5 Surprising Bra Facts You Only Learn From Bra Fitters (NSFW)

Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
This post was originally published on August 29, 2015.

Shopping for intimates is, well, intimate. You can sheepishly poke at some chantilly lace and give a tentative nod to the cheek-revealing undies, but maybe you just want someone to answer a million questions about what those numbers on the tag mean — and sometimes, it's not so easy to seek out help. Bra fitters recognize this hesitation, these bottled-up apprehensions, and they hold all the answers (even to those queries you're too shy to ask). It's all in a day's work.

Every time we interview a bra expert (and it happens quite frequently), they open with the same tip: Book a proper fitting. 'It makes all the difference,' they said. 'It'll change your life,' they said. I was apprehensive — then again, I had never gone for proper fitting before. But, with every interview, a passing comment or afterthought would spark a million follow-up questions. Wait, what did you say about where I should hook the bra? Could you speak a little bit more to breast asymmetry? You're telling me I can't put my underwire with the rest of my laundry?

So, I called upon four trusted experts to share some of these tips and tricks you learn, once you're deep in the biz. Ahead, Ra'el Cohen, vice president of design and product development, ThirdLove; Heidi Zak, cofounder of ThirdLove; Bernadette, fitter at New York's Town Shop; and Jenny Altman, intimates expert and brand consultant at I Love A Good share the most surprising things you might not know about bras that will probably change your life. Note: Some of the GIFs ahead are NSFW.