Why is bra shopping so difficult?

..it’s just perpetuating this toxic cycle of women blaming themselves and their bodies for not fitting into what is shoved down our throats as looking “average” and “normal”.

  It is not your fault that bra shopping is difficult.

  It is not your fault that none of the twelve bras you tried on don’t fit.

  There is nothing wrong with your body!

OK, now that I’ve got that out of the way I’ll explain a bit more, (and all in my humble opinion of course)

To briefly go back to the beginning; when bras as we know them today were being manufactured, they only made a few sizes: A, B and C cups, with back sizes 32-36. Things have moved on a lot since then, but when it comes to allocating time, energy and money to products designed for women, much like a lot of things, bras have been left way behind.

Nowadays bra sizes, as I know them, can range from back size 26- 46 (inches), and UK cup sizes A-L (that’s up to a P, S or T in other international sizes). There are a whole lot of reasons why most women have never heard of these sizes, but advertising certainly has a huge amount to answer for. Marketing and advertising focus so much on fashion and sex that the changes to bra sizing, and new education in bra fitting never stood a chance. Society makes us think that these higher numbers and random letterings mean big, fat, or undesirable.

For big department stores or high-street shops, time and space is money. Adding 3 or 4 new back sizes – and on top of that, 7 or 8 new cup sizes – to their collections is a lot of time, energy, and space. Oh, and it’s not just about catering for different sizes but also different styles within those sizes. Just because they stock your size doesn’t mean that a particular style will suit your unique boob shape.

So, let’s see… that’s:
1) More back sizes
2) More cup sizes
3) More styles
4) New mannequins
5) More stock rooms
6) New marketing

Yeah, that’s not happening!

These shops aren’t specialist stores, and they’re not trying to be as far as I’m concerned. They know their brand, and they know their clientele. But could they be better at offering fitting advice or recommendations to other shops? My hopeful, naïve mind says, Yes, I think so.

Obviously, it’s a terrible business plan to tell customers to shop elsewhere… But it’s just perpetuating this toxic cycle of women blaming themselves and their bodies for not fitting into what is shoved down our throats as looking “average” and “normal”. We’ve been brainwashed into thinking that the sizes they stock in these shops must be the right ones, and everything else is weird, different or unusual. I’m a little sick of it to be honest.

Rather than bra-shaming those shops for another 5 minutes I must also acknowledge the severe gap in our education when it comes to boobs and bra fitting. As I said, the high street shops have a place in all our lives, and they do what they do. But if we were better educated from a young age on how a good fitting bra should fit then we could at least make an informed decision about where to shop.

Where do we start with filling in this gap?

That’s a whole other blog post…