Purchasing a Bra – Tip #16 An answer to one of your questions.

June 27, 2008

Julie asked me this question after the last posting on bras, and since I’ve had at a ton of emails asking the same question, I thought I’d move this to the front page.


Let me first give you the name and location of the #1 place to get a bra fitting in the US. It’s The Town Shop in NYC. They’ve literally worked with hundreds of thousands of woman since Samuel Koch opened the store in 1888. This is my first choice, and when women travel to learn how to shop with me in NYC, this is where we go.

Their address is

Creating Your Personal Style Town Shop

2273 Broadway (between 81st/82nd Sts.)
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 787–2762
Email: townshop2@aol.com

The question I know you’re now asking is, “If I’m not going to be visiting New York City in the near future, what do I do?”

A more challenging question than you might believe given that I’ve witnessed some pretty pathetic attempts by other retailers to deliver the same quality fit.

So here are some choices.
#1 Try to do it yourself. Not the best approach but a start.

Start by tightly measuring yourself under your breast.
Then measure around your fullest part of your breast to get your cup size.

Calculate the difference, and if the difference is:
1″ you are an A cup
2″ you are an B cup
3″ you are a C cup
4″ you are a D cup
5″ you are a DD cup
6″ you are a DDD cup

You can already guess this is not the best technique, because each woman’s body and breast shape is different.

#2 You can try another store in your area such as Nordstrom’s or Saks. If these are not available, you could also try JC Penny’s or Macy’s as second tier.

Lastly, I would avoid using Victoria’s secret for your fitting. The staff are not well trained, their bra selection is limited, and the quality of bras offered does not compare to what is used in stores such as The Town Shop. Once you have the fitting, you can then shop where you’d like to shop with the new information and a feel for what fits right.


Buy In Preparation Not Desperation™ – Tip #8

May 27, 2008

This is my favorite shopping quote that I use all the time when working with women.

David Goldsmith Preparation Not Desperation

The concept is simple. If you take the time to purchase in preparation, you tend to be in relaxed mood, and therefore, you can make sound decisions about your wardrobe. This calmness helps you to anticipate what you’ll need in the future, enables you to get tailoring done, and opens up the door to possibilities outside of your normal purchasing outlets.

When you buy in desperation, you not only run the risk of purchasing an unflattering garment, you may over spend, or make everyone else’s life miserable in the process. Besides, now you have a garment in your closet you don’t like, which clutters your life.

Take the time to shop when you’ve got time and energy, and you’ll be surprised at how fun shopping can be.

Top Five Necessities Needed When Shopping – Tip #7

May 22, 2008

Number 5Can you guess the five necessities you need to bring with you when you shop? I’ve asked countless woman what they believe these are and I’ve gotten some typical and also wierd suggestions. Here are a few most common:

  • Credit card and Money – Yes, a biggie, but you’d not shop without this, so it’s not on the list.
  • Water – Good idea, but you can pick this up along the way. (Plus, how many bathroom stops do you want to make?)
  • Attitude – Yes, the type of attitude is important.
  • Friend – This might actually be bad if they’ve not good taste or know what’s right for you.
  • Sneakers – or comfortable shoes would be useful.
  • Snacks (Nutritional bar) – I’d prefer to eat on the road, but make sure you have something healthful in you before you start so that you can think clearly and prevent delays.

All good but not the top 5.

Here they are:

  1. A color chart of your best colors. This way you can insure that the colors you’re selecting fit your personal requirements. You would be surprised how helpful this is when looking at colors that are close in value. It also helps the sales staff to keep on target when advising you.
  2. A backback or bag with an assortment of shoes and accessories. Women’s stores are set up with most shoes and accessories in different departments and often on different floors. If you have your particular size shoe and one in your style, you’re ahead of the game. The accessories are there to do the same.
  3. Your made up face. – If you don’t wear your makeup as you wear it every day, you lose that little eye that tells you what your wearing really works for you.
  4. A white/off while form fitting, collared, fitted shirt. This way you can try on anything your heart desires. If you’d like a scoop neck in your bag, that’s OK, too, but I’d shop with the shirt.
  5. The right bra and undergarments. – The bra: to make sure the garments you try on fit you the way they should fit. The undergarments: so that your shape is the way you’d expect to wear the garment and so the color does not show through and become a distraction. (If you don’t often wear a bra, you can take it off to try on specific items.)

If this appears to be a lot of work, consider the time and energy invested in selecting an item; do you really want to have to return something because you get it home and it doesn’t work. The better prepared you are, the more complete becomes your wardrobe and the better you look.

With these five necessities taken care of, your entire shopping experience will be more enjoyable and productive.

I will cover more details about each of the 5 in the months to come.

Loose Bra Syndrome – Tip #5

May 14, 2008

BraHere’s a touchy subject for any guy to bring up.

Does your bra fit? Not do you think it fits, but does your bra actually fit? Does it hold you properly? Some statistics report that upwards of 85% of all women wear a bra that is the wrong size.

I don’t care if the statistic is 85% or 51%, the majority of women I see and the women I’ve advised need a good old fashioned bra fitting. It’s one of the subjects on the table very early in the game.

A few pointers.

  • “Back fat” is highlighted by a bra that’s too loose, not too tight. What’s happening is “the girls” are pulling down on the straps in front, causing the back strap to hike up allowing fat to move around on your back. The straps then dig right into your shoulders and often cause pain. The majority of your weight should actually be carried on your back strap and NOT the shoulder straps.
  • The majority of stores that advertise they can perform fittings, can’t. You want to look for a fitter that’s done so many fittings she can do it in her sleep. This is the type of individual that almost treats your girls like objects since to them, it’s about engineering.
  • The bra should not buckle around your breasts nor should you have too much flowing over the top or out the sides. (If you think this looks sexy, you’re wrong. A great fit is a great fit and it will bring out your best look.)
  • The same store that you buy the bra from should also show you how to put a bra on properly. Including the bend at the waste and the drop of the girls into the cup.
  • Only sports bras make your girls flat; most other bras will lift and define your shape. Just recently a woman told me she had an “excellent” bra fitting with an expert. Then tell me why her girls were flat pancakes and in her stomach!

The results of a great-fitting bra are sometimes pretty incredible. First off, you’ll feel more comfortable. Next, you’ll most likely find that your tops don’t fit the same. Larger ladies often find that by bringing the girls up, their blouses/garments are way too small. One woman had to trash every top she owned after her fitting. She went up in cup sizes and everything moved north. Last, your shape will change, offering you a sexier profile.

The right bra makes all the difference. It’s why you really can’t go shopping without a fitting or you’re wasting time and money.


BONUS: Watch this YouTube Video from Playtex.