Ali Cudby is a woman on a mission, and a bonafide lingerie legend to boot. Inspired by her own experiences as a desperate and dejected busty teenager (sound familiar?) and transformed by an encounter with British bra heros Bravissimo, she set out to educate all woman to recognise good fit for themselves, and banish body and bra issues for good.
In her book Busted!, Ali attempts to explain the many nuances of bra fitting, and equip women with the tools and the confidence to find their perfect fit – even if it it’s different to what the woman in the changing room is telling you. She writes:
“My mission is to help every woman understand how a bra should fit her unique body, so she can enjoy a lifetime of Fab Foundations.”
Ali’s believes (as does Busts 4 Justice) that finding that perfect fit is life changing. Not just because it makes you look better, or makes you feel better and more confident, but because it sets you free.
“…with the right bra, I could begin to focus on more important aspects of my life without distraction.”
Never underestimate just how much more a girl liberated from back pain, discomfort, sore breasts and nagging wires can do. A lesson for all of my War on Plus Four targets, perhaps…
Ali’s philosophy is one that all retailers would benefit from listening to: absolutely rejecting bra calculators in favour of thorough fitting knowledge that helps you find the perfect fit: whatever size that may be. She’s a firm believer in rejecting ‘definitive’ calculators, and focusses her entire method and philosophy on empowering women to understand and recognise how individual bras fit to their individual body. It’s simple, but essential information in a world overrun by badly fitting underwear.
The book is full of great practical advice and it would be impossible to put down without a better sense of what a good fitting bra should be. But perhaps most interesting is how emotional it is too:
“Most women don’t just go shopping; they walk in to the dressing room with a lot of preconceived notions about their bodies.”
As we all know, often painfully, a bad experience in a lingerie fitting room can have body image repercussions for years. And’s not just women and girls still missing their perfect fit she’s writing for, she’s avenging the teenager she used to be.
The book’s a great tool for women yet to find their way to a perfect fit, and a great gift for those still in DD limbo. Ali’s straightforward checklist based system leaves no room for doubt – and I can imagine it would be mere paragraphs before a woman reading it in a badly fitting bra would feel the urge to tear off her bad support and demand better. Worth checking out.
I couldn’t resist asking a couple of questions to the Fab Fitter herself. Without wanting to take up too much of her fit superhero time, here’s what she had to say…
B4J: How do you feel about brands that give irresponsible fit guidance, and show bad examples of fit in their models?
AC: I think there’s lots of opportunity to help spread this important fit message – even within the manufacturers. Sometimes there’s a disconnect between the folks who understand fit and those who create the marketing images. (And sometimes the fit models give totally wrong information about their size!) It speaks to the amount of confusion out there, which underscores the need for what we both talk about in our work.
B4J: If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about the lingerie industry, what would it be?
AC: I love this question! If I could wave a magic wand then I would probably have the price of lingerie be an indication of quality. No, wait, I would have all of the brands’ size the same way – with uniform cup progressions. Can I have both?
B4J: What’s it like being a full time fit champion?
AC: It’s a pretty cool way to make a living, and I must admit, I never lack for good cocktail party conversation! I really love what I do, and knowing that this work helps women look and feel better, every day, is powerful incentive to keep me going.
B4J: What’s next for Fab Foundations?
AC: I’m bursting with excitement for some of the projects on my plate right now. I’m working with some amazing partners and non-profit organizations to help bring the fit message to women everywhere. I can’t wait for the details to be finalized so that I can share more!
B4J: Thanks Ali: you’re a legend!