So, here we have the most popular question asked in my shop. The answer, "I'm very sorry, I can't give you an exact size as it is almost impossible to do so. I can fit you for a selection of bras to suit your needs though".
It's not that I'm trying to with hold information from my customers of appear difficult and obstructive, it's just that unless every bra is made the same and therefore no choice is available then a definite size cannot be given.
The reply is generally, "Can't you use a tape measure to give me a size?"
So the best way to explain, or so I think, is to ask the lady what size shoe she takes?
She will often reply that it depends which shop she buys in and the style of shoe. There will of course be a mid-size, for example I take a 6, but could take a 5 or 7 depending on the shop.
This is when the lady in front of me smiles, she is now relaxed in the knowledge that she is right that they (meaning the bras) are all "bloomin' different everywhere I go!"
We have a good chuckle about it and so the fitting commences.
The tape measure is not an effective tool for fitting a bra, it is rigid and doesn't understand the human body needs to move around, sit at a desk, go running or breathe!
The best method (in my opinion) is to assess and discuss what is required from the bra. I listen to what the lady in front of me is saying, she hates it when her boobs spill over, she likes the sides deep so cover the bits she doesn't like.
I have already started the fitting process. Whilst she is talking about what she likes, I'm listening and thinking about the stock on the shop floor, I have several bras with deep wings and are a little more full in the cup.
This bra will be the equivalent of a sensible shoe from a sensible shop (we all know this brand).
This bra has given me the size to base other bras on, example 32E (now you know my shoe size and bra size).
The bra she wants next is perhaps something a little less 'robust' and is required for luncheons (I like to think I am a lady that lunches but its just a dream for when I'm retired and my children have flown the nest).