Adventures in Brafitting

Recently, I went with a friend to Nordstrom (in the Houston Galleria) for a bra fitting. My friend was absolutely not wearing the right bra size: her underwires were sitting on her breast tissue, and she was bulging out at the top. She was excited about getting fitted for the right size.

At Nordstrom she went into the fitting room while I perused the sale rack. When I went to see her in the room, the SA had fitted her as a 36G, in a Wacoal model.  But she still had a lot of boob bulging out of her armpit, which I pointed out. The SA insisted that an H would be too big for her, and tried to steer us away from fitting my friend into any other brand of bra (“Once you get into Elomi or Fantasie that’s a whole other system,” she said, as though that should deter us.)

I asked the SA to pull a Panache Andorra for my friend to try. We found that she needed a 36GG in that bra, and Nordstrom had none in stock.  The SA seemed reluctant to help us in looking for other sizes/brands, so my friend and I went out into the sales floor to hunt for ourselves.

We found that my friend really liked the fit of Elomi bras, and also some Fantasie styles. She was a 34GG in Elomi and in some Fantasie models, and she looked fabulous. No bulging on the armpit. I also took the opportunity to talk to her about tissue migration and the way that a good underwire bra can help move that tissue back to the front of the body.

At one point the SA came back to the fitting room while my friend was trying a Fantasie Lynsey in 32G (this bra runs loose in the band, so we both were able to wear a 32 in it.) It was clearly too small in the cup, but the SA tried to pressure my friend into buying it anyway, saying “Oooh, that’s a sexy bra, it doesn’t matter if it fits!” What the hell kind of bra fitting service is that?

One thing that was very interesting about this trip was comparing the way different bras fit both of us, or didn’t. For example, I wear a 34GG in Panache Andorra and I love it, while she needed a 36GG in that same bra. But, we both fit into a 32H in a Fantasie Lynsey, and she fit into a 32H in Fantasie Florence, a bra that just will not fit me in any size. She loved Elomi full cups, which seem too bulky and full-coverage on me.

I’ve heard that other Nordstrom locations are better, but I’ve been pretty disappointed in the Houston location; though they do carry lots of bras for ladies with bigger bands AND bigger cups, they just don’t have many bras for those of us with small bands and big cups.  If your band is below 36 and your cup is above G, the only bras they regularly have in stock are from Wacoal and Chantelle, two brands that just don’t fit me at all.

My friend and I did have a good time, though, trying on every bra that might conceivably fit us. Showing my friend how a bra might fit better was hilarious- “Ah, ok, I’m going to touch your boob now.” The trip was somewhat disappointing, but still enlightening: we narrowed down her size in some specific bras and brands, so she can look for them elsewhere, which will also be fun. And my friend was completely converted to seamed cups, and in love with the many gorgeous bras available to her!

8 thoughts on “Adventures in Brafitting

  1. I think the shop assistant didn’t want to get the H cup for you guys because they probably didn’t stock it. And the thing about the Fantasie and Elomi “system”, what the hell? I don’t understand why couldn’t just say the sizing may be different so just be aware or something like that. That fitting service sounds pretty terrible, but I’m glad you posted it. Have you ever considered sending this post to Nordstrom corporate? I’d be curious to know if they would respond.

  2. You should report her. My Nordstrom experience has always been pleasant and I’ve even brought friends to get sized there as well. They’ve never tried to fit me in a size that’s too small just because they didn’t stock my size. However as you mentioned there selection is small past a UK G. Nordstrom used to be one of the only places I could go to shop but now (after babies) I’m a UK GG/H so there is not much for me sadly. Also they don’t stock any elomi in 34. But it seems that Elomi is slowly phasing out 34’s anyway 😦

    • I agree with Bizzy–definitely file a complaint against the associate. It was unprofessional (not to mention, unkind) of her to try to sell your friend something that wouldn’t even fit her.

  3. It sounds to me like the rep was trying to steer you towards Wocoal, and may have had a financial reason for doing so. That is troublesome – I don’t think anyone wants to be fitted by someone getting kickbacks from a particular brand.

  4. I have to say I’m sort of floored! I’m in Houston too, and they fit me in the Fantasie Florence (which is a fabulous fit on me) and the Panache Andorra. My fitter was awesome and we quickly decided that Wacoal is not the bra for me, they’re an awful fit on me.

    I came home with a Fantasie in a 34G, the Panache in a 36GG (although I doubt that fit a bit, as it KILLS me under the arms, and I think we had to size up a bit to get the cups wide enough for me, which is a pity because I adore the shape it gives. I just didn’t realize it until I wore it for more than an hour.)

    But anyway, I’ve had good luck with Nordstrom. Maybe I’m lucky. Or maybe I’m overly assertive as I’m still nursing so I’m completely non-amenable to bras that don’t fit properly in the cup.

    • It sounds like you got a good fitter! Every time I’ve gone there, they’ve tried to send me home with a poorly-fitting bra. I guess it’s just a matter of who is on shift, sometimes.

      I love the Panache Andorra. It does dig in under the arms sometimes, though, especially when my boobs are on the top end of fitting it.

  5. I live in St. Louis, and both Nordstom stores around here have been fantastic for fitting. Any time it seems I need a size that they don’t have in stock, they offer to order it for me (free shipping). I am in an HH/J cup, and they’ve had 32HH bras (Panache) in stock. I also got to communicate my woes to the Freya/Fantasie rep, as she was in-store during my last visit. Hopefully next time they’ll have bras over an H in those brands!

    • The Houston Galleria Nordstrom has offered to order things for me, but unless I know my size, I’m kind of leery.

      I think Nordstrom in general is a mixed bag. Sometimes the service and selection are great, sometimes not. It may depend on the store.

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