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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

INeedSomeHelp Tue 13-Aug-13 09:54:58

I often have a problem with my bra straps falling off my shoulders. Is this a sign of a poor fitting bra and, if so, what needs to change e.g. the style, back size or cup size?
Thanks

mamamidwife Tue 13-Aug-13 10:07:50

When I have a bra fitting my back measurement is usually given as 40, I have a large cup size ff but they always end up riding up my back (even on the tightest clasps) so I buy a 38. Why is this? Am I not being measured correctly? What should I do in future?

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

my boobs are way too big for me and when you meet me they are all you see...I'm a 34JJ and 5 foot tall....I wear Freya balcony bra's as non balcony bra's separate my boobs too much and make me even wider...do you have any suggestions to minimise how big my boobs look (short of a reduction...)

also all of your clothes make my boobs look like something you could see from the moon, why don't you make clothes that make big boobs look smaller, we're not all wanting to look like Jordan.

i had a breast reduction two and a bit months ago and so am back to square one on knowing what size, styles etc i can wear and can't actually even work out what size i am - suspect i'm smack between two cup sizes.

how long after reduction would you recommend going for a fitting and actually investing in decent bras? currently i'm buying cheapo 'do for now' ones in a range of sizes as well as those little boob tube type things.

ThedementedPenguin Tue 13-Aug-13 10:35:18

On bras what hook should you be using?

ah i know that one penguin - you start on the loosest so as they age and stretch you have somewhere to go.

I have had my boobs measured in shops (M&S, Bravissimo, etc.) and always been told I'm a 34 or 36C (depending on how fat I am at the time). Now I have done the "drop forward" measurements as given in many Mumsnet posts, and that tells me I'm a 32DD.

Why are the shops so wrong with measurements? Are the measurers not being trained properly or are Mumsnet wrong?

waps Tue 13-Aug-13 10:43:22

I agree on the clothes, they are all high waisted which just emphasises my boobs and hides my waist. As a 30jj I have real problems with underwires, I just don't have enough rib cage to carry all the ironwork and it ends up in the back of my armpits. Bravissimo's own brand have tended to be the best recently - do you have a panel of real life big boobed testers to give you feedback?

EauRouge Tue 13-Aug-13 10:57:57

I'm a Bravissimo convert, I won't go anywhere else to get fitted especially not M&S

My dilemma is; I can't wear any style apart from plunge because the cups are too close together and the wires dig in at the centre on balconette, half-cup etc. Why is the gap between cups exactly the same size regardless of back size? I'm a 30F, I have a titchy rib cage and my norks are very close together. I would love to wear something that feels a bit more supportive but I can't.

mamamidwife Tue 13-Aug-13 11:15:36

What's the drop forward measuring method?

hellymelly Tue 13-Aug-13 11:34:59

I had problems for years finding bras to fit, as they weren't made in my size I had to take in the bands on bras for years.So it was great when manufactureres starting making 32s, then 30s, then even 28s.( I wear a 30F/FF, sometimes a 28FF/G). On the normal measuring system of adding 4" that would be about right for me. However, according to threads here, we should buy thr bra size we actually measure, eg, a 30 rib (an "old" 34) would just buy a 30 bra. I measure 26 around the ribs, there are no 26 bras, and anyway my 30 bras seem fine. So how can a woman 4" wider than me at the ribs also be comfortable in a 30? Am I in fact wearing the wrong size now? I have a bad back, but when sometimes when I wear a 28, or put a 30 on the tightest hole, although it fits, it feels uncomfortably tight.
I have noticed that 32 bras are bigger at the band than they used to be, I have some here from 15 years ago, and the band on these old ones is more like a modern 30. So have bras changed? And if so, WHY? Because going by that principle, most women will need the tiny back sizes, ande ones with particularly narrow ribs will once again have no bras available in their size. (I was 25" ribs at 18 for instance).

mignonette Tue 13-Aug-13 11:36:54

I want a bra that gives a similar cleavage shape to a Balconette but not so hoiked up. I prefer them to be 'separated out' but not pushed up and out.

I hate that Wonderbra lift and separate look and I will not wear padded bras. Any suggestions?

ILoveAFullFridge Tue 13-Aug-13 11:49:48

Why do the care instructions for underwired bras always say "hand wash"?

I never hand wash my bras, but always bung them in a lingerie sack (a single bra in a tiny sack, or a handful in a medium sack) and put them in with the rest of a load on the Easy Care cycle. I have never had any problems or damaged bras, except for the one or two occasions when dh put them into a cottons cycle, which spins faster and Hadani much more vigorous washing action.

Is it just CYA, or am I missing a point here?

WireCat Tue 13-Aug-13 11:50:47

Are there any plans to open a branch of Bravissimo in either Lakeside or Westfield, Stratford?

HotCrossPun Tue 13-Aug-13 11:58:14

I have breast asymmetry. I end up having to buy a bra that fits my bigger breast, and then I stuff the other side. Is there an alternative to this (aside from surgery!)

Sparkeleigh Tue 13-Aug-13 12:00:51

Any recommendations on good bra's for pregnancy/breastfeeding? My Bravissimo fitting was fantastic, but now I'm pregnant I ordered a lot of sizes based on my pre-pregnancy size but none seem to fit well and I can't get to a store for a fitting.

Please open a store in Northern Ireland!

SorrelForbes Tue 13-Aug-13 12:12:06

Thanks MNHQ, should be a really interesting Q&A. I find this interesting, bearing in mind that their stock starts at a D cup. A D on a 28 - 32 band is really rather small! Bravissimo provides a service to women with bigger boobs

Just to reassure everyone, all of us frequenters of the Bra Threads, do follow Bravissimo's fitting guidance.

hellymelly If oyu measure 26" and a 30" feels too tight then you probably need a bigger cup (either that or it's one of Debenhams' or M&S very, very small bands!). I don't think that bands have got bigger although certain styles/brands might have changed over time. My 30GGs pretty much all measure between 29" and 31" fuly stretched. I have a very old (10+ plus) 34DD (which I don't wear!) which measures 34" fully stretched.

mamamidwife You're almost definitely not being measured correctly. A band that rides up is an indicator that it's too big. An FF is not that large and it sounds like you need a smaller band (probably a 36 or a 34) and a bigger cup. Measuring guide here.

Sorry, hi-jack over blush

CelticPromise Tue 13-Aug-13 12:28:54

Fancy seeing you here Sorrel grin

INeedSomeHelp straps falling down means band is too big. Come over to one of the bra threads in S&B for a virtual fitting.

My question for Bravissimo is do you have any plans to introduce 26 bands? On the virtual fitting threads there seem to be plenty who need them.

Also, do you think the 'bigger boobs' image of Bravissimo is helpful? I think you have a great reputation for fitting and customer service but plenty of women in the wrong size think they are too small to be fitted, partly because they think a D is massive. There's also a gap in the market for decent teen bras in 26 or even 24 back and I wonder if this is a market Bravissimo considers.

Thanks!

CelticPromise Tue 13-Aug-13 12:30:36

HotCrossPun there is some great advice about asymmetry at betterbracampaign.blogspot.com.

TallulahTT Tue 13-Aug-13 12:34:01

Not strictly linked to be fitting but why do all the bravissimo tops, now pepperberry seem to be made from cheap sweaty materials? The prices indicate a higher quality could be used.
I'm happy with my bra thanks to the lovely Sorrel, she has changed my life and what I wear, so many people have asked if I've lost weight, I've actually put on 7lbs, have I mentioned how much I love Sorrel!
I guess my question would be how have the other retailers got away with wrongly measuring/fitting for so long? I'd like to take all my M&S bras etc back for a refund.

MousyMouse Tue 13-Aug-13 12:49:54

are underwire bras really the dogs bollocks? or just a secret collaboration between washing mashine sellers and bra sellers?

I have yet to find one that is comfortable and doesn't poke me in places even if the bra is well fitted.
I go out of my way to find wire less bras, which is sometimes difficult for my size (34d according to the MN bra fitting guide)

Underwired Nursing Bras: The Bravissimo website says that underwired bras are not recommended and talks about the risks of mastitus as the breasts change size and shape throughout the day. However, the milk supply settles after a few months whereas the WHO recommends BF for 2 years and beyond. Nursing bras are ugly, unflattering and extremely unsupportive for big-boobed women. We NEED the support that wire gives. Would it not be better to drop the 'nanny-state' approach and offer underwired nursing bras, and then provide more information/ links to BF sites/ helplines so that people could make their own informed decisions? It may also go some way to help with the appallingly low BF rates in the UK - Bravissimo pride themselves on helping women be comfortable and confident in their bodies and yet how many of us have sobbed in despair when presented with a nursing bra and the realisation that, if you wanted to BF, this was the future....? sad

HotCrossPun Tue 13-Aug-13 13:15:53

Thanks Celtic - I'll have a look. smile

nextphase Tue 13-Aug-13 13:52:12

Lots of advice on how to fit back size, and cup size. How should the shoulder straps be adjusted?
Revelation for me getting properly fitted, rather than M&S fitted.

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?.

VenusRising Tue 13-Aug-13 20:11:49

Hi bravissimo, do you have a petite range for those of us who are large of nork (HH), but siptu much ribcage?
I'm 5'3" and have yet to find a bra style which doesn't give me wire in the armpit, or dig into my breastbone. I like my boobs hooked up and seperated. Tia

MrsPnut Tue 13-Aug-13 20:13:44

1944girl - try a 30E and the related sizes around that 28F/30F etc.

TeWiSavesTheDay Tue 13-Aug-13 20:16:22

Can you open a store in Banbury please?

And more breastfeeding bras in a 28 back please? Size 8 wome? n have babies too!

But to ask a question about fitting, have you ever been fitted badly and what did you say to the fitter? I've had a few awkward moments lately...

Bluewater Needs You!

Pleeeease open a branch in Bluewater. Not everyone can face London with two children in a buggy and sometimes online is not enough!

Nursing bras. When should we be fitted? Does drop down method still apply here?

SorrelForbes Tue 13-Aug-13 20:34:50

Another plea here for some branches in the South West. I'm on the SW Devon/SE Cornwall border and my nearest Bravissimo is probably Reading or Leamington Spa!

blondieminx Tue 13-Aug-13 21:41:07

And another vote for a store at Stratford Westfield please - trains serving Essex/Suffolk/Norfolk stop at Stratford London and trains to Kent at Stratford International which is the other side of the mall.

I was recently fitted at the Covent Garden store and was v impressed with the fitters, thank you smile

mamamidwife Tue 13-Aug-13 22:00:52

What's the difference between a measuring/fitting with bravissimo and say M&S or Debs? Do you do it differently?

Ginformation Tue 13-Aug-13 22:42:23

I am a huge bravissimo fan (34 gg or h), but another vote for wider range of nursing bras! I went to another website shock for the first time in years to buy mine last time. And yes, please do stock wired nursing bras. The mastitis line is bollocks if the bra fits

And pepperberry tops: often too low cut for work and the 'waist' sits far too high on my rib cage (I'm only 5'7").

Otherwise I love the moulded smooth cup styles, more please!

HoopHopes Tue 13-Aug-13 22:54:38

Again a huge fan of your fitting and I travel a reasonable distance to go to a store. My question is are you planning on stocking a wider range of other makes as I have been disappointed by the focus on your own make and a more limited range of makes such as Freya etc. it has made me start shopping elsewhere, which is a shame and if the stock continues shrinking in variety I will cease to travel such a distance for only own brand products.

I'm a real Bravissimo fan and have bought lots of bras over the years from Bravissimo. Is there any chance of making the matching pants mostly out of cotton? I would love to buy a set, but can't bear non-cotton pants.

Also is there any plan to improve the fabrics used for Pepperberry? Lots are artificial, shiny and sweaty and the jersey is way too thin so clings to every lump and bump. Kettlewell do a great jersey range - so you might look at the weight of their fabric.

Trying2bMindful Tue 13-Aug-13 23:19:38

I love the fitters in Rigby & Peller. They don't even bother with a tape measure & always get it right & get you a bra in your price range. Amazing.
However since I started bf 15 months ago I have not been fitted anywhere.... Do bravissimo offer a wired nursing bra? With G norks I need underwire & I don't want something plain & dowdy. I want something for work and something sexy or pretty for other days. Please!

mistlethrush Tue 13-Aug-13 23:35:06

I love the Fantasie bras with the straps closer together at the back - why don't more companies do these? What is the downside (as I can't see one) - for years I suffered from straps that slipped even when I used the right size and proper fit - now I'm restricted to a couple of styles that don't slip off, but its worth it.

Loftyjen Tue 13-Aug-13 23:39:42

An so chuffed to see so many comments asking about increasing the range of nursing bras - I emailed bravissimo when I first fell pregnant with DC2 (am now 27wks) & as a 36J already choice is limited. Unfortunately I got rather short shrift in the reply suggesting that there wasn't enough of a market for them to extend the range hmm
Having struggled to find nursing tops with the holes in the right places, I also emailed Pepperberry suggesting it could be a useful thing to consider (instead of random jewellery/bottoms that I could get anywhere!) and got a similar response.
Hopefully seeing this, they might realise that there is a big market for these things *crosses fingers*

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 14-Aug-13 00:27:46

Why does Bravissimo market itself as being for the large of nork? I am 28DD which is actually pretty minimal boobage. I was scared to go to Bravissimo as I thought they were only for the unusually huge of boob, which patently isn't true. Surely the vast majority of women, when measured correctly, will meet your minimum of d cup.

SmileItsSunny Wed 14-Aug-13 07:19:08

Hi, great thread thanks! I agree with a few points upthread.

I agree that breasts should be called breasts not boobs.

Yy too more breast feeding bras.

More stores needed please - Basingstoke, Newbury, Reading Bournemouth and Poole please!

Now my question. I'd love to introduce my disabled mum to your service, but can't get her to a store. She is unlikely to be converted from M & S with online instructions... Any chance of home visits? I'd pay for the convenience!
visions of bra fitting parties

CoTananat Wed 14-Aug-13 07:37:58

I really think you should get the message out there that you do bras for women with not very large breasts.

I only just bought my first few bras with you this summer. I would have been a loyal customer all my life, had I realised that:

1. M&S were lying to me and I am not 36B (and indeed that a size 10/12 with a 36" back would be extraordinary)
2. 32F is not a dramatically large bust

But all your marketing is around bigger breasts and I just assumed you would laugh at me if I went in/that it was not for me. And I know this is not an uncommon view.

BTW if you would do tall/long-back-length basics in natural fabrics (white shirts, bretons, square neck tees, camis) I would just get everything with you as nothing in the high street fits my boobs and waist - nothing.

My actual question is: I am a 32F with very wide set, shallow breasts. I get on okay with the Cleo Juna -that's a good fit mostly but I wonder if you do some others that are on similar lines? I can't fill the top of a moulded bra or a full cup and I want (lightly) padded for modesty. I don't want to go into a store.

CoTananat Wed 14-Aug-13 07:42:46

Oh yeah, what about putting some heuristic suggestions into your website? So if I'm looking at the Cleo Juna you can tell me some bras that are similar and sort them by some method like "other people that bought and rated the cleo juna also bought and rated highly [x]"

Similar to the Bratabase but built right in so I can just click and buy.

Also if you did multipacks of black and nude knickers in plain cotton I would never have to go to M&S ever again. grin

thegraduand Wed 14-Aug-13 08:27:10

Smileitsunny there is a store in reading, it's in the alley way down the side of John Lewis (or it was there last time I was in Reading)

I love the brand and buy a lot from it, but the Pepperberry clothes seem to assume you have big boobs and a flat tummy, a bit of give for both would be good. And no idea why you sell jeans there

TheDailyWail Wed 14-Aug-13 08:27:50

I would love it if you could source a reasonably priced,supportive bra that doesn't look like a 65 year old would wear it. I have only 2 bras at the moment - washing and wearing as mine costs £65 - (rigby & peller) for a 38L. sad

KittenCaboodle Wed 14-Aug-13 08:29:33

I would like more nursing bras (non-wired). The mastitis line is definitely not bollocks for those of us who have suffered it hmm

VelvetStrider Wed 14-Aug-13 08:40:13

I'd just like to echo hellymelly and others, what is the truth about bra fitting and sizing? Is the adding 4 inches method now completely obsolete or do some manufacturers and shops still size that way?

My ribcage measures 26", yet the last time I tried on 30" bras (at Debenhams) I couldn't do them up! Others upthread have said they need smaller sizes than their measurements suggest.

Also I usually find that the bit of the band that goes up slightly between the breasts doesn't sit flat against my chest. I've tried different cup sizes and styles but there's always a gap. Is it just down to my shape or is there a solution?

HabitualLurker Wed 14-Aug-13 08:52:47

Another voice questioning the marketing to the bigger breasted only here! My breasts are teeny, and until last year I despaired of ever getting a bra to fit and just wore stretchy crop-tops. M&S sizing put me at a 34A, but these didn't fit me at all. It was only when I got pregnant and then got fitted for a nursing bra that I discovered that I was a 30F, and so may well be something like a 30D/28DD normally.

I think you're missing out on a lot of customers who could easily buy bras from you but assume they'd be laughed out of the shop!

SorrelForbes Wed 14-Aug-13 08:57:17

Velvet - you almost certainly need a much much bigger cup to enable the centre gore to sit flat between your breast.

I'll leave the +4 explanation to the experts! But it is an outdated and incorrect method that's still used by stores like M&S.

Spirael Wed 14-Aug-13 08:57:17

It was, admittedly, a while ago now... But when I was BFing DD I needed to wear some manner of bra overnight, mostly to hold breast pads in place so I didn't soak the bed! I didn't want to be constrained by a daytime bra overnight, I didn't need that level of support and/or want straps digging in to me.

I found it really difficult to acquire an elasticated, crop-top style, nursing bra that would fit me as I have a small back but (especially when my milk came in!) relatively large breasts. Either they fitted my breasts but would ride up as the elastic was too loose for my ribcage, or they stayed in place but squished me down.

Are nighttime, nursing, crop-top bras designed for busty women something that Bravissimo stocks or would consider stocking?

Good point Spirael! I had that problem too. I got mastitis from sleeping in my bra and couldn't find any cropped tops. Eventually I gave up, slept with nothing, and then threw away the ruined mattress and bought a new one from IKea. It was the cheapest solution. grin

CelticPromise Wed 14-Aug-13 09:42:49

I like that idea Spirael. Comfy crop tops for sleeping would be great too. I know there are pj tops already.

Ginformation Wed 14-Aug-13 10:16:38

kitten there is absolutely no evidence to support the rumour that underwired nursing bras cause mastitis. An ill fitting nursing bra of any kind can cause mastitis (of course not all mastitis is caused by bras).

A well fitted wired nursing bra offers much better support and fewer fungal skin infections for those of us with big breasts. I was a 34j last time I breast fed.

nextphase Wed 14-Aug-13 10:27:52

1944 - Eldon Gardens.

I use sleep bras like these not brill sizing, but good enough for gentle support.

Jux Wed 14-Aug-13 10:43:33

Please please please could you open a shop on Exeter?

At the moment we seem to have M&S, JL, Debenhams and one-I-can't-remember-the-name-of-right-now, which sounds like we've got choice, but they are all awful. I cannot find a bra which fits but which is nice! Lurid colours or old lady styles are there, but nice? Nothing.

On the fantastic bra threads here I am 30GG (or thereabouts) but I don't even bother trying things on, they're so horrid.

SorrelForbes Wed 14-Aug-13 10:51:03

Jux The other one is House of Fraser. They don't even stock 30 bands! The last time I visited, the JL only had about two 30GGs in stock and no 28s at all.

Bravissimo, we are a whole area of the country just waiting for you!

KittenCaboodle Wed 14-Aug-13 10:51:31

Believe that if you like gin. I have had repeated mastitis and blocked ducts caused by all manner of things from slings where a bay's hand has pressed, seatbelts on long journeys, seams across the middle of very well fitted nursing bras, and yes underwire in a bra -one that fitted beautifully at some times of day. Funnily enough breasts full of milk go up and down in size over the course of a day, yes even when you have been nursing for years (for me at least).

Just because you do not have personal experience of something does not mean it does not exist.

EauRouge Wed 14-Aug-13 10:55:34

Did you also have oversupply Kitten ? I had terrible oversupply with DD2 and got blocked ducts if the wind changed direction. I wore underwired bras with DD1 with no problems, but I didn't have oversupply then.

Kaliwhite Wed 14-Aug-13 11:09:46

Do you have any plans to extend your bra size range? As a 34/36 k/kk my bra supply is becoming very limited and your Alana bra is the wrong shape on top for me. A half cup up to a k would be very much appreciated! Also any plans for more pepperberry clothes in super duper curvy sizes? I know there is a demand for them and would love some more tops and shirts!

teabagpleb Wed 14-Aug-13 11:11:24

Any chance of a larger store in London? Since you started selling clothes (which on the whole is great), there's much less choice of bras in stock in your main store off Regent St - 30,000 bras sounds a lot but if you divide by 100 sizes, assume over half are multiples in the same size, discount the swimming ones, nursing, strapless or whatever I'm not looking for, there's often very little in stock in my size, and the clothes even more so (I wanted to buy at least 3 tops last time I was in, found 6 I wanted to try on, only 1 in a size worth trying). I would travel across London to a store that was likely to have more clothes that would fit me.

Having a loo and a reliable lift would also help - like many postnatal women I need the loo frequently and have twice had to leave your store and walk 10 min to John Lewis's upstairs and back. And one of those I then got stuck in your lift... which made lack of stock even more annoying!

Being able to book a fitting online would be wonderful, or assistance in general as I can't get a bra on myself in under 10 min, but while your staff are great they are usually busy seeing people being fitted and it's a wait for help.

GlitzPig Wed 14-Aug-13 11:38:03

No questions about bras, I always get fitted for mine at Bravissimo, and also very happy with your range of swimwear (the stuff for proper swimming, not interested in frilly bikini bottoms etc) so thanks very much for those grin

I would like to add my voice to those mentioning the quality,cut and finish of Pepperberry clothes, so it would be great if you could come back and do a proper webchat about what people are looking for-I'm happy to spend money on properly fitted clothes, but have found Pepperberry quite oddly shaped/designed (just because I have breasts and a job doesn't mean I want them to be the star turn at a meeting I'm chairing) and the fabric quality and finish is often atrocious-loose threads, cheap, shiny stiff fabrics, pockets that stick out on trousers and I've never found your jersey heavy enough to hang in a flattering way, as someone else has said. I've returned clothes before for being badly finished or just not the quality I expect for the amount you're charging-any chance you could review the range as a whole? The quality and finish of a lot of the clothes is closer to a standard supermarket range, while the prices definitely suggest a better product!

fossil971 Wed 14-Aug-13 13:23:30

Could some of the nightwear/soft cup bras be front-fastening? I really like the PJ soft-cup tops but they are a bit of a pig to manage when you are half asleep. (Never mind any hope of DH attempting an incursion)

All my bras have been from Bravissimo for years now - I'm a big (32G) fan. flowers Please don't run down the Freya stock though!

Another request for a store in the South West please, even Bath or Bristol would help.

I had to drive for two hours to Cardiff last week to be fitted.

hotair Wed 14-Aug-13 14:51:30

I agree with all the calls for another store in the southwest- bristol would be perfect!
I also agree with all the calls for underwired nursing bras.
My question is what plans do you have for expanding the jj-l cup range (and for increasing sizes past lcups). I'm a 36l and the alana bra doesn't fit me which is pretty difficult!
Any plans to start stocking elomi btw- their bras are amazing!

Lilymaid Wed 14-Aug-13 15:11:43

Perhaps I got off onto the wrong tack with Bravissimo, but I have tried and failed to purchase bras several times from their Cambridge branch (last tried a couple of years ago). I have been fitted with poorly fitting bras and told that I could not purchase a bra by cash unless I provided a lot of information about myself.
I went back to John Lewis, where I have always received good service and am not forbidden from purchasing using cash!

5SpeckledFrogs Wed 14-Aug-13 15:39:51

Please please more pretty sexy nursing bras with underwires! I am more than a milk machine and I still want to wear nice underwear. (28HH)

shatteredmob Wed 14-Aug-13 16:04:40

Another request for underwired nursing bras please. Sick and tired of my dowdy old Royce bras.....Longing for some feminine lingerie again after months of mono-boobage.

Ilovegeorgeclooney Wed 14-Aug-13 23:12:50

This thread seems really critical of a company that helps a lot of women. I rely on them for work shirts/dresses and my daughters both buy loads from them. If women think they are smaller isn't the responsibility on them to be properly measured.

I don't think it's that critical, just letting them know that their customer base is a lot bigger than they think, if Bravissimo teach women to measure properly, a lot of them will find they are not catered for in traditional shops. It could be quite an opportunity for Bravissimo if they play it right.

Wonderstuff Thu 15-Aug-13 08:36:54

I was a bravissimo convert, was travelling a long way to be fitted in your store. You are one of very few stores to stock a 28" back size. But now my boobs have shrunk and I'm a 28C, which nobody seems to stock, I can't be the only one with this problem, please could you start stocking a 28C?

Bravissimo woukd be excellent for me but I have a shorter shoulder to nipple length than their bras seem to allow for (and actually all their clothes seem to assume a taller than average woman), so though the cup fits well my boobs still flop down.

Having said that, the two times I have tried the fitting service I have found it excellent though the sales people admit they don't stock bras that would fit me or clothes that acknowledge curvy bums as well.

ILoveAFullFridge Thu 15-Aug-13 09:37:42

Another request re Bravissimo stocks: longer length swimsuits for women with longer bodies.

I would also love to have a swimsuit - longer bodied, of course - with a bit more shaping in the bust but without underwires. I wear underwired bras but could not swim or spend a day wet and sandy in underwires.

Uszka Thu 15-Aug-13 13:51:58

I measure 25.5" under my bust but wear a 28H, and the bands almost always ride up. I have to wear them on the tightest hooks but they soon stretch out and start riding up my back. It causes back pain and red marks on my shoulders. But as there are no 26s I don't know what I can do?

Uszka I have that problem too, except Im a B (I think!) I find it hard enough to find 30s let alone 28s, where do you find those?

CelticPromise Thu 15-Aug-13 14:49:23

Uszka google Rixie clip, you can buy them on eBay and use them to take in a bra. There are online tutorials for altering bras too, there must be a link on one of the many bra fitting threads.

"Juliet's Kiss" have a range of 26" bras in production, should be ready to buy soon.

Elainey1609 Thu 15-Aug-13 17:46:26

I have had 3 bra fitting at different places at they all say that find me to be 44 dd
Tried them on and falling out of them I'm no where near that size
I have to guess and try and test and now buy 42c but still not sure if that's right to be honest as its not always comfortable and moves around a lot
How can the professional measurements be so different that's a big size different

SorrelForbes Thu 15-Aug-13 18:22:15

Is that three measurements at three branches of Bravisismo? If they were at other stores (eg M&S) then I'm not surprised they were wrong.

Come over to the bra threads for a quick re-measure grin

LastName Sat 17-Aug-13 12:16:06

Can we have some properly sexy nightwear please, you know, slightly tarty! It is almost impossible to find sexy styles that provide breast lift.

And yes, could you say 'breast' and not 'boob'. Boob sounds really teenagery.

Why is the returns label often not included in the packs when you send out an order? It's such a faff having to go online and print off the label. A return label should be included as standard.

Madlizzy Sun 18-Aug-13 17:58:22

Where is your Manchester branch moving to? If it goes further out, I'll no longer be able to use it as I don't drive.

RebeccaSMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 20-Aug-13 09:19:09

The Q+A is now closed and we'll be sending 20 of your questions over to Lisa at Bravissimo later today. We'll upload her answers next Tuesday.

RebeccaSMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 27-Aug-13 16:58:35

Hi everyone,

We now have the answers back from Lisa at Bravissimo, and I will be posting them up shortly.

LisaBravissimo Tue 27-Aug-13 17:40:19

Thank you all so much for your questions and comments. I’ve really enjoyed reading the feedback and please feel assured it has all been taken on board. I’m sorry I’m not able to reply to all of your questions individually, but I hope that the answers below cover most of your queries. If you do have any other questions you would like answered, you could visit our help and contact section www.bravissimo.com/help/ or contact our customers services on 01926 459 859 or at customer.services@bravissimo.com

LisaBravissimo Tue 27-Aug-13 17:43:01

INeedSomeHelp

I often have a problem with my bra straps falling off my shoulders. Is this a sign of a poor fitting bra and, if so, what needs to change e.g. the style, back size or cup size?
Thanks

Slipping straps can be an indication that the bra you’re wearing isn’t quite the right fit around your body and it’s worth booking a fitting to get your back size checked. It could however also be down to the style not being quite right for your shape. Some women are very narrow across the shoulders and can find that the straps on a balconette style bra are set too wide for their frame. If this is the case then a Full Cup bra or a style that has the straps slightly centred may do the trick. Here’s a couple you might like to have a look at: ow.ly/oc31W ow.ly/oc351

LisaBravissimo Tue 27-Aug-13 17:44:56

ThedementedPenguin

On bras what hook should you be using?

We always recommend that when you first buy a bra you should wear it on the loosest fastening so that’s the first set of hooks. This way as the bra starts to give a little from being worn and washed you can still get a nice sung fit by moving on to the middle and eventually the third hooks.

LisaBravissimo Tue 27-Aug-13 17:46:12

mamamidwife

What's the drop forward measuring method?

I’ll be honest and admit this isn’t a method I’m that familiar with as it’s not one we use here at Bravissimo because as you may know we don’t use tape measures to fit a bra. Our experience shows that measuring is not the key to getting a great fit and that two ladies with the same measurements can wear very different bra sizes based on their shape and frame. Keep reading and check out my answer to the questions from VelvetStrider and worldgonecrazy to see how we recommend you make sure you’re getting the right fit and support from your bra.

LisaBravissimo Tue 27-Aug-13 17:47:32

mignonette

I want a bra that gives a similar cleavage shape to a Balconette but not so hoiked up. I prefer them to be 'separated out' but not pushed up and out.

I hate that Wonderbra lift and separate look and I will not wear padded bras. Any suggestions?

Balconette bras come in many different styles and each has its own individual shape and look. There are those that will give you a nice rounded upfront shape without the “Wonderbra” look. Check out the Alana by Bravissimo, Gem by Freya or the Elodie by Fantasie (this one has the side sling detail which gives you a great forward fitting shape). You could also try out some of the full cup styles they have the “side sling” detail look out for the Melrose by Bravissimo or the Jasmine by Panache.

LisaBravissimo Tue 27-Aug-13 17:53:00

worldgonecrazy

I have had my boobs measured in shops (M&S, Bravissimo, etc.) and always been told I'm a 34 or 36C (depending on how fat I am at the time). Now I have done the "drop forward" measurements as given in many Mumsnet posts, and that tells me I'm a 32DD.

Why are the shops so wrong with measurements? Are the measurers not being trained properly or are Mumsnet wrong?

VelvetStrider

I'd just like to echo hellymelly and others, what is the truth about bra fitting and sizing? Is the adding 4 inches method now completely obsolete or do some manufacturers and shops still size that way?

My ribcage measures 26", yet the last time I tried on 30" bras (at Debenhams) I couldn't do them up! Others upthread have said they need smaller sizes than their measurements suggest.

Also I usually find that the bit of the band that goes up slightly between the breasts doesn't sit flat against my chest. I've tried different cup sizes and styles but there's always a gap. Is it just down to my shape or is there a solution?

Unfortunately fitting bra’s is not an exact science and as per my previous answers, different bras can fit differently depending on your shape and frame. Different bra styles and even brands might fit differently to so the best way to know if you’re wearing the right size is to check these 3 things when you actually try the bra on and adjust the back and cup sizes to get the perfect fit:

1. The band around your body provides most of the support so it should be firm but comfortable when fastened on the loosest hook. It should be horizontal and not ride up at the back at all.

2. The wires at the front should lie against your breast bone between your boobs – if they don’t you should try reducing your back size (but remember if you drop a back size, you’ll need to go up a cup size to compensate).

3. Your boobs should be completely enclosed in the cups and you should have a smooth line where the fabric at the top of the cup meets your bust. If your boobs are spilling over the top or sides of your cup, you should go up a cup size.

If the bra you’re trying ticks all these boxes you’ve got the right fit! It’s also worth remembering that like clothes, the fit of a bra can be different style to style and brand to brand so you may not always be the same size.

LisaBravissimo Tue 27-Aug-13 17:54:37

nextphase

Lots of advice on how to fit back size, and cup size. How should the shoulder straps be adjusted?
Revelation for me getting properly fitted, rather than M&S fitted.

Most of the support you get from your bra comes from having the right back size and the straps are really there just to add a little extra support and keep everything in place! If the straps are leaving dents and red marks on your shoulders they are probably too tight and if they are slipping off it’s likely they need tightening a little. Ideally, you should check and adjust your straps every time you put the bra on to give you the shape and look you’re after.

LisaBravissimo Tue 27-Aug-13 17:56:04

HotCrossPun

I have breast asymmetry. I end up having to buy a bra that fits my bigger breast, and then I stuff the other side. Is there an alternative to this (aside from surgery!)

We regularly have women come to see us for a fitting who have different size boobs. Sometimes the difference is minimal and it doesn’t really cause a problem but for other ladies it’s definitely something they have to contend with when finding the best fit. You’re doing the right thing in buying a bra to fit your larger side and we would always advise that you do this. A couple of things you could try; padded or moulded bras can sometimes be a good option as they are preformed and even though you boob may not fill the cup the bra will still give you an even shape and size. Alternatively you could consider having your bras made to measure; this can be quite expensive though so you may only want to do this for something you would wear on special occasions.

LisaBravissimo Tue 27-Aug-13 17:57:48

Sparkeleigh

Any recommendations on good bra's for pregnancy/breastfeeding? My Bravissimo fitting was fantastic, but now I'm pregnant I ordered a lot of sizes based on my pre-pregnancy size but none seem to fit well and I can't get to a store for a fitting.

Please open a store in Northern Ireland!

One thing you can be sure of is that your boobs will change during your pregnancy, the difficulty is no one can predict how and when. So the most important thing is that your bra fits you and supports you well for the size of your boobs as they are now. The same principles apply so as long as you check the fit of your bra regularly you should be able to spot the signs that your bra no longer fits you well and that’s when you should consider buying a different size – see my answers to worldgonecrazy and Velvetstrider for the 3 steps to checking you’ve for the perfect fit.

One of the questions we regularly get asked is “Can I continue to wear underwired bras during my pregnancy?” and our answer is very simple – It’s perfectly OK to continue to wear an underwired style as long as you ensure it fits you well. There are also lots of soft cup and nursing bra’s available from Bravissimo and other retailers all of which give a good fit whilst offering you comfort and support, the key thing is to get the right size.

Don’t forget until the time we do manage to find the right location for a store in Northern Ireland our customer service team are always at hand. They’re all trained fitters and would be happy to help you by carrying out a fitting with you over the phone.

LisaBravissimo Tue 27-Aug-13 17:59:07

NotjustaMummy

Nursing bras. When should we be fitted? Does drop down method still apply here?

The best time to be fitted would be at the time when you actually need a nursing bra, but we realise that’s not always practical as you might have a lot on your plate! We recommend you have a fitting as close to the end of your pregnancy as possible. Even then, getting fitted will be a “best guess” as no one can predict by how much your boobs will grow once your milk production sets in and how much your body shape might change as your bump goes down. If you’re having a fitting towards the end of your pregnancy, we’d advise that you leave a little room for your boobs to grow – perhaps 1 or 2 cup sizes - and for breast pads to fit in your bra. When you are breastfeeding it’s likely that there will be times when your bra does not fit you as well – for example when you have just finished feeding and your boobs are at their smallest your bra may be too big. Once you have produced more milk, ready for the next feed, your boobs will grow in size again and it’s this size that we recommend you fit your bra to. When your boobs are at their biggest, your bra should still feel comfortable and supportive – but check it’s not digging in, feels too tight, or that your boobs are bulging out of the cups. Most of all make sure it’s comfortable!

LisaBravissimo Tue 27-Aug-13 18:02:56

yourcruisedirector

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).

BaronessBomburst

Underwired Nursing Bras: The Bravissimo website says that underwired bras are not recommended and talks about the risks of mastitus as the breasts change size and shape throughout the day. However, the milk supply settles after a few months whereas the WHO recommends BF for 2 years and beyond. Nursing bras are ugly, unflattering and extremely unsupportive for big-boobed women. We NEED the support that wire gives. Would it not be better to drop the 'nanny-state' approach and offer underwired nursing bras, and then provide more information/ links to BF sites/ helplines so that people could make their own informed decisions? It may also go some way to help with the appallingly low BF rates in the UK - Bravissimo pride themselves on helping women be comfortable and confident in their bodies and yet how many of us have sobbed in despair when presented with a nursing bra and the realisation that, if you wanted to BF, this was the future....? sad

Soft cup bras, often with drop down cups, can offer a little more flexibility around the changes your boobs will go through from hour to hour and day to day when you are breastfeeding. However we appreciate that soft cup nursing bra’s aren’t for everyone and some new mums do choose to go back to underwired bras whilst still breastfeeding. As you know Bravissimo isn’t a specialist maternity and nursing bra retailer so we are limited in the number of products we are able to offer. There are however retailers who do solely supply nursing bras and they do include underwired options in their ranges. Have a look at the following websites for more information:
ow.ly/oa9Nb ow.ly/oabiw
ow.ly/oaaKL ow.ly/oaaW7

LisaBravissimo Tue 27-Aug-13 18:04:35

KosherBacon

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

When you stop feeding, your body will eventually realise that it is no longer required to produce milk and your boobs will settle in size – but it’s impossible to say how long this will take. It’s also impossible to predict whether your boobs will eventually return to their original size – for some women this happens quite quickly, other women may never return to their original size, settling instead at a size that may be larger or smaller than before. Likewise some women may carry some extra “baby weight” which they may or may not lose once they’ve had the baby – this too can affect your bra size and whether or not you are able to return to your pre-pregnancy size. I’d definitely suggest that once you feel your boobs are starting to settle you arrange to have a fitting to help you determine what size you need to buy to give you great support and fit.

LisaBravissimo Tue 27-Aug-13 18:06:28

Spirael

It was, admittedly, a while ago now... But when I was BFing DD I needed to wear some manner of bra overnight, mostly to hold breast pads in place so I didn't soak the bed! I didn't want to be constrained by a daytime bra overnight, I didn't need that level of support and/or want straps digging in to me.

I found it really difficult to acquire an elasticated, crop-top style, nursing bra that would fit me as I have a small back but (especially when my milk came in!) relatively large breasts. Either they fitted my breasts but would ride up as the elastic was too loose for my ribcage, or they stayed in place but squished me down.

Are nighttime, nursing, crop-top bras designed for busty women something that Bravissimo stocks or would consider stocking?

As we’re not a retailer who specialise in Maternity Lingerie the range of products we are able to offer is limited. We do however have a range of nightwear/loungewear tops that are designed for women with big boobs. Whilst not specifically designed for breastfeeding, they do provide comfort and support. They have wire free integral support built in and a bra back fastening to ensure great support and fit. The bra back fastening is covered for extra comfort the tops come in a variety of styles some of which are offered up to a J cup.

www.bravissimo.com/products/nightwear/

LisaBravissimo Tue 27-Aug-13 18:07:48

teabagpleb

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.

There’s so much information about each style that it’s hard to know what to include and leave out, likewise it’s really hard to show you the fabric through photographs alone. Something that may help you identify the stretchiness of the fabric is the way the garment is sized. If the sizes are dual sizes i.e. Curvy/Really Curvy and Really Curvy/Super Curvy this means that the fabric has some stretch as will be suitable for either of those sizes. If the fabric is woven and therefore less stretchy the sizes will always show as individual sizes i.e. Curvy, Really Curvy and Super Curvy. We have started to feature some close up shots of fabrics in the magazines and will continue to do this as often as we can and there is a zoom option on the website which can sometimes help to bring the detail of a garment to life. The customer reviews are also a good way to get a sense of the quality and value for money as we ask customers to mark the item on these points.

LisaBravissimo Tue 27-Aug-13 18:09:00

HoopHopes

Again a huge fan of your fitting and I travel a reasonable distance to go to a store. My question is are you planning on stocking a wider range of other makes as I have been disappointed by the focus on your own make and a more limited range of makes such as Freya etc. it has made me start shopping elsewhere, which is a shame and if the stock continues shrinking in variety I will cease to travel such a distance for only own brand products.

Our aim is to give our customers choice and variety in styles that give them a great fit, great support and that make them feel good about themselves. The introduction of Bravissimo own label bras means we now have more styles to an L cup than ever before and we have even been able to offer a strapless bra up to a J cup and a sports bra up to a K cup. We have not intentionally reduced the number of other brands in favour of our own but we apply the same approach to all the bras we include in our range and that is they must offer great fit and support. Some of the brands we have offered in the past are no longer trading and we are sometimes limited by the products and size ranges the remaining suppliers have on offer. We’re always looking for new opportunities and in recent seasons following some positive customer feedback we have featured other brands such as Curvy Kate and Tutti Rouge to try and increase the variey and choice we offer.

LisaBravissimo Tue 27-Aug-13 18:10:12

mamamidwife

What's the difference between a measuring/fitting with bravissimo and say M&S or Debs? Do you do it differently?

Like lots of women I have been measured at Debenhams and M&S. The main difference between my experience with them and the way we do fittings here at Bravissimo is that they both used tape measures to work out my size. You won’t find a Bravissimo fitter using a tape measure because our experience shows that measuring is not the key to getting a great fit. We start by establishing what size bra the customer is wearing when they come for their fitting and then by assessing the fit of their own bra we can work out what size they should be wearing. We then try a number of styles and shapes to see what the customer prefers adjusting the size as we go if needed until we find something the customer is happy with. It’s really important that you understand your bra fit so you know what to look out for in the future. Customers also have the option to record all their purchases so that if they need to refer back to check on styles and sizes they’ve had before.

LisaBravissimo Tue 27-Aug-13 18:11:16

Kaliwhite

Do you have any plans to extend your bra size range? As a 34/36 k/kk my bra supply is becoming very limited and your Alana bra is the wrong shape on top for me. A half cup up to a k would be very much appreciated! Also any plans for more pepperberry clothes in super duper curvy sizes? I know there is a demand for them and would love some more tops and shirts!

Our technical team are always looking for ways to make sure the products we offer reflect what customers need and want from both brands. Our aim is wherever possible to develop all the Bravissimo own brand lingerie styles we produce up to an L cup providing this doesn’t compromise the fit and support. Sometimes, due to complexity of the structure of a bra, it takes us a little bit longer to develop a style through to the higher cup sizes and then we have to take it through all the production and quality checking phases which means it generally takes at least 18 months before the product is available in store or online. Something you may be interested to know is that we have just launched a new range within the Pepperberry brand called “Perfectly Simple” and this range does have a Super Duper curvy shirt.

LisaBravissimo Tue 27-Aug-13 18:12:14

WhereBeThatBlackbirdTo

Another request for a store in the South West please, even Bath or Bristol would help.

I had to drive for two hours to Cardiff last week to be fitted.

We are conscious that many of our customers in the UK do not have a store nearby which means they find it hard to get fitted in store and have to order online or over the phone. It's not always easy to find the right location for our stores as we have quite specific requirements. We need more space for our fitting area and stock room compared to the space required on the shop floor. This can make our search far more difficult as it is not the usual specifications for many other retailers.

I can promise you we are continuously searching for the perfect premises in the South West and when we do we’ll be sure to let everyone know.

LisaBravissimo Tue 27-Aug-13 18:13:42

teabagpleb

Any chance of a larger store in London? Since you started selling clothes (which on the whole is great), there's much less choice of bras in stock in your main store off Regent St - 30,000 bras sounds a lot but if you divide by 100 sizes, assume over half are multiples in the same size, discount the swimming ones, nursing, strapless or whatever I'm not looking for, there's often very little in stock in my size, and the clothes even more so (I wanted to buy at least 3 tops last time I was in, found 6 I wanted to try on, only 1 in a size worth trying). I would travel across London to a store that was likely to have more clothes that would fit me.

Having a loo and a reliable lift would also help - like many postnatal women I need the loo frequently and have twice had to leave your store and walk 10 min to John Lewis's upstairs and back. And one of those I then got stuck in your lift... which made lack of stock even more annoying!

Being able to book a fitting online would be wonderful, or assistance in general as I can't get a bra on myself in under 10 min, but while your staff are great they are usually busy seeing people being fitted and it's a wait for help.

For the everyday styles we offer we do try to make sure that we have at least one of everything in every size in store at all times. For the seasonal styles and clothing this is more challenging as we only have so many of each size to send to each store. Whilst each store may start off with something in every size, the new seasonal styles can sell quickly. We do send “top up” stock into store every day to try and maintain availability and if ever a store doesn’t have something that a customer wants we will always offer to have it posted out from our Fulfilment Centre to them free of charge if it’s in stock somewhere else in the company. I know that’s not quite the same as being able to try it on store but we do also offer a free returns service to all UK customers.

We’d love to be able to offer customers the opportunity to book their fittings on line but we’re not quite there yet and our website does need a bit more development before this can be done. In the meantime you can always contact the shop directly or contact the customer services team by phone or email to book ahead and let the store know you’re coming and will need some assistance.

Any feedback on 26" back bras? Several of us asked, there's a market for them, and I'd love to be able to go into a shop and be able to buy a bra that fits on the loosest hook for a change...

GlitzPig Tue 27-Aug-13 19:17:05

I'm a bit disappointed that all the feedback about the clothes was ignored-won't be expecting any improvements there any time soon!

scrummummy Tue 27-Aug-13 20:02:22

sorry not read all so if someone has already asked sorry. I would love it if bravissimo would do mastectomy bras.
most MX bras go up to a D which is no use if you still have one boob which is a F+. also a shop at Stratford for pepperberry smile

SorrelForbes Wed 28-Aug-13 09:54:16

I know Bravissimo don't use a tape measure to fit (in the bra thread we only ask people to measure themselves to get a starting point to fit themselves) but it would have been nice to have an equivocal "we don't add 4/5" to your underbust"

JonesH Wed 28-Aug-13 10:36:42

I often tighten my straps and they just become looser again, what's this a sign of? I am still unsure on the cup size i should be wearing, do not feel like I am a D cup, often think I am a C, as I just don't feel that big, but going bra shopping haven't yet found a bra that fits perfectly, and is comfortable. I would prefer bras that have thicker straps and 4 hooks on the back but really hard to find for smaller cup sizes as they are usually only available on much larger bras.

SorrelForbes Wed 28-Aug-13 11:54:55

What band size are you wearing? A C or D means nothing without the band size.

MadBusLady Wed 28-Aug-13 13:24:15

I really hope they take the misleading "big boobs" messaging point on board as they're doing themselves out of sales. I am an FF cup. I do not have particularly massive boobs. I can fill out a dress nicely, but they're not going to poke anyone's eye out or appear on a seaside postcard.

MissDD1971 Thu 29-Aug-13 12:00:10

please Bravissimo can't you stock anymore 28FF/G styles that are less mumsy and more sexy?

a blogger I know has brilliant links to sheer coloured bras (they're lovely) but some of your stuff I hate to say it has all the sex appeal of a wet fish. and I long to look sexy.

AllBellyandBoobs Thu 29-Aug-13 14:13:43

Any chance of a link please MissDD1971?

MissDD1971 Thu 29-Aug-13 14:16:46

AllBellyandBoobs

www.investinyourchest.co.uk

you do have to go through the stuff reviewed but the girls here know their stuff and they're honest. there are other bloggers there but for some reason I like these ones.

Thank you for the link to the underwired nursing bras. I had previously found them on the internet though - and they are all too small in the cup. That's why I was hoping Bravissimo might rise to the challenge. When you are a GG or H cup pre-baby, you're going to be a lot bigger than that when BF. sad

SorrelForbes Thu 29-Aug-13 16:11:58

I follow invest in your chest, curvy wordy, braless in Brazil and Boosaurus.

AllBellyandBoobs Thu 29-Aug-13 22:34:16

Great, thanks for those blogs, hopefully I'll find some good tips on there. Since bf I have found it impossible to find a good fitting bra, i think dd has broken my boobs

wrigglebum Fri 30-Aug-13 07:04:14

I think they're missing a bit of a trick by not specialising a bit more in maternity and nursing bras. It's a time when people spend a lot of money on bras with the constant size changes. It's also often the first time a person might get fitted (most teens are too shy for fittings and we muddle through after that), so they'd get a lot of brand loyalty after too.

If they got more maternity bras, plus lost the 'big boobs' idea sounds like there'd be scope for them to expand dramatically as a company.

littleomar Fri 30-Aug-13 07:45:49

What wrigglebum said.

None of the "specialist" links posted have nursing bras in 30 back. Guess I'll be taking scissors to my normal ones again...

HazleNutt Fri 30-Aug-13 08:58:35

I also agree you should try get rid of the 'for big boobs only' image, you are seriously limiting your customer base. We've seen so many people on this message board who have said that they never even considered going to Bravissimo, as they didn't think they were busty enough for the big boob shop. But when measured properly, most women are D cups or bigger - check some of the bra intervention threads here, you can find only a handful of A-C.

Givemesunshine Sun 01-Sep-13 08:28:31

If you are looking for 28 back, try the Royce Lauren: it has a breastfeeding version; it is "low" under the armpit so good for petite ladies; it looks like a balconette but is non-wired in the bf version.
You may also be lucky with an Amoralia brand in a 32 back - it has so many hook positions that you might get the smaller back size you desire. Just remember that if you are, say, a 28DD, the identical cup on a 30 back is a D (one letter smaller), on a 32 back it would be a C (two letters smaller).
I'm lucky to have bras2u.com as my local fitting room.
I'm an ex-nursing-bra-fitter, and proud to say I've never knowingly sold anyone a dodo!

arunkandikatla Mon 02-Sep-13 06:50:19

try elastic ones know i have seen that in homeremediesforglowingskin.blogspot.in/

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Mon 02-Sep-13 10:58:33

I think it is very short-sighted to keep saying that they are not a maternity/nursing bra specialist. There is no such thing as a maternity/nursing bra specialist in the UK, so if Bravissimo started doing it they would attract heaps of customers.

Nellelephant Tue 03-Sep-13 23:06:40

I agree about the need for bravissimo to lose the 'big boobs' image. I had never considered going in there as I am less than a handful. Had been wearing 34B for years after being measured as that in M&S. I got measured in John Lewis as a 30DD. Cue shock and horror as I thought D and above meant massive! I then decided to try bravissimo as my boobs now qualified. I wear 28E bras now. Teeny tiny. But walking into bravissimo and carrying the little bag after a purchase makes me feel like a big fraud because everybody views the shop as just for bigger boobs.

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