Open Letters

An Open Letter to Women Who Measure Bra Sizes at Department Stores

Dear Women Who Measure Bra Sizes at Department Stores,

You are life changers. You really are. You are like the Oprah of the garment world. I’m totally serious. And like, I know a lot of guys just envy the fact that you get to put your hands around other ladies’ boobies all day long, but what dudes don’t understand is that this is not actually frivolous and exciting but more of something that is absolutely essential because when a properly measured bra fits? Well then that fit can change your life! (Imagine as though I sound like Will Ferrell when he’s doing his James Lipton impression when I say that. Imagine Will Ferrell dressed up as James Lipton telling you that having your bra measured will “Change. Your. Life” because that is how serious I am about the amount of life-changing these ladies who measure bras in department stores can inspire).

I know this because one time a nice lady in a Macy’s changed my life. I wish I could say this life-changing, girl-becoming-a-woman-event took place just after puberty, when girls were supposed to be learning important life lessons like this one and also why you really should just shave your legs everyday and also, yes, fingernails can be too long, but alas, for me, it was not until I was an aimless pre-adult in Los Angeles, land of dreams, and girls with nice boobs everywhere. I’m not talking about the girls with the fake boobs, because LA has a lot of that too, but I swear to God, the girls in LA just have something going on in that they all got the memo that if your bra fits you perfectly then your rack will look totally slamming.

Prior to LA I was usually in good standing boob-wise. Not too big, but definitely not small, but easy to work out with… like the Goldilocks of boobs perhaps. Didn’t think about it much and I didn’t need to.

And then – Los Angeles with your shiny cat lady eyes and botoxed foreheads! But mostly your perfectly natural mounds of boob encapsulated in an expertly fitted bra! I just didn’t know where to start! I wanted a makeover montage like in one of those movies! What could give me that transformation?

And then I got my boobs measured. And ladies, let me tell you that it changed everything. And gentlemen let me tell you it is not nearly as sexual as you would hope. It’s mostly awkward.

That’s actually what I want to know, that’s why I am writing this letter – is it so awkward for you to be spending all day measuring other women’s breasts or is it all good because at the end of it all you are literally changing lives like a volunteer firefighter or Olympic athlete?

Genuine Regards,


Bra measuring photo via ShutterStock

  • Ali Sheets

    When I first started doing “fittings” I was 18 and felt SO uncomfortable. But after awhile (and after I was fitted myself) I saw how the benefits way outweighed the awkwardness of it. I know longer work in retail, but it’s nice to see someone appreciate having a bra that fits!

  • Liz Kelly Zook

    I did quite a bit of time as a bra fitting expert at a major department store. It was only awkward for me the first couple of days. Once I had that first clueless customer, once I got her into a bra that fit and saw her face light up, it was something I wanted to do forever. It encouraged me to become a consultant specializing in body type, because if I could do that for someone with their whole body… well, it’s awesome.
    The best thing about fitting someone into a great bra is when you tell them to put their shirt back on! That’s when they really see the difference. They become so happy with their “new look” they will go buy new shirts just to wear over their new bra. They get so excited. I had a lot of ladies hug me and thank me repeatedly. It was one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had. And now I get to do it on my own terms, without having to sell department store credit cards or be pressured into selling the most expensive bra on the sales floor.

  • Jene Lupoli- Luciani

    Great post!!! Would love to send you a copy of my bestselling book THe Bra Book!

  • Christine Knight

    Will change your life…really? That is the same as finding the right mascara will change your life! Bras serve no useful purpose, they are a fashion accessory like stillettos or lipstick. It is just the fashion at the moment to have breasts lifted high because it looks more youthful, this is not the natural state and women have (and still do) managed for thousands of years without them. Not only does a bra not perform any useful function they can actually cause damage to the wearer and be the cause of sagging which ironicly is one reason many women wear them in the first place. Studies in France and Japan showed that when women ditched their bras their breasts were perkier than in their bra wearing days. This is because the muscles and ligaments of the chest wall toned up due to the body having to support the weight of the breast instead of it being slung up in elastic. By all means wear a bra if you desire that certain look, just as heels can make you a little taller, mascara makes your eyelashes longer (all only while you are wearing them of course) but please drop the untruthful, misleading and down right ridiculous notion that anybody ‘needs’ a bra.

  • Dancer Mohana

    All these years after having worked as a fitter( also started at 18!), this made me smile and feel good. While I agree with Christine, usually no one ‘needs’ a bra, it DOES feel great when you get the chance to help someone look great in their clothes or camouflage something about their physique. Where I worked we also sold mastectomy bras and had quite a few mastectomy survivors referred to us for fittings. That was rewarding work. My favorite grateful customer though, was a teenaged girl whose breasts were completely polar opposites on right and left. Finding her a bra that made her “not lopsided” moved her and her mom to happy tears. Me too actually. I liked that job! :-)

  • Sherri McDonald

    Had my first REAL fitting about a month ago…at the age of 26, trying to find a good, supportive strapless bra for my wedding dress. The lady who was helping me didn’t even want to show me the size on the bra she used to figure out my size. 34H…..needless to say, I didn’t find a strapless bra that day. Very awkward day, indeed. 😛

  • Katy Cavanaugh

    Clearly, Christine has small boobs. Because us DDs need them to avoid them hurting all day long.

  • Nanette Blossom Rodriguez

    this is what we do at Blossom, bra fittings, and believe me it is very rewarding to help women feel beautiful, lifted and supported and actually “blossom” when they have the correct bra on! It is very rewarding to see how we change lives, and believe me, we do. in a small boutique is even better than in a department store, since we have more sizes available and thats all we do. i am a lawyer, and have been doing this for the p ast three years and I love love love to be able to give confidence and help women feel beatiful every single day of my life! thank you for the post… and definetly its not sexy nor sexual at all. we dont want to see boobies, we try to see the least :) and its a very respectful process :)

  • Sarah Bowers

    I totally disagree with Christine – a proper fitting bra is such an important thing! As a medical student having spent some time in a breast clinic, the amount of women who were referred thinking they had cancer when all they really needed was a proper fitting bra was craaaaaaaazy!
    Alas I’ve yet to find my bra fitting hero – I want one that’ll get really excited with me when I finally go up a cup size!!!

  • Liz Kelly Zook

    Not wearing the right size bra can actually cause back problems. I had a few customers that were in so much pain that they were considering breast reductions until I got them into the right bra size. It can be a life changing experience for some women.

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