So there’s nothing quite like standing in a change room waiting to try on bras.
Actually just thinking about it in the past would have sent me into a panic. Change rooms were places I’d go to torture myself. I’d become sweaty, flustered and sometimes a little upset. Finding sizes was not fun, and I’d rather blend into the shadows than have to talk to a sales associate.
My change room stress isn’t new, and it isn’t magically better now that I am wearing smaller sizes. It has however begun to improve ever since I realized there are actually stores that send their staff to a substantial amount of training in order to make them the best damn sales associates out there. They turn them into super professional, super knowledgeable, passionate associates who can basically just grab you things that make you look or at least feel amazing, no matter what your size. BraTopia is one of these places, and I was there to find out first hand!
I was greeted by Kate, who also happens to be their fabulous marketing manager. Walking into the store, at the Edmonton Trail location, it’s clean, organized and would be a nightmare to have to navigate alone.
I didn’t even look around, but rather was brought back into a change room right away. Kate pulled a selection of bras and explained the different types that are sold in the store. She then measured me, since I have been wearing the wrong size due to my recent weight loss, but also because most women are wearing the wrong size without even realizing it. The first measurement was around where my band would sit, I was surprised to know that this was measuring at 30 inches (4 inches smaller than the last time I had measured). The second measurement is taken around the body at the apex of the breast (usually around the nipple area), which put me at 39 inches. This was the part that blew my mind. Each inch is representative of one cup size, 9 inches put me at an I cup.
Now, all bras tend to fit different, and a 30 inch band is pretty teeny, so I mostly tried on 32 inch bras. I was told by Kate that you want the band snug but not too snug. Bras tend to loosen over time, and she said you do not want to be coming back because your bra is too big once it is broken in, rather that it fits you perfectly and lasts a long time.
She came back with a couple of bras to start. I put one on and Kate came back in to adjust it. The bra support is really important for me, in particular with a larger cup size (but I do think this is an important back saver for everyone!). The support in these bras begins from the bottom and goes up, which is why they’re able to do strapless bras for larger sizes! I’ll get more into how exactly this works.
First order of business was ensuring the underwire was directly under my breast, the underwire also went way further into my armpit than I expected because that is breast tissue in there! Who knew?! It was SO much more comfortable than my other underwire bras! Most underwire jabs into the breast tissues and makes for a very uncomfortable experience.
Next the band was adjusted to be even all the way around the bra – usually this sits way too low on our back – and the straps appropriately shortened to fit my body. Although the first bra I tried on was my absolute favourite, the band was a bit tight and it wouldn’t be going home with me this day. It was by far the prettiest though, and coverage was fantastic, so I can even share a photo.
We continued on with this process for around an hour, with some regular bras, a fancier bra (ohh la la!) and then my favourite, the sports bras!
I was not expecting to leave there with a sports bra, but it was too good not to take it home!! I did the bounce test, and it passed. Although I lift weights and do little to no cardio ever, I still appreciate having a good supportive sports bra to keep everything contained.
In the end, I even tried on a couple of bikinis, which were cute but I didn’t love them as much as I’d loved the one I purchased last month.
BraTopia is definitely a higher end store, but the idea behind these high end bras is not just luxury, but fit. You are paying to have a bra that actually matches your body type. You are paying for a bra that should last a very long time. You are paying for quality, comfort, and the incredible knowledge of the staff there. You’re not just getting a bra, you’re getting a whole experience, an education about what you’re buying and the kind of help and support that makes shopping seem way more fun, and substantially less stressful!
I didn’t break out into a sweat once, and for someone like me who has a large personal space bubble and no appreciation for shopping unless it’s online, that is really saying something.
I am thrilled to have two perfect new bras while I keep working hard to get my body leaner. The good news, is they will have a repeat customer in me, as I will most definitely be back there as my sizes go down.
I can’t thank Kate and the rest of the team at BraTopia enough, for allowing me into the store knowing that I’d be writing about them afterwards. I’m already looking forward to going back again. There was nothing overwhelming or stressful about this shopping experience at all, and for that I was so grateful.