FOUR boobs, back fat and strap marks.

As one of the world’s only ‘braologists’ and with thousands of fittings under her belt, Kirsten Rees has seen it all in the lingerie fitting room...and fixed it.

Trained by the Queen’s former bra-fitters Rigby and Peller, Kirsten is fairly confident she could accurately assess a woman’s bra size simply using her eyes.

The 36-year-old’s ambition in her 20s was to own her own lingerie store and while she didn’t go down the business side, she learned how to design bras at the London College of Fashion and then went on to become one of the world’s top fitters.

Kirsten has measured everyone from celebrities to brides-to-be and to women recovering from breast cancer. Discretion has also been required when she served men who were buying separate items for “wives and girlfriends” and she steadfastly refuses to disclose the celebrity clients that involved entire stores being closed off.

While she says more firms are getting it right when it comes to bra fitting, she says many are not.  According to Kirsten a good fitter should be able to measure by looking, firstly from the back to assess the band size and tape measuring is a “big no no”.

“I remember in my 20s, I wanted to own a bra shop,” she says. “I don’t know where that came from but bras were always a big part of my outfit if I wanted to feel great and that was before I knew anything about fitting. I was definitely wearing the wrong size though.

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“I went to the London College of Fashion and studied a course in bra design and then got a job in a shop that was bra fitting properly. I then moved on to work in Boudiche on Ingram Street which was known as ‘bra street’ at that point because you also had Agent Provocateur there.

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“I started off as a sales assistant but I quickly realised that staff were still using measuring tapes, which I was quite horrified by.

“A measuring tape is stiff but bras are stretchy. If you are trained properly and you should be trained properly if you are fitting a woman for something she will be wearing day in day out, you should be able to do it by eye. I just had a knack for it.

“Women always show me from the front but you should look at the back first. You do the band first. "It has probably been a man who has designed the system for measuring and it’s very confusing.

“As soon as you change the band size the cup size is affected. So someone could be an A cup in a 30 back and an A cup in a 40 back but they are not going to have the same bust size.”

Kirsten, who is from Uddingston, in South Lanarkshire, was also trained by the lingerie firm owned by super-model Elle Macpherson, becoming one of only 12 'braologists' in the world and the only one in Scotland which involved passing stringent final exams and estimates she has fitted thousands of women.

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The most common mistake she sees is the ‘four boobs’ squashed fit, which could mean that the cup or back size is too small. 

“Sometimes it is that the back size is too big and it’s pulling the stitching down or it might be the wrong shape of bra.” she says.

“You shouldn’t be able to feel a bra and you shouldn’t be left with red marks.”

While she  no longer fits professionally, now working as a freelance book editor and author coach, Kirsten's talents are still in demand from friends and family and sometimes eve strangers.

“If I’m out with my friends, if we are in the toilets, my friends will say ‘she’s not fitted properly, Kirsten, will you help her out,’” she laughs.

“I’ve fitted all my friends and family and say to people, put it in your diary, the way you would a smear test.

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“You should be measured regularly. Our weight fluctuates year on year, people have babies. 

“I have seen every single thing you can possibly imagine. I've had women with different sized breasts crying on my shoulder because they have never felt normal and it is absolutely normal.

“I’ve had women who have had cancer and it’s heartbreaking but if you can help them a little bit to feel better, to feel pretty and sexy again, then that's wonderful. There is still such a stigma around boobs, people don’t want to talk about it.”

Her advice for anyone buying lingerie for a partner?

"Raid their underwear drawer but if you find that her bra drawer has a number of sizes take that as a hint that she doesn't know her bra size and opt for a gift voucher and encourage her to get fitted because it's going to make her feel great."

House of Fraser, Buchanan Street offer a bra fitting service with walk-in appointments available. For more information go to www.houseoffraser.co.uk