I've never had a bra that fit me, never, for over 27 years, until the other week when I visited She Said Boutique on Brighton.
I always thought I was small (by small I mean tiny), and that's ok, I'm not really too interested in having people only talk to me (or at my chest) becuase of my breast size as some of my friends have experienced. But yes of course they would be times when you wished you had a little more to fill out a top. However I never really let it bother me, I'd spent enough time when I was much younger trying on bra's and clothes and them just not fitting right so I gave up, or made my own.
However recently I'd become bored of wearing bikini tops all the time, having strings and extra strap lines showing on everything. I wasn't after a chest Pamela Anderson would be jealous of, but I did think it was time I had some proper grown up underwear. (In a nice way, not an old ladies option!)
Living in a reasonably small town I headed off to Brighton, where there was undoubtedly going to be more choice from larger department stores to indie boutiques.
Years ago I'd been measured at M & S, and told the very clear and professional advice of 'you could be a 36AA or a 34B or somewhere in between, try stuff on until something fits'. Now I knew then this was poor service, but I still went with it, I tried stuff and decided that I was 36AA. The seemingly oddness of this size is part of what lead me to wearing bikini tops all the time, it was easy, they fit even if they didn't do much, and I didn't have to spend 4 hours and a lot of money trying to find a 36AA (which sounds more like a battery size than a bra size).
Back to Brighton, and I spent hours walking around all of the standard shops, Debenhams, M & S, Ann Summers and all the rest, with nothing I really liked in the size I believed I was or to fit my budget. I got depressed, broke down in a changing room and cried, reminded my self that to have your lest favourite part of your body hidden on your chest and not being of any really medical issue, isn't that big a deal, got over my self then gave up and got a coffee.
Back to Mr. K's shop to hand out coffee and show off my one purchase of the day, which I was pleased with. Until he reminded me that I should go and have a fitting at the little shop hidden around the back of where he works. So I did. And I was more than little nervous, I thought I'd just have a look.
As soon as I walked in the assistant was friendly and helpful, and I couldn't help tell her my trials of not only that day but also how I come to think I was the size I was. She took one look at me and said I think you're a 34 (which it must be said was an argument I'd been having with Jodie earlier on in the day who used to work in a lingerie department so I should have listened to her). I still didn't believe the professional advice (not stubborn at all!). So she offered to measure me, she asked if I minded if I was topless to do it, and I think it really did lead to a much better result. Not only did the lovely lady give me a new (and correct more importantly) size, she also pointed out how my breasts were shaped, what I should look for in a bra, the kind of cut, straps and possible fabrics which would be the most flattering on me. Then provided me with an abundance of styles to try so I could see the difference. Even though it was gone 5 on a Sunday.....and all the bra's (that I really liked) she was handing me were £40+. It really was spectacular service and I'm extremely grateful, I left empty handed (as that's a little out of the current budget), but armed with the knowledge that I'm actual a 34B, the most common size going! I've since been able to walk into a couple of high street shops and pick up something for everyday use before I get ready to spend a bit more on something of such luxury.
So the moral of the story is, if you friend is a specialist in something, listen to them! (Sorry Jodie if you ever read this), and do go and see the wonderful people at She Said Boutique in Brighton if you get a chance, Mimi Holiday makes some beautiful bra's and £50 is actually very little to spend on a bra which fits so perfectly and makes you feel fantastic.