The pandemic set in motion societal changes on how we do, or might do, almost everything. Our views of what was possible had radical pivots out of necessity. We innovated and adapted at great speed.
We were skeptical of working from home back in 2019. Now it’s a norm.
For doctors, we would sit endless hours in waitrooms wondering how they land planes in order, organize factories to build cars, but doctors couldn’t keep a schedule. Now we have virtual care, you can see a doctor from your home in a matter of minutes.
When we started Your Bra Store, the largest resistance we faced was that bras shouldn’t be sold online.
Bra buying is an in-person experience. While we agree bras are best bought in person, it is not the only way. Most bras are bought in person, yet, a degree of people will continue shopping for bras online.
Our idea is that the same people who sell it at street level (small bra stores with incredible bra fitting knowledge and expertise) should be the same ones selling it online. That’s my pitch. But I digress.
Resistance to selling bras online was always my wall. And it was very black and white. Some took to my concept and shared their bras with me. Others didn’t.
But 2020 forced innovations and changes of attitude across industries. It happened with bras too.
Not only have bra stores been ready to come with us online, they are now looking for ways to expand. Having fully integrated the process into their operation, they are now working on the steps beyond it. Improvement. Innovation.
What was once thought of as hearsay. Witchcraft! Has now gone mainstream : Virtual Bra Fittings.
With so many lockdowns world wide, virtual bra fittings have gone practically mainstream.
Bra fittings are an incredibly intimate and close interaction that happens indoors. Exactly the type of situations we try to avoid during the pandemic.
Even when allowed to go for in-person shopping, many people stayed away for individual reasons.
Still, not going to a bra store, not buying bras, or not getting a bra fitting is not the same as not needing to buy a bra. Demand is always there. Bras are an essential item in the life of many many women.
Buying bras online or shopping for bras online has always been difficult. Even though having an ecommerce store is a necessary component for any retailer, online bra retailers have been plagued with high return rates since its inception.
Virtual bra fittings have managed to drastically cut that rate for the retailer. Customers buying bras online receive more well fitting bras than before thanks to virtual bra fittings.
You may have not had a virtual fitting but wondered what they were. We see that a lot when we speak to stores. Customers have questions about virtual bra fittings! Lots of them!
How does a virtual bra fitting work?
Am I going to be naked online?
How accurate is a virtual bra fitting?
Here are some answers.
A virtual fitting is the same process that happens in a lingerie boutique, except it’s in the privacy of your own home and done with a video service.
All you need is you, your current best bra, and a soft tape measure.
The fitter will do the rest!
You’ll probably have to make a reservation for a specific time online. Pick a boutique that has lots of fitting experience and easy returns for virtual fittings, since you may not find the perfect bra in the exact size on the first try.
Many stores will often send you an email questionnaire to find out more about your situation. What type of bra are you looking for? What has been your favorite bra? Things of that nature.
For a successful virtual bra fitting you need a device that can do video-conferencing.
The fitter will greet you and ask you some basic questions about what bra you’re currently wearing, any fit issues you’re experiencing, and what type and styles of bras you are looking for.
There are different bra fitting techniques when you have an in-person fitting and that applies also to virtual fittings.
Some fitters eyeball size using your current bra, a t shirt, and some movement.
Other fitters use a tape measure where you take some measurements of yourself and the fitter will use a blend of those measurements and what they see to start suggesting bras.
The fitter will walk you through the steps of how to take a proper measurement.
You need the technical part : a device with video conferencing capacity and an internet connection and a private space.
Have your current best fitting bra (underwired preferred) and a soft tape measure!
Some fitters also want you to have a plain, tight fitting t-shirt to see how the bra looks under clothes as well.
Think about what it is you want to buy or what you need to buy. What is it you are looking for? Having a clear goal will help steer the bra fitting to where you want.
Think about what sorts of bras you’ve loved in the past.
Think about if there is something that isn’t working for you about your current selection.
If you’ve changed sizes drastically, let your fitter know so they can make sure to get accurate measurements. Have there been any changes to your body type that might affect your bust size or tissue type?
If you’re interested in a specific type of bra like a sports bra or a strapless one for a special occasion, make sure to point that out.
A bra fitting online takes between 30 minutes and 60 minutes.
You definitely don’t have to be naked online.
Talk to your fitter about your comfort level beforehand.
Most often bra fitters want to see you in your bra. It is ideal.
But if you are uncomfortable, make sure to be clear with your bra fitter on what your comfort level is.
Remember, bra fitters are empathetic people and bra fittings are a judgement free zone. They are there to help.
You may not get the perfect bra on the first try, but it won’t be off by much. After all, remember that you are getting sized online, but don’t have the actual bra to try on at that moment.
Most boutiques make it easy for virtual fitting clients to exchange bras because they know it may take more than one try to get the right size.
Don’t be shy about expressing your feelings about the bras from your fittings and don’t be scared to exchange something that is good but not great.
It’ll make it easier to buy bras in the future once the fitters get to know your body and your tastes.
During the pandemic virtual bra fittings have become a regular offering that many lingerie boutiques and bra fitting stores adopted.
We predict they’ll hang around post-pandemic too. They’re an easy way for customers to find their perfect bra without having to live close to a boutique you may want to buy bras from.
Living far from a bra store with a large selection is a reality for most women. Bra stores are very expensive to stock. Many stores stock a certain basic amount of bras in best-selling sizes only, leaving a lot of women with few to no selection locally.
Time constraints are another big reason that virtual fittings have taken-off. Before the pandemic they were extremely rare, so customers couldn’t even tap into the considerable time efficiencies and convenience in a virtual bra fitting. Once they became mainstream, women on tight schedules flocked to them saving themself a drive to the local bra store.
Many bra stores have found virtual bra fittings a seamless complimentary service to add on to their current offerings. So much so that there is a whole movement of “what’s next?” in the virtual bra fitting world. Innovation and creativity has been sparked!
Some of the things we have seen and heard :
Most stores started fitting a bit of a mad dash as governments shut them down and they found themselves forced to develop new streams of revenue quickly. This meant that virtual bra fittings were a basic video conferencing affair with little thought put into the whole “look and feel”.
Stores are now working on creating a more curated online experience. They are looking to offer clients visual environments that might replicate the professional and intimate experience a customer finds at a bra store.
This includes better backgrounds, better ways to feature and show bras to the customer over the screen, virtual mirrors where the customer and the fitter can discuss what is being seen, and other innovations.
Stores are beginning to implement online bra fitting kits. You can purchase an online bra fitting kit that will be shipped to you.
Most of them are fairly basic, but you get a soft measuring tape, often color coded so the fitter doesn’t need to be able to see the itty bitty numbers on the tape. Bra fitters can make assessments based on the colors displayed when the customer uses the tape as instructed.
Basic tshirts are also being considered. A customer receives a tape measure and a basic white tshirt in their size that allows the fitter to judge the look of the bra below a layer of clothing.
As virtual bra fittings continue to find a foothold, what stores aim to accomplish in a virtual bra fitting is changing.
The original concept was to assess bra size and make suggestions for the customer, this still did not create a whole close loop experience. Customers were still returning bras that fit only because they did not have the guidance to properly snuggle into the bra once it arrived.
Stores are now doing pre and post purchase virtual bra fittings. Especially stores with the size to be able to absorb shipping costs.
In this scenario, bra stores still conduct the original bra fitting and assess the customer’s bra size. The customer then purchases (sometimes doesn’t even purchase yet) a group of bras that are shipped.
The customer then has another scheduled virtual fitting when the bras arrive at their home. This allows the fitter and the customer to work on each bra individually creating a higher guarantee of fit accuracy. The customer then returns the bras that did not fit.
The bra store compiles accurate notes on the customer’s size. This helps the customer to shop again and have bras shipped to them with a high degree of certainty that they fit and reduces the overall time spent in virtual bra fittings.
You are ready!
Use our button above to find stores in Canada that provide virtual bra fittings.
Book an appointment and get your measuring tape ready.