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Alternative to Bravissimo?

(17 Posts)
Delphine31 Fri 08-May-15 21:43:30

I'm hoping the bra experts of Mumsnet can help me!

For the past ten years I've bought all my bras at Bravissimo, but recently I've been really struggling to find bras there that work for me. I'm a 28/30 F/FF according to the fittings I've had there recently (seems a bit odd, as my fittings there in the past were 30/32 DD/E and I have most definitely have not gotten smaller around my back - I'm starting to wonder if they feel the need to live up to their reputation for making everyone walk out with a smaller back size than they went in with!).

I must have tried on pretty much every bra in their flagship London store over the past three months, all to no avail despite the amazing patience of the fitters trying to help!

Either the underwire digs into just below my armpits, the material just doesn't seem supportive enough, or the shape doesn't work on me.

I was a very happy customer when I was buying the old Freya Pollyanna bra, but these are no longer made and seemingly there's no direct replacement. I liked the Pollyanna as it wasn't padded, had plain straps, and the material seemed to hold everything convincingly despite its pretty, delicate appearance.

Bravissimo seems to be stocking more and more of its own brand in place of other brands, and unfortunately I don't seem to be the right shape for it.

Can anyone suggest any other shops that stock a decent range of 28/30 back bras? I don't want to shop online as I feel that I need to be able to try things on without the hassle of doing lots of returns.

I live in Buckinghamshire so I'm looking for a shop roughly in this area, or in London.

Any tips gratefully received as I now desperately need some new bras!

Furball Sat 09-May-15 06:00:22

I am no bra expert but have gained a few helpful websites along the way from here smile

It says here on bratabase that your pollyanna was replaced by Faye

and if you scroll down there are a load with the same cut, so it might be worth trying those styles to start with as you obviously know they work?

John Lewis is also recommended as one of the good places to go and they stock Freya which is the all the ones in the list on bratabase

Bolshybookworm Sat 09-May-15 06:41:27

Before I had my DCs (who irreversibly expanded my rib cage- yay!) I was a 30d/dd, so I feel your pain. I also never got on with bravissimo, the fit wasn't right for me. It's a while since I've shopped for a 30, but the places I used to go were House of Fraser (very variable depending on the store), john lewis and occaisionally TK Maxx would come up trumps. I think I got my Freya bras from HOF. Do rigby and peller do a range of smaller back size too? I also used to buy Gossard in a 32 as they come up tight on the back (although many of their styles are padded). Good luck, I used to hate bra shopping , it was so frustrating sad

sharingeverythingtwice Sat 09-May-15 06:41:50

Leia? Had success in their shop in Cardiff and am usually a bravissimo customer.

blacktreaclecat Sat 09-May-15 06:58:06

Tell them they are fitting you too tight. I shop there but insist they bring out 34F as well as 32FF which is the size they seem to want me to be. So much more comfortable!
Actual bras- I have a bravissimo own one in nude and a fantastie one that are fairly comfy but I still love tasking my bra off at the end of the day!

WhiteHairReally Sat 09-May-15 08:11:23

As London is accessible, have you considered going to Rigby and Peller? Creme de la Creme as far as fitting apparently (I've never been but friends have.) I'm guessing considerably more expensive than Bravissimo though.

Littlepumpkinpie Sat 09-May-15 08:52:51

I was blatantly told on my last visit to bravissimo that they could no longer help me. I am a 28d and they no longer stock a 28 as there's no call for it. Used to be 28f but due to fat loss they've downsized. I now shop online Freya fit me perfect

They stock loads of 28s little, that makes no sense.

Leia if you have one are worth trying op as they are owned by the company who makes Freya.

Could you measure yourself so we can try to work out where you should be starting?

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Sat 09-May-15 10:45:41

How frustrating for you OP. I've had good fitting experiences at John Lewis and Dickens and Jones - might be worth a try?

I also used to wear a 30 back but am now a 28 - I think I was always a 28 but in the past very few existed, so 30 was the best they could do. I get a much better fit now though.

Your other option would be to look for a local independent? You could also call Bravissimo customer services, who are very knowledgeable and helpful and might be able to suggest similar styles to the Pollyanna?

Delphine31 Sat 09-May-15 13:30:10

Thank you to all of you for helping me out with this, and sorry I've been a bit slow to respond (a jolly morning of assembling flat-pack has kept me from the computer!)

I've just measured myself and got 29 around my back and 36 around my boobs. I think this brings me out as a 28F or 30FF? It's a good point about the availability of 28 backs a few years ago and maybe that's why I was a 30.

Thanks for making the suggestion of a visit to Leia. I'd never heard of this shop but it looks promising! None of their three shops (Cardiff, Bluewater, York) are near me but I might make a special trip at some point.

According to the Rigby & Peller website they don't do 28 back in larger cup sizes, and bras in 30F start at £57. This prices me out. I believe in spending money on good bras but I just can't afford this. Even the more standard £30 for a decent bra is a bit of a stretch for me.

I have tried the Freya Faye and the resulting shape was quite different to the Pollyanna on me and the feeling of support wasn't quite so convincing.

I'm going to give House of Fraser and JL a go to hopefully solve the immediate crisis and then next time I have a reason to be roughly in the vicinity of a Leia shop I'll make a detour and hopefully have a good bra shopping session.

Thanks everyone for answering my post. Buying bras has become a bit of an exasperating pursuit for me and your support (ha grin ) is much appreciated!

I am a very similar size to you. 30ff or 28g. I'm not that keen on the Bravissimo styles although I still go in there from time to time. There is next to nothing in my size in R&P. I really wouldn't bother going there.

I'd recommend finding a very good independent store. Few and far between admittedly. Or otherwise trying Ewa Michalak or Connexim.

Madbengalmum Sat 09-May-15 16:21:59

I now buy all my freya bras at figleaves online and i buy them using tesco clubcard points vouchers, as i can get £50/100worth for £25/50 of points, on top of that i buy when thy have 20% off days, so get freya bras or other brands for less than half price.
I buy the freya plunge style as i am the same size as you and find more comfortable and supportive.
I always was uncomfortable in the bras bravissimo put me in, so gave up, now easy returns if not right and loads cheaper, better selection!

GerundTheBehemoth Sat 09-May-15 16:32:06

Debenhams have lots of bras in 30FF (starting at £10). Not so much choice in 28F but still some under £30.

Fridayschild Sat 09-May-15 16:36:53

I abandoned Rigby & Peller when I discovered Bravissimo. They were more expensive with a much smaller range in 30inch back sizes. Memorably, they tried to sell me one in battleship grey....

JoanHickson Sat 09-May-15 16:42:43

I don't rate R&P or Bravissimo either. The wires always pop out.

Rigby really don't have a very good selection in smaller band sizes at all.

I'm trying to remember how my old Pollyanna fitted. It was a bit different to other Freya bras but not dramatically so. Have you tried much by Fantasie actually? They're made by the same company as Freya and tend to have similar-ish shapes in tends of wire width which might work.

With your measurements I can see why you're getting 28s and 30s brought in, but you really shouldn't need a 32.

Wires popping out frequently is a sign of poor fit - everyone loses the odd one but if it's happening all the time the cause is normally fit related (could be size or a bad bra shape to breast shape match)

P.S. measurements suggest 28F/FF or 30E/F. As you go down a band size you go up a cup size to get the same volume.

Look what I found..
black pollyanna in the 30s
this one has the 28F

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