picture from Jockey Facebook
There is a new buzz among the bra world of the US (and beyond?). Jockey has come out with a new standard of measurement. They have done eight years of research on women and their bras and boobs, and they have finally realized that the old way of adding inches just wasn't cutting it (shock & surprise.... *sarcasm*). They now measure without adding inches, and use volume cups to determine breast size. This takes away the normal cup sizes we are used to, and replaces them with numbers instead. But before I get ahead of myself, I am lucky enough to live near one of their test store locations. The fitters there are required to send weekly surveys to Jockey on how the system is working, and what the system is still missing. Just them wanting to know what they can do better is a huge step forward, in my opinion!
Jockey was supposed to email me some photos of the store for use in my blog post, but it's been a week or two, and I haven't gotten what I wanted, so I took some off of Google- I will do my best to site the photos.
As you can see in the above photo, the store is just gorgeous. My mom came along with me, and we were both very pleased by the color palette, and the textural palette. We felt like we were walking into a spa! The bra consultants were friendly and very welcoming. They explained their new process to us, and asked if we were interested in a fitting. After we agreed, they asked us if we wanted to be in the same room, or separate rooms. I'm not sure if they do this for everyone, or just because we were mother-daughter. I did explain up front about what I do with BRAvolution, so this wasn't a totally blind fitting.
We were introduced to Sue, who would be doing our fitting, and brought back to a room. The room had a plush bench, great lighting, and a TV screen on the wall. Sue explained to us that they have a PowerPoint tutorial set up that women can watch if they want to fit themselves. The tutorial explained the system, how to use the cups to fit yourself, and what you are looking for in a good fit. The TV also gives a rundown of the five styles available. Jockey claims that each style will never be discontinued, and each comes in at the same $60 price tag.
We were given robes, and asked to take off our shirt and bra. Sue then returned when we were ready, and showed us the cup system.
There was a color coated measuring tape, and plastic volume cups numbered one through ten. First, Sue measured the band size. Sue explained that the color coding on the tape measure was to make it easy for home fitting (you can buy the kit online- more about that later)- take your measurement and do the smaller number in your color. So, if you measure a 33, you would be a 32 band. Then, you take a cup that looks like it might work for you, bend over and put your breast in the cup- arrow pointing up towards your face (yes, they do sanitize the cups after each fitting).
This is how they determine cup size. As I explained earlier, they have done away with the traditional cup letter sizes. Some people grumble about it, but in a way it makes sense. In the current letter system, the cups letters do not have the same volume as you go up or down the band scale. For example, the physical size of a "D" cup is much smaller at a 28 band size than it is a 38 band size. Take this picture of "A" cups:
With Jockey's new volume number system, a "30 band-5 cup" should be the same volume as a 34-5 cup, and only the band is what changes size. You would no longer have to go up or down in the cups as you go up or down in the band. I hope that doesn't sound too confusing! Sue also explained that once you have your size (which then is tweaked as you try on) in one style, it will be the same size throughout all the styles. Jockey is trying really hard to make bra fitting very easy for women. I applaud the effort!
Unfortunately, my mom and I were again sized out of the system. Sue did an okay job measuring us. Jockey trains the fitters to be as hands off as possible. When Sue measured me, she did so a little lower than normal. I'm not sure if that was because of the no touch system, or because its all new stuff. She came up with a 30 band for me (when I went home, I measured myself at the 28 I was expecting). I was also an 8 cup. Jockey DOES carry 30 bands now, but nothing under that. And much to my dismay, the 8cup only starts in their 34 band! Sue explained that 8cup and above usually are not very petite (I told her that was so wrong- a little online research would prove this!!) I asked her when she gives her weekly survey to please ask for smaller bands (28,26,24) in ALL cup sizes-- they are needed!!!!!!!! So, I was not able to try on what my Jockey size would be, but I did try on a 34-8 just to see.
The material felt great. Very silky and smooth. I can see why their bras have been getting thumbs up. They are still only available in white, nude, and black (snooze! I get that neutrals are necessary, but color and pattern are what a girl wants! Enough of this boring crap- you can make a neutral fun!). Of course, since it was a 34 band, the back of it was up to my shoulder blades. I can't believe I used to think I was a 34 band! Ugh!!!
Although Jockey's new system didn't work for us, our fitter did stress that Jockey is very interested in feedback and would really be listening to customer experience. I hope they listen to this! SMALLER BANDS IN ALL CUP SIZES! I would also venture a guess that they would need larger measuring cups as well. I'm a 28HH in regular sizes, and an 8 cup in their sizing. It stops at 10...
In addition, Jockey has a points program. Each dollar you spend earns you a point. When you get to 100 points (with each bra at $60, you'd do that buying two bras), you get a $10 off coupon for a future purchase. They also have the Fit Kit available for purchase here. It is $20, but you also get a $20 off coupon to use towards the purchase of a bra. You can purchase the bras online from Jockey if you are not near their storefronts.
I would say that the new Jockey system is worth a try. I like the fact that they have edcuational material available in the room for you and they are willing to teach you how the bra should be fitting- which sounds like a no brainer for a bra store, but few of them do this (do the others want you uneducated, so you'll buy an ill fitting an uncomfortable bra and then have to go back and buy a replacement?).