For this Mother’s Day edition of Changing Room Chats we are going to be honouring all the mums / motherly figures / expecting mummas / and all-round inspirational women in our lives by throwing it back to our very first bra fitting experiences.
For some, this will be many moons ago, for others more recent and for some of you we are aware that you may have never had an official bra fitting before. But Pant Patrol do not judge, we know how daunting it can be!
That is why we thought it would be a fun idea to share some of our first bra fitting experiences with you, not only for a bit of a laugh but also to demonstrate the reasons why our commander in brief [new Mother herself!] Elly, decided to set up The Pantry Underwear to help all of us ladies out by providing enjoyable, stress-free bra fittings. Hear from some of our Pant Pals about their bra fitting experiences at The Pantry:
“Was my first experience of having my bra fitted and found it to be a truly amazing experience! could not recommend this place enough!” Arabella
“I usually hate bra shopping, but this was such a great experience. Sasha was amazing and made me feel so comfortable. I really felt like I was with an expert and she immediately understood my taste and needs.” Rose
“As someone with a bigger bust this is the first time I haven’t felt frustrated, restricted or fed up when bra shopping. Can’t recommend them enough.” Bella
“Honestly amazing. I've been to so many different shops and tried different brands and can honestly say this is the first time I really feel like I have the right size and fit.” Lior
“As someone who hasn't had a bra fitting for over 10 years (oops) I can't recommend the virtual fitting with these ladies enough.” Alicia
“Makes one of the most tedious experiences for women - a pleasure.” Jennifer
So we thought, what better time to discuss Pant Patrol’s bra fitting history than Mother’s Day? Seeing as most of us did this with our Ma by our side.
Expect some serious awkwardness, relatability and nostalgia…
Name - Sophie Hannam
Age - 24
Location - London
Favourite bra [@ March '22] - nudea smooth cup tshirt bra in mocha
Favourite brand [other than own @ March '22] - peachy den
My First Bra Fitting - I attended my first bra fitting at…you guessed it…Marks and Sparks. Undoubtedly the go to place for Mum’s to take their daughters when they first come to the realisation that it is time for your first ‘grown up’ bra.
Now I am definitely not a hater of M&S; their food hall is unmatched and to be honest, one of my favourite places to visit on a Sunday afternoon. However, I sadly cannot sing the same praises about my first bra fitting at my local store. Whether or not this was to do with me being a little awkward young teen or being fitted by a middle-aged woman who was probably bored of fitting daughters brought in by their mothers (or perhaps it was a
combination of the two). Either way, it was an uncomfortable and unenlightening experience, to say the least.
I distinctly remember the lack of education about fit points and how to spot a correctly fitting bra. I was just simply stared at and prodded and told what my size was. Not ideal when you are young so you don’t even know what the numbers and letters mean! Not to mention I wasn’t really asked any questions about what I might like and was just shown the most boring selection of bras.
So I basically ended up leaving with a bra that I barely wore (much to the annoyance of my Mum) as I didn’t really know what to ask and I didn’t feel at ease so just wanted to get out of there ASAP.
My First Bra Fitting - Like most bigger busted women, my boobs were large and unwieldy from a young age; this meant the exquisite embarrassment of having to wear Littlewoods starter bras from around year 6. I bumbled along with these for a couple of years until mum decided it was time to take me to the professionals.
Enter Body Talk - a underwear store in my hometown of Blackpool, it was exactly as you can imagine; a luxurious boudoir-esque dark painted, velvet curtained, grown up store; exactly what a 13 year old teenager doesn't want. I can't recall her name but the lady who fitted me was a larger than life character, picture a pub landlady but instead of pints she is serving bras. Most of what happened in this fitting has been forgotten [or repressed] but I do remember I was ushered into the changing room and told to take my top off. Then out came a tape measure, after measuring what seemed every inch of my chest [but not explaining why] she left to fetch a array of bras that I still see in my nightmares.
There was lacy, sheer, padded, frilly, you name it - and all of them I had to try on. However one moment still shines brightest in this whole debacle, I was trying on a mesh style bra and for some reason it didn't seem to be fitting quite right, the fitter notices this and proceeds to reach into the cup and pull my breast up and into position. Similar to Joey in Friends I think this is just a normal occurrence in a bra fitting, so imagine my shock 4 months later when a school friend goes to the same store and when given with the same 'helping hand' is stunned.
Now the fitting wasn't bad, not at all. I ended up going home with a great fitting, cute little lime green lace bra that had hot pink straps and little pink spots all over it, I loved that bra and was devastated when after wearing it to death it had to be binned. The lady herself was lovely, but for a 13 year old girl it was all a bit much, this coupled with the fact there was no teaching element or explanation to sizing it meant I left feeling confused and unwilling to return for a good number of years. In fact prior to working at the Pantry, I hadn't had a bra fitting for 5+ years when I had another hilarious fitting, this time in Malaysia.
When writing this I called up Mum and she still remembers the whole incident and yes she also laughed.