In the world of bra fitting, the advice is always to get "a professional fitting." I cannot tell you the amount of times I have emailed a company (Victoria's Secret, Nordstrom's, etc) or a magazine in regards to their poor fitting advice. What comes back to me, inevitably, is that their advice is just a guide (understandably so) and that I should run to my nearest store for a "professional fitting." Of course, this is after I have poured my heart out on how my entire life I had never been properly fitted by these so-called professionals and that I now fit in my bras because I no longer use the +4 method of measuring. I am dismissed that easily.
Although, to be fair, I had a few nice long chats with Lauren- fit coordinator for Nordstrom's. She even met with me to discuss my views and issues. However, their poor advice remains on their website and no change will come about. Their fitters have said they use a +2 method, but their website still advises anything from +2 to +5. They do more than the average to try to educate their online shopper with how a bra should fit, but put them at a disadvantage by having them add so many inches.
Most people view a "professional" as some one who knows everything about their profession. A bra fitter will undoubtedly put you in the right bra size....right? She's a professional. She knows what she is talking about.
So, how many of you have left a store with a bra that you bought after being 'professionally fitted' and were unhappy with the results? Be honest with yourself now. Have you bought a bra after a fitting that had its band riding up? Or you were already on the last hook? Have they told you that "I'm sorry, but this is the biggest cup size we have. It will fit you if you go up a band size, because then the cup will fit you." I'm sorry, but that is bad advice. If the band size fits, and you can't get the right cup size, then this bra isn't for you. Nothing makes me seethe more than someone selling you something that doesn't fit just to make a sale. That doesn't make one a "professional."
I have had a lifetime of someone telling me the "professional" way is the right way, but the results were always awful- always left me in something that fit poorly and made me feel awful about myself. Ask yourselves- how is that the 'right' way?
The war against +4 isn't going to go away. We are really trying to change the way bras are measured for. We are a collection of self made professionals, trying to change the world- one bra at a time. Every time I send an email and get a "perhaps you should be fitted by a professional," I just want to bang my head against a wall. Every time I hear someone say they need a professional fitting, I feel the same way. In the US, you are better off learning the signs of a good fit and your measurements and going it alone (or with the help of the many awesome bra blogs there are out there). I wouldn't trust a professional to fit me unless I knew they didn't use the +inches method. There are too few and far between in this country. Those that don't measure (Intimacy, for one), don't carry sub-32 bands.
While I balk at calling myself a "professional" bra fitter, since I've never worked at a store, I feel like I need to lay some claim to the word. I may not have been trained by some poor girl who was taught the wrong way, but can't my results speak for themselves? After all, the third definition of professional is, "following a line of conduct as though it were a profession." And that is certainly what I am doing.
PS. a great guest post on FullerFigureFullerBust on bra fitting: http://fullerfigurefullerbust.com/2012/08/05/are-you-wearing-the-wrong-bra-by-susannah-perez/