This week for my “A Year of New” project, I decided to turn to something that would help me with “the girls.” Now I hope they don’t need that much help, but I’m very aware of the fact that I was a nursing mother for 14 months until just recently and think that’s a pretty significant phase for the girls to have to recover from! So I thought I’d do them a favour and go for a professional bra fitting and get something pretty – that fits! I mean if Oprah says that most of us are wearing the wrong bra size, then who am I to argue?
I didn’t know where to turn in Victoria for this type of help and I certainly didn’t want to just show up at La Senza or somewhere similar and have a 17-year-old girl helping me out, so I Googled “professional bra fit” and “Victoria” and – lo and behold – I stumbled upon the blog of the shop called Victoria Classic Lingerie.
As soon as I saw the name I realized that I have driven by this store on Fort Street many times. From my recollection of what it looks like from the outside (a quaint character house), I was ready to take a chance on their services. (Who says you can’t judge a book by its cover?)
When I stopped in a few days later, owner Bev was there with a warm smile and ready assistance. I arrived just after the store had opened so luckily I had her all to myself. I explained my situation – it’s sad, I’m still wearing nursing bras and I’m not even nursing anymore – and that I needed her help. She got right down to bra business and helped me with confidence and ease.
If you are a woman, you probably think of bra shopping and immediately go “ugh.” I haven’t met a woman yet who likes this task, it’s usually something more akin to getting your teeth drilled than other types of shopping which can actually be fun. The usual scenario for me when bra shopping is that I go to a major department store (or sometimes even Wal-Mart), spend 30 minutes picking out 15 packages of bras in various sizes and styles and then taking them en masse to the fitting room area to start “the process.” Before being pointed to the cubicle however, I am usually stopped by the “guard” who takes ten of my bras and gives me five back to try on – because I’m only allowed to take that many into the fitting room at one time. I can’t forget to mention that she always spends five minutes taking them out of the packages first, because I might steal one of them when I’m back in the fitting room. (Or so they think – I didn’t get a graduate degree to resort to that!) Sometimes the 15 that I have initially chosen don’t work out, which means I have to put my clothes back on and start the search all over again!
In short, bra shopping is usually a frustrating experience. Even though I do usually walk out of the store with one, maybe two bras that are halfway decent, it’s taken me an hour and I’m sweating with the effort. Thankfully, at Victoria Classic Lingerie this little scenario is now a bygone memory.
Bev had lots of great advice for finding the perfect bra as she deftly measured me and produced some first ones for me to try. She recommended starting your hooks on the first set so that you can tighten the bra as the fabric stretches with use. She also mentioned that you should be able to put a finger easily under your strap at the top of your shoulder without pulling the strap, and that means that the bra is a good fit in that area. I soon saw that since different bra sizes and types can all fit really differently, it helped immensely to have someone helping me that knew her stock really well. I hardly had to think at all! Bev also recommended that I put my shirt back on to view potential bras as they would be seen in public. This made such perfect sense that I wondered why I had never done this before!
In the end, I tried on four bras, bought one and ordered another of the same in a different colour. I think the whole process took 20 minutes and I didn’t sweat with effort! Bev was wonderful and personable throughout the whole process, making me feel at ease. I totally recommend every woman to go and get help from a professional sales woman like her when they are bra shopping. It made all the difference for me in making it more of a pleasant experience than a torture. I just can’t believe it took me over 20 years of bra wearing to get around to doing it!