At least 80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra, even with major retailers offering “bra fittings”. Why aren’t more women finding the right size? The “Generic Bra Fit Formulas” aren’t going to work for everyone, they should be thought of as a good place to start, an educated guess not as a hard-and-fast rule. Women need to actually try on different sizes and styles to find the one that works best for them. Another major problem is the lack of options. “Most chain retailers offer 10 or 20 basic sizes in maybe two or three styles.  Those bras may be great for the 10 or 20 people that actually fit those sizes, but what about the rest of us?” queries conscientious boutique owner and lingerie expert, Patricia Platt.

A lot of women don’t even know they are wearing the wrong size. “The problem ultimately boils down to a lack of information and a lack of standards,” says à la mode certified bra-fitter, Rebecca Ulrich-Dodson, “Very few women recognize the signs of a bad fit.  Most simply assume that underwire will always hurt, that straps will always dig and that bands will always ride up; the three most common signs of a poor fit.  We let ourselves live with unnecessary discomfort because we don’t know what questions to ask.”

These problems are only compounded for women who don’t fit the “Traditional” size ranges and those women are more likely to avoid the in-store shopping experience all together. “Everyone should get to have that “Pretty Woman” shopping experience especially when it comes to intimate apparel. Every woman deserves the chance to feel good about her body and herself. Something as simple as a bra that fits properly can change a woman completely, giving her the presence and confidence to move through the world successfully,” replies Platt, who found herself frustrated by mainstream lingerie options.  In 2003, after retiring from a successful career of public service, Platt and good friend Sharon Borland opened their own lingerie boutique to remedy the problems they and so many women shared. “We opened à la mode to help women appreciate themselves.”

So much has changed for the women of this generation and yet this new awareness of self has been slow-approaching.  “There were so many things my mother didn’t tell me. In fact, our mothers had very little to tell because they themselves did not know. There were very few options for quality basics and very little consumer feedback to the manufacturers,” adds industry insider and à la mode co-owner, Sharon Borland. Things have really changed in the past few decades and the women’s lingerie industry has been making enormous strides in design and development. National Media has taken note with a surge of information on the art and etiquette of lingerie. Now that information is coming home thanks to local boutiques like à la mode and determined women like Platt and Borland. U.K. based brands FREYA and Fantasie are sending their National Fit Expert and a Regional Sales Representative to à la mode in Annapolis for a “Hard-to-Fit” Bra Fit Event and Swimwear Trunk Show. à la mode will be offering expert bra fittings while showcasing FREYA and Fantasie’s hip fashion-forward designs for full-busted women. Check out for the next event or call 410.280.9771 for additional information.