Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Why I'm Doing This

I love my boobs, and they’re huge. Because of their size, they require a lot of TLC, so I’ve spent the last few years finding out everything I can about bra fitting, construction, and fashion. I read a number of really supportive (ha) and entertaining blogs about D-K lingerie, and I’ve found out a lot of useful things through these blogs. The thing that gets to me, though, is that I have almost never seen a negative review of a bra on any of the websites I frequent. Sometimes a blogger will hint about a possible issue, but modify it immediately. 

She’ll say “It was a little itchy, but that was okay, it didn’t cause discomfort.” I think if itching is noticeable, it is by definition uncomfortable. 

She’ll say “The straps were so thin they were cutting painfully into my shoulders, but this could be great for some people.” For whom?  

From the reviews I see on the blogs I read, it mostly seems like these women fit into, and love, almost all the bras they try on.

This is very far from the experience I’ve had. In the US, where I normally live, there is one store about an hour away from where I live that does real fittings, but last winter I sized out of them. The only bra they carry in my size is one that I hate. Now I’m living in the UK. I was excited to go to Bravissimo and finally try on a big selection of bras in my size. But out of the fifteen or so bras they brought out for me, only ONE fit me.

I know very well that size can change depending on brand and design. Unfortunately for me, I’m at the edge of the size range—I wear the smallest band available and often the largest cup—so I really don’t have the freedom to simply try a bigger cup and smaller band if a bra fits poorly. This makes me feel bitter and frustrated, especially because of my knowledge of bra fitting and construction. I feel that bra companies have the power to do so much good for their customers, and I don’t understand why they don’t make simple improvements that would elevate their products from horrible to excellent.

What I want to see is more accountability. These companies are making products in the hopes that we will spend money on them, so technically you could say, “If you hate this bra, don’t buy it. Buy a bra you like.” But the sad fact is that women of certain bra sizes are literally FORCED to buy bras that suck, bras we hate, bras we have to alter, bras that leave scars, because there is NOWHERE else to go. Someone has to point out a few flaws to these companies. And failing that, a good bitchfest will make me feel better.


  1. Well said, that lady.

    I'm sorry to read that someone has had similar experiences as me with Bravissimo...but glad I'm not the only one. Was beginning to feel like the odd one out there! Their staff are utterly wonderful but sadly their items do not work for me.

    Have you tried Ewa Michalak? You've probably read about them on my blog - they really were a revelation and I actually cried when I saw how amazing my boobs looked in one of their bras (even though it was too small!).

    Keep writing :-)

  2. I'm planning to go back to Bravissimo and actually get fitted by them--I just told them the size I usually wear when I went in, so I figure they deserve another chance.

    I haven't tried Ewa Michalak yet... I'm afraid to because I've heard some bad things about their return policy and I find the website/sizing confusing--they don't seem to have anything in a 28 band but I guess I can special order it? It might be in my future though, as I have definitely heard some good things about them.

  3. From what I gather, EM's policy for bras they have to make to size is that they do not accept returns. However, before you order it's crucial you follow their measuring system, which is very different to that used over here in the UK (I'm not sure if you're in the UK or US right now - apologies). Some people have found that their size changes rather dramatically from UK/US to EM when they use this system and it's pretty much spot on.

    You could always give them a whirl and order only one or two bras. If they don't fit/suit you, you could sell them on eBay at a fixed price so at least your costs are covered. I know there's a growing fanbase for these bras so I am sure they would be snapped up quickly.

    Check out Cheryl's blog at http://www.investinyourchest.co.uk/ewa-michalak-revisited. I think she is a similar back size to you but I am pretty certain your cup size is larger. She does have some individual reviews of the EM bras she tried which should be helpful. She also links to Thin And Curvy's reviews of them here http://www.thinandcurvy.com/2011/05/where-to-find-26-and-24-band-bras-and.html. I hope to add some more detailed reviews myself soon - it's just a case of finding the time!

    Good luck. I promise there is hope out there and I believe it is called Ewa Michalak :-)

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  5. Thanks for your comment Lillefix. You definitely have a point about trying to cover various different viewpoints when writing a review, and mentioning that things I dislike might work for some people. I do have strong opinions and I have to remind myself that not everyone has the same experience of a product! On the other hand, I do sometimes feel reviewers can go too far with this and end up highlighting the good parts more than the bad parts. Things like style, shape and so on are really matters of personal opinion but there are other qualities that I feel strongly are not acceptable no matter what, like bras that are painful, cause back pain or leave scars. There are also issues of body image that can be quite painful for young teenage girls who suddenly have boobs (and older too, of course) and I have a pretty fresh memory of that and strong feelings about which bras helped out and which bras made me feel worse when I was so vulnerable. I do hope to incorporate opinions other than just mine and would definitely be open to doing guest posts, even if someone hates a bra that I love--I am really into brutal honesty and fully admit that even the bras I do wear could probably be improved.

    As for Ewa Michalak I actually have quite a bit to say about them, good and bad, even having never tried one of their bras so I think I will write a whole post about it and eventually make an order.

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  7. When I blog about bras I don't blog about those that fail, hence why I may seem to gush and seem to love every bra. I hope my comments such as 'the cups are narrow which will be great for some' aren't dismissed as some women do have narrow boobs. I think your blog is fab on many levels but don't knock those of us who try our hardest to show women what DOES work xxx

  8. Sorry, to clarify--I'm not knocking you! I just want to explain why I'm making yet another lingerie blog when there are already so many great ones out there. I just felt like there was a niche for sharing the negative experiences. I feel like I'm already beginning to veer towards the positive though.... maybe I've got my rantiness out already