Or how I went from a 36 A to a 32 D in 60 seconds or less.
Back when I was working as a reporter at the Daily Breeze in Torrance, my beat was to find people with unusual jobs and write stories about them. One I particularly enjoyed was a about a professional bra fitter by the name of Vondell Renolds who told me she’d measured at least 100,000 breasts during her 30-year career as a custom bra fitter.
“I’ve seen every shape and size over the years,” Vondell said in her down-home Texas accent. “Everything from a 28 C to a 52 Double H – and that one has cups big enough to hold half a basketball.”
So when I received an invitation from the new, posh bra specialty store Intimacy, located in the Westfield Mall in Century City, to have a custom bra-fitting by none other than its founder, Susan “The Bra Whisperer” Nethero, I was intrigued to see how she would “measure- up” to Vondell.
I found Intimacy to be a far-cry from the bra-fitting office that Vondell had in her split-level San Pedro home with a sign in the window that warned visitors to beware of the attack poodle. Intimacy is more in line with a designer’s couture studio with lush decor and some of the most delicious looking lingerie I’ve ever seen.
Nethero, who is also Intimacy’s chief fit stylist, was the first person I’ve ever met with my top down. She was quick to size me up.
First off, she announced that my bra size was 32 D. Huh? I’d come to assume I was a 36 A – that’s what I’d been buying off the rack for over a decade. Sure, the underwire slipped up when I put my arms over my head and sometimes the straps flopped over the top of my arms and to tell you the truth, they never seemed to fit right – but not being particularly well-endowed, I figured it really didn’t matter, right?
“Eighty-five percent of all women are wearing the wrong bra size,” Nethero said.
Well that was a relief — to know I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know their bra size. I was afraid I’d somehow missed this crucial element of “girl knowledge.” And just as Nethero predicted, I have plenty of bras in my chest of drawers, but there are only a few I actually wear.
With a bouquet of stunning European-made bras in my new size hanging in the dressing room, Nethero assisted as I tried on one after the other, each more beautiful than the next. I glanced at the price tags: the purple one with pink embroidery, $115; the simple but sexy t-shirt bra with the lace straps: $99. Then she told me how every woman should have a bra wardrobe …
As we tried on the various styles, Nethero explained how a bra is supposed to function properly.
“It’s the band [the strap that goes around your back] that gives you the support,” she said. ”Most women think it’s the shoulder straps that provide the support, but they’re only there for stability.”
And did you know that that your bra shouldn’t move when you lift your arms over your head? That if you have “back fat” showing around the band it means you have a bra that’s too big for you? That you’re supposed to rotate your bras because the elastic fibers need to “rest” between wearings in order to retain their shape?
Well, if you didn’t know, you’ll find that out and more when you get your 30-minute bra fitting session given to each new customer. Each Intimacy fitter is a graduate of Nethero’s Bra Boot Camp which entails a week long training session where fitting consultants become “breast friends.”
Intimacy will even tailor bras in order to achieve the perfect fit.
And unlike the bras that Vondell sold out of her San Pedro home, these bras are luxurious, top-of-the-line brands that are made in France, Italy, Spain, Germany and Belgium.
“European brands come in 14 cup sizes and have 35-40 parts,” said Nethero who trained under the Queen of England’s Royal Bra Fitter. “American brands come in only five cup sizes and have 16-20 parts – and I’m being generous when I say that.”
Well, I came to Intimacy a skeptic and left a believer — and the owner of three new bras for my “bra wardrobe.” As for the old 36 A bras in the drawer at home, out with the old and in with the new. Heck yeah! I’m a 32 D!
Copyright © 2010 Kim Calvert/Singular Communications, LLC.