Measuring Tape: Why All the Hate?


Why is it suddenly fashionable to hate measuring tape? “Shmancy” bra stores like Intimacy and True&Co (and some Nordstrom fitters, but not all) brag about fitting by eye and eschew the measuring tape. How is “fitting by eye” better?

There are two types of “fitting by eye”: some people look at the customer in all their clothing and guess their size and others look at how the bra they are currently wearing fits them. The first method almost never works, since many D+ women don’t own well fitting clothing and since a bulky sweater can obscure quite a bit. (Apparently I look like a 34DD.) The second method is better, but, since all bras fit differently (and their bra could be very old and worn out), it’s hard to tell everything from the bra the customer walks in wearing. (My last experience, at Intimacy, landed me in an ill-fitting 32DDD!)

Sure, the usual methods of either measuring the underbust and adding 4-5 inches or measuring above the breasts for the band size are bunk… and measuring for cup size isn’t very accurate past a C cup, but measuring can be a useful starting point, particularly for band size. My preferred method is a combination of measuring tape and examining how the person’s current bra fits. For example, if they are wearing a 38DD and have a 33 inch ribcage and some spill in the cups, I would recommend trying a 34FF (UK) and a 32G (UK) and then evaluate again from there. It’s a lot easier than trying to guess how many sizes too big (or small) their band is.

Measuring tape can’t do everything… but it is a useful tool!

4 thoughts on “Measuring Tape: Why All the Hate?

  1. I think the issue here is that people try to depend on one or two measurements by tape instead of the many you do on Bratabase for better data! More data here is better! A measuring tape is a great starting point, especially when you’ve no idea what size to be wearing. However, it’s true that many companies/models fit differently and I wish I could make them all obey a consistent band measurement.

    I’m debating listing my 32FF Pistachio Deco (runs a little small) on Bratabase, but it’s used. Still has a few months left of wear in it, but I’m too big for it. Your advice?

  2. I agree with the usefulness of a measuring tape as a starting point. I can eyeball it based on current bra fit, but since I don’t have years of experience behind me it takes quite a few goes of trying on different bras. If a quick use of a measuring tape means the woman I’m fitting needs to try on even one less bra, she’s probably less likely to get frustrated and sore.

    I suppose the problem is that people get really stuck to those measurements sometimes. I persisted in wearing 30 bands for a while when I should’ve at least been looking at 32s because I measured at 29, so I should fit them easily by golly! I am wiser now xD But when you’re an inexperienced bra fitter at a cheap bra store, I can understand why you’d want to stay with a measurement because they probably don’t actually understand how bras are meant to fit and are just winging it.

    1. Even if you’re experienced, it can still be useful. :)

      And I had the opposite problem: I measure 31 inches, so I assumed a 30 would be too small… now I’m wearing 30 bands and my bras are staying where they belong. (A 31 band would be nice, though.)

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