Pre op trans

as a male currently transitioning (pre op), where can i go to get a proper bra fitting? i have tried M&S like i was advised to, and they refused. I know they used to in Debenhams but they have gone bust. I am now stuck for places that will allow me to go in and get a propper measuring/fitting.


Did M&S refuse because you are trans? They could get in trouble for that, if so. I’d suggest asking to speak to a manager and if that doesn’t work contacting customer care.

Totally understandable if you don’t want to go back there though. You can try a lingerie shop like competitor, they are more specialist so more likely to be trained and understanding. Sports bras are also an option, they offer a bit more flexibility with size and often come in traditional s/m/l sizes.

Also keep in mind hormonal changes (as well as things like weight fluctuations) can cause breast size to change a lot over time, so you might not always stay the same size.

Good luck with everything.


M&S refused because they were saying that i look to masculine. which i can sort of understand but it still hurt to be told this. the sooner things kick in and my body really starts to change noticably the better, i cant wait to stop having to use breast forms, they are so uncorftable when the weather starts to warm up, and i cant really wear them with low cut tops as they are too obvious as too what they are

Honestly I wouldn’t consider it acceptable for them to outright refuse you for that reason. Did they try to help at all (e.g. try to find a member of staff who could do it, or offer to do it with a chaperone)? I would say it’s definitely worth at least sending an email to M&S customer care to ask about their policy on this, because it sounds to me like an uninformed staff member.

Regardless, I’m really sorry that happened, you do not deserve it and your gender identity should be treated with more respect and empathy. I hope your transition goes well and you are soon at a place where you are happier with your body.


I hate my body. I hate who i am. And i especially hate the way i look. There have been times where i have often thought about getting one of my chef knives out of the kitchen drawer, and wanting to cut everything off. It’s a constant reminder of 31 years of misery and self loathing.

I totally understand (I am…something like nb and have always despised my breasts and had many the same feelings). Being stuck in a body that feels wrong is truely a horrible thing. It’s all about time though, you know what you want and how to get there and you will eventually. I’m sorry you’re going through all this. You should look for lgbt community support, either online or in your area, talking to people who understand is really invaluable.

@Queerantine @Emily_Bishop_89 - I should be able to walk any any shop which sells lingerie and ask for a bra measurement, even as a full male. It astounds me that in this day and age, there’s still this kind of attitudes out there.


Did you just walk in or did you book an appointment? Especially at the moment not all M&S branches offer a fitting service. You will need to book an appointment and inform them at the time of booking as to your transition. Policy is if you arrive dressed as a woman, then the womens changing room will be reserved for your fitting privacy. Sounds like uninformed staff, not company policy.

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I’m so sorry you experienced that @Emily_Bishop_89 :slightly_frowning_face:

Although it’s a plus size shop, I believe Yours offer a fitting service, Evans do/did too if there’s one near you.

Sending you love and support :heart:

Hi Emily,

I don’t know where you’re based, but I get the impression that right now you’re very much coping with all of this on your own. If you haven’t done so already it would really help to find out where your nearest trans support group is. Asking advice online is fine as far as it goes, but nothing beats being able to meet up, make real-life friends and share experiences. To that end, you might find this link useful:

Also, you might want to join up at It’s a very welcoming forum with a good ethos - very much a ‘safe space’ - and has many, many trans members, including quite a lot of UK-based ones. I know this from personal experience. :slightly_smiling_face:


@Emily_Bishop_89 I’m sorry to hear about your experience, I thought M&S would have been better than that.

I haven’t had a bra fit for a while but I had one at a high street competitor and found them to be very good, they cater for lots of body shapes now.

An ill-fitting bra can be painful! I hope you find somewhere to get fitted. Every woman deserves access to a service like that, regardless of her body shape.

Hey @Emily_Bishop_89! So sorry you had that experience, it’s not on at all.

Bra fitting is so complex and sizes vary quite considerably between shops. A lot of the decent bra shops don’t actually do measurements with tape any more, they measure by looking at the fit of bras as so much depends on the shape and style etc.

However, if you are looking at a starting point then I’d recommend just doing it yourself as it’s quite simple with a soft tape measure. Brenna posted a helpful link a while back which I found really accurate and the better way of measuring as it measures in different angles. This link also has the option for ticking which gender you were assigned at birth so you should get a more accurate size.

The main things you are looking out for with a well fitted bra is that your back band is horizontal (not riding up etc). To begin with, you want to fasten the hooks on the loosest hook, so that you can tighten as the bra stretches with wear/washing. The middle part of the bra should sit flush with your chest. With the cup there should be a flush line with your boobs enclosed in the cup - no bulges but no gaps either.

Another thing to note is that if you change the band size you are also changing the cup size. So for example, if you measured as a 36C but found the back was too big, going down to a 34C would also make the cup smaller (not just the back), so you would need to try a 34D instead if you wanted to keep the cup size. I’m hoping that makes sense - bras really are a minefield!

Please do shout if you have any questions! :blush:


That’s disgraceful I’m sorry you experienced that. There are some places that cater specifically for trans people so it might be worth googling although depending where you are there might be some travelling. Or maybe smaller independent places rather than chains?

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hiya @Emily_Bishop_89 and welcome! I agree, bra fitting services are hard to find right now. As others have said, making an appointment is the way to go so that you can be clear about your needs (and also rule out places that aren’t sufficiently welcoming before you ever show up there).
I have a trans cousin, so I have some inkling of what you’re going through.
Good luck with your journey! Everyone deserves to be happy in their own body x


Hi @Emily_Bishop_89 I’m a trans woman. I found that the JML bamboo comfort bra works best until you can fill a bra without padding. They are made with a pocket in the cup, into which I put some shaped upholstery foam. I used an electric meat carver to shape it. I shaped it with a cutout at the back with a sort of shelf to keep what breast tissue I have pushed up.

Foam is lighter and cooler to wear that silicone forms, plus the absorb any sweat not unlike the forms.

It sounds like you are struggling with your self over who you are, if you need to talk we can start a thread or use this one and talk it will be open to anyone to post on of course but I will help you where I can. I have been in transition for 3 years now and living full time for 4.5 years.


Hello and welcome @Alicia-Siempre :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thank you so much, and yes I would really appreciate the help, advice, insight and guidance x

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Hi @Emily_Bishop_89 I can help you with speech to some degree, movement, choosing clothes, make up does and don’ts. if you are in the UK attending a gender clinic, hormones and blockers, changing your name and gender status ( you can’t change your birth certificate until you are far enough into your transition to be able to have obtained your gender recognition certificate.

Help with gender dysphoria, and body dysmorphia. Confidence. Etc. let me know what you would like help with.

I will need you to be comfortable to share some of your feelings and thoughts, as this is an open forum you may not feel comfortable saying much, but the more you can tell me the easier it will be for me to help you.

Feel free to ask me anything.

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When was this? I am not sure any store will be doing bra fitting during the Covid crisis. If it’s before Covid, they should have treated you better. Equality and diversity are at the forefront of most major stores.

Hmm I’d suggest maybe a local lingerie shop if there’s any around where you are but I can imagine with lockdown restrictions they may all be closed for now.

An alternative is to try looking online at tutorials on how to try fitting a bra yourself then can do it in the comfort of your home at ease…