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Ambrassadors, Behind the Seams, Having a B.R.A. Fit

Leann’s Incredible Bra Fit Makeover: From 38DD to 34J

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When is a bra more than a bra? When it changes your life.

This is Having a B.R.A. (Before – Revelation – After) Fit, our new series documenting real moments of bra salvation and euphoria made possible by our certified team of expert amBRAssadors whose goal it is to improve women’s day-to-day lives, beginning with the right bra.

And Leanne Dawes started it all.

At 40, Leann not only finally learned her actual bra size, she found the comfort, confidence and cute styles she’d written off ages ago. Read on to find out how you can have what’s she’s having, too.

BEFORE
This past August, Leann came to Bare Necessities to participate in a consumer research panel about bra shopping. Like many full-busted ladies, she clearly struggled with bras, and she validated all the things we hear anecdotally: Women are never taught how a bra should fit; they settle; they wonder why they can’t be like everybody else. “I hated bra shopping—worst thing ever,” says Leann.

One of her chief complaints was what she referred to as “boob fat and back fat. I told Mette, my bra fit amBRAssador, that I needed a bra with side support to contain it.” Leann said she was a 38DD, but Mette took one look at her and knew there was no way.

THE REVELATION
After the focus group, Mette ushered Leann aside for a fitting. That’s when Leann had her transformation revelation: She emerged a 34J.

Leann was fairly floored by her new size, but she became a believer as soon as Mette showed her the proof—there was no gaping or pulling in her new bra (the Panache Clara, for the record, shown above), and the cups fit like they were tailor-made for her body. Total rapture at long last.

Mette informed Leann that was no fat after all; it was breast tissue: “Because she was wearing too small a bra, that tissue had nowhere to go but out.”

“The fitting changed my life forever. It was like the gates opened and I saw the light! It was unbelievable. I’m more confident, I have no more shoulder pain, bras are comfortable now, and I feel like a new person with more options, down to the clothes I want to wear,” says Leann. “I used to hate having bigger boobs, but now I can find cute bras in my size. I don’t have to wear something that’s uncomfortable or doesn’t fit. I used to be in meetings trying to subtly adjust my bra. It feels weird and nice not to have to do that anymore.”

AFTER
“There are still a lot of misconceptions about bras,” Mette acknowledged. “We believe the professionals in the store, so when the bras aren’t fitting properly, we think, ‘Maybe there’s something wrong with me.’ One of the most important things we try to teach people is how a bra is supposed to fit so you can feel supported. You should never feel pain in a bra. Ever,” says Mette. Seems obvious; for many of us, it’s anything but.

Like Leann, most women are in too small of a cup and too big of a band. “Over-tightening straps to compensate causes neck and shoulder pain,” says Mette, a 34I herself, who also wants to dispel the myth that “just because you’re bigger than a DDD, it doesn’t mean you look like Dolly Parton.”

“I thought I knew how a bra was supposed to fit,” said Leann, who’d visited a specialty boutique to get sized a few months prior. “It was a nightmare. I had 20 bras in the dressing room and couldn’t find one that fit. I don’t know if she was just trying to make the sale or she wasn’t aware that a 34J is a normal size.”

Hours after her BN visit, Leann emailed Mette: “I’m still talking about how you found the bra that fit ‘the girls.’ I must’ve called six people on my way home to tell them how excited I was. Before today, I probably would’ve rather set myself on fire—only a slight exaggeration—than shop for a bra. It was the bane of my existence. Now I have a new outlook on bra shopping.”

So how did Bare Necessities flip the script? “You take into consideration that everyone’s boobs aren’t the same,” says Leann, whose bra size isn’t the only thing that’s changed: “I still can’t believe I found bras that I like to wear. It’s surreal.” Her advice now that she’s been through it: “Don’t just take your so-called size as gospel. Get a second opinion.”

Leann has been sharing her story far and wide, from our Facebook live stream to her mail carrier: “I’ve been telling my friends to go get a real bra fitting. The mailman thinks I’m nuts because I wait for him to see if he has my latest Bare Necessities order!”

It takes courage—something Leann has in spades—to talk about your breasts with the world: “I would do anything to help someone else feel the way you guys made me feel. You always read these amazing makeover stories in magazines and think, ‘Wow, that person is lucky for that to have happened to them.’ Thank you for making me that person. ‘The girls’ and I are eternally grateful for becoming a part of the Bare Necessities family.”

LEANNE’S BEST BRAS:
Panache Clara
Fantasie Rebecca
Prima Donna Deauville
Elomi Matilda Plunge

You, too, can be that lucky lady Leann is talking about. For your own uplifting transformation, call an amBRAssador for a bra fitting at 877-728-9272 (select option 4).

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Brooke Glassberg
Brooke is the editor of this here blog. In a previous life, she was an editor at Good Housekeeping and O, The Oprah Magazine. Brooke has written for Glamour, Travel+Leisure, New York Magazine and more. She’s into concerts, calligraphy, travel and her exceptionally adorable toddler and husband.
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