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NOW CLOSED Talk to Panache Lingerie about bra fitting and win a bra set of your choice or a £50 voucher

(268 Posts)
KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 03-Sep-12 09:59:50

The folks at Panache Lingerie would love to hear your stories about the best and worst bra fitting advice you've ever been given. Here's what Panache say: "At Panache we know what a huge difference the right fitting bra can make to the way you look and feel. We want to hear your experiences so we can help make it easier for you to find your perfect fit."

We'd love to find out what you know about getting the right bra fit, and the advice you've been given over the years - what's the best (and worst) piece of advice you've been given? Do you have your bras professionally fitted, or do it yourself in store or at home? Do you find fitting/measurement varies between different stores? If you've never been for a bra fitting in a store, why? What would encourage you to go?

What about your first bra fitting - do you remember it as a positive or negative experience? Do you have a DD you might take for a fitting soon? If so, where do you think you'll take her?
Also, how easy or difficult do you find shopping for bras? Where are your favourite places to shop? Is your size readily available, or do you have to travel far and wide to find the right bra? How confident are you that you're wearing the right size?

If you'd like to find out if you're wearing the right sized bra you can join the 'bra fit challenge' or discover how to fit your bra at home with the at home videos from Panache and Caryn Franklin:

Everyone who adds their comments to this thread will be entered into a prize draw where 3 lucky winners will have the choice of a (D+) bra set from Panache Lingerie or a £50 Amazon voucher.

Thanks and good luck!


OhNoMyFoot Mon 03-Sep-12 16:55:47

I have a variety of bras in a variety of sizes, starting from 34dd through to 38hh. In fact I have a huge amount of bras. I know it's nothing to do with this but is there anything that can be done with them?

Fink Mon 03-Sep-12 17:08:21

My worst ever advice: go up a back size (M&S). I now only get fitted by the people who do it by eye rather than with a tape measure (e.g. Rigby & Peller, Sadie the Bra Lady).

I wish I had realised earlier that you don't have to look huge in order to have an above-'average' cup size. I was in 34c for years then suddenly went to 30F! Am now 28D/DD but don't actually feel like I have large boobs.

MotherOfNations Mon 03-Sep-12 17:14:33

Ohnomyfoot. There is a charity I read about a while ago that collects bras and sends then out to Africa. I can't remember what it was called though.

JugglingWithFiveRings Mon 03-Sep-12 17:20:26

I think many women are slow to realise that their bra size is prone to changing over the years too ! But I agree Fink that many (myself included) don't understand how the cup size changes with the general back measurement. It is all rather confusing isn't it ? confused

SorrelForbes Mon 03-Sep-12 17:24:21

Juggling Come on over to this thread grin

sleepdodger Mon 03-Sep-12 17:28:29

The best & worst fitting for me was when I was pregnant
Usually a 34d my boobs were growing daily so headed off to get new bras in well fitted stores...
JL sold me 2 which were awful and have me no support at Allan's worse they looked like giant training bras
After that headed to bravissimo who were amazing ended up with 2 panache Sophie bras which fitted well (fitted by sight) and looked attractive too
post feeding i went back to bracissimo as m&s couldn't find a bra to fit hmm
It was amazing... Coming out a 30E with a confy fit and great shape felt like I had a boob job grin Freya deco have been my friends ever since!!
Main issue is over 34 straps get huge
Under 34 choices are v limited!

Fieldette Mon 03-Sep-12 17:31:46

M&S are hopeless when it comes to fitting bras! I was quite a young 'developer' and started wearing a bra at 12 years old. They seemed to put me in any old thing and the range available was dire.

I wore a 34D for years until I reached a point of such discomfort about 5 years ago that I went to be measured in Bravissimo and came out wearing a 30G - slightly different from my previous size, and I've never looked back!

I buy all my bras from Bravissimo and Figleaves and will never buy without trying. My all time favourite bra is the Panache Tango Plunge, I have it in three colours and am glad to see that more different colours have started to become available.

ItsaTIARA Mon 03-Sep-12 17:33:32

Oxfam did a Big Bra Hunt earlier in the year, and are still more than happy to accept donated bras.

Elainey1609 Mon 03-Sep-12 17:36:35

I went to a couple of bra fittings at Marks and Spencer and they were very bad experiences....didnt really help at all
i am very broad and they they said i was size theat they didnt even sell underwired bras for....they only did like sports bras....

i am like any ormal female and likes nice underware and was really dissapointed....when i tried them on gave me no support at all and were massive..

after going to a range of different shops i have found that many dont actually sell my size.......i fially found a shop that did loads and sizes and did trial and error untill i found one i was comfortable......

i find that i am actually a 42C which is alot different to the 50DD Marks and Spencer reccomended..

I would love to have a proper fitting to find out if i was anywhere close to the correct measurement.

I actually end up buying my bras from Asdas now as i know they do fit well and they do pretty designs in the larger sizes

but yeah was not pleased with marks and spencer

KatAndKit Mon 03-Sep-12 17:36:41

I love Panache bras - I have been wearing the Tango superbra for years and it is so flattering and supportive. The best fitting is in Bravissimo - I have never had a bad fitting there and have always come out satisfied and with lovely comfortable and supportive bras. Like many others, the worst has been Marks and Spencer, with Mothercare a close second in the bad fitting stakes. I wish there was a wider range of Panache nursing bras in bigger cup sizes - the one I have is great and is pretty, unlike the plain white and black ones i have from other shops, but I would like the choice of more styles.

spoonsspoonsspoons Mon 03-Sep-12 17:47:06

I wish there was some sort of consistency in sizing. Consistency between manufacturers would be great, but consistency between styles would be a start. Consistency between styles in different colours you would think is a given but it appears elusive. The advice that I was given at my very first bra fitting at an independent store, that sizes vary between colours, has proved true on many occasions!

I have quite a few Panache bras and they fit great, but they're all different sizes (32E/32F/32FF/32G). Availability wise it is improving, but it's rare to find even good shops (e.g. Bravissimo) have the sizes in stock I need in the colours I would prefer. It's difficult to order things in when sizing varies so widely.

MadameOvary Mon 03-Sep-12 17:52:59

Best experience was in Jenners about fifteen years ago. Was asking the woman about a 36C bra and she looked at me and said I dont think you're a 36C - I was fully dressed with a coat on! Sure enough I came out with a blissfully fitting 34DD.

Have never had such a good experience since tbh, M&S were decidedly ho-hum but I do love their t-shirt bras which give me a proper lift.

MrsPnut Mon 03-Sep-12 18:17:37

I love Panache bras, the Tango PN53 from Bravissimo is my go to every day bra because it is so comfy. I buy a new one every month and must have every colour you've ever produced.

I can fit my own bras now and fit my 15 year old daughter's bras too because I know what a well fitting bra it meant to feel like.
I did once have a dreadful attempted fitting for a sports bra in M&S and not one of their offerings had any support in it at all, I would have given myself 2 black eyes with my 36GG's if I'd have taken their advice.

wifeofdoom Mon 03-Sep-12 18:21:45

As a 34F bra fitting is very important to me! Worst fitting was when they told me that it fit perfectly and the wire stabbing into my side would 'wear in' It never did - bra still in drawer pristine 8 yrs later. however bras I have fitted myself are never good.

Fitting seems to change between stores and between brands - and even in styles from the same brand - balconettes I'm an F but anything else I tend to be a G.

I don't think I got fitted until I was about 23. I will take my dd to be fitted regularly from a young age so she doesn't buy badly fitted bras and end up with 'doubleboob'!
Big bras much easier to find now - but whenever I buy cheap I regret it... I stick with panache, freya and fantasie now.

TheProvincialLady Mon 03-Sep-12 18:27:36

M&S twenty years ago had me in a 34C. I weighed 6.5 stones. Now I am 7.5 stones, larger everywhere and 28F fits me beautifully. HOW could anyone have thought that a 34 inch back would fit me? I thought I was a freak because all the bra fitting advice said that the front should lie flat against the breastbone, but mine never ever did. Funny thathmm An independent shop was just as bad around the same time. I saw the measurement and even with the bizarre 4 inches added it still came to 30" but they only started at 32" so that was too bad, 32" it was. It only seems very recently that shops started selling 28 and 30" backs in anything larger than A or AA cups.

OsmiornicaGold Mon 03-Sep-12 18:32:53

The worst bra fittings were at places like M&S. They'd measure me, tell me my size then disappear. I'd try the sizes on but inevitably they wouldn't fit.

The best fittings have both been at independent stores. I walked in and they assessed my size just by looking and brought into the changing room several bras in my size. Some were different sizes to what they said but because they knew their stock they knew which size to bring in what make/range. They also told me what to look for in a well/badly fitting bra - one thing was to make sure the wires in the middle are close to your skin. I think my previous ones had been gaping a bit at the front as the cup size was too big.

A good fitting bra is a lot tighter than I had worn previously but a lot more comfortable.

Pinot Mon 03-Sep-12 18:45:12

I've recently been learning about migrating breast tissue and how it causes the "back hamsters" and "underarm boobs". It's been amazing to learn how to fit a bra properly so that all your breast tissue is contained in your bra.

I wish all fitters would explain the importance of this!

nextphase Mon 03-Sep-12 18:45:41

I treated myself before going back to work having fed DS1 for 12 months, and went to an independent bra shop in the local market town. WOW what a difference. Down several back sizes, and up several cup sizes, and I looked like I lost a stone or 2.

The worst fitting bras I suffered were nursing bras from mothercare - tho it wasn't til the arrival of DS2 I realised Mothercare weren't the only people to do nursing bras.

Things I'd like de-mystifying are the adding / not adding 5 to the band measuring, that nursing bras are more widely available.

And high street do larger cup, smaller back combos - I needed a low front, funny coloured bra to go under a bridesmaids dress, at 14 weeks pregnant, so went to M&S for lower cost, and was offered help, but when I said what I was after, they had very little choice and I didn't mention the maternity word. To be fair to the assistant, she did try tho.

Tho I haven't looked very hard, stuff that is strapless / low fronted / otherwise different for bigger chests would be good.

bealos Mon 03-Sep-12 19:03:21

Gosh. I remember having to ask my mum to take me to M&S to get a bra, when I was 13/14, having been wearing crop tops for a while. I was already a 32B!

Although M&S were always my 'go to' place, I've found their measuring really unreliable and they are also a bit short with you if you tell them you're a different size. In the last 6 months, I've bought Elle McPherson, Bravado, Debenhams. Yes - I'm pregnant and my boobs are constantly changing shape and size! I'm a 34DD at the moment - pre-pregnancy I was wearing a 32D.

The best thing I've found is to take many many sizes in the changing room and see what works. It's a bit of a long winded way of doing it though. I once went to Rigby & Peller and they told me my size just by looking at my boobs. Amazing. It was correct.

CMOTDibbler Mon 03-Sep-12 19:10:50

My best experience was in an independant shop where the lovely lady looked me up and down, then searched out bras that were the right size and shape for me. She knew her stock inside out, so knew that for someone like me - b cup, wideish back at 36 but broad, boobs sort of on the outside of my chest wall - which bras would work. I spent a bomb in there.
My worst ever was in Debenhams where I was looking for a strapless bra. They told me I was the wrong shape, and that nothing would fit properly. I walked out and cried tbh.

M&S have fitted me badly on a couple of occasions in different places, and Rigby and Peller were lovely

ouryve Mon 03-Sep-12 19:13:04

I think M&S really need to read this thread. I was wary of naming them in my post about soft cup bras but pretty much everyone else here has had a bad experience with them.

starlight36 Mon 03-Sep-12 19:16:54

All bad bra advice came from high street stores where a series of measurements were made and regardless of any change in size I still walked out with a 34B. When the bra didn't fit properly I was told that it would stretch to fit correctly! Of course it never did.
At my first fitting in a specialist shop I was amazed and relieved to see that the assistants could get the correct size just by sight - not a tape measure in sight.
Best advice is how to lift each breast to fit comfortably into the cup and checking that the middle of the bra always sits flat.

shattereddreams Mon 03-Sep-12 19:17:25

Ive been in the right size since I was 22 (now 36)
But I've never had a comfy bra.

To my mind, every single bra on the market uses the same WIRE in exactly the same shape/curve/bend. Fantasie and Freya and Fauve all same manufactWurer. Identical to Curvy Kate, boux avenue panache and everyone else. The wire is a fundamental part of the bra, but they are all EXACTLY the same. And they don't fit me.

The best brand I've found is Anita but it's not available on the high street, money is tight and I can't afford the high postage buying online (especially sites where you even have to pay to return)

High street bras are poor quality, offer no support and are badly designed. They give no thought on width of straps, how far apart they are set and even which way the fasteners move - why would you want the plastic fastener on your collar bone?? Ouch. But likewise why is it right down the back where only a yoga instructor can reach on themselves?

I'm only a 32F - pretty normal size I think. But M&S don't do over a D in a 32. Mothercare are even more useless. They should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. They don't even make a 32. Maternity and nursing bras are a complete nightmare. Royce is another you should be ashamed! Yes you make D+ cups. No you gave no thought to fit or comfort.

Buy cheap buy twice is very true of bras

Bad fitting came from M&S but I haven't bought a bra there in 15 years, Mothercare - just horrendous and most recently boux avenue who insisted I was a 36.

I wish I could afford Prima Donna or move to Austria for Anita bras.

lemonbonbons Mon 03-Sep-12 19:24:23

I was also wondering if M&S had seen this thread !

Claifairy Mon 03-Sep-12 19:24:53

The best shop I was measured in was Madam Foners on Bold Street in Liverpool. It is a very old fashioned store and not for the faint hearted as when I was measured there the lady wanted to see me bra-less as she said it was difficult to see the natural shape of your bust in a bra and if you were of a fuller boob or a triangular shape etc! However, she was absolutely spot on in her choices. (This was in the 90's)

I trained as a bra trainer working for an independent bra shop and was able to tell by just looking at a women at her. It used to be my party trick! I think all good measurers should be able to do this. I was also very good at guessing mens estimations when they used to come in around Xmas and Valentines Day when I got hand gestures in their guesses or when they looked closely at my chest saying bigger/smaller!

Marks and Spencers are useless as measuring and usually add a back size or 2 to what you should be! I have never managed to find a bra that fits correctly there.

The last few years it has got better in finding prettier bra's in larger sizes and the prices do seem to be coming down which is fantastic as I no longer have to see buying a bra as an extravangant purchase rather then the necessity it is!

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