I’ll Fit Myself, ThankYouVeryMuch.

IMG_5282 I’ve been seeing this term thrown around in a lot of the newspaper ads lately, not to mention the Southern Women’s Show… “Certified Bra Fitter”…or a different variety is “Certified Bra Specialist”.

And it makes me ponder…how DOES one become a certified in bra fitting?

I googled it to satiate my curiosity, but came up zilch – except for one bra-fitting certification school in England (Tuition is £200, by the way), but that doesn’t count, because I’m sure the certifications are different on this side of the pond.

So where DO you get trained? Is it a course at the local Community College? Or maybe the Technical College??

I can see their commercials now, where they scroll the degrees available across the screen…

Get your degree now!!! In all of our available majors…

  • Court Reporting 

  • Medical Billing 

  • Medical Assistant 

  • Dental Hygienist 

  • Bra Fitting Specialist

And if they DO offer that certification, are only women allowed to enroll in that course? Because you know the line of guys signing up for “Auto Mechanic” would totally change majors, if nothing else for the “lab” classes.

And, speaking of men, what if there were such a thing as a “Certified Boxer Fitter” or a “Certified Brief Fitter”?

Can you imagine the response you’d get from your husband if you said “Honey, your boxers don’t seem to be fitting right. I think it might be causing your back problems. And your posture might improve too, if you were fitted properly. I scheduled you an appointment with Derrick – He’s a Certified Boxer Specialist down at Macy’s.”

(Insert your Husband’s unprintable response here.)

“But Honey, they’re having a Boxer Fitting Event!!”

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Leave your comment below!

Comments

  1. It is a strange thing to be certified in but I have actually had the one at Lane Bryant measure me because I lost a bunch a weight and didn't know what size I was. Then I gained most of the weight back and had to be measured again. It is helpful and not nearly as uncomfortable or embarrassing as it sounds.

  2. A friend of mine worked in the lingerie department at Parisian's in college. She was "certified" and basically somebody just showed her how to measure someone. Genius.

  3. One of my most embarassing shopping moments occurred between me and certified bra specialist at Victoria's Secret.
    CBS: What size bra do you wear?
    Me: [Insert tiny bra size that I will not put on the internet.]
    CBS: Unh uh! [snaps out measuring tape, puts it around me and declares even teenier size that I will not post on the internet]
    Geez!
    Actually though I did have a really nice CBS assist me when I was pregnant. She even giggled with me as I got excited about my size.

    • I am a bra specialist that works for Victoria’s Secret and I am appalled that that fitter did that to you. Every person has their own unique and beautiful physique and there is nothing wrong with that. Statistics show that 70% of women are wearing the wrong bra size. Being a “Bra Specialist” means that you have knowledge in your product (such as Victoria’s Secret bra styles and features and benefits of each bra style as they are all different with unique features just like you!) But also having the customer service skills, and empathy to help diagnose and correct bra discrepancies.

      At VS we actually are observed and must complete a requirement sheet with 98% accuracy or better. This ensures each customer is getting the same level of care and satisfaction with our fitters.

      The steps to a proper bra fitting are actually quite simple. Here is the VS 8 step fit process:

      1.) Exchange names introducing yourself before asking the name of the client.
      2.)Ask the client when her last bra fitting was. (Fitting should be done at least every 6 months)
      3.) Ask client if she would like to be measured on the sales floor or fitting room (fittings are usually done over a tee shirt, but we are not opposed to bras or even bare breasts in private)
      4.) Ask the client what type of bra she is wearing (push-up, demi, perfect coverage, etc.)
      5.) Ask if she is having any fit issues with her current bras.
      6.) Place measuring tape around the client with the back of the tape across her back even with the fullest part of her breast. Then pull the front of the tape measure above her breasts in the front and pull taut. This will be your band size. If you fall on an odd number, round down to the nearest even number.
      7.) Now pull the tape measure (still across her back) across the fullest part of the breast. Leave approximately 1/2 inch between the tape measurer and the breast. Now count this difference between the band and the number on the tape measurer. 1 difference = a cup, 2 = b cup, 3 = c cup, etc. If it falls on the half inch, round down.
      8.) Share your findings and now find her, her perfect bra!

      • I’ve been with Victoria’s Secret for about 2 years now as the bra specialist, and I’d just like to add on a little step of my own that works really well.

        9.) Ask her if she has ever shopped with us or ever had one of our bras.
        I ask this question because she may not like padded bra’s because they feel funny. Not all bra’s are made with memory foam or infinity. Who’s to say that they won’t love a minimum push up.

        However when you go in ask your personal specialist to try our bra wardrobing center after your fitting so you can try all of our styles to make sure you get the perfect fit that will flatter you and your shape.

  4. You jest, but when you've had a couple of kids and are not exactly small in that area, things sag that you don't want to sag. And you need a little help getting them put back up where they belong. We actually had an entire MOPS meeting about bras, etc. It was surprising how many moms were wearing the wrong size.

  5. I did this just recently and I think it is horribly uncomfortable to do what is required. I just kept reminding myself that THEY are not near as focused on my chest as I am. They are "simply" trying to fit me in the right bra. After my extremely awkward session…I was (and have been since) soooo glad I did it. I feel so much better in the right size and she knew some rules about sizing I had never heard. It was a huge help and I hope I never see her again! So I don't suppose you'll be doing a "Mom Bra" blog to follow up on your "Mom Jeans"?!!!

  6. NO way will I subject myself to the humiliation of someone 'certified' telling me "why bother, you really don't even have a size" or "have you tried the Tween section?" NO THANK YOU!!

  7. Mr. Bailey Jackson says:

    I am going to have to agree with some of the previous comments. A few girlfriends and I were shopping at Victoria's and the sales girl looked at me and asked what bra size I was wearing…well she was helping my friend so I thought it odd. But then she told me that she could tell from how I was filling out my shirt that I was wearing the wrong sized bra. I let her take me away and work her magic on me and WOW. It made such a difference! Even in how the girls looked under my shirts! :)

  8. Wade's World says:

    I've had it done, but what bothers me (and I know this from personal experience) is that if you ask 4 people to "fit" you, you will come up with four different sizes every time. How does that happen? The girls don't change sizes that much!

    • Your size actually does change often, and you should be measured at least once a year if not every six months to make sure you are still wearing the right size. You are sized differently at each store because each so called “specialist” is trained to fit based on the products and brands their store works with. Just because you are one size in one bra doesn’t mean it will be the same size in a different style or brand. It’s actually a lot more complicated then people think, but once you find the perfect style it makes a world of difference.

    • The problem is that the measuring tape is a guideline. It is not an exact measurement. People need to see you in a bra in order to find your exact fit. It’s something that takes a lot of knowledge about anatomy, and how the brand of bra’s fit. Getting fit can change your life. Seriously.

  9. This Is The Day says:

    I have never felt like I had the right bra size, but I am way too embarrassed to get "fitted". Maybe they should come up with personal certification classes so you can do it yourself. :)

  10. pistolsnprincesses says:

    I am a believer in having a "specialist" fit you for your bras. I went to Victoria's Secret and tried to find some bra's on my own and spent way too much money on bra's that didn't fit me right. I have found a little boutique that is all about the bosoms and they do a wonderful job finding a perfect fit bra. It's uncomfortable but I just think of them like I do the Dr. They see it all day, every day. Nothing new to them!

    • At Victoria’s Secret they also do bra fittings and will take all the time you need finding the perfect fit. It is just like wearing a bikini. They don’t check you out, they just want to make sure they fit right.

  11. blueviolet says:

    Thanks for bringing up painful memories. My mom took me to a bra fitting specialist when I was young. I was totally humiliated!

  12. I know a "friend" that will take this oportunity to reveal just one of Victoria's many Secrets…. To be "certified", one was taught the basics of chest to bosom ratios for corrosponding band and cup measurements. Then, they were informed about what styles were actually made with the most accuracy in said ratios. So basically, you are certified to work a measuring tape and know your produce. Those with mad skills (and not yet trained on the cash register) periodically got to wear measuring tapes similar to honors cords at graduation. Summa Cum Buxom?

  13. Since I've had 2 kids and am very deflated, I actually really want to have a "specialist" find the right size bra for me, but I don't know if I'll ever get up enough courage to actually do it ;)

  14. I was in The Fitting Touch store at the Summit in Birmingham, AL, today and no one spoke to me. Not one sales clerk asked if I needed help. It was more important for the sales people to answer the phone than to wait on a customer that is in the store wanting to spend money. Or maybe it was more important to replace stock on the walls than to ask a customer if they need help. Is having an arrogant attitude and chatting with other employees the way they train their sales clerks? If so, it is obvious the clerks have trained well in displaying poor customer service. I have never been in a store where I have been treated so poorly.

  15. Bra Specialist says:

    It’s ridiculous how many people make fun of a bra specialist’s position. Yes there is training & tons of it. We hold a lot if responsibly & knowledge. As crazy as it sounds, I’m no life saver but I do make a small difference in a woman’s life. You’ll actually be surprised. Finding the perfect bra for woman’s life style isn’t as easy as you think. We are the experts at bra’s that why you ladies shop there. Not everyone has great customerservice everywhere& i apologize but in Houston our store is the most friendliest & I hear that from customers all the time. I don’t appreciate the negative feedback but that is your opinion & I respect it.

    • I actually did take my commenter’s advice and give certified bra fitting a chance – and it was great. I think I blogged about it later, but I’m not sure where.. so for the record, I am a convert! :)

    • Bra Specialist (VS Kenwood) says:

      At our store, I can fit anywhere from 80-500 women in a day. 80% of them think that they “know their size”. Half of those who think that they are in the correct size also think that straps falling, bands wandering up their back and gapping in the cup are all part of normal day wear. Everyone is a different shape and size and has their own special needs. Those who allow me to give them a second opinion are mostly in the wrong size. I encourage you to at least give it a try. I was even wearing the wrong size before coming to work at our store. Understand that our goal is not to maliciously tell you you’re in a wrong size to get you to buy something. I enjoy helping someone find something that brings great comfort to their every day life. So yes, there is no master test or degree handed out to a bra specialist. There are hours and numerous experiences that add up to a closet of knowledge concerning what works with certain shapes and sizes. So please, next time maybe don’t scoff it off – give it a try.

  16. Bra Specialist says:

    & thank you for the ones that do appreciate our hard work & dedication to making customers happy.

  17. I own Jolie Femme deux, a lingerie, gift and accessories store in Del Mar. Yes, I agree with you that many boutiques “throw” around the term Certified. In 2006 A Le Mystere lingerie bra-fit specialist came to my boutique and trained/certified me. Most bra lines do not offer certification. It’s o.k. to entitle yourself a bra-fit specialist if you have fitted over 100 women correctly. But, other than that, your comments are justified. I invite you to visit me so that I may show you what a true Certified Bra Fit Specialist knows/does. Warm Regards, Sheree Clock, Owner, Jolie Femme deux, 2690 Via de la Valle, Ste. D250B, Del Mar, CA 92014 858.792.1222

  18. Jennifer says:

    I really appreciated coming across your post because I want to become a bra fit specialist but have no idea how to go about it here in CT. As somebody who has struggled with my weight throughout my life and seen my breasts go from 32B in my thin stage to 38D now, I’d love to be able to help women as a good fit is like a miracle – it changes your confidence, your carriage and your body proportions.
    Thanks for the discussion, ladies!

    • Yes, I discovered that it does make all the difference in the world!! Good luck finding a great fitter! I use The Fitting Touch, but I think they’re local. Soma Intimates is national, though.

  19. Jennifer says:

    Soma Intimates is about an hour away but I’d forgotten all about them, thanks for the suggestion, Rachel :)

  20. I realize your post is old. However, I felt the need to comment as someone who works at Victoria’s Secret doing just that — bra fitting.

    Like the other bra specialists and associates stated, there actually is a process to fitting someone for their perfect bra. So many people walk into VS (or other lingerie stores) with the impression that they are in the right bra. But in truth most women are in the wrong fit (size, style, shape) and fail to realize this until they are properly measured. I was one of these women.

    I know this doesn’t seem like a big deal. But when you take into account that breasts highly vary (not just in size, but also in density and so forth) there is a lot more going on than we take into account. Having a properly fitting bra not only makes someone look better, but is better for wellness and health. Being in the wrong bra can result in breast damage, along with restricted circulation, back pain, constricted breathing, etc. And there’s been cases in which bra specialists have detected breast lumps! So maybe we specialists and associates are good to have around ;)

    That’s my two cents. One more thing: The reason we recommend being measured at least every six months is because breasts do change periodically.

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