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Bra fitting at Bravissimo - what to expect/aim for?

(33 Posts)
LadyVetinari Thu 06-Feb-14 15:30:26

I really need a couple of new, well-fitting bras but I have no idea what size I am or how to tell if something fits properly.

Part of me thinks that I should be pretty easy to sort out - I don't have very much padding over my ribcage or under my arms that might make it difficult to judge whether the fit is right, and I'm definitely not an unusual shape. However, I've never had a bra that feels both supportive and non-ouchy, and have been told I'm everything from a 36B (in an independent bra shop) to a 28HH (bra intervention thread).

I know for a fact that I'm looking for: moulded/lightly padded cups; absolutely no horizontal seams or full-cup styles; nothing (e.g. obvious seams, ribbons, patterns) that will show through clothing; fabric that washes well; nothing dowdy. I also know that whatever I buy has to be quite supportive, as I tend to get pains in my upper back that change intensity and position depending on which bra I happen to be wearing. I know the bands aren't too tight (and are possibly too loose), so it has to be due to the distribution of weight.

With all of that in mind, should I know what styles I'm actually looking for, or can I just give that list to one of their staff and trust them to choose something appropriate?

Also: I currently have a collection of 32 FFs and 30Gs which seem right when I put them on but then give a quadroboob effect through my clothes or allow me to fall out of them completely. The bra intervention threads have me at a 30H or a 28HH which I suppose is plausible, but I have no idea how uncomfortable a bra should be initially or how long the discomfort is supposed to last.

Can you tell when something is a good fit, or do you have to rely on the fitter's judgment?

Finally - I know they say you can show up without an appointment, but am I likely to find what I need on the weekend without one?

Thanks in advance for the advice! I'd also be grateful if somebody could please tell me what the fitting experience is likely to be like. I've heard good things about Bravissimo, but I've always been quite uncomfortable with going to get fitted for clothing!

HelloBoys Thu 06-Feb-14 15:42:21


You can tell if it's a good fit because IDK it feels tight (which is good, pulls your shoulders etc back good for posture) and looks better.

HOWEVER, I will say Bravissimo can be a bit boring (and this is me at 42!) in terms of styles and colours. They don't stock eg Curvy Kate or Ewa Michaluk. is a good site the bloggers there have some good ideas and nice styles.

Bravissimo can be daunting if you expect a measuring tape as you don't get measured with a tape, they simply (I don't know how they do it!) seem to guess (or know??) your size.

They are excellent in finding styles to suit various breast sizes and shapes though.

oh you also need to book an appointment you can just turn up but you may have to wait a bit.

HelloBoys Thu 06-Feb-14 15:45:08

ah also just read - you do not want quadroboob!

To be honest if you get a couple of bras from them and then look elsewhere (once you know what styles you suit) then you can be more adventurous with colour.

But good luck and try to enjoy it!

LadyVetinari Thu 06-Feb-14 15:50:02

Thank you, HelloBoys - that website looks excellent!

It's good to know that the fitters have such good judgment, as my last few experiences in other lingerie departments/boutiques have led to some completely unsuitable recommendations (and yes, there has always been a tape measure involved)!

I'll book an appointment for this weekend if possible, get a couple of plain bras and then hopefully look elsewhere for variety when I'm more confident about my size smile.

LadyVetinari Thu 06-Feb-14 15:53:45

Oh yes, the quadroboob is terrible in some tops. It's evidently noticeable, because complained about it to DH recently and he said "Oh yes, I was wondering about that - I thought you just had to make do with it because they don't make bras any bigger..." blush

SorrelForbes Thu 06-Feb-14 17:06:59

Just tell the Bravissimo fitter exactly what you want and they will, I promise, find you something suitable! They stock some lovely brands which start at a 28 (and bear in mind that many brands start at a 32!) including Panache, Cleo, Freya, Tutti Rouge, and their own Bravissimo brand.

My favourite plain bras are the Panache Idina Balconette and the Cleo Juna.

SorrelForbes Thu 06-Feb-14 17:08:24

I'm not surprised that you're getting quad boob in a 32FF/30G if the bra intervention guide puts you around a 28HH. You're in effect wearing a bra that's about 3 cups too small.

LadyVetinari Thu 06-Feb-14 17:19:06

Thank you, SorreForbes! I just googled the bras you recommended and they look gorgeous - the Cleo Juna especially is exactly the kind of thing I had in mind smile.

You're right about the cups being far too small - the bras seem okay when I've just put them on, but within a few minutes of moving around there are obvious diagonal lines across my boobs! blush

I'm really pleased to hear that Bravissimo can be trusted re fitting and stock - I'm fed up with trying to find the best fitting bra that happens to be in stock when I go to non-specialist stores.

Quick question: I find that my bras sometimes get a lot tighter/looser for a few days, depending on which point I'm at in my cycle. Should I wait until they're at their tightest to get fitted, or go when I feel I'm at my "usual" size?

LadyVetinari Thu 06-Feb-14 17:24:54

Ooops, you post a helpful reply to my thread and I express my gratitude by including a typo in your name! Please accept my apologies, SorrelForbes... blush

StatisticallyChallenged Thu 06-Feb-14 17:57:50

Lady I have a bit of a range of sizes - over time I've gradually shopped at different points in my cycle, and some bras will fit at certain times and not at others. Unfortunately if you fluctuate considerably you might need more than one size. Joys of being a woman!

Bravissimo are fantastic, no concerns with going there. The only thing I would say about your requirements is that, IME, moulded bras aren't always the best for support. They don't contour or adjust at all to your shape, and you may actually find that once you have a very well fitting bra you might get better support from a back perspective from unpadded. Just keep an open mind, the Bravissimo women are excellent at finding bras that suit your boobs.

I think Bravissimo have a really good range - I'm 27!

domesticslattern Thu 06-Feb-14 18:00:49

At the weekend I think it's good to ring up and ask about booking as queues can be long. Also try not to go in a rush or with kids as it can be a very long appointment. I always have a little look on the website so I know the names of some of the bras I'd like to try. They will also have a catalogue in the fitting room, and a silky robe to cover up if need be.
I find the staff always excellent and am not embrassed but be warned, they will ask you to scoop your breasts up and into the bra. That always catches me out! It seems like a strange instruction but it does work.
Re. How to tell if a bra fits, get your fitter to explain what she is looking for. There is also a guide on the Bravissimo website.
Don't rush, enjoy it and you can always try bras on under t shirts if you want to see what kind of look you're buying.

MrsMarigold Thu 06-Feb-14 19:08:42

I went recently and it was great although I had the two DC in tow and they were something else DS did a massive poo while I was in the changing room, I was just waiting for the woman measuring me to arrive - inevitably she turned up just as I was wiping his bottom. Then I'd run out of nappy bags and had to ask her for a bag.

DD then started campaigning heavily for breast milk and because she saw my boobs. DS opened the changing room door while the woman went to get other styles exposing me in all my topless glory to the whole shop there were limited options in the styles I liked so they posted me a couple more in different colours. Great service and well supported.

LadyVetinari Sat 08-Feb-14 15:58:26

Just thought I'd pop in to thank you all for the advice and post an update. I couldn't get through to my local-ish branch by phone so I went to Bravissimo today and was called for a fitting just five minutes after booking in (which I found very impressive, considering that it's Saturday). The fitter was fantastic and very thorough - she clearly wanted to be absolutely sure that she'd found me exactly the right size and style. After trying five different sizes and a couple of different styles, we agreed on one (which, strangely enough, was the same as the MN Bra Intervention ladies estimated for me). Consequently, my horribly uncomfortable 32F bras have been burned and replaced with four very lovely, comfortable, supportive 28HHs grin.

DH was amazed by the difference and I'm still enjoying the novelty of non-achey shoulders and clothes that hang nicely. Thank you all for the encouragement and advice - I really appreciate it! I would definitely recommend a Bravissimo fitting to anybody who's on the fence about going - the staff were all really professional, the fitting service was great, and their excellent stock management meant that I had plenty of choice (which is a novelty that won't wear off any time soon).

ShitOnAStick Sun 09-Feb-14 02:15:39

I'm glad your fitting went well op! Bravissimo are great and have a fab range in my opinion. I was on the brastop website/blog today and came across a mention of bras and body image blog, had a look and found this very useful.

SorrelForbes Sun 09-Feb-14 08:59:44

That's a very good article as it really demonstrates the importance of scooping.

SorrelForbes Sun 09-Feb-14 09:32:41

11% off at Brastop until midnight tonight (9th) with LOVE11

cosikitty Sun 09-Feb-14 09:49:36

I always go for a padded molded cup as I find these look the best under clothes. If you go for unpadded how do you deal with the prominent nipple problem? (mine seem more sticky out than most women's are are really noticable in non padded bras? Sellotape?

StatisticallyChallenged Sun 09-Feb-14 10:03:58

I don't have nippy issues really-although I find them worse if my bra is a little big as the seam can rub them!

I wear mainly ewa michalak these days which are lightly padded but not the solid moulded t shirt type. That sort of thing might be a good compromise for you

SorrelForbes Sun 09-Feb-14 10:19:44

Yep, I wear lightly padded (Cleo Juna or EMs) or unpadded Cleos which have seaming and a pattern so don't seem to show a lot. Mind you, I don't have major nipple-age either.

Blobbyblobbyblobby Sun 09-Feb-14 17:20:27

I just want to sound a note of dissent!

IME Bravissimo is not all that. When it opened in my town I was thrilled but I have never actually had a bra that fitted from them and stopped shopping there but tried again recently due to all the love for them on here.

I shouldn't have bothered. The saleswoman was very pushy and the bra doesn't fit - quadra boob. Back to the small independent half an hour's drive away who are consistently excellent if twice the price...

LadyVetinari Sun 09-Feb-14 17:38:32

Thanks for the discount code, SorrelForbes - I'm still in need of a new bikini top, hopefully I might find one on there...

Blobby - I'm really surprised to hear that, as I've never received service as good as Bravissimo's when buying underwear elsewhere (including many independent shops)!

My fitter was really thorough, and still made a point of ensuring that I was happy with the end result with and without a top on and after lots of bending.

She tried a 32G (quadraboob), 30GG (still quadraboob), 30H (still quadraboob), 30HH (better but not quite right), then 28HH (which I was skeptical about at first due to how huge it sounds, but quickly came around to when she showed me the differences in fit), and then in a couple of different styles.

She was very emphatic about why the 28HH in a particular style was best, but she did check everything carefully and ask repeatedly whether the bra was comfortable after moving, breathing deeply etc.

Even after all of that, she told me to try it at home for an hour with the tags left on before making a final decision about whether to keep it or go back for another fitting!

Cosikitty - I have the same problem with non-padded bras, although Statistically was absolutely correct in thinking that a non-seamed and fully moulded bra wouldn't provide enough support. Unfortunately the balconettes didn't work for me due to my very narrow build, and I couldn't reliably stay in a deep plunge style (which is important as I do a lot of bending over). After much experimentation, I ended up choosing the Bravissimo Satine in four colours, and it's definitely the best (i.e. most supportive, comfortable, pretty, and flattering) bra I've ever had! I'd definitely recommend it if you want light padding but lots of support smile.

ShitonaStick - Thanks for the article, I've bookmarked it for the next time I go bra shopping!

cosikitty Sun 09-Feb-14 20:18:39

Thanks for the advice Lady, the Satine looks lovely, just a bit worried those seams may show through under t-shirts. Going to give Bravissimo a try, just waiting for payday grin!

LadyVetinari Sun 09-Feb-14 21:21:40

Cosikitty - You're welcome! I'm currently wearing the Satine under a very thin, stretchy vest top and the seams don't show, so it's definitely worth a try.

TravelinColour Sun 09-Feb-14 21:54:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Blobbyblobbyblobby Mon 10-Feb-14 09:17:03

I do wonder if the branch here has a rotten manager or something but honestly they're crap! Glad you got some good bras, there's nothing like it!

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