Monday, July 29, 2013

The Size Issue

Size - Why does it matter so much to us? Why are so many women today stuck on being a certain size? It's just a number. Or a letter. Or both. But it doesn't make us who we are. It has no effect on our personality.

I am guilty of this as well. I look at the numbers and think I should be that number. Or number/letter combo. I tell the world on this blog that I'm a 32FF/32H. That alone should be a clue - I have 2 different sizes based on the country of origin. But also, I am currently wearing a Lunaire 34G, rather comfortably. It has a snug band and very stretchy cups, which more than accommodates my girls. It's a comfy bra that fits me.

And that should be the point, right? Fit! In my jean drawer right now I have mostly 8s, some 6s, and a 4. I have another pair of size 4 in my closet because they are still a bit too small. Most of my current jeans are hand-me-downs, and I only kept what fit (or what I hope to fit). So, sometimes I wear an 8, sometimes a 10, sometimes a 6, and occasionally even a 4.

Yet I still fall victim to the size issue. This "should" fit me because it's "my size."

I am also petite in my upper half. I have a petite cut dress that still needs a good half inch taken out of the shoulders. So in one way, for tops at least, I have learned (the hard way) that I can't just rely on a "size" to fit me. I cannot buy clothes without trying them on, or making sure they have a great exchange/return policy. It makes shopping torturous sometimes. I'll try on 10 things and maybe, if I'm lucky, 1 will fit, or at least fit well enough.

But our society pushes the size issue on us. All those fad diets and diet gimmicks. All the body snark. All the "you must be such and such" shoved down our throats. We are conditioned to feel good or bad based on our size or perceived size.

In actuality, if we focus less on the numbers and more on proper fit, we look and feel much better. I am going to try to focus more on finding a good fit, in all my clothes, no matter what size I end up getting. A good fit makes me happy and comfortable. A good fit looks good on me. A proper fit makes me look slimmer and taller. A proper fit can make me look fit. Ha.

I challenge you to think about fit the next time you go shopping for clothing or shoes. Don't focus on a number or letter or combination thereof, but spend the time to find a proper fit and don't worry about the size. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Upcoming Review

Just to let y'all know...

I took the plunge and ordered something from AdoreMe today. They actually have my size, and your first purchase (if you sign up for the VIP service) is only $20 for a set. That's a set, as in bra AND panties. Which is really a great deal if you compare the one brand they seem to carry (Parfait by Affinitas, don't think they make it themselves).

I ordered the Lola Balconette (or Leona according to AdoreMe), in a 32I/32G. Yes, I'm normally a 32H/32FF, but I looked up some reviews on different sites and found that Parfait tends to run a cup size small, and maybe a band size small. I prefer my bands pretty snug compared to most women, so I just went up a cup. Plus, I think my strapless bra is by them, and the 32G is even small. If this doesn't fit, I'll see about a refund since I ordered the largest size they carry.

Anywho, this is just a note that I will be reviewing the bra and service soon. Something to look forward too!

in the mean time, I'm going to go see if Jockey has bras in my size yet (I doubt it; too soon).

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Companies Really Can Learn (Maybe? We Hope So?)

I admit I'm a little jaded when it comes to new online bra retailers. I've seen too many that push their wares and then don't have my size, even if they carry my brands. When I first saw the add for True&Co., I didn't have high expectations.

What is True&Co.? It's an online retailer that offers to send you 5 bras (and 5 other items) for a deposit. You then try them on, then log on and let them know which ones you want to keep. You print a label to send back the ones you don't want, and there you have it - bras tried on at home. Great idea, no?

Sure enough, they carried my brands in up to an F cup. I was still a G when I found them. Le sigh, no luck. I wasn't too sure of their "fit quiz" either. You answer questions in a little quiz and it seems to suggest the same bra size you entered, or maybe a cup size difference. Then I read some reviews of the company from other bra bloggers, and they seemed to all feel the same way.

So what changed my mind? Let's blame it on my bra fairy. I have a friend who brings me bra luck. She's with me when I find awesome deals on bras, or even just find my bras in our city. She sent me the link to Jockey bras. And yesterday, she sent me a link from True&Co. about their new offering - sports bras. She is my bra fairy.

At first I laughed it off, without even clicking the link, but it was stuck in the back of my head. So I clicked on it and filled out the fit quiz, yet again. To my surprise, when I entered the size of my of favorite bra in question 3 (32FF), I got a message informing me that they do not currently carry my size, but are looking to expand their range. I was asked to enter my email address for updates on their stock.

Wow. Totally unexpected. I actually started an account with my real email address and signed up for info on whenever they stock my size. They linked me to a post where they talked about wanting to expand their offerings (although I can't find it right now). I commented with my favorite brands and all the sizes I've worn in them.

I was impressed. So I tweeted about it linking them, and they thanked me in a reply tweet. Ok, good.

I then found out I had previously started an account with my spam email address (the one I use for stuff I expect to spam me). I re-did the fit quiz based on my bra size before I first got fitted. I answered the questions as I would have then, to the best of my memory. Let's see what this gives me, right?

I was a little disappointed here. They corrected the cup size by 1 or 2, but not the band. None of the questions really seemed to pinpoint if I had a proper band size or not. So I decided they needed my feedback. (This NYT thing must have gone to my head, no?)

I emailed them:

Out of curiosity, I started 2 accounts on your site. My main account, which is linked to this email address, has my current size and fit. I was glad to see that you are looking to expand your size range!
For my other account, with my other email address, I took the fit quiz as I would have answered back before my first real fitting. Back then I was wearing a 38DD. Your fit quiz was suggesting 38Fs, 38Es, and 40DDs, but a real fitting found me to be a 36G.

Your quiz was close on the cups, at least trying to get me into a bigger cup size, but nothing indicated that I was in the wrong band. I remember always tugging my bra band back into place as it would ride up my back. A simple question about bands staying in place or moving, either up or down, could help with that.

I just wanted to give this feedback because, like I said above, I'm excited to see you expanding your size range. The area I live in requires online shopping for bras in my size, and the ability to give them a try and easily return those that don't would make life easier. Having trained and worked as a bra fitter, I love seeing opportunities for all women to get a proper fit.

Thanks for taking the time to read my feedback!

And today, I got a response:

Hi Charla,

Thank you for taking the time to offer us this feedback! We're definitely working to improve our quiz so that we can get better at diagnosing the correct band size. If you do ever have questions for us about fit we're happy to chat with you over the phone, since sometimes we do need more information than the quiz currently collects to make the best possible recommendation.

As we continue to improve we really appreciate any and all suggestions you have for us, particularly pertaining to fit and what did or didn't work for you. Keep an eye out as we expand our range as well, since we do hope to be able to fit you better going forward.

Have a great 4th of July!



I think that's a pretty damn good response. And it's real and personal. I must say, I'm pretty impressed. Of course, much like Jockey Bras, I cannot yet use their service. However, my Bra Fairy can, and is considering it. Should she check it out, I will get her to do a review for me. (She has one pending on Jockey, BTW.)

So? My point? Companies can learn. Companies can grow with their market base. And we should support the companies that are trying. I think this one is trying. Check them out. Let me know what you think.