by the way, I also didn't enjoy. She spoke mostly to my mum the whole time, but with how blunt and cold she was in her manner, I don't think I wanted her speaking to me much either to be honest.
Some of you may be reading this thinking 'man, she is being so over-dramatic', others might be thinking this sounds so incredibly familiar.
Nothing went wrong, but it didn't feel right
Don't get me wrong. Nobody did anything wrong this entire visit. A mother took her daughter to get a bra fitting at a time when it was needed, she went into the changing room with her as those where the rules, and the fitter did her job by the book. Although looking back at it now, I'm almost positive I was given the wrong size.
So why did I feel so bad after it? Why did it leave me feeling so terrible?
Does this sound familiar to you? Maybe you had a totally different experience to me and that you were really excited to finally get to wear bras.
It took me over a year to get used to wearing bras
Due to my determination to avoid repeating this experience as much as possible, I think I only went for maybe one or two other bra fittings before I ventured into sports bra testing following my university degree. Where I then got measured and self-measured a lot for the lab testing I was conducting and participating in at Loughborough University. Even though this was a more clinical and cold physical environment, it was strangely entirely different.
They, and I, weren't seasoned bra fitters. We would be taking our time, asking each other if we were okay throughout as we were figuring this out together. We wanted to make sure we weren't crossing any lines at anytime and that the other person was always comfortable as we were learning. It was in a completely private laboratory and there was enough time to ask those questions you were worried always thought were stupid questions.
Even more strange, a couple of times I was measured by men. Which I had of course consented to ahead of time. They would even go a step further to explain what would be happening and ensuring they wouldn't be crossing any lines. Making sure I was okay the entire time. A strange experience you may be thinking, but it was true.
I avoided bra fittings for years
The stark reality is that I likely only got measured for a bra 2 or maybe 3 times before the age of 22. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I was certainly wearing the wrong sizes the entire time and never got the right support during sport either.
I can't be without one now. The thought of going without a bra, for me, even around the house is a bit of a waking nightmare. I'm certainly not someone who whips it off as soon as they walk in through the door.
I wonder why the world is separated into 'must whip off the bra' and 'can't go without a bra'? Maybe since over 80% of bra-wearers are wearing their wrong size it can't be comfortable wearing an ill-fitting bra all day. If this was corrected then maybe this won't be such a need at the end of the day. Anyway, I digress.
I asked our Instagram Followers
I wanted to see if I was alone in my experience and what memories others had had of their first-ever bra fitting. You can read the entires here at The Good, The Bad, and The Awkward: How Was Your First Ever Bra Fitting?
I am now a bra fitter
The irony in all this is now that I have gone onto start my own sports bra business and am a bra fitter myself! However, most have mine, thanks to Covid, have now been virtual. Not in person.
When I did my very first virtual fitting, I thought the tables had now turned and I was worried I would now be seen as the fitter causing discomfort and awkwardness. I wanted to make sure I didn't replicate this atmosphere and added elements to our service where it created a better experience.
What you can expect with MAAREE online fittings:
- We teach you how to measure, so you know how to check yourself for the rest of your life.
- Only your hands will be on your body, so no chance of cold hands.
- You can choose to wear a thin t-shirt if you like, so you don't need to stand in just a bra if you prefer not to.
- You can book on for the same fitter after you bra arrives if you'd like the familiarity.
- No need to travel or take a long time out of your busy day.
- Being a brand new company, we don't do anything the old fashioned way and we'll never put you in your wrong size.
- You can discuss any personal issues or queries you may have with your fitter, in complete privacy with no chance of anyone else overhearing.
- We take the time to talk you through what is going to happen in your fitting and we keep an eye out for any unspoken cues in case you ever feel uncomfortable.
- You can leave anytime with a click of a button if you change your mind or feel uncomfortable.
- They're free and unlimited! Come back and see us whenever you like.
- We ask for honest reviews on our fittings service, not just our product. Check them out here.
You should leave your bra fitting feeling empowered
We've fitted over 1,000 people now and seen so many familiar faces pop-up over and over again. We have an absolutely blast meeting you all and having such a fun time. The virtual fitting idea was one born out of covid, but it's one we've seen so many benefits arise from that it make sense to keep it around. We want to make sure that awkward fittings are a thing of the past too and create safe environments for all our customers.
Don't avoid getting a bra fitting
As this blog posted went on for much longer than I anticipated, I have written a separate blog post for suggestions on how we can prepare ourselves or someone else for their first ever bra fitting to ensure we are walking into them confidently, prepared and knowing what to expect.
My experience was around 20 years ago now and I see a lot of things have changed since. We have many more female-empowerment brands emerging, who are much more clued into how women may be feeling at each stage of their life.
Bra fittings are an important service to use to get your perfect support, one not to avoid. Not getting one could cause discomfort in other ways. But if we're more well-informed beforehand and go somewhere where we know they'll provide the type of service you want then it can be a fun and empowering appointment.
Book an appointment now
If you haven't been fitted for a while, looking to get your first one or just fancy a change of fitter come and grab your tape measure and book an appointment with us today! We can't wait to speak with you and get your perfect sports bra.