a new me at Petticoat Fair

If you’re anything like me, you love shopping for new things with three notable exceptions: jeans, swimsuits, and bras. Undergarments have always been a fashion blind spot for me in that I don’t particularly enjoy shopping for new bras and other underthings, and I don’t have an innate sense for what might work for my body. Thankfully, Austin has a local gem that can solve such clothing conundrums. Enter: Petticoat Fair.

IMG_1296Welcome to Bra Mecca.

Located near the Anderson Lane/Burnet intersection in the north central area of town, Petticoat Fair has been an Austin staple for over 50 years (!) and, after my first experience at the shop, I see why local ladies keep coming back. When I arrived at the shop shortly after opening on a Friday morning, I was warmly greeted and had my name added to the list for a professional fitting. Mere moments later, I was introduced to Cat, my Fitting Specialist, and she led me to a fitting room to start the process. She had me show her the bra I was currently wearing: a staple I’d purchased in three colors at a Dillard’s in Boise over six years ago (!!). Though my old bras served me well back when I bought them, I knew that my body had changed a bit since that last professional fitting. Plus, six years is kind of a long time to hold on to bras, so I knew I was due for a refresh.

Cat took some measurements and returned with several options for me to try on. She was very thorough and professional in her process and explaining the elements that she was looking for in the way each bra fit, and she paid careful attention to her choices in what she brought out based on what I was looking for: a good, all-around, wear-every-day bra with minimal unnecessary embellishments, but still, you know, pretty. After trying upwards of 15 or so different options, we landed on two winners: a beige Natori bra* that’s honestly the most soft and comfortable undergarment I’ve ever worn, and a black Wacoal number that was a perfect fit and smooth as silk. I also honed in on a strapless style that I’m coming back for when the occasion calls for it: the shop keeps all clients’ sizes and brands that work well for them on file for easy reference when they return. Brilliant!

IMG_1290Another day, another photo of my boobs on the internet.

Up until this fitting, the bras I’d been wearing were a 32D or a 34C depending on the brand and style. Cat measured me as a 32DDD (!!!), and several bras we tried were a 34DD due to the band running slightly small. Cat said I’m likely in between band sizes, and the two bras I finally landed on are actually two different sizes as well (one a 32DDD and the other a 34DD) but both fit like a dream, so it just goes to show you that a) yes, brands of all garment types really do run differently in terms of fit and sizing, and b) having a professional fitter for new bras is essential. DO NOT GO THIS ALONE, ladies. Calling in professional help is something that I’m not afraid to do for a lot of things, including but not limited to bra shopping, hair cutting, teeth pulling, and cooking anything more complicated than scrambled eggs.

IMG_1294Awash in a sea of lovely underthings.

If you’re thinking about getting a lingerie drawer refresh and you live in the Austin area (or are visiting!), I’d recommend Petticoat Fair without hesitation. They have a bevy of options for bras, underwear, shapewear, swimwear and all kinds of nightgowns and other lovelies, and their staff is just amazing. If you’re looking for another shop option, Nicole’s post on her bra fitting experience at Nordstrom had a lot to do with me setting out in search of new underthings in the first place.

My new bras have my assets in the right place, I’m standing up straighter, and my clothes look better. What’s not to love about that?


*c/o Petticoat Fair. Thank you, ladies!

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