Places To Go is my review column on locations I love.
(NOTE: some pictures may be a wee bit NSFW – no nudity, but ladies in undies. Proceed at your own risk.)
Last Sunday, I saw this post from The Slackmistress regarding her fitting at Jenette Bras in Los Angeles. It got me thinking about my bras and my boobs. I’ve always been well-endowed, even when I was younger and smaller. I wore my first training bra the first day of 4th grade – I vaguely remember my mom having me measured by some older woman at either Sears or JCPenney. Ladies, remember those first training bras? I had one in lace, lined with that scratchy polyester fabric that felt like plastic. I hated that thing, and not just because the boys would pop my bra strap. I remember wearing it, getting home from school, and ripping the thing off my body because it made me itch like mad. The bras didn’t get any better. We didn’t have a ton of money, so most of my bras growing up were of the K-Mart white old lady variety. I had cone boobs like Madonna once – and in 9th grade, that’s not the look I wanted to go for. Surprisingly, having 40DDs in high school was NOT a blessing. I was poked fun of by both girls and guys. I didn’t realize that men liked boobs until I got into college.
I’ve come to terms with my chest since then, but my bras haven’t. I fought with Lane Bryant underwires that would come out of the fabric, soft-cup bras that just smooshed them together, too-small bras that gave me what I liked to call “quadra-boob”, and other assorted horrors. Lately, I’ve been wearing the Lane Bryant balconette, which served me fine as my wedding bra, but the ones I bought recently seemed to be nothing but constant adjustment and shifting.
So, after seeing Nina’s post and reading about the difference it made for her, I decided to go searching for a proper bra-fitting salon. A few friends on Facebook referred me to Bra Genie, right down the road from me in Mandeville! I called and made an appointment.
I walked in, gave my name, and spent a little time looking at the selection in the front of the store. They have a lot of stuff – both swimwear and lingerie. Lots of high-quality stuff, no generic mall bras like you find at Vicky’s Not-So-Secret-Anymore. I was a little intimidated, because most of the items I saw were what I always called “normal” sizes – 34C, 38D, etc. I had to remind myself that they carry sizes from 28-48 AA-K. Then I noticed something that said that the majority of their stock was in the back, so I knew the fitting girl would be finding what I needed.
Dana, my fitting consultant, called my name and I was brought in a closed-door fitting room with a couple of chairs. The rooms are big and comfortable, and use flattering lighting – no green-tinged skin from fluorescent lighting here! She asked me a few questions about what I was looking for – something practical for daily use, or something sexy for a special occasion? I told her I was looking for mostly daily-use bras, but I was willing to see whatever she had available. I told her about the problems I’ve had with bras in the past and present. She measured my chest right under my breasts, said she would get some sizes, and came back with a bunch of bras that she thought I would like and would fit – and that girl was RIGHT on the money.
First off, all that stuff you see about most women wearing the wrong bra size? Totally true. I always thought I was a 44DDD, and it turns out I’m a 42FF. No wonder my bras have been annoying – I’m wearing too large of a band size AND too small of a cup! The first bra she put me in was like heaven. The band was snug, but not tight, and for the first time ever the underwire in my bra fits snug under my breasts – ALL the way around! She left and came back a few times with assorted fits and sizes – some I needed a larger cup, because the style was a bit different – some were just a little too Maw-Maw for me, and some were perfect. She brought me a few that were more along the lines of special occasion bras, but that was okay! She even talked me into a red set with embroidery, which looked amazing.
Their prices are a little more than your typical mall stores – I usually pay around $40 for my bras at Lane Bryant. These ran between $50-60 per bra, and about $20-25 per bottom. So if you buy a lot of items, things can get steep. I look at it this way, though – these are extremely well made, and I believe that if I take the extra time and effort to take care of the pieces, they will last a very, very long time. While I was there, I bought a big bottle of Soak Scentless wash to start handwashing my bras and undies, so this will extend their life. I’ve washed the two bras I’ve worn over the past couple of days and I’ve found that they dry pretty quickly, too!
I left with the following items – everything ended up being from the Elomi brand. I tried on other brands but these were the things I liked the most.
Smoothing – I got the black, and ordered a nude color while I was there.
Cleo (in Tulip) – this was the red set she talked me into!
I highly suggest Bra Genie for all women – no matter what your size is, a well-fitted bra can do wonders for your posture, figure, and clothing!
2881 Hwy. 190
Mandeville, LA 70471
Appointments recommended but not required.
Disclaimer – this endorsement is not sponsored or paid for. I spent my own money for everything. However, just a few short years later I ended up working for Bra Genie!