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.