Fitting with Freddy!

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This past Saturday, we had a visitor at Bra Genie. Frederika “Freddy” Zappe, Eveden’s Fit Expert, visited the store and fit with us for the day! Freddy is known worldwide for her “Freddy’s Fit School”, where she teaches people how to fit bras properly.

I was super excited (and more than a little intimidated) to meet her. Jeanne and Nancy have met her at Curve and have taken her Fit School before, but most of us have only ever heard of her and looked through the Fit School notes they brought back from the shows. Eveden’s brands – Elomi, Fantasie, Fauve, Freya, Goddess, and Huit – are some of our best selling brands. Elomi is a personal favorite of mine, as well – I have quite a few of their bras. So the fact that she would be at Bra Genie all day long, fitting alongside us, made me a little nervous!

She showed up a bit early with our rep, Gordon, so they could show us some of the new products that will be coming out this fall. Freddy was super-sweet and amazingly knowledgeable – she explained a lot about bra construction and styling, and what she’s been recommending to Eveden about what styles women need – especially fuller busted women, or ladies with sloping/smaller shoulders. I love the fact that she’s done this for over 15 years now – with that much experience, you know she’s seen so many women with so many issues! However, in her position, she is able to take feedback to the designers and get changes made, allowing bras to become better.

We’d advertised this event since Monday, so our appointment book was completely full – plus we kept getting phone calls all day Thursday and Friday from customers who were trying to make appointments. We had to tell people that they could come as walk-ins and be put on the waiting list! We were expecting the day to be busy, but we didn’t expect it to be as busy as it got. Things got a little crazy that day, but it was fun! I even had some great friends make their way in from New Orleans, Mississippi, and Alabama to get fitted and say hello.

Freddy was extremely sweet and nice – ends up I had absolutely no reason to be intimdated. For my first fitting of the day, I put my (very full-busted) customer in Elomi’s Rita. She had a friend on the other side of the store, and wanted to show off, so we went to show her friend the difference it made. Freddy was right next door, and mentioned to me that she had never seen Rita on a customer – only on fit models. She asked the customer if she would mind showing off, and my customer lifted her blouse to show her. Freddy tapped me on the shoulder and said, “That looks FANTASTIC!” The customer looked thrilled, and I swear to you I made this face –

:-D

I did get to pick Freddy’s brain about something that I’ve always had on my mind. A lot of lingerie bloggers post about fitting, and one of the things I usually read is that your band should be the exact measurement that you measure under your bust. So if you measure 34 inches, you need a 34 inch band. However, we typically take a few measurements and size up a bit – so if I measure 34 under the bust, I sometimes start with a 36 band. I’ve been curious about this difference in fitting advice, so I asked Freddy about it while she was at the store. She recommended pretty much what I’ve been doing – start with an idea, put a bra on the customer, and evaluate the fit from there. We should always strive for a “technical” fit for each customer – a fit that is snug in the band so your bust is supported – but each customer is different. Some customers prefer a very snug fit, some prefer more comfort. As fitters we should listen to our customers and do our best to provide a proper fit while keeping the customer comfortable. I was very pleased to hear this from her, and will definitely keep her tips in mind for the future.

She ended up leaving at 5 to catch a plane, but Jeanne said she is going to plan for a return visit sometime this summer so Freddy can work with each of us a little more individually, and give us a mini-Fit School. I’m really looking forward to seeing her again and learning a lot more about fitting from her. Her visit renewed my resolve to keep learning and keep helping women find perfectly fitting bras!

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