Monday, 16 March 2015

Plus Size Fashion: Bravissimo Fitting Review

I popped into Bravissimo at the weekend. The store is beautiful, but I was seriously underwhelmed by the fitting service. 

I have to say first off, that the staff were lovely and friendly. The store was empty (on a Saturday afternoon) so I was attended to immediately. I said I wanted a bra, basically - they offered me a fitting.

Now, I've never been fitted for a bra. I have reached the grand old age of forty without knowing really if I'm wearing the correct size. I rely on supermarket bras - Sainsburys do my staple bra - its comfy and seems to fit right, although they don't seem to last long before getting 'loose' around the back. However its £6 a pop, and I buy them in bulk on 25% off day. (below - my favourite bra - Sainsbos lace - comes in lots) Its not sexy. I'm a mother of two. When I'm not entertaining the kids, I'm at work, or I'm trying to sew. I don't have much time for sexy.

I've never been particularly well endowed in the chest region. They are heading south after having kids, and they've never been 'full'. I don't have a cleavage - they are too far apart - I can't actually get me a convincing cleavage with any amount of rigging. This bothered me when I was younger but these days its really not something that concerns me. They are mine. They are healthy. Who gives a ****. 
I wore a B cup until I had children. Now I tend to buy anything between a B or D depending on what brand it is. If it looks like my boobs fit in the cup, then that's what I buy.

Back to Bravissimo though - well the store is pretty lovely. (Cambridge - I'm talking about) Airy, spacious. Pepperberry on one side (no mirrors though - that annoys me - I want to be able to hold clothes up against myself to get an idea of whether it will suit me) and Bravissimo on the other. The range seemed pretty substantial, but then I'm not one for frequenting bra shops. Ok, I never go in bra shops, so I don't really know what that means, but everything was nicely displayed. I saw a blue bra and immediately wanted to try that one (see photo at the top)

As I said already, the staff were lovely, and I was offered a 'quick' fitting immediately, however the fitting itself didn't leave me with much confidence in the actual 'fit'. 
You can also have a 'full' fitting which is essentially a fitting with a personal shopper - they will bring you swimwear, sportswear, clothing as well as bras. I would have had to wait for that. I just wanted a bra. 

Headed into the changing room with the assistant who was perfectly lovely. 
I took off my t-shirt and she had a look at my current bra size. I actually thought that this was cheating - they are supposed to look at you and decided what size they think you are, not check your current size. Anyway, as I was wearing a 38C, she went off and got a 38D, as that's the smallest cup size they do. 
I mentioned the blue bra, but she said they didn't have it in my size, and brought back three random bras to try on (black soft cup, white lace cup, and satin floral) 

Essentially I put on the first and realised it was digging in across the top of my bust. I asked her back in for an opinion, and she said 'yes it looks nice'. When I mentioned the issue with it cutting in a little, she said 'oh then maybe we should try a DD'. I did lose confidence at this point - surely she should have seen this herself? 

Anyway she returned with more bras in a DD (not the blue one) I tried on a white one but fastened it on the smallest setting. It was clearly too tight. I had obscene amounts of back and underarm fat. She didn't notice this either even though it was digging in across my back in an obvious way. I mentioned that there was a bit too much fat under my arms with this. 'Oh that's just skin - we can't do much about that'. Not 'oh lets try loosening it'. 
To be fair, she did then say maybe a wider band would be better, which is what I would expected her to have suggested in order to reduce the sea of underarm fat jiggle, as well as 'move it to the next fastening'. I did like the white bra, and it did fit when adjusted correctly (in my opinion) but it was very similar to my staple bra, so I decided I didn't want to go for that.

Third time lucky. I tried on a black one which I liked. I asked her opinion again. She said yes, that was nice. She then adjusted the straps for me. I'm not sure why as it was then far too high on my back. I'm not an expert. But I do know that its not supposed to sit like that.

Overall I didn't feel like anyone had fitted me. I felt like I had gone into a very nice bra shop and someone had brought me some bras in a size similar to the one I already had one, which I then decided myself if they fit me or not.
I had hoped for someone to advise me what would be the best fit for me, the best shape for my 'type' of bust shape, the best length to have my straps, how it should feel and where it should sit across my back. That sort of thing. I got none of this. I didn't feel enlightened or advised in any way.

I did buy a bra incidentally as I felt like I should. Does it fit better than my Sainsbos bras? Dunno. It feels the same to me. Its very nice. (Enchanted by Freya £33) It covers my boobs well. Its a DD cup which surprised me.  It doesn't ride up. It doesn't dig in.

(On the way out, I checked - the blue one was available in a 38DD - gah!)

Bra shot below is best you're going to get from me BTW!

1 comment :

  1. Bra fitting is not what it used to be. Most women who've struggled with finding a good fit have done their homework before going to the shop. So you understand good fit. Years ago I went to a very old fashioned lingerie shop and was fitted for a bra. It was the kind of shop where the workers wore sensible shoes, updo's, and had tape measures around their necks. I can honestly say they knew what they were doing and I left there with three of the best fitting bras I had ever worn. Sadly, they're out of business. About three years ago, I found a well fitting, longline, front hook bra. I liked it because the cups weren't pointy and it was supportive and comfortable. I bought about five. Now it is discontinued. My next step is to make my own.