Chances are that at least some female readers of this blog are wearing the wrong bra size. After all, didn't Oprah proclaim years ago that 8/10 were wearing ill-fitting bras? Whether the problem is a band that digs into your back, overflowing (or underfilled) cups, or straps that leave your shoulders aching, the litany of complaints seems never-ending.
So when I was offered a proper fitting at Dianes Lingerie on South Granville and the chance to take home a new bra, I was definitely intrigued. Was I among the supposed legions of women in the wrong size? Turns out I wasn't (phew), but I did get to pick the brain of French lingerie expert Lyne Glanzmann, who happened to at Dianes that day. Glanzmann—who works with Empreinte, a luxury European lingerie label that makes beautiful, lacy creations for fuller-figured women—gave me the lowdown on what a girl should look for in a proper-fitting bra.
Can you tell me a little about what you do?
I've been in the [lingerie] industry since 27 years, and I used to work with a lot of companies. Since 10 years I've been doing training of how to fit bras, how to make bras, and some consulting.
In your experience, are most women wearing the right size bra?
[Emphatically] No. Most of them, especially today, you know. I would say 80% of them do not know how to wear the right bra. First of all, they all the time want something really loose, they don't want to feel it and feel the elastic. It's the opposite: to be fit when you are any kind of size, you need to be a little tight to feel the bra, to get the full support. The strap position is to lift your breasts, so there has to be a little bit of pull [lifts bra straps off the mannequin's shoulders], and most women they don't want that. They don't want to feel anything. And when you don't feel anything, that becomes not a good fit and the bra will go down, and the back will [ride] up, and that will give not a good support.
What are some of the common problems you see with poorly fitted bras?
[Women] all the time want to attach the [last] hook and eye in the back instead of here [motions to the centre hooks], and that will make the bra [ride] up and no support at all. And after that the straps: they never adjust the straps.
When we fit the customers, we recommend the customers wear the bra on [the outermost hooks], wear that for one or two months. This will make the bra adapt to your body. After one or two months, we recommend to go to the middle [hooks]. After again one or two months, we recommend to go to the tightest one, and that would be the perfect fit.
How should women be taking care of their bras after they buy them?
[Wash] in a [delicates] bag, cold water, gentle cycle. Never, never in the dryer!
How long will a good bra last?
Depends on the brand. An Empreinte bra, you can have that at least two years because at Empreinte we don't do any compromises on the quality of the fabric, and that makes a big difference.
To check out Empreinte's newest styles or book your own fitting appointment, visit the Dianes Lingerie website for more info.
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