I love Bravissimo. I love that I can try on bras in my size in their high-street stores. I love their wonderful fitting techniques. I love their supportive nightwear. I love that they make an L cup bra. I love the thoughtful dressing gowns in their changing rooms. I love that they have lots of items in 28 backs.
Oh wait. The new collection.
I was browsing the new Bravissimo collection today and noticed a few items which caught my eye. I really liked the Lola Luxe basque that they released last season and as it was a Bravissimo item, it had a really good range of sizes compared to many other brands – 28 DD-J and 30 to 38 DD-K.
I love it in black and despite it being a little more expensive, at £50, I was keen to buy it. Until I looked at the size chart.
28 backs have been removed altogether, as well as DD and E cups! I can understand this to a certain extent, as last season’s Lola Luxe is on sale and the sizes still available are nearly all 28 backs and/or DD/E cups. But this type of product is very rarely available in a 28 back, and I don’t know of any other that comes in a 28J – a size which was certainly sold out. Not to mention that it didn’t come in a 28JJ or 28K in the first place – both of which it would be possible for Bravissimo to make (as they produce equivalent ‘sister sizes’ and even larger sizes). As for the removal of the smaller cups, these can also be hard to find on the high street, particularly E cups, and it’s a shame to see these go. For women in an F cup it likely removes the opportunity to try sister sizes to find a good band for them. In addition, I’ve never f0und Bravissimo bands to be especially tight and I’m sure for some sizing down will be preferable.
Moving on to look at the rest of the collection, I noticed the Curvy Kate Princess bra in Teal. I love Curvy Kate for producing all their standard bras (not including Showgirl) in their full range of sizes – a huge range of 28-40 D-K.
And yet, this one is available at Bravissimo in just 30-40 F-K. This is still 54 sizes and I appreciate that it’s expensive to stock such a huge range, but I find it incredibly irritating when retailers stock bras starting at a 30 back when I know they are produced in a 28 band, something I’ve talked about before and particularly noticed with my beloved Masquerade bras.
Next up, I noticed a new pyjama style that I quite liked. It’s often baffled me that Bravissimo pyjamas are made in a 28 back when their strappy tops (which I would LOVE to be able to wear) start at a 30. Still, I’m pleased that the nightwear comes in a 28 as I find it great for sleeping in and lounging about the house – living as I do in a shared house I don’t feel comfortable walking around without a bra on and the nightwear provides me with a good alternative when I want to be comfy.
I appreciate that if 28 backs do not sell as well then it doesn’t make good business sense to offer them, but for me the Bravissimo brand is about inclusivity and offering sizes that are hard to find elsewhere – I thought this was part of the reason their prices are quite high and sales are infrequent. I can understand stocking fewer 28 bands as there is less demand for them, but I know there is at least some demand – I’ve been told numerous times in store that 28 bands have sold out in the styles I like as they are popular, sell quickly and their management orders less of them in.
I know I often end up buying 30 bands because I simply cannot find bras in a 28, even if they are produced in that size. I don’t want to do this and have to alter the bands of brand new, expensive products, but I don’t have another choice. Not offering 28s simply perpetuates the total myth that these are uncommon or ‘weird’ bra sizes – leading to women wearing the wrong bra size out of ignorance or an inability to find their real size.
With companies like Ewa Michalak producing 26 and even 24 bands on demand, and Panache raising the question of demand for 26 bands on their Facebook page (although it does not look like production will be a reality any time soon), I’ve felt that attitudes and awareness of small bands have been changing recently. Unfortunately, this feels like a major step back.