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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

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.

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.

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

try elastic ones know i have seen that in

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 as my local fitting room.
I'm an ex-nursing-bra-fitter, and proud to say I've never knowingly sold anyone a dodo!

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.

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...

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.

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

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

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

BaronessBomburst Thu 29-Aug-13 14:35:32

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

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


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.

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

Any chance of a link please MissDD1971?

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.

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.

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

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

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 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"

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

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

InMySpareTime Tue 27-Aug-13 18:30:08

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...

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


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.

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


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 18:11:16


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 18:10:12


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 18:09:00


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.

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