Most women think they know their bra size, but 85% of ladies are actually incorrect in how they’re supporting their goods.
Think it’s not a big deal if you’re a letter of number off? Think again. The wrong bra size can cause loss of firmness, breast strain on ligaments and sagging, not to mention discomfort. And because your pair can change from anything ranging from exercise, to weight loss and gain, to pregnancy and nursing, getting properly fitted is essential to maintaining a perky shape.
That’s why I loved a recent visit to Intimacy, an upscale lingerie, swimsuit, sports bra and sleepwear store in Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall that features tape measure-free personal consultations for all customers (make an appointment by calling or going online). The store features more than 90 bra sizes up to K, and if you’re bigger than that, you can get custom bra-wear. About half of the bra styles are convertible, and the average price of daily-wear bras falls in the $100 range, with some costing as low as $50.
I was lucky enough to visit with Susan Nethero, founder, owner and “Bra Whisperer” who is Intimacy’s chief fit strategist and a dynamo of a woman who has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show five times and countless shows around the country teaching women what to look for in bras.
When I met with Susan, she first taught me all about what makes a great bra and why the European model of bras is far ahead of us here in the U.S. (Intimacy sells mostly European types.) She taught me 90% of bra support comes from the band, which is why it’s so important to make sure your bra band gives you proper support with levelness and tautness. Because a tape measure is a rigid construct, it’s impossible to get an accurate size solely from a tape measure reading–it’s more important to try on bras and test each style yourself.
Because women don’t want back fat, a common mistake ladies make is to get too big of a band–when really, a properly fitted bra won’t give back fat at all. Susan also educated me about underwires–while most American brands use uncomfortable metal underwires or none at all, European makes feature plastic underwires with enough padding that will still provide lift without jabbing into your skin. European models also tend to last longer because they more carefully crafted, taking 18-22 months to make a bra there versus 6-9 months here in the U.S.
If you’re a lady, you’re likely in need of some new bras–67 percent of women wear four bras or less, but Susan said the recommended number of bras women should have in their wardrobes is five to seven. I loved the personal attention I got at Intimacy and felt confident knowing the bra I got there (thanks, Susan, for the complimentary Missoni bra/panty set) will fit and flatter my body perfectly.
It’s also common for Intimacy to do free alterations on your bra if it needs any type of tweak at all–you know that what you’re getting is the most optimized it can be for your body. Considering the risks you take without the proper fit, I think it’s well worth paying a little more than you would in a less expensive lingerie store for the best fit possible. For more information on Intimacy, log on to www.myintimacy.com.