Undressed to Impress

Bravissimo, why are you leaving us out?

on September 8, 2012

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.

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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.


Alas, the size chart:
I really, really hope this isn’t the future for Bravissimo.

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.

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11 responses to “Bravissimo, why are you leaving us out?

  1. Ana says:

    They are not the only ones, this spring brastop brand Flirtelle bras all started at 32. I was so annoyed, left them a comment in one of their facebook pictures asking if they made them in 28 once it didn’t appear on the website to which they never replied. I have several bras from their brand, in fact I liked one of them so much I bought two of the same! My size, 28F, certainly was not hard to sell as more than one time bras I liked were no longer available in it. The only Flirtelle bra I keep seeing on their website is a brown one with baby blue detail, and to be frank I understand why it is there, not the color scheme I would buy. But I don’t see that justifying why they stopped producing 28 AND 30 band sizes.

    As for Bravissimo shame on them, many Panache bras that weren’t even in the brand catalog in 28 used to be found in Bravissimo in that size. They proud themselves of their size range and yet in a time more brands are expanding size ranges they start cutting us off. I admit, I have a huge wish list on their website but I don’t shop there very often because of their prices, I love their nightwear and I own a few but I can never buy it full price, it’s too expensive I don’t have the money and after seeing how the ones I own are doing I don’t think it’s worth it. They are comfortable but the little elastics holding the straps in place broke little after I bought the items and the band stretched out fairly quickly. As for the bras the ones I shop there are those I can’t find anywhere else in my size, as usually Bravissimo’s prices are higher than other online retailers. So since they are no longer making nightwear in my size and cutting 28 backs off nightwear I don’t have reason to shop there anymore.

    One thing is a brand that never made 28s continue to not making them, another is a brand we used to trust a rely on stop making them, I still use brastop because it’s one of the best places to find inexpensive bras (though I did wish to boycott them once I found out they stopped doing 28 & 30 sizes), but Bravissimo I no longer have reason to shop there.

    • Ana says:

      Ok, to be fair with brastop, I just checked their site and most Flirtelle bras from past seasons still there are indeed 28s, 28DD and 28GG and up being the most common, but also most models are white with the black version no longer available. Wouldn’t it be easier to make bras in other colors instead of stop doing 28 and 30 sizes?

      Personally I don’t own a single white or nude bra, I don’t like light colors all my bras are either black or a vibrant color (mostly red and purple), and judging from the bras still on their website I’m not the only one with this taste, and even they seem to have realized that because the spring collection was colorful with only one white bra and a light pink one. Basically if they had made them in my size I would have bought at least 3 sets from them.

      • Laura says:

        I know what you mean – I find white and nude bras really ugly and it’s kind of insulting that we’re only allowed to have ‘basics’ because we wear ‘weird’ sizes. In reality, there are a huge number of young women who wear (or should be wearing) 28 and 30 backs who I’m sure want colourful and fun bras. Whilst I don’t always like the designs, I really appreciate Cleo by Panache in this respect. Their designs are always colourful and always available in small bands.

    • Laura says:

      That’s really appalling to cut out 30 bands as well. Have you tried Curvy Kate bras? They’re cut very similarly to Flirtelle and they always have some colourful designs. They’re also not a brand I expect to size us out any time soon. I wish there was enough choice in this market to boycott retailers, but sadly I think that will just make the situation worse.

      • Ana says:

        I own several bras from Curvy Kate, Flirtelle probably comes from the same place and it’s usually cheaper that’s why I go for them and don’t hesitate to buy more than 1 of a model if I really like it and it is available as they are often between £8 and £12 at brastop. I also think they use Flirtelle to test models later sold by Curvy Kate.

        I love Cleo, but my Panache favorite brand is Masquerade, the thing with Panache is that often retailers don’t buy the whole size range, so I sometimes have trouble finding certain models in 28. Ironically frequently it’s easier to find them on e-bay towards the end of a season than on an online store like amazon, Figleaves or Bravissimo (amazon is one of those that rarely has 28s except for Curvy Kate).

      • Laura says:

        Ah OK, yes they are really good value. I love Amazon for CK as, like you say, they have the 28s. And free returns so it’s great for trying out sizing.
        Masquerade is my favourite Panache brand too. I’ve noticed the same thing – it was one of my first blog posts as I was so frustrated by it when I first discovered the brand. Some of the Masquerade models don’t get picked up by retailers in any size, which I think is really weird as they’re so beautiful. The Ilsa was one I really liked from SS12, but I only ever found it after it was discounted. I don’t understand that at all!

  2. windiegardie says:

    Aw, kind of disappointing news here. Why Bravissimo?! It doesn’t affect me much because I rarely buy from Bravissimo (just my yellow paige from miss mandalay) but it’s disheartening to see 28’s getting sized out. I really hope this does not become a trend with them.

    And I heard that Cleo will not be offering 26’s in spring/summer 2013 after all. Since Panache is debuting their Sculptress line they probably don’t want to over-extend themselves. 26’s are still on the table and should be coming out sometime in the future though 🙂

    • Laura says:

      I don’t buy that much from Bravissimo either, which I guess is part of the problem… However, what I do buy from them is their own brand bras and sleepwear which I can’t get anywhere else. Which I now can’t get anywhere.
      Oh no, that will be so disappointing if they don’t offer 26s! I’ve been looking forward to that for over a year!! They’ve been making some lovely styles lately too 😦

    • Ana says:

      That’s not good news 😦 I was so happy about it, really looking forward to readily available 26s.

  3. Ana says:

    amazon it’s very nice, I wish they had more brands & sizes, because I can get free shipping to Portugal which is rare (only one retailer does it: LCL) and they also do nice discounts. Yep, I found Ilsa by chance on e-bay, another one is Harem a classic black satin and lace bra and nowhere to be seen, really weird. There is this gap between manufactors and retailers that shouldn’t exist; it’s worthless that a wide range of styles and sizes are manufactured if no one sells them.

  4. […] all these items in the summer sale, but I’m sharing my thoughts here anyway. Unfortunately Bravissimo seem to be fast removing 28 bands from their collections, nightwear in particular, so if you like their nightwear and you need a 28, you may want to snap up […]

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