The Lingerie Fitter: the Foundation Professional
“As a fitter, I have seen many women’s figures transformed by a good bra fitting – as if they had gone under the knife. Experience has shown me that many women would put off completely or delay cosmetic surgery if they could find the correct fitting bra and so an experienced fitter is a valuable commodity in any woman’s life.”
by Michelle Broomes
The world of lingerie is a fascinating one and, in my opinion, too few are excited by it. I became a bra fitter approximately three years ago, sometime after moving to London from the Caribbean. Some have asked me why in the world did I leave the warmth of an island considered a paradise to come to the often grey skies and cold winters of England. The answer seemed obvious to me – I met the man of my dreams whilst he was on holiday on the island and the rest is history. Today we have been married four years and have a son who is a few weeks old.
Before this drastic move, I was into social work and had a role working with children and families. This role financed my lifestyle well but I wasn’t especially happy about all of my duties. Therefore when I came to England I was looking for a fresh start and so I applied to work at a lingerie shop which I had discovered online and from whom I had imported my bra essentials.
I started as an employee in the stockroom of the Company and then graduated to fitting consultant. I never looked back. Lingerie fitting, to me, has become a passion – granted it is hard work. It is not just throwing any old bra on a pair of breasts. It’s not rocket science either, but it has scientific elements at its basis – particularly those of physics in relation to motion, volume and suspension, all of which are essential to bra construction as well as fitting. It is not an exact science but many non scientific disciplines are not exact sciences either. At the risk of sounding overly complementary about bra fitting, it has theoretical principles that allowed me, as a fitter, to quickly determine bra sizes without a tape measure – particularly the principle of “smaller in the back, bigger in the cup.”
Bra (and other essential lingerie) fitting is all about finding common and specific solutions to women’s everyday fashion needs. In the book The bra book: The fashion formula to finding the perfect bra (2009) written by Jené Luciani, CEO of Fashion Forms, Ann Deal states that,
“The bra business really is solutions driven. When halter tops and dresses are in style, so are the bras that can be worn underneath them.” (p. vi)
Bras and other undercover essentials allow women to wear items of clothing that they would’ve not normally considered and they cover a multitude of what could be regarded as sins of the fashion world. Lingerie takes women from work to play (and even foreplay!). In my opinion, bra fitting is literally a foundation activity of the fashion world, whether it is for the catwalk or the sidewalk and one must admit that one flinches a bit when fitters are regarded as just “the sales girl”. As a fitter, I have seen many women’s figures transformed by a good bra fitting – as if they had gone under the knife. Experience has shown me that many women would put off completely or delay cosmetic surgery if they could find the correct fitting bra and so an experienced fitter is a valuable commodity in any woman’s life.
“In my opinion, bra fitting is literally a foundation activity of the fashion world, whether it is for the catwalk or the sidewalk and one must admit that one flinches a bit when fitters are regarded as just “the sales girl”.
Unfortunately, it appears that the training for lingerie fitters and consultants is so commercially oriented that many courses seem only to offer enough information to enter into the retail arena and not necessarily to learn and appreciate the value of good lingerie. Training appears to offer the potential consultant a formula to fit many women in a production line fashion but offering little to indulge that individual in a world where lingerie provides what could be called a kaleidoscopic delight to the senses.
Fit training courses which this writer has discovered locally, have often appeared to be too short (one or two days tuition), costly and hard to find. Moreover, there appears to be little to no certification to verify that the consulting fitter is qualified to work in that area. It seems that several courses, upon completion, offer little more than a verification of attendance.
With statistics pointing towards an eighty per cent trend in women in the UK wearing the wrong size bra, there appears to be much opportunity for women to be influenced by the lingerie consultant. Therefore, more intensive certified courses could be made available to those who are passionate about transforming women’s bodies and wardrobes.
With the fashion world growing almost like a living organism, fashion trends are changing almost in the blink of an eye. One only has to observe how each new celebrity that enters the world of showbiz generates interest in her hair, clothing, shoes, bags and the like. We want to look like the famous and that includes discovering their secret to fabulous figures – much of which appears aided by the best in undercover garments. Moreover, with the trends that have caused women to wear underwear, like corsets, as outerwear, the need for accurate fitting of these garments seems to be on the increase.
With the help of an attentive and accurate fitter as the main ingredient to one’s fashion fix, all we women need to do is to add a pair of our best earrings, slip on a pair of our best heels and stir up a little interest.
Name: Michelle Broomes aka Shelly
Bra size: bigger than you’d imagine!
Email address: email@example.com
Favourite lingerie brands: Panache, Bravissimo, Curvy Kate, Freya. These, in my opinion, are built to carry weight.
Bio: In my early years I was always known to be an “academic” because I was good at the books and always got really good grades in school. I’d never been really good at anything practical until I became a lingerie fitter. Now I talk about lingerie nearly all the time and -ask my hubby- I am a fierce critique of bras and the like. Throw in matching knickers, jewellery and heels and I’m in lingerie heaven.
Lingerie philosophy: Well fitting lingerie is always sexy even if it’s from the bargain bin!