This week two seperate fitting guides were released on two major lingerie sites but oh my, what a difference there is!
The first is the much anticipated updated Brastop fitting guide. I’ve known this video has been in the pipelines for quite some time so I’ve been foaming at the mouth as I waited for it to come. OK, so there may be a little biased, but you only have to have a play about on the site and watch the video to see why it’s so highly praised. The last fitting video got over 10,000,000 hits, although how many of them were men having a good look at the stunning Laura Butler we’ll never know. Here’s their latest offering:
Ann Summers and their bra calculator. The high street and female friendly sex shop that both Cheryl and I are fans of. Whilst neither of us can technically fit into their products, we are in no way offended by them. As a company they’re great fun, successful and Jacqueline Gold is frankly an inspiration. But this lunch time, as I nursed my sore throat over a pint of Earl Grey, I spotted a dreaded tweet…
Excuse the pessimist in me, but I had very little faith. Maybe it was the use of the word calculator, maybe it was a blogger burned by too much poor advice from big companies, but lo and behold, plus four had taken over again.
For my own amusement I followed the instructions and somehow my 30G’s had turned into 34DD’s. Was I surprised, sadly not?
I decided against turning this blog into yet another plus four rant, because we’ve done it time and time again. If you do want to familiarise yourself with the antiquated curse that still has its hold on the lingerie industry, click the following link to see our previous posts:
So yes, we’re angry and hurt by Ann Summers for letting the team down, and there will be plenty of drum banging until the blasted thing disappears, but the point of the post focuses on these two very different approaches to fitting.
I could pick faults in the Ann Summers option until the cows come home but it’s old news and I’m poorly. And I could sing praises about Brastop for just as long, but again, no one wants to hear that.
For me, Brastop is almost a perfect example of an online fitting service (so Lord only knows how good an in store option would be, but a girl can only dream) yet that little niggle is the lack of numbers (and letters). We all need help sometimes, and I can’t help but thing a basic fit calculator could make the guide perfect. A great example of this can be found at A Sophisticated Pair.
Now their calculator is simple (without adding any inches) and gives you a perfect starting off point. I’m lucky that it did actually give me my correct size, but they do stress that it is a starting point, but that’s all it SHOULD be. If you have a rough idea on what to even try on to begin with, you can then apply all that lovely knowledge about a correctly fitting bra. It should be so simple!
Now, if you go back to the Ann Summers calculator and enter your measurements WITHOUT adding 4/5 inches, it will probably give you your correct size, or one very similar. It’s a miracle! So why adding those extra inches and thus completely ruining such a helpful tool? That’s something I don’t think any of us will ever understand…
The Ann Summers guide still wouldn’t be perfect – there is nothing to educate women on a well fitting bra, but by simply omitting that phony fact, their calculator would certainly do a good job of lending a helping hand, and be a lot better than a lot of sites out there. So why don’t they just get rid? Well, here’s hoping they will after some campaigning by enthusiastic bloggers and their readers…
And so what have we learned today? Fitting sure ain’t easy! But you already knew that, right?
I personally feel that getting a correctly fitting bra has to be a result of both calculation AND education. I measure 30 inches around my rib cage (sometimes 29.5, sometimes 30.5, curse you fluctuating weight!) so I’m going to generally go for a 30 back, and with a 38.5 measurement around the fullest part, I will wear a G cup. That’s logic. BUT education takes these basic measurements and means I, like so many others, know that how a bra feels and looks is the greatest indicator of a perfect fit. Sometimes I wear a 32FF, sometimes I wear a 28H, and sometimes bra styles just don’t work for me (Freya Deco and Masquerade Lula Mae, I’m looking at you with tears in my eyes). Calculation and education are both equally as important. Well, maybe education actually reigns supreme, but that’s because I’m lucky enough to have some grasp of fitting by eye…but if that’s not the case then of course calculation marches right back and takes its rightful 50%.
So, what do you think? Do you think education is paramount, or do you think there is a place for that pesky measuring tape?
Whatever your opinion, one things for sure…plus four isn’t quite dead! Fingertips at the ready girls, we’ve got some educating to do!