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To Fit or Not to Fit? ?Tis the main question when it comes to bra shopping

I used to dread bra shopping. It was only at the high-end department stores that I could find actual bra fitters, and most of them seemed to be octogenarians who left me feeling uncomfortable with their no-nonsense orders of what I should wear. And stores such as Victoria?s Secret, which so appeals to my teenage daughter, simply did not cater well to us Moms who no longer live in the bra-land of lacy and barely there. So mostly I just assumed I knew my correct bra size and would peruse the racks looking for a style that appealed to me.

The problem? While shopping, I failed to bring along the particular types of outfits I needed a bra for: from V-neck sweaters and strapless dresses (Would the bra come too high and show?) to a white tennis shirt (Wow would the sports bra look under it?). A high amount of guesswork became involved, and I had quite a collection of not-so-perfect bras gathering dust in my dresser drawers as a result.

So when a friend connected me to, an online bra seller, I ventured forth with arms-crossed skepticism. That was until I spoke over the phone with Bobbie Smith, Freshpair?s head of Women?s Intimacy, who lead me through a virtual bra fitting. Bobbie started with some basics: what bra sizes did I tend to buy for myself? What did I most like about the bras I owned? And in what ways were they not working for me? She asked me more questions about how my bras fit ? were there bulges not covered by the bra? Did I have the bra fastened on the loosest or tightest hooks? Did I like bras to be lined or padded? Put your finger toward the middle of your left armpit and go straight down ? is that where your underwire is? And so on for 20 minutes.

Here?s a recent picture of Bobby at a cancer event (she?s on the right!)

In process, I learned a dizzying array of bra factoids:

Bras actually come in 90 different sizes, all the way up to GG.
Bras stretch about 3 inches each year!
90% of all bra support comes from the back band, not the straps, So the band needs to be firm and level across your back (not hiking up). If you find yourself adjusting your bra straps because they seem too loose or slip off your shoulders, you simply have the wrong back band size bra.
As we go up in band size (for example, from a 32 to a 34), the cup size goes up proportionally as well. So a 32B cup is not the same size as a 32C cup. Bobbie?s also on a mission to help women to understand cup size ? as it?s often the least-understood part of bra fitting.
When you exercise, your breasts move in a figure-8 pattern, and a well-fit sports bra limits movement up to 34%.

After talking with me, Bobbie told me she had all the information she needed and believed that I really needed to go up one bra size to get a better fit. Best of all, she would send an assortment of bras out to me to sample.

How Fresh Pair works

The company holds your credit card number and sends bras your way based on what you?re looking for. They offer free returns for any bras you?re not crazy about and don?t want to keep, and charge you only for the ones you do. I found myself thinking: Freshpair is the Zappos of bras. You pick what you want and return what you don?t want.

When they arrived, the bras Bobbie selected turned out to fit perfectly. And I loved being able to try on bras based on the outfits I wanted to wear them with. I ended up keeping one for wearing under camisoles, and a brand new sports bra for tennis. Where specialty bra shops charge an outrageous fee for their services, with Freshpair you can expect to pay between $20 and $90 per bra.

So my takeaway: Bobbie and Freshpair are now in charge of all my new bras!

Check them out for yourself at and give Bobbie and her Bra Fit Specialists team a call to do your personal virtual bra fitting: 866.663.6613.

Disclosure: Mom Central received samples from in order to facilitate this review. The views expressed here are entirely my own.

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