I first visited Bravissimo back in 2011 to try out their fitting service, and a whole new world of was revealed to me. Not only did I discover that I’d been buying completely unsupportive bras (far too big in the back) and wearing them all wrong (I needed to shorten the shoulder straps and wear the band higher), but I also started to learn all the ways you can check whether or not a bra is a good fit on you.
The other week, I popped into the Bravissimo store near Oxford Circus to ask if they had a bra recycling bin (they do!) and came out having booked a fitting. I wasn’t planning on it but, when asked, I had to admit that I’d not been fitted in a while and may have changed shape/size since then.
When I returned for my lunch time fitting the following day, I was again treated to the same friendly tape-measure-free consultation as I was on my first visit, and this time my fitter also took into account whether I like the band on my bra really firm or not. I don’t – as it quickly becomes uncomfortable – so please don’t let anyone talk you into wearing a band that digs in because they reckon it’s “essential”. Ultimately, you will be the one wearing the bra all day, so make sure you go for something you feel comfortable in. (The fitter might be an expert on bras, but you’re the expert on you!) I tried on a number of different styles on my visit including the Panache Envy, and the Bravissimo Ariana, Satine, Niya Stripe and Sia bras.
In the end, I purchased the Niya Stripe bra (above) and the Sia bra (right), as they both seemed like good ‘everyday’ bras with a little something extra. Niya is super soft and Sia is super pretty! Sadly, when I got home I realised I’d stupidly not followed my own advice on checking the silhouette the bras give under clothing.
There’s not much projection with the Niya, which is great for under shirts with buttons that you don’t want to gape, but not so great if you want your boobs to stick out further than your belly (which is something I definitely need from a bra these days). The Sia was better in this regard, but the lace didn’t lay completely flat on me and so showed through the t-shirts I tried on. I returned both bras – completely hassle-free, I might add – and vowed to be better prepared next time I go bra shopping.
My main bra-shopping tips would be: a) know what type of bra you’re looking for, b) wear a top you love and that’s easy to pop back on over every bra you try, and c) don’t feel that you have to buy something then and there. Also, if you’re nervous about going for a bra fitting, this video explains what to expect.
Main image via Bravissimo. Other images by lipsticklori.