I’ve done quite a few posts now about getting fitted for a new bra on the UK high street. In fact, it was the subject of the first blog post I ever published on Invest In Your Chest, back in 2010.
As you may have recently read, I’ve recently lost about 10kg (that’s the best part of 1 and a half stone!) over the past six months, and as a result I’ve had more than a subtle change in my boobs.
Normally, if I have a little hormonal or weight fluctuation, I’m more than capable of giving myself a self-assessment in the boob department, but on this occasion I felt like I needed a little help from the experts, so of course I made my way to IIYC faves Bravissimo for an in-depth fitting. The fitters in Bravissimo have earnt my love and trust over the years as it’s one of the only places that I’ve managed to find fitters who really, really know their stuff and have me leaving the store reassured, supported and relieved, rather than frustrated and even more confused than when I walked in.
Bravissimo are a little different to most high street retailers in the UK, they shun any use of tape measures in their fitting process, instead going by eye, taking into account what you’re already wearing, and, shock horror, their knowledge of fitting women to guide them rather than a calculator and a piece of fabric.
I decided to get a second opinion, so I, within a two week period, went to both the Covent Garden and Oxford Street Stores. The Covent Garden Store tends to be a little quieter and you’ve got more of a chance to get a walk-in appointment, but the Oxford Street store has much more stock to choose from and is, in my opinion, a slightly better place to get a really top-notch fitting experience. They just edge the Covent Garden team for expertise and hospitality.
I visited the Covent Garden store first, wearing a 30FF Gossard Superboost lace plunge bra which I knew full well didn’t fit, but I had got to the desperate stage when I was just wearing what I had even though I knew it was probably doing next to nothing for me. I also thought it would give me the opportunity to really test the fitter’s skills by going in with a bra that fit terribly. Because I’m a troll like that.
I approached the changing rooms with a few sets that I wanted to try, including the Panache Sports Bra (the only sports bra stocked there that I’d consider buying), their ‘own brand’ Bravissimo Satine bra and the Cleo Maddie in black. Because my bra tastes have changed from the wild and wacky clashing colour schemes and brights I used to wear back when I first set up this blog!
As such, the fitters brought me the bras of my selection in a few different sizes that they thought would work, and helped me through the small pile, offering a guiding light towards the sizes and styles which they thought worked well.
I ended up purchasing the Satine bra, Maddie and Panache Sports bra, but I later returned then all – the final two for cost reasons and the first because the back band is SO stretchy that the size that I was originally fitted into soon felt way too big after only two weeks. Thankfully they accepted a return on the Satine bra despite the fact that I’d been wearing it for two weeks – that’s some seriously enviable customer service, people!
The reason that the Oxford Street store edged it for me was that they did exactly the same as the Covent Garden store but they also did a lot of recommendations, got me to try on lots of different shapes and styles that I’d not originally picked out, and I ended up going home with two styles that I’d not even originally given much notice when I was walking around the store making my selections.
My final choice? Freya’s Idol bra in both nude and black. It’s not the most exciting set in the world but I’ve learnt recently the power of having basic bras sets when your lingerie collection is smaller. It’s fine to have beautiful co-ordinating sets in every colour of the rainbow if you have a lingerie collection the size of a small house, but when you’re losing weight, changing size on a seemingly daily basis and have fewer sets that actually fit properly than you do fingers on one hand, you really cherish the bras that you can throw on every day and match with all your other black and ‘nude’ underwear.
After my fitter’s feedback in this style I was put in a, wait for it, 30DD, but most of the other styles I tried were in a 30E or 28F. Time to refill that lingerie wardrobe, then!