I got fitted for a bra and my new size blew my mind

02
19

I can’t remember how I stumbled across @CaralynMirand on Instagram but I’m so glad I did. She’s simply a great person to follow on that platform, and has so many useful tips that she shares in her feed, stories, or on videos.

Since following her I learned that she feels very strongly that women need to get properly fitted for a bra, and that is something I’ve been interested in doing now that I’ve had children and am finished breastfeeding. On Monday she “challenged” me to go get fitted at Nordstrom, her top recommendation for places to get fitted, and I said yes!

I asked Amanda to come along as well, and after mentioning this adventure on stories my friend Kathleen chimed in that she’s been wanting to go do that as well. The three of us met at Nordstrom in the morning and went through the fitting process together.

We had a very nice and helpful consultant and it didn’t take long for Kathleen, Amanda, and I to start sharing how different the correct size bras felt when we put them on. It took a few size tests for some of us, but ultimately we ended up all leaving in quite different sizes than we walked into the store with!

I was recalling fit tips that Caralyn has shared in the past on her Instagram account and the bra fitter followed those as well. I went from wearing a 36B to a 36D! I was really surprised to see how well this new cup size fit my silhouette. The consultant shared that a lot of people (including me!) think “D cup means the breasts must stick far out”, but it’s really more about width than projection with some shapes. When I was wearing B cups, I was spilling out of the sides, but as soon as I put on the D cup I experienced what it felt to fully fit into a bra and have it lay flat against my ribcage.

I simply cannot recommend doing this enough. I feel so much more comfortable than I did in my other size, and I learned a lot about different bras and which ones are best for different shapes and sizes.

For example, one style that Caralyn mentions often is a “cut and sewn” bra, which is similar to a “soft cup” bra. This style doesn’t work for me as I’m lacking fullness near the top from breastfeeding, but for women with fuller breasts, this style is often very flattering and supportive. It was helpful to know these differences and see how the shape worked on my body.

A few Q & A’s:

One. Do you need an appointment to get fitted at Nordstrom? No, you just walk in!

Two. What if I don’t have a Nordstrom near me? (working on getting an answer for you asap!)

Three. Is it uncomfortable/embarrassing? Not to me, but of course, everyone has different comfort levels. There is no reason you cannot try on the different cup sizes in private, but it’s likely that the fitter will need to take a few measurements while you are wearing a bra.

I’ll happily answer more questions if I am able, but I must say that Caralyn is the best resource here. I only know what I know from her and my personal experience today!

I ended up with 3 bras from the brand Natori. I’ve bought bras from that brand before and love them, though obviously, I was wearing the wrong size. I’m so excited to see how different my tops look now that I feel more confident in the right shape and size bra!

P.S. We’re doing a giveaway over on Instagram, be sure to enter before Friday 2/21/20!

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Comments (48)

  1. Kaile says
    Posted February 19, 2020

    Getting a professional fitting is the best thing you can do!!! We have a specialized bra store in our area and they are fabulous. I have been going there for years. They are an eclectic store and the least judgey people you could imagine. They truly want you feel and look your best! I’m glad you had such a great experience!

  2. Katherine says
    Posted February 19, 2020

    I did this several years ago and it’s well worth it. Went from wearing a 36B most of my life to wearing a 34D (!!) At first I felt like wearing a D cup was crazy and there was no way I was that busty. But I went with it, started spending more money on bras (love Wacoal) and it’s truly worth it. Everything looks way better and I’m more comfortable.

  3. mh_ccl says
    Posted February 20, 2020

    There’s a calculator on the A Bra That Fits subreddit that can help people find their true size, and they can also explain the concept of sister sizes. I measure at a 32H, but comfortably wear a 34DDD, mostly Natori or Wacoal.

  4. Abbey says
    Posted February 20, 2020

    Dillard’s does professional fittings as well, if you don’t have a Nordstrom close.

  5. Marta says
    Posted February 20, 2020

    I completely agree that women need to get fitted at least once in our lives. I got fitted for a bra for the first time when I was 15 and it changed my life. For the first time ever, bras were actually comfortable and my boobs looked good. Since then, I haven’t gone again and I think maybe I should because I feel like my breasts have changed since then but I think I might wait another year or so, just in case they’re still changing.

    • LAURA MASON says
      Posted February 22, 2020

      Women change bra sizes an average of 6-8 times in a lifetime! We should be getting fitted many times in our lives.

  6. Kaitlyn B says
    Posted February 20, 2020

    I got properly fitted a few days ago after following Caralyn for a few months and learning all of the tips and tricks of how a bra should properly fit. After having a baby and then loosing 30 pounds, I knew I was in the wrong size. I came home with 3 new bras (Wacoal brand) and I feel so sexy and confident!! Its amazing what the perfect fit and different styles can do to your overall figure!

    • Kate says
      Posted February 20, 2020

      Yes it is so helpful!! Way to go on the weight loss, thats a lot of work!

  7. Rebecca W says
    Posted February 20, 2020

    I got fitted at the outlet store L’eggs Hanes Bali Playtex. Very helpful and discreet.

  8. Kate says
    Posted February 20, 2020

    What is the difference between a Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack? You mentioned on stories yesterday that Nordstrom Rack does not do fittings.

    • Linda T says
      Posted February 20, 2020

      Nordstrom Rack is an outlet store.

    • mh_ccl says
      Posted February 20, 2020

      Nordstrom Rack is essentially a clearance store. If you know your size, you can usually find great deals there. I know that $30/bra may seem pricey to some, but I’d rather have 1-2 bras that fit well than a bunch of cheap $10 Target bras that don’t.

    • Kate says
      Posted February 20, 2020

      You may have me confused because I don’t think I said anything about Nordstrom rack, but all I know is Nordstrom does the fittings. I am not sure if Nordstrom Rack does, it may be worth a call?!

  9. Frannie says
    Posted February 20, 2020

    Soma does fittings too. I took my 8 year old shopping one day and wasn’t planning on getting fitted for a bra. It was low key and so helpful and I think it was good that my kiddo got to see it was no big deal. Went from a 34D to a 32DDD and so much happier with my bras 🙂

    • LAURA MASON says
      Posted February 22, 2020

      All I wear are Soma bras. Keep in mind their sizes are brand specific and do not work with other brands.

  10. Deanna says
    Posted February 20, 2020

    Did you go to the Nordstrom @ SouthPoint in Durham?

  11. Linda T says
    Posted February 20, 2020

    Had my first real fitting about 10 years ago and I was amazed at how much of a difference wearing the right size made. Every women should be fitted at least every few years.

    • Kate says
      Posted February 20, 2020

      I totally agree!

  12. Lynn says
    Posted February 20, 2020

    Wow. Well over $200 for 3 bras…while I understand this is not what the post is about, it would be lovely to see some lower price points for us who don’t have that kind of disposable income.

    • Kate says
      Posted February 20, 2020

      Yes, the idea is that once you know your size after a fitting you can purchase bras in the correct size at a price point that is comfortable for you!

    • mh_ccl says
      Posted February 20, 2020

      If you already know your size, you can find good deals at Nordstrom Rack or on Amazon. I think that $30/bra is reasonable, and is usually what I pay at the Rack. If you want to try the Amazon route, it’s helpful to have a specific bra in mind. The last time I went bra shopping at a store, I tried on 19 bras in my size and sister sizes, and only 2 fit me well. But when I got home, I realized they were the same brands as 2 I already had, so now I’m reasonably confident to order that brand and size online if needed.

    • Kaitlyn B says
      Posted February 20, 2020

      $60-$70 is the average price for a GOOD, well-made bra. Its an investment for sure but for me, it is a lot better than being uncomfortable and falling out of a $20 bra. You get what you pay for!

  13. Stephanie says
    Posted February 20, 2020

    How different was your fitting size compared to your Third Love size?

  14. Bridget says
    Posted February 20, 2020

    For any of your plus sized readers, I found that my Nordstrom’ s didn’t have a great selection of options for me (which is so unfortunate!). I found Soma to be a great alternative with walk-in professional fittings and several different styles and fits in plus size options.

  15. JULIE c FLUEGEL says
    Posted February 20, 2020

    Unfortunately the Nordstrom near me left. I go to Dillard’s and actually like their lingerie department better than Nordstrom’s. VS will also measure, obviously it’s just their brand to try on and they didn’t really work with me as much as the nice ladies at Dillard’s do. I have gravitated away from VS and more towards brands like Warner and Chantelle. Getting fitted is something EVERYONE should do. And you should do it once a year, along with getting new bras! It really does make a difference!

    • mh_ccl says
      Posted February 20, 2020

      VS will measure, but they sell a pretty limited range of sizes. And their goal is to get you to buy a bra, so they will put you into the closest thing they have, which may not actually be a good fit.

  16. Kayley says
    Posted February 20, 2020

    Love the Natori bras! The Pure Luxe Underwire T-shirt bra is always in the Nordstrom Anniversary sales. I always stock up then!

  17. Tasha says
    Posted February 20, 2020

    What do you recommend if the closest place to get fitted it 3+ hours away?

    • mh_ccl says
      Posted February 20, 2020

      https://www.abrathatfits.org/calculator.php

      Input your measurements here. Then perhaps try ordering a selection of brands from someplace that allows free returns so you can try them on and see how well they fit.

  18. Kelly says
    Posted February 20, 2020

    My bra fitter recommends you wear or bring a soft, fitted t-shirt to put on over the final selections of bras. This way you can ensure you really like the fit and appearance.

  19. Amy says
    Posted February 20, 2020

    I am over endowed and I have take my nieces, Nieces-in-law, cousins, girlfriends, nephew’s girlfriend To be fit…some from my own drawer of bras! They All know now what to look for, how it should fit/feel, why 2 great bras are worth more than 10 ill fitting ones… in they get it and know they must budget for decent priced bras since they will never fit into ones that are <$10!

    My work continues to anyone that reaches out…and feel comfortable raising the subject. My nephew’s girl friend was uncomfortable until I put her i to a bra that actually FIT.

    The fitter did a double take when I had my 3 nieces (middle school and early HS) and she asked, what do you think Mom (with them naked from the waist up and 3-4 bras tried on each), and I replied, oh I am not their mother. 🤣

  20. Camille says
    Posted February 20, 2020

    As a professional bra fitter on a personal mission to get all women in the right bra size. I’m afraid that nordstorm use an outdated system known as +4. ( because you add 4 to the underbust measurement to find the band size) This system was put in place when bras did not have elastic in then but now that they are mostly elastic you do not need to add 4. I highly doubt looking at your photographs that you are a 36 band. Please measure again sometime it is best to do this yourself. There is website here that can help you with do that. https://booborbust.com/

    • Carly says
      Posted February 21, 2020

      Thanks for mentioning this! I was so looking forward to a bra fitting after finishing breastfeeding my last child, and went to Nordstrom to get it done a few months ago. I felt pushed into this size that I knew was wrong, and ended up buying some expensive bras that are now my least worn. It kind of reiterated to me that my body was what’s wrong, since I didn’t feel like I fit into any of the bras that were selected for me (even though I was told they were my correct size).

      • Camille says
        Posted February 25, 2020

        I often find this is the case. I can highly recommend boororbust.com (Was directed to them via a client asking if they are good and I have to say they are great as they allow women to measure themselves at home as I know some women can be shy). But if you are unsure if a bra fits the best thing to do is put the bra on backwards. With the cups on your back and clipped onto the loosest clips. Pull the band out as far as you can from your body. If you can pull the band out more than 2 inches than the band is too big. Go down a band size and try again, but remember if you go down a band size you need to up a cup size sometimes even tow cup sizes. Often I have women I fit tell me that the band is too small as bra feels tight but this is often because they are fitted by people who use a plus 4 method and so are in a cup size that is often far too small, and the cup is stealing space from the band. The basic rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t be in a band size any more than your dress size plus 20 in the UK and 22 in the US. (IE if your dress size is a US 10 then your bra band size should be no bigger than 32)

  21. Helen Fröderberg says
    Posted February 21, 2020

    In sweden we have a few good stores that also give this service. I use it to find the right bra, I’m usually right in my size, but the size differ from brand to brand. I use MarieJo and Chantelle. I love that you can get help and the way a correct sized bra feel and look. I’d reccomend this to all woman of all sizes. Wrong size or model can cause backpains.

    Next challenge is finding a perfect sports bra.

  22. Natasha says
    Posted February 21, 2020

    Sorry I don’t think your size is right! We look similar and I wear a 32G uk.

  23. Stel says
    Posted February 21, 2020

    I did a fitting a couple of weeks ago and now eagerly await my news bras (has to bloody be imported) – it is such a pain that the bras available in shops do not actually reflect the look of women in society.

  24. Sarah says
    Posted February 21, 2020

    A great calculator is at http://www.booborbust.com. Chances are most people reading this are in too big a band, too small a cup. A D cup means your over bust is only 4 inches more than your rib cage. Mine is 14 inches more than my rib cage, and most people will be nearer that than a D but don’t know it. Give BoB a try!

  25. Becky says
    Posted February 21, 2020

    Didn’t you do a post about getting bras from Third Love before? Is the sizing different?

    • Kate says
      Posted February 21, 2020

      I have bought ThirdLove bras before and like a few of the styles! I’m so curious, though, to try a ThirdLove bra in my new size!

      • Meriam says
        Posted February 26, 2020

        How does the comfort of the “new” bra size compare to your old ThirdLove bra? Is it even more comfortable?

        • Kate says
          Posted February 26, 2020

          It feels a lot more comfortable, and now I’m interested in trying a ThirdLove bra in this new size!

  26. JBFurlong says
    Posted February 21, 2020

    This is great encouragement. I was fitted after I finished nursing my last baby. I walked in wearing a 36D and walked out at 32DDD. I have been a firm believer ever since. I will say if people don’t have a Nordstrom nearby, Dilliards is also a great place to be fitted!

  27. Nilda says
    Posted February 23, 2020

    I don’t have a the chance to get fitted where I live, but some years ago found “a bra that fits” site and followed their directions and went from 36B to 32DD or 34D, my life change from that moment, so comfortable!!

  28. Posted February 24, 2020

    My mom just recently went and got fitted and her whole posture changed. She is so happy about her new bras, so I’m definitely next. Thank you!

  29. Diane Titter says
    Posted March 2, 2020

    Hello! I thought when I initially read this article there was a link to zip code lookup of specialist bra fitters? I can’t seem to find it now – would you be able to point me to it?

  30. Moira Gillespie says
    Posted March 6, 2020

    For people in the UK, I can highly recommend Bravissimo for their fitting service.

  31. Jeannie says
    Posted March 12, 2020

    I have the same problem you mentioned – I lack fullness at the tops of my breasts. The cups are usually gaping at the top/empty. You mentioned a soft cup bra is not right for this shape. What are the alternatives to a soft cup bra? I’ve been fitted but don’t think I’ve ever been directed to anything different.