My first bra fitting…at the age of 52!

My First Bra the age of 52!

Kate wrote about her first bra fitting as a teen and the challenge is out at Bosom Buddies for each of us to reflect on our first bra fitting. The fact is, until we started working on selling bras at Bosom Buddies, I had never had a bra fitting. Who needed a bra fitting when I didn’t have much to fit?

Sue Petracek, IBCLC
Sue Petracek, Co-Owner of Bosom Buddies

In those days, I always wore a 36A. One manufacturer had a size called “almost B” that I tried once. It didn’t work. I hated the way bras always rode up when I reached up for something and I avoided wearing a bra whenever I could. That all changed when I began researching and training to sell bras at Bosom Buddies.

My first fitting was with a with a retired corsettier my mother-in-law had worked with years before. Together we went to a department store, she pulled some bras off the rack and we went into the fitting room together. After I put one of the bras on, this little (smaller than me!) retired lady asked me to lean over. Before I knew what was happening, she had grabbed the bra at my shoulders and started shaking me. Whoa!

What I know now is that she was settling my breasts into the cups. Who knew it makes a difference when you put your breasts into the cups instead of just putting the bra against your body like a shirt? 

Like the first fitting, my second bra fitting was at a department store. They had a “fit expert” in town so I signed up. She asked me what size bra I had been wearing and brought me three bras (her company’s brand) and left me. Needless to say, I was underwhelmed.

I’ve learned a few things after doing fittings for 15 years:

  • Measurement are just a place to start.
  • Bras are like jeans…you have to try them on.
  • If I go down a band size, my bra will stay anchored under my still-not-very-large breasts and my bra doesn’t ride up. An underwire bra stays in place even better. (I never thought I would like an underwire!)
  • I have to know someone’s band size before I can figure out a cup size. Bra sizing takes mental gymnastics.

I’d love for every girl and woman to have a good fitting bra. Why go through all those years wearing (or avoiding) uncomfortable bras?

Sue Petracek is a lactation consultant (IBCLC) and the c0-owner of Bosom Buddies for twenty-one years. When not studying, talking and teaching breastfeeding, she enjoys playing with her grandkids.

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