I've been pondering for a while what my next post should be about. I came up with brand loyalty, as I am hoping to branch out soon from my usual. However, then I once again watched Nordstrom's fitting video and got all worked up again about it. In case you haven't watched it, here is the link to their fitting information.
As you can see, along with a video they have a list of measurements and band sizes along with a few tips on how a bra should fit. I've discussed in length with their National Fit Consultant about this online advice, and they stoutly refuse to change it. They think the add inches method is better than the +/- 0 method when doing online ordering.
Back to the video. They start off by measuring the model and then telling you to refer to the guide which would put the model, who measures 27 underbust, at a 32 band. So if this woman went into the store for a fitting, they would do the same? Add FIVE INCHES to the underbust? Then they explain how a bra should fit. The two finger test (which ended up looking more like a four finger test, if you ask me!), the center gore and how it should lay flat against the ribcage (a too small cup is not the only reason the center gore pulls away- a too big band will cause this as well. and notice that she says "if it pulls away at all"- which it does in the video!)
Let's go back to the five inches thing. Most department stores in the US add 4-6 inches to the underbust measurement to get your band size. (I've been told that in store, Nordy's only adds 2- but although it is better, I still feel like it starts women off at a disadvantage and certainly doesn't make up for the bad online advice). Have you ever stopped to think what five inches actually looks like? How much extra stretchy fabric is being added unnecessarily?
I started racing around my house, looking for an everyday item that is five inches. First, I looked at a dollar bill, but that was too big (a little over 6), then I looked at a credit card and that was too small... What other product that a woman knows intimately...?? I know...
Yes, that is right. A tampon. Five inches. So, next time you are in a fitting room, keep in mind when that fitter brings out her measuring tape what five inches is and ask yourself if you want or need that much extra fabric. The band is 80% of the support of a bra (with the other 20% being 10% on each strap). How can the band do it's job when five inches is being added in? The fabrics that are used now are a lot more forgiving than when the +4-6 method was first being used. With what bras are made out of now, adding inches isn't necessary.
A lot of people say "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," and besides the awful grammar in that saying, it's true. Don't fix something that isn't broken. But with at least 80% of women wearing the wrong bra size, shouldn't we think that this system is broken? It's not going to fix itself, and it won't get fixed if we sit back and don't demand it to change.