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Q&A about bra fitting with expert from Bravissimo - ANSWERS BACK

(147 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 13-Aug-13 09:33:29

This week we're running a Q&A with Lisa Gardner, Customer Service Operations Manager at Bravissimo about bra fitting. Post your questions to Lisa before midday 20th August and we'll upload Lisa's answers on 27th August.

More about Bravissimo
Bravissimo provides a service to women with bigger boobs to inspire them to feel good about themselves, turning what may have been a negative experience of buying lingerie, swimwear and nightwear into a fun, pleasurable one where women with bigger boobs are offered a wide choice of styles and colours. They provide lots of fitting advice in stores, over the phone (01926 459 859) and online www.bravissimo.com

teabagpleb Tue 13-Aug-13 14:04:23

I love your bras and many of the clothes, though the most recent bra collection was mostly in lurid colours I didn't like.
Would it be possible to put more detail about the fabrics and stretch etc of your clothes in the catalogue? Maybe a close-up photo? In your last catalogue I wanted to buy some tops, similar to the navy t-shirt with diagonal white stripes you did a few months ago, but honestly couldn't tell whether tops were stretchy, shiny, thin overpriced cotton or stylish quality.
I've never tried your trousers but if they are high waisted then I should.

Just one more plea - please could you use the word 'breast' occasionally rather than 'boobs' all the time? I haven't used the word boobs since infant school and it sounds like breasts are something to be embarrassed about.

Adding another voice to those wanting a 26 back.
It's only a size 6-8, a perfectly common size for tops, it seems incongruous that it's near impossible to buy bras.
I'm currently wearing an M&S 28G, after a tip-off that the bands measure small this year. It's doing the job, though it's a plunge bra and my boobs keep taking the plungeblush.
Please please Bravissimo, tell as many people as possible what their real size is, to break through the widespread assumption that DD is huge (it's not, especially with a small back, my 26Hs are barely a handful).
Once people learn to measure properly, shops should see demand fall for overly big back sizes/small cup sizes, and start to stock real sizes.

CMOTDibbler Tue 13-Aug-13 14:47:03

I agree that the strapline of 'for big boobs' is misleading. I'm now a 30ff (after losing weight and MN intervention), and you could never describe me as having big boobs.

And in the spirit of the above, I'd like some bras with added oomph so those of us with small back sizes and unimpressive norks can look bustier.

UnevenTan Tue 13-Aug-13 14:50:10

Why is the range of bras for breastfeeding so limited? I have been breastfeeding for over 8 years now (with about 4 months off at the end of my last pregnancy). I cannot wear underwired, nor seams across the cup, as I am v prone to blocked ducts and both these cause issues. A wider selection to choose from would be excellent, especially as my weight has gone up and down so much during this period with 3 pregnancies, and so I do need to replace frequently.

I measure as a 34G BUT I can still pull out the back more than a couple of inches and can lift the front straight off and over my boobs. Is it possible I measure larger in the back than I actually need?I know that may sound silly but I had a similar issue when I was fitted for a corset, I measured as needing to wear a 28 inch one but ended up in a 24 inch one as both the 26 and 28 inch ones were huge on me. For information purpose, I do have a mishapen chest, it's round rather than 'flat' like it should be and a mishapen collerbone to boot. Not sure if that makes any difference but thought I ought to say just in case it does matter.

ScrambledSmegs Tue 13-Aug-13 15:13:35

Hi Lisa. Thanks for coming onto MN.

I think it's actually quite sad that Bravissimo markets themselves as being just for women with 'bigger boobs'. Most women I know, if correctly measured, would have bra sizes that fall into the 'larger' category.

Wouldn't it be better to challenge the common assumption that having a DD measurement means that you must have absolutely humungous breasts? Katie Price/Jordan is regularly said to be a 32DD. There is NO WAY that is her correct size!

Could Bravissimo perhaps run a campaign that points out that D cups are not huge? It's pretty normal actually.

Elliptic5 Tue 13-Aug-13 15:17:35

I am regularly measured by Bravissimo and although I agree with the sizing, 30GG, I struggle with the 3 hook band width as this digs into me when I sit down. I also get problems with the wires rubbing under my arms.
Why aren't more larger bras made with a 2 hook fitting? I have got one from Freya but apparently this is no longer made.

SorrelForbes Tue 13-Aug-13 15:19:18

All Cleos are made with two hook bands. TBH I wish they had three! Three hook bands do usually give more support.

hellymelly Tue 13-Aug-13 15:20:59

I am another one who cringes at the use of "boobs" in your text. I also hadn't heard it used in a non-ironic way since primary school. What on earth is wrong with "breasts"?

ScrambledSmegs Tue 13-Aug-13 15:23:19

Also, any chance of sourcing/stocking breastfeeding and regular bras for women with smaller backs? I really struggle to find anything in my size at the moment - I'm currently using a Rixie clip on a 30 back, I definitely need a 28 back.

And please cater for people who need 26 backs. Yes, I know they're rare. But when I was in my teens/20's in retrospect I definitely needed a 26 back, I've expanded with 2 pregnancies and I'm a 28 back now.

Lweji Tue 13-Aug-13 15:32:06

Why is it that black bras (including in bikinis) seem to be tighter than in other colours?
Is there a way to make sizing more even?

RedKites Tue 13-Aug-13 15:34:58

Like * BaronessBomburst * and UnevenTan I would love to see a greater range of nursing bras stocked at Bravissimo. I had a fitting when DS2 was around 2mo. The fit was ok, although not great, although the real issue was that the bra she fitted me in was somewhat unflattering - even the fitter was using words like 'practical' to describe it and suggesting I 'put up' with it until my size calmed down a bit after a few months. Fortunately I knew there were other nursing bras in that size out there (just not sold by Bravissimo) so I made polite excuses and left. Otherwise they'd have had a tired, hormonal new mum crying in the cubicle at the thought of wearing that bra for the next few months.

RedKites Tue 13-Aug-13 15:41:56

Sorry, just realised I didn't actually include a question there. Do you have any plans to stock a wider range of nursing bras?

yourcruisedirector Tue 13-Aug-13 15:46:38

Why don't companies have a wider range of nursing bras? Plenty of women (still a minority, but plenty) breastfeed for well over a year. I have been stuck with some seriously ugly bras which show off their ugliness through my clothes or at the neckline - if only there was more choice in a wider range of sizes, I'd be happy (I'm a 30F/32E so not particularly unusual going on Bravissimo style measuring).

WhatWillSantaBring Tue 13-Aug-13 15:47:04

I was a loyal bravissimo customer for years. Lately, though, I find myself struggling to buy things from you, because you now concentrate on your own brand bras, which are very disappointing. I've yet to find one that gives me a decent fit/shape (lots of fittings as well). And all my favourite brands seem to disappear (Kalyani, Faubourg). Your Freya stock is really limited now too, and that's about the only brand left that I trust.

Picking up on another point - yes please to U/W nursing bras. I have found some and agree if you're big boobed (and frankly gingantically boobed when bf) you need the support/shape they provide. A monoboob isn't just ugly, its chuffing uncomfortable. Again, surely if they're fitted properly, apart from the first few weeks when your boobs do all sorts, surely its the same principle as for during pregnancy (for which you should be applauded - the only company that "allows" pregnant women to buy underwired).

And I know this isn't a fitting question at all, but why do you "waste" effort developing and selling accessories and bottoms on your pepperberry site - women with big boobs shop their to get clothes to fit their boobs, not their butt!!

hellymelly Tue 13-Aug-13 16:17:33

Lweji, black bras are always smaller, often by about half a cup size. I was told by a designer that it is because the dyeing process for black shrinks the bra slightly.

domesticslattern Tue 13-Aug-13 16:32:04

Please please do under wired nursing bras like the Anita ones. I am bf an 18 month old. I stopped having problems with my breasts changing size etc at least a year ago, and am wearing normal underwired bras which I hoik up. Which looks daft. I write in your comments book on almost visit, but just get fobbed off with some rubbish about mastitis. It's simply not true! Please please sell us what we want instead of telling us that we don't know what's good for us.
And y y to not using the word boobs. Bleurgh.
Your shops are looking a bit sad and dated too- time to refresh what is a brilliant brand? ? I love Bravissimo and your fitters are stars!

Yes to a better selection of nursing bras, there were only 2 when I visited you in May. Also when are you planning on coming to the South West and I don't mean Bristol as that is still a long way from a lot of us in the SW.

KosherBacon Tue 13-Aug-13 17:17:16

How long should you wait after stopping breast feeding before buying new bras?

sleepyhead Tue 13-Aug-13 18:15:42

Yy re. Nursing bras. Where are you getting your info re. the risk of mastitis? I know it's all over the net, but I've never been able to find any actual evidence to support the assertion that underwires can harm breastfeeding tissue.

As a regular mastitis sufferer, I'm exquisitely aware of any pressure or rubbing from a less than perfectly fitting bra and none of the culprits had wires (worst was a Sloggi crop top) . My Anita underwire nursing bras were a revelation - comfy, supportive and give me my pre - pregnancy shape back. I've not had mastitis since I started wearing them.

Your website used to say that good fit was the crucial thing and so wires weren't necessarily an issue. What's changed?

To agree with sleepyhead and to expand on my comment from earlier, I also had mastitis caused by sleeping in my non-wired nursing bra (which is ironically what you're recommended to do confused ). I have worn underwired bras for the last three years of BF with no problem - well, actually yes, I do have a problem. DS has asked me for milk at least three times today and I've turned him down because I can't be bothered to keep wriggling in and out of my underwired bra. He's 3.5 so was happy with a chocolate biscuit instead, just in case anyone thinks I was being cruel. grin

OddSockBox Tue 13-Aug-13 19:19:54

My ribs measure 33 inches, but in most bras (Curvy Kate, Panache are a 30 band is right and in Freya I take a 28. What's that about?!

timidviper Tue 13-Aug-13 19:22:31

I am a larger woman, wear plus size clothes and am well-upholstered as my uncle used to say.

I had a bra fitted at bravissimo a while ago, it looked fabulous from the front but the band dug into me so much on my back that, on photos of me wearing it, taken from the back, I look like a plumper version of the Michelin man. The store insisted it was the correct size.

Surely the right bra should look good from all angles?

headlesslambrini Tue 13-Aug-13 19:31:24

I could weep at times when bra shopping - I wear non-wired bra's because I don't know where the wire bit should sit, if it's right under my boobs then when I sit slouch the wires pop up and poke me under my arms. I slouch a lot fat tummy. I hate non wired bra's because they have big, fat straps.

I did buy a wired bra once from M&S and it was wonderful - it was called a memory bra and didn't have a 'wire' but a 'bone', the stuff they put in corsets I think. It also had pretty straps. Do you do anything similar - it was just so comfortable.

The other problem which I have is the cost's. I tend to only buy white and occasional black as I can't afford nice ones. Do you do a cheap budget range?

1944girl Tue 13-Aug-13 19:35:12

I always buy my bras from M&S-yes I know, and get a 36B, and always the same style, the cross your heart ones, two for £12, as thay are the only ones that fit me from there.
I recently measured myself using the drop down method, and get 30 round my ribcage and 36 round my bust.
The reason I am asking is that having said they fit me, I find my boobs are squashed in the middle.
So what size should I be buying, and do you have Bravissimo in Newcastle?.

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