Over the past few years, I have preached about how important proper-fitting undergarments are. I’ve even encouraged my readers to go for professional bra-fittings. But, I have a confession to make, “My name is Belle, and I was wearing the wrong size bra.”
The last time I was measured for a bra was during college, when a lovely woman at a Nordstrom pronounced me a 34B. And thus, I spent the past decade as a 34B.
You see, God gave me many gifts: intellect, eloquence, empathy. Sadly, a large bust exceeded the bounds of his generosity. And while many of my fellow beauty queens ran to the surgeon for an enhanced pair, I have done my best to embrace my minimal assets. I was contentedly, and permanently, a B-cup.
This weekend, following an unfortunate dryer incident, I stopped into Coup de Foudre lingerie in Penn Quarter to pick up some replacement Hanky Panky underwear (love them). While I was there, I decided to pick up a few new underpinnings. And as a result, the shop’s owner and resident bra-fitting guru, decided to assess the fit of my current bra, which was feeling a bit loose in the straps.
Without a measuring tape, Valerie’s discerning eye instantly pronounced me a 32C.
Initially, I was skeptical. A “C”? Impossible. The only C that I had ever seen was in Algebra. But once I put on a 32C, and Valerie checked the fit, it was painfully obvious that I had been wearing the wrong size.
My mistake is a common one, since 70-percent of women are wearing the wrong size bra. However, since I have been preaching the virtues of a well-fitting bra on this blog for four years, my failure stings just a tad. Luckily, the pain of the sting is mitigated by my newly-upgraded cup size.
It turns out that when buying a bra, you determine which one fits your band size (the numeral) by adjusting the back hook to the largest size. This ensures, that as the bra stretches from wear and washing, you can cinch the band tighter to adjust the fit.
I’d been buying a 34B and wearing it on the tightest setting. And as a result, as the bra wore out, the straps would get loose and the fit would fall apart. Lesson learned.
Also, I’ve been corresponding with Valerie for years via e-mail, never quite finding the time to pop into the shop. Let me just say, that she is so lovely, I will be making the time for in person visits on the regular. I mean, she’s a sassy French woman who sells lingerie for a living? How can you not want to be best friends with her?
For more tips from Valerie on how to buy lingerie, check out the buying guide she wrote for a past Valentine’s Day. If you want to pay her a visit, stop by Coup de Foudre boutique in Penn Quarter. Or if you’d like a bra fitting, you can schedule an appointment on her website.
Full Disclosure: I’ve promoted Valerie’s shop in the past without compensation because I adore it. On my recent visit, she was sweet enough to gift me the Chantelle pinstriped-lace lingerie set in the photo above. It’s adorable.