Tried & Tested: I finally got fitted for a bra (yes I’ve been wearing the wrong size)
Chances are, you’re probably wearing the wrong size as well.
On a day like any other, I wandered into M&S on Grafton Street to give their BraFit service a whirl without any real expectations, and left with information I had — unbeknownst to myself — been lacking for the past 25 years of my life: my bra size.
I feel as though, for many women, getting our first bra leaves an indelible memory. I got mine by default at the age of about eight or nine, during a game of pass the parcel with my parents, grandparents, uncle and aunt. It was obviously meant for my sister, but due to the fact that my grandmother had already faked us out once by stopping the music on my uncle (who definitely didn’t need a baby pink frilly training bra), I got to keep the goods.
Throughout my early adolescence, I suffered hugely with wholeheartedly believing that absolutely everything was incredibly cringe worthy. The term ‘bee stings’ still makes me shudder, so when my breasts *actually* started coming in, I threw on my teeny tiny little bra from my granny and I went about my business.
The relationship I have with my breasts has changed a lot over the years, and is likely to continue to fluctuate throughout my life. From experimenting with Penny’s push-up bras that had them right up underneath my chin to foregoing them entirely over the course of the pandemic, I had largely settled on keeping them supported with a bralette or vest top on the day-to-day, or freeing the nip entirely.
Hardly the most glamorous choice, but one that my partiality for all things oversized had thus far let me away with, my boobs had been largely flying under my own radar for years. I do recall one frenetic day out with my college housemates, during which we decided that we were living in an episode of Sex and the City and, finishing our cocktails in one great mouthful, descended on Victoria’s Secret to get ourselves measured.
It was adorable and filled with giggles and pornstar martini-induced confidence, but when the woman brandishing the measuring tape told me my size, I laughed. Nay, I guffawed. So, secure in the knowledge that I knew my body better than this trained professional, I continued to squeeze myself into bras two sizes too small until I retired them entirely and gravitated towards my good friend, the humble bralette.
I believe that the way that we relate to our breasts speaks volumes about the way that we relate to our bodies as a whole, and at this point, I can only apologise to my poor sweet boobies for crushing them into places they would not fit. For too long, my cup had literally runneth over, until I chose to forgo the cup altogether. Learn from me, my sweet children, for I have seen the error of my ways.
Enter M&S BraFit. An entirely free service that can be booked online for a half-hour appointment at any time throughout the day, you can select whether you’re looking for a classic bra fit, or first, post-surgery, and nursing bra fits. On the website, you can also select your bra preferences and preferred styles, or do like me and rock on in on a wing and a prayer.
If you feel uncomfortable having people touch or look at your body, or you’re inclined to be put on edge by this kind of experience, allow me to put your mind at ease. The appointment begins with an introduction, you’re brought to a private changing room, and your BraFitter will quickly measure around your torso, just underneath your bust. You leave the bra you wore in on for this, and then the fun begins.
My BraFitter was Liz in the M&S Grafton Street store, a woman who’s been in the bra fitting business for nine years now. She made me feel instantly at ease, and was equal parts brisk and businesslike, and maternal, caring, and respectful all at once. She got my size in an instant, and brought me an array of bras in every colour and style to try on.
After trying on about six different styles, I found the one for me, but I can confidently say that Liz would have stayed there all day with me until I found the one I needed. As she put it, a good bra provides the foundation for every outfit, and having that base will help you to feel so much more comfortable and confident when getting dressed and ready to go.
The vast majority of us women are cutting about wearing the wrong size bra without even realising. Liz told me that earlier in the week, a woman in her late 40s had come in for a fitting, and it was the first time that she had found a bra that fit, suited, and enhanced her shape.
The sheer selection of bras in M&S is genuinely incredible, and speaks to the multitudes of women that there are in the world. In some stores, there’s a clear line drawn between matronly brassiers and sexy lingerie, but the M&S range is broad, diverse, and completely inclusive.
From maternity and post-surgery to nursing, boutique and sports bras, they’ve got all bases covered. A genuine form of self-care, scheduling a timeslot to get yourself measured, learn your size, and treat yourself to a bra that truly fits is something that every woman deserves.
What a concept!
You can book an appointment with your local M&S BraFit on their website.