Guest post: Karen Forbes of Fit School

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Panache Lingerie

This month’s guest post is from Karen Forbes who runs the fit school, which teaches all of our stores how to ensure that our customers always get the perfect fit. After years in the underwear industry she opened her own boutique store – The Little Big Bra Shop – to share her knowledge of the perfect fit for women of every possible shape and size.


What is the fit school?

The Learn the Fit School is a training programme offered by Panache with me as the presenter/trainer where we offer Panache retailers the opportunity to come along and learn the importance of bra fitting, all about different products, and how to fit bras perfectly.

Why did you start it?

Panache Lingerie are a leading D+ specialist British company and they wanted to offer a bra fitting training programme to all independent lingerie stores who stock their brand as an additional service from the company, and to ensure that anyone selling Panache products can truly represent the company.

They approached me to come on board to help write and run the courses due to my past experience in this area with another major leading brand, and because I have my own independent shop. I can offer another angle to the delegates who attend.

What first interested you about lingerie fitting?

As a larger cup sized lady myself I struggle to find bras that fitted and complimented me once upon a time! I was lucky enough to then work for Eveden where I very quickly discovered lingerie was my passion and something I was good at.

Who is fit school aimed at?

Retailers of the Panache product. You should be given perfect service wherever you’re fitted but sadly that’s not the case.

What do you teach in the fit school?

We teach about different body shapes and how each lady & bust are individual. We show lots of different Panache products on a live model and then we advise which shapes are best suited to each bust shape; there’s lots more to it but we finish the day off with a practical session where some ‘real life’ models allow our groups to practice on them.

The idea is that it gives the attendees an opportunity to practice before they are in a real situation in the changing room at work. It give them a real basis to go on and bra fit with confidence.

How often do you hold them?

We aim for 1 a month although sometimes we manage to squeeze in 2.

Will you open fit school to the public?

No we don’t have plans to do so – it’s a service to stockist of Panache.

What advice would you give women who are unsure about their fit?

I would tell them to go to their nearest Independent Lingerie store. As an independent I am working with all the different brands on a day to day basis with women of all different ages, shapes & sizes so I can truly offer an expert fitting & advice service to let ladies know what size & style will suit them best. Also us independent retailers offer a very personal one to one service as its is our own business therefore we want to make sure everyone enjoys the experience.


Guest post: Karen Forbes of Fit School