The Psychology of Bra Shopping: Part Deux
Bra shopping is just as much psychology as it is fitting physical attributes. In Part I, I talked about how advertising messes with us and sets us ladies up for failure. In Part II, I’m talking about how it affects fit sessions and how we can actually be successful together!
Here’s where bra shopping and fitting women for bras and lingerie specifically plays a role.
Most women come into our shop ready to hand over the reins. They are tired of shopping on their own. Some are apprehensive and declare on a regular basis that they are “hard to fit”. Physically this is rarely the case. Challenging maybe, but rarely physically hard.
A great professional fitter with top notch product knowledge who listens to what the woman in the dressing room is telling her can show her how easy she is to fit. The majority of our clients are quite surprised to realize they aren’t hard to fit at all when you enlist resources to take care of the details for you! Thus bra shopping can be quick, simple, easy, and fun.
Where it becomes a little more complicated is when shopping and fitting aren’t physical but is more psychological or emotional in nature. Sometimes, we as women, get into a dressing room and all of our insecurities and harsh critiques of ourselves can occasionally come out all at once. It makes it damn near impossible to hear anything positive. And sometimes, at that moment, we aren’t capable of seeing what we truly look like. No matter how amazing!
The causes of such are irrelevant, but the motivation is usually the same. We are holding an image in our head real or imagined, and almost always completely shaped by advertising. As I have learned in my own experiences, holding an image in your mind and trying to achieve it puts you at a place of disadvantage.
For me, it’s like a form of self-sabotage and a built-in “out”. The “out” portion is supposed to function as a fail-safe, but I’ve already decided in the back of my mind I’m using the “out” no matter what. You can’t give anything a fair chance that way. You also can’t give anyone a fair chance that is helping you either. I find this same general principle can be applied through all facets of life.
Ads use the problem-solution thinking and now are adding the lifestyle component. If I wear X, not only will it solve my problem, my life will be that much closer to the one in the ad. Sweet! Sign me up.
Well, it seems some of our brains have taken this to heart. Using or wearing a product will not completely change who you are or what you look like. We have to honestly look at ourselves in the mirror and assess whether we are being honest with our expectations.
Sometimes we expect to see the woman in the ads looking back at us in the mirror. We must reconcile what we truly see and sometimes we are not ready to admit that. So, no matter if I have helped you to achieve every aspect of the look, feel, and fit you’ve communicated to me… it won’t change what your brain expects to see in the mirror.
So yes, some women are “hard to fit”, but not for the reasons you would think. And that’s ok. That’s why we love a challenge and love to change attitudes about what bra shopping should be!
We have to honestly look at ourselves in the mirror and assess whether we are being honest with our expectations.
So, how you can quiet all the ad noise and set yourself up for success?
First, really listen to your self-talk. Analyze where you really think it came from. Is there any truth or reality to what you are hearing in your own head? What do you really believe? How do you really want to feel? Are my expectations realistic? It is hard, I know. I’ve been there.
Having a healthy expectation about what lingerie is meant to do can also help. Lingerie is meant to work with and complement your existing shape. Even corsets. If you are bottom heavy or top heavy the corset doesn’t get rid of your hips or balance your top and bottom half. It can’t make you look like your “ideal size”. And it certainly doesn’t remove all the parts you are most critical of on yourself.
Lingerie’s purpose is not to “fix” your body. Not even shapewear. There is nothing wrong with your body, It’s amazing just the way it is! Lingerie will not completely change your body and that’s a good thing. Lingerie is meant to support, enhance, or showcase your already amazing features. To magnify that wonderful woman within. It is a medium in which to express love for yourself and your body.
Lingerie’s purpose is not to “fix” your body.
Work with what you have, its ah-mazing! I promise you. Your shape and your features are unique to you. You know what else is unique? No two women will ever look the same in the same bra…even in the same size. Own it and remember that next time you have an image in your head and look at yourself in the mirror.
As much as I would love to tell you I make miracles happen, I don’t. But…I can help you pick out some delectable bra and lingerie options that make you feel amazing and hopefully quiet that voice in your head that says “I’m hard to fit.”
Ok so, maybe I might make tiny miracles happen then:) The real magic though is that I get to help you see YOU. The beautiful woman that walked into the store in a whole different light. You are the star of this show!
Put yourself in a position to win. Seek out your local resources. There are independent local professional bra fitting shops all across the country. Pop in and make friends with your local bra lady!
Finding the right resource can help to alleviate your nervousness, nix the belief that you are hard to fit, remove discouragement, and calm the anxiety related to bra and lingerie shopping. You can feel like “everything” is made for you. So much so that when you come across something that may not work for you, you realize straight away it is the garment and not you!
And when you find success at your local shop, remain loyal. Form those relationships, because the better you get to know each other, the better experience you will have!
If you feel like you are hard to fit, or just struggle in general finding bras that fit and that you love, pop by The Perky Lady for a fitting. We offer the option of booking a private 1-on-1 personal private fit experience for a little extra attention.
If you missed it, check out Part I of this series to see how our psychology during our fitting was first impacted by advertising.