Bravissimo and Being Refitted

Freya Idol Black Bravissimo

Freya Idol Black, Bravissimo

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!

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Comments

  1. It’s so gratifying to hear you acknowledge the value of basic bras. I’ve been on a limited budget for while, so being able to get the most wear out of the least amount of bras has been important to me. However, I’ve expanded my definition of “basic” to include darker colors that aren’t black and pretty beige options.

  2. Sarah flexton says:

    I need to get myself to Bravissimo! Currently wearing a 32D after having my son 2 years ago but I feel….far from uplifted and quite deflated! Defiantly a full on bottom girl which seems to make finding a well fitting bra quite a dilemma….*sigh*…..well done on the fitness! Good for you!

  3. This set is lovely and congratulations on the weight loss and the new set! Fabulous post!

  4. Hmmm…I always wonder when I read about positive experiences at Bravissimo, especially the Oxford Street store – I had one good (not brilliant but decent enough) fitting there many moons ago (although with hindsight I realise it was not quite accurate but certainly better than before) but have gone in lots and lots of times since, seeing different ladies, and always left feeling a bit deflated.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s never been an absolute horror show as they aren’t rude, but they are inattentive (despite the fact that I’ve always gone at times that seem quieter) and I’ve even had the shoulder-shrugging “well, what do you think?” when asking for advice on whether a bra fitted correctly (and I genuinely didn’t know as I was still used to wearing bras that hurt at that time).

    Heaven forfend if you want to compare sizes in a style because you’re unsure of the fit: you’ll wait ages for them to turn up (to the point I wonder if I’ve pressed the button properly), they take the bra, come back after about 20-25 minuntes with the new size but not the original – at first I thought it was my fault for not specifying that I’d like to retry the original size as well for comparison, but I found saying that ends the same way and asking to try that one again results in another 20-25 minute wait. I appreciate that they’re probably busy even if it doesn’t seem like it, but there’s never any communication, not even just to say it might be a while, and I’m quite a shy person so I end up feeling really embarassed standing in the changing room not knowing whether I should bother to get redressed because the wait will be so long. Hence I’ve always ended up just buying the same bra in the same size (but sometimes different colours) when I leave, feeling inadequate that I couldn’t get near to a good fit in the one(s) I tried.

    I’ve recently come across http://www.brasizecalculator.tk/ and it’s changed my life for the better. I still know that not every style will suit but at least I have a proper idea of my size and so far bras have fitted much better.

    As an aside, I see you mentioned the gossard superboost lace plunge, which I absolutely love as it gives such a great shape, but unfortunately I’m sized out as a 28H. I was wondering if you can recommend any bras that would come in my size (off the rail types rather than personalised) that give that great uplifted shape, especially in a plunge as full cup and balconettes don’t suit me. At the moment I mostly have freya deco, but like many women I find it fits perfectly in the changing room but after 5 minutes wearing I’m spilling out all over the place.

    Apologies for the long and rambling post.

  5. Very interesting models u can find on http://www.cosabella.com, realy cool pants! )

  6. Great post, thanks for sharing 😉

  7. Congrats on the 10kg weight loss! It can really make a difference to your appearance and the way you feel about yourself. Freya has always been my go to bra brand, there is just something about their styles that draws me to them!

  8. Fabulous lingerie set. Thanks for this great post!

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