Friday, July 22, 2016

"Bra Fit Specialists" vs. "Sales Associates"

Okay, Belles of Belle Mode.  If you share a blog post with friends this month, let it be this one!

We're going to get down and dirty and explain why you need a "bra fit specialist" (think locally owned & operated boutique) in your life instead of a "sales associate" (you know ... the employees at mall and big box stores).  It's not about semantics, it's about your experience.  We've earned our titles as Belle Mode Bra Fit Specialists!

WARNING: It might not be pretty (except the gorgeous Panaches sports bra model in our photos), but we're going to duke it out for you right here!

ROUND 1: Commission vs. Honesty
Let's just address this and get it out of the way.  Many major department stores pay their sales associates on a commission base. There's nothing wrong with being paid commission, unless it clouds the sales ethic of the sales associate.  At a boutique, with a bra fit specialist, you are most likely going to experience honesty based on the boutique's desire to make a difference in the community they serve.  Sure, we need to make money to keep our doors open and pay our employees, but most small business owners start a business because they have personally experienced a need for the service they provide and products they carry.  They care about their employees and don't want them to be worried about sacrificing honesty and integrity for a sale.  Most importantly, they want every customer to walk away confident with their purchase and comfortable in their bra!

ROUND 2: Size vs. Fit
Most women visit us in the hopes of finding the right bra size.  Here's where we're going to disappoint you:  you don't have a bra size.  Truth be told, you can't even measure for a bra size- there's no magic formula.  You can measure for a *starting* point on band size, but that's it!  Measuring for a cup size does not work because each pair of breasts is shaped and placed differently on the torso.  Plus, fit standards are very different for each company AND, even within the same company, for each bra.  Sorry, but you'll have to see a sales associate to find a "bra size"!

On the other hand, your fit specialist will make sure you find the right bra FIT for your body.  A bra is not a bra, is not a bra ... each bra fits a little different from the next based on factors such as fabric composition, cup, strap, wire, & band proportions, etc.  The key points to finding the perfect fit include: band fit, cup volume, underwire placement (if you wear an underwire), strap placement, & of course, comfort level. Focus on fit vs. size with your specialist & you'll have a positive bra shopping experience!

ROUND 3: Friendly, Familiar Faces vs. High Turnover

Familiar, friendly faces mean that the fit specialists are knowledgeable about the product.  They see many bras in many sizes on many body types.  Your fit specialist may take one look at your body type and know what works before you even get into the room.  Although sometimes we freak people out when the first few bras are homeruns ... but hey, we've been doing this for a while!

Unfortunately, high turnover in sales associates means that for the time the employees are there, they may not have as much exposure to product or body types.  It can be a frustrating experience to spend hours only to find one bra that, as one of our customers said about her best Vicky's bra, "kinda has an okay" fit.


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