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The Message Of Fit: Just Let Me Be Myself

February 22, 2017

By ALI CUDBY

I’m addicted to this song by Grace. It’s not a new song, in fact, it’s a remix of the classic by Lesley Gore, “You Don’t Own Me.”

Don’t tell me what to say,

And don’t tell me what to do.

Just let me be myself

That’s all I ask of you.

Wherever you look, women are sharing that message.

When I had my first transformational fitting in a Cambridge UK lingerie store 13 years ago, it sparked a huge AHA moment for me. In finding bras that fit, I felt like the message was much bigger.

I felt like I fit – not just in my bras, but in my body.

That moment was the inspiration for my business, my book Busted! and the FabFit Academy, my bra fit training program.

Along the way, I’ve heard from women all over the world. And they want to fit, too.

But what does “fit” mean these days? Because it seems to be changing.

At one time, fit seemed to be the pursuit for a single answer to the question “What is my bra size?” As if there was a single answer to the question.

Customers were destined to be frustrated by trying to find an answer to that question. Because there is no magical formula that leads to a single size.

And women didn’t want a solution that led to them being “right” or “wrong.”

Fit boils down to helping women feel empowered to be their best – and how that translates will differ from woman to woman.

As professionals, we can offer our best advice about which bras will work best on customer’s unique body.

But anyone who sells by telling women they’re wrong ends up hurting everyone. They hurt buyers by sending negative messages AND they hurt themselves by turning women off.

Across the spectrum of life, more and more women are rejecting rules and norms that have been pushed on them.

We see it in politics.

We see it in the workplace.

And we see it in the fitting room.

What we’re witnessing is the voice of cultural change.

What does this change mean for lingerie professionals whose bread and butter comes from telling women how bras should fit?

Simple – the leading professionals are listening to the customers they serve and guiding them to look and feel their best by the customer’s definition. They share expertise without judgement about what customers choose in the end.

Don’t tell me what to say, and don’t tell me what to do. Just let me be myself. That’s all I ask of you.

In listening to women and seeing this shift, I’ve been inspired to make changes to my business. It started when I rejected the statistic so many lingerie professionals relied on for years – the one that said “70-85% of women are wearing the wrong bra size.”

To keep a consistent business message, I eventually chose to pull my bestselling book from the shelves. Sharing that outdated (and false) statistic was no longer supporting the women I served.

But keeping my expert advice from women didn’t feel like the right answer, either.

With that in mind, I’ve tried to find the balance between empowering women to select the best bras for their bodies while giving them the means to assess fit for themselves. The result is my new book, based on Busted!

It’s called Fit My Bras.

At Curvexpo in New York, I’ll be unveiling Fit My Bras in the Best of Intima booth. I’d love to meet you, talk about the art and science of bra fitting in this new world of women, and answer any questions you have. Hey…you can even get a signed copy of the book.

I share all of this because, like you, I’m a business owner trying to make things work in a changing world of empowering women. That’s what She Buzz is all about.

Shifts in the world of women affect every lingerie professional, and we all benefit by hearing about them and discussing how they’re impacting our business. I look forward to continuing the conversation with you – both here and in the real world.

 

 

 
COMMENTS
1
  1. Joyce Baran Friday - 03 / 03 / 2017 Reply
    Hello Ali, I so agree with you. For years I have said 'comfort and fit are in the eye of the beholder'. Kudos, Joyce Baran

she buzz

 

 
SHE BUZZ is the place to go to tune into the world of women. From news stories and trends to the issues women uniquely face in the world by virtue of being women. It may be fun and festive, or sad and serious. This column will be guided by current events and personal opinion – all on the topic of women’s experiences.
 
The lingerie industry is about more than fittings and finery. It’s about connecting to women and creating an environment that’s supportive – both physically and emotionally.
 
Ali Cudby will bring you a range of topics as diverse as women themselves.
 

 
 

ALI CUDBY teaches a proven method to transform the customer culture for businesses that sell to women. With Ali, businesses lay a strong foundation for building the deep relationships customers crave as the antidote to isolation in the modern economy.
 
The result? Customers are inspired to buy more often and refer like crazy, while businesses thrive and change customers’ lives.
 
Ali is a bestselling author and has been featured in TV, print and online for publications such as Cosmopolitan and Essence Magazine, among others. She holds an MBA from Wharton Business School and spends her spare time in her pottery studio.
 
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Ellen Lewis, editor/publisher of Lingerie Briefs