If you’re a woman (and you probably are, because my readers are about 98.2% female, a number I just made up but imagine is pretty darn close to reality), you know that finding a bra that fits like ahem, a glove is pure bliss. I mean, we have to wear these things day in and day out. Uncomfortable bras are for the birds. Not LITERALLY for the birds. You know what I mean.
Also? 85% of women are wearing the wrong size bra right now. EIGHTY-FIVE PERCENT. Hmm.
My guess as to why only fifteen percent of us are properly matched to our bra size is because nobody likes (or wants to take the time for) the lady in the lingerie department getting all up in our business with a measuring tape. In addition to that, our weight fluctuates and our body shape changes over the years and keeping up with it all is just one more thing nobody wants to add to their to-do list. Also, the measurement process. Oy.
Being properly measured for a bra involves MATH. Measuring, subtracting, and calculating a bunch of numbers into they turn into a letter: A, B, C, D, and so on…ugh. Though complicated, it’s always (for EIGHTY YEARS!) just been that way…until now.
Recently it made the news that Jockey was revolutionizing the way women were fitted for bras. I was very interested to learn more, which is why I was thrilled to be invited to the new Jockey Bra store at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg to get an in-depth tutorial on the new system. (Disclosure: I was given a free bra and a gift card in exchange for my visit. Also, Jockey is a Supporting Sponsor of BlogHer 2013, FYI, which is important to know too.)
The store, which has been open for two months now, is the first store of its kind for Kenosha, Wisconsin-based Jockey, and they plan to spread their wings with it and open more in the future. It’s a beautiful store, simple in its design, the main “color” being white. Immediately upon arrival I thought of Apple: last week I finished the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson (one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read, by the way), and I couldn’t help but think that the designers of this Jockey Bra store took Apple’s lead. Much like Apple, the focus is on a minimal amount of products which are on display for customers to check out up close and personal.
Also like Apple, the Jockey Bra store has knowledgable sales staff who really know about the product inside and out, and don’t mind taking the time to educate a customer. That’s a necessary thing, with the rollout of the new measuring system.
After looking around the store for a minute, I learned about the Volumetric Fit and why it’s better.
Over the past eight years, Sally Tompkins (Jockey’s Senior VP of Design, Research, and Product Development) and her team have been working on the creation of this new measurement system based upon this:
What they figured out was something that is, in its simplest form, a fact we already knew: we measure volume with cups, not a measuring tape. Their research, which involved 3D scanning of the bodies of more than 800 women, led to the creation of Jockey’s new Volumetric Fit Bra.
The Fit Kit is made up of a color-coded measuring band to determine the under-the-bust measurement (30-42) and ten different sized (1-10) volumetric fit cups made of flexible plastic. (These ten represent the most common sizes; I was told that they will produce more sizes on the larger end in the future.)
Here’s how you use the Fit Kit:
Choose a Cup: Select a cup that looks closest to your size and place over the breast. Make sure there is full coverage with no gapping or spillage. Document your new cup size (1-10).
Measure Under the Bust: Take a direct measurement of your body’s under-bust measurement using the color-coded, double-sided measuring band (reverse side is legible in your mirror). Choose from seven different band sizes (30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40 or 42). Document your band size.
If you visit the store, you can either measure yourself using a Fit Kit in the dressing rooms or ask one of their staff people to do it. If you choose the latter, you would go into one of their beautiful dressing rooms, remove your shirt and bra, and put on the thin robe that hangs behind the door. Press the “call” button–which, much like a Flight Attendant button on an airplane, turns a light on so they know you’re ready–and the Jockey Bra specialist will come in and fit you over the robe. (The robes are really thin so wearing it doesn’t affect the sizing.)
By the way, if you go to the Jockey Volumetric Fit Bra website and order a Fit Kit for $19.99, you’ll get $20 off of your bra purchase.
Anyway, back to those dressing rooms.
I could totally see myself moving in there. Or using it as an office. It was super-comfortable and the touch-screen was handy for learning more about the bras, too.
I was surprised to see that each Jockey Volumetric Fit Bra was packaged in what looked like a shoe box.
My first thought was, “Wow, that’s a lot of packaging,” and I made that comment to the lovely lady who was my guide for the evening. She said that they package the bras that way to protect them and that the company does recycle, which is good: I just wonder if they can eventually come up with something that uses less material that will end up in the recycle bin.
The other thing that occurred to me in regards to the packaging? I’m back at the Apple store. These braboxes are high-end. The BRAS are high-end. When I walked out of the store with that lovely box in a pretty shopping bag, I knew I had just taken part in a fantastic retail experience. It’s just what Steve Jobs was going for, and I’m sure it’s what the folks at Jockey are going for, too. In fact, I found this in their marketing materials to prove it:
“Every element of the JOCKEY bra program has an elegant feel to it for the consumer. From the design of the JOCKEY bra website and catalog to the white-glove service of our fit specialists in our retail stores across the country, every aspect of the consumer experience will provide women with the knowledge that the JOCKEY bra is the right fit for them,” said Dustin Cohn, chief marketing officer for Jockey.
So there you go.
As I mentioned at the top, Jockey is a Supporting Sponsor of the 2013 BlogHer conference next week in Chicago. Conference attendees can look for a special gift from Jockey!
Oh, and one more thing*, the bras, WHICH I LOVE for their design and comfort, retail at $60. Definitely high-end, but Jockey is standing by their product with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Any problems with the bra? Bring it back to the store and they’ll make it right.
The only problem I’m having right now? I’m so excited about my fancy new bra in the cool box in my pretty shopping bag that I hesitate to take it out and wear it.
But I will. And if it is as comfortable long-term as it was for the couple minutes I wore it in the dressing room? I might be throwing away my other bras.
I am actually giving away bras to FOUR of my readers! (Thanks, Jockey!) The bra coupon must be redeemed at the Woodfield Mall store in Schaumburg by the end of August, so I’m afraid this is for local readers only. To enter, leave a comment below. Just a comment. That’s it! I will pick the four winners randomly, and if you leave more than one comment, I will only count the first one. You’ve got from now until 11:59 p.m. Central time this Saturday (July 20) to enter, and I’ll contact the winners on Sunday. Easy peasy! Good luck!
*Gah, I totally made a Steve Jobs reference without realizing it immediately. I’m telling you, I loved that book.
Paula @ Frosted Fingers
Bras are SO hard to figure out. I’d love to try their new system! I remember being 16 and working in the lingerie department at Sears and having to help measure people.. 16?! I didn’t know what I was doing!
What a wonderful article! And your excellent photos and description of your shopping experience made me want to zip right over there! I am sure I will in the very near future! Thanks Melisa!
Jenn @ Mommy Needs Coffee
Totally wish I was local. Can you believe I have never been fitted for a bra? (YES I KNOW that is sad and pathetic.) And? I LOVE that Jockey is a *SUPPORTING* Sponsor at BlogHer. *snort*
Great recap! I hope they open a store in the North Dallas area.
PICK ME! PICK ME!! 🙂
Ummm the girls are DD. I need this!!!
I am definitely intrigued by this. Ever since watching the Oprah bra show, I’ve wanted to go to Nordtrums for a fitting, but never could bring myself to spend the money on one of their bras. Looks like this might be a better alternative.
Sweet deal! I love Jockey, thanks Melisa for bringing this to us 🙂
Natasha @ Houseful Of Nicholes
As a mom who has nursed four children – two at the same time, literally, I am indeed in need of a new bra, or two. It’s so not nice how gravity and children work against what used to be awesome looking accessories. 🙂 *crossing my fingers*
I know I am wearing the wrong size. I have spillage. TMI? 🙂
This looks fantastic!
That new measuring system does make more sense than the current one! So glad it was such a good experience!
This would be awesome since I have literally a couple of bras and am not entirely sure of my size.
OMG I took the EXACT same photos. Exact. *snort* but how cool is it? Did you hear the story about the woman who sang “do your ears hang low” when she came in for her fitting?
I should write my side of the story.
‘Bout time, is all I can say. I was fitted once (for a nursing bra). It was a humiliating experience and I have been ill-fitted ever since. Hope I’m a winner. Thanks for sharing.
Looks like a great store!
Maria @ A Savings WOW!
Thanks for sharing your experience in the JOCKEY store. I just passed by it today and was wondering how the process is and how comfortable the bras fit. It’s great to hear a first-hand account.
I haven’t been sized since having my youngest child, must do!
I have pretty much given up on finding a decent bra. In fact, I celebrate Bra-optional Sunday darned near every weekend. I think I’ve had one bra that has come close to fitting me properly; it’s not as though I have so much, they just don’t fit. So a true measurement and bra would be awesome.
I have never had a properly fitted bra … 🙁
Yes. I have a contest addiction.
I can’t imagine having so much fun getting fitted for a bra! I’d love to go there too!!!
Love this idea. would love to see if the right size bra would perk ’em up a bit!
Pick me;) Thanks for the low down and uplifting details on your bra shopping experience at Jockey.
Ha Ha I bought one of these bra’s almost two months ago at our outlet in Pigeon Forge. They had a special pre sale before the release for people with their reward cards. I love their products and have for years.
The bra is great a little expensive but well worth it
I’ve been wanting to do this since I saw it debut on the Today Show! I get to Woodfield at least once a month…and yes, any well fitting bra is worth it’s weight in gold!
I NEED A BRA! My helpful teenager dried one of mine. Sigh.
That said, I would be measuring my own boobs, thank you very much. You’re totally unsurprised, right?
oh my word, i need this so desperately.
I love this post. I love the idea. I love it all. And I rarely wear a bra because well…I tend to have breakdowns in the dressing room unless there is a woman who understands the fitting/size thing and can measure properly.
Picking them out on my own has led to a lot of bras that seem great or will do the job for the time being. But…yeah. Since I don’t wear one regularly (laziness and aforementioned problems) it seems somehow wasteful. On the other hand I HAVE noticed that my clothes look way better when I wear one. A well-fitted bra is such a confidence booster.
This bra sounds so interesting. The old measuring system never got it right for me so I’m looking forward to trying this one out!
I have the worst luck with bra sizing. I definitely want to check out this store and give my boobs some much needed TLC,lol.
I need a BRA STAT! (like honestly!)
I almost didn’t enter, because I am completely un-bra-able. I’ve NEVER met a bra that fir me. But I’m willing to go in and be humiliated one more time if I win this. PLus, I’m intrigued. HMMMMM
Laura Grace Andry
I cannot believe how hard it is to find a good comfortable bra! Especially with a constantly changing body. These pics are great and tell me I have a shopping trip to woodfield in my future. I totally want to check out those changing rooms 🙂
The problem is the cost, even if it is super comfortable. I like finding bras on sale in the $20 range.
This is genius. Pure genius. I can’t wait to test this out!
I’ve been fitted by three different “experts” and all three came up with a different size for me. Talk about frustrating! Needless to say, I still have no idea what my correct size is. I need help!