Guest-blogging regular on Invest In Your Chest, Becky Mount, rose to the challenge of reviewing eagerly-awaited new bra-store Boux Avenue. I was unable to fairly review them myself as they only start at a 30+ band size, but as co-founder of bra pressure group Busts 4 Justice, Becky knows a thing or two about under crackers!
Ever since Theo Pathetis announced he was embarking on a new lingerie venture I’ve been intrigued. Like any other uneducated teenager (in the lingerie sense) I loved La Senza, with their poorly fitting bras and even worse fitting service, but I liked and still do enjoy the idea behind a high street lingerie store giving you that boutique experience.
Pinning my hopes way back when the company was known as DNA (day, night any time I think it referred to) I eagerly awaited any new developments and as the launch date finally rolled around I lapped up the almost viral-like campaign of Miss B’s blog. The images released were beautiful and I had high hopes.
DD-Day came along as the website was launched after what seemed like an irritably long wait, and I could finally test the waters.
So imagine my disappointment when I find out that not only is my size, 30G, the highest they currently go to, but of the two styles on offer (in varying colours and styles) I can only actually buy two – the Brodie balconette and plunge, in black or white. Brilliant! A new website launch and that’s all they have in stock. Sorry, but I don’t think that’s good enough – surely the launch of a company is the perfect time to show off?
The packaging was lovely, I opted for free gift wrap because, well, why the hell not? The delivery was free (hooray) and speedy (yipee) so kudos for that. And the bra? I opted for the black as personally I don’t like white underwear, and bought both the balconette and the plunge.
The detailing were pretty good – the double lined cup gave enough coverage yet still felt like a sheer bra and the floral detailing on the cups stopped it feeling too dowdy.
The fit, however, wasn’t 100%. Unfortunately I have to make a La Senza comparison. Not only does the Brodie feel like a suped-up, better version of the Lullaby Lace I used to squash myself into, but the bras seem to have the same fitting problems – being on the small side.
After trying most brands and most styles I consider myself a near-on perfect 30 back yet both styles of the Brodie felt a little tighter than they should in the back, after ten minutes I was already left with mild red marks, something I normally don’t experience unless I’ve been wearing the same bra all day. The cup felt comfortable enough, but the pictures prove otherwise. The shape is odd, and there is a little double boob on occasions that maybe a GG could have solved but that size doesn’t even exist in the world of Boux Avenue! I think the problems lies with the cup itself though, there’s something not quite right about the way my breasts sat. and the pictures just go to show the end shape, it’s hard to put my finger on just why it didn’t fit right.
Considering how plain the items are, they’re more aesthetically pleasing than most basics (the floral detailing is subtle but appreciated) but still, considering the scarce choice for my size, it’s nothing special and sadly an item I’d easily over look. The styles as well, a typical plunge and balconette, don’t offer anything new, with a moderate cleavage, they feel like a practical bra which is not something I’m looking for.
It’s hard to judge the items personally, having only been able to try two from the same style so maybe one day when they decide to actually introduce more stock I’ll give the bras another whirl. I’m not ready to write Boux Avenue off just but so far, not so good.
There are, however, some good points about Boux Avenue although far from redeeming.
Their website is simply great for many reasons; it’s very interactive, remembering your bra size, and the ability to look at the underwear models in more detail is handy. Overall it has a friendly feel, but is a step above your average retail website. They’ve also hopped on the lingerie blog band wagon pretty early one which is great for customers.
Although their fitting guide could have been so good they have, like so many other companies, kept that draconian tape measuring method that makes me want to run into a wall over and over again. Was it so much to hope that a new company wouldn’t fall into the same trap?
The free returns is great, and something which frankly I think all companies should incorporate. It’s a huge comfort knowing I’m not going to be out of pocket if I undoubtedly want to return something, especially with no shops anywhere near me.
But the big let down for me is the sizing issue. Once again a company has turned its nose up at the largely ignored but overwhelming 28 back market, and as for cup sizes, high street stores listen up – a G cup is NOT that big. Rigby and Peller now stock an N cup and whilst that might be way off the mark, it’s insulting to see the cut off point of their DD+ as a G cup, tut tut.
Fingers crossed that this is just a shaky start to what could be a great high street store. I think disappointment is the only way to sum up my experience, which, lets face it, is worse than being plain old angry.
I’m willing to give Boux Avenue another shot, if and when they pull their socks up, and I’m hoping a central London opening isn’t too far away so I can put their measuring to the test. Come on Boux, prove me wrong.
Price vs. Quality: 6/10
Invest In Your Chest Rating: 5/10
Image credits: Promotional images by Boux Avenue