Trying bras on all day is not fun. Not fun at all. It makes your back hurt and you wind up wishing boobs had never been invented. Sorry, boys.
Until you get to Bravissimo. They know boobs. They know your boobs better than you know your boobs.
I was a bit skeptical at first, the selection upstairs didn't look great and the fitters all seemed like teenage girls. Um, how long have you even had breasts for? How can I trust you to know what you are doing?
But they really do. The girl fitting me immediately ascertained I was wearing the wrong size (and had been for, oh, about 15 years). She did a lot of hands-on moving of boobs and adjusting, which may be a personal space issue if you are British or shy in any way, but it's the best way to get sized. She brought in a bunch of different bras for me to try on and I left with two lovely ones and a desire to return!
It was a great experience and they really seem to know what they are doing.
I enjoyed my recent visit and my first in store fitting here, but left not feeling entirely convinced about the fitting result. My cup size went up by a whopping three sizes and whilst I definitely think I'd been walking around with the wrong cup for the last 15 years, I think the girl who fitted me was a touch too generous in her sizing. I bought one bra in store after my fitting at the suggested size and it fits perfectly, yes. But I went to a myriad of other bra shops afterwards and found the new size to be too big / inaccurate 95% of the time.
The girl who fitted me was very quick. Not unfriendly, but not friendly either. She seemed a bit bored and uninterested. But rather than putting me off, I am now planning to go back for another fitting with another girl to get a second opinion.
I do wholeheartedly recommend all women to have a fitting here. It must be quite a revelation to many as it was for me. And whilst the in store selection is not huge, I found some very nice bras... I'll be trying their online shop, too.
Boy oh boy do I love Bravissimo. I originally discovered this place when I was in London for a few months for work, and it was literally the only shopping I wanted to do on a recent visit back.
The set up is a bit odd - you find the style of bra you like, and then go to the fitting rooms and they'll see if they have the sizes. It's weird at first, but it ends up being quite nice, as you don't need to sift through all their inventory. Also if needed, they'll do a fitting for you and let you know if you're wearing the proper size.
They also have a sister brand called Pepperberry, which designs clothing based on your body type - I haven't tried that out yet, but I love the idea!
I love this place. I'm Canadian, so I usually am stuck ordering from the catalog and playing duty roulette to see how much my bras will actually cost me, but I make a point of coming by whenever I'm in London. They have a great variety of bras, from plain to super fancy, but still at way better prices than you might pay in other specialty lingerie stores.
The stores don't have quite the selection that you can find online, but it's so nice to be able to try things on and get a proper fitting. The staff are very good at what they do and will make sure you don't end up leaving with something that doesn't fit you just right. Make an appointment if you're going to be in a rush though. This place gets busy.
Maybe someday I won't have to cross the Atlantic to find a bra store where I can actually afford to buy something pretty.
The Covent Garden location is also right next to the Transport Museum, if you happen to be traveling with anyone who isn't too interested in the market or hanging out in a lingerie store with you (ie. my dad).
LOVE LOVE LOVE this company! I owe the fact that I can stand up straight to them! I usually buy my Bravissimo bras and swimsuits online and the only physical store I've been into is this one at Covent Garden.
The store is easy enough to find and is nicely situated in Covent Garden which is great for shopping and eating. The store is bright, well presented and the lay out is good. The downstairs fitting area is very luxurious with lovely décor and a nice couch for bored husbands/boyfriends to sit and wait.
The staff are plentiful, very knowledgeable and extremely polite, professional and friendly. I went to be measured as I realised one day that I had absolutely no idea what size I was and that every bra I owned was rubbish and didn't support me at all. The young lady assigned to fit me was very friendly and asked if it was OK for her to be in the changing cubicle with me whilst I was trying on bras which I thought was a refreshing change from the M&S fittings I've had where the assistant will just barge in on you no matter what state of undress you're in.
Bravissimo don't believe in measuring women with a tape measure as apparently this is not at all accurate. They do it mostly by eye and it's a real skill. The girl who was fitting me told me it was her first time and when she called her supervisor to check if she'd made the right decision in determining my size, she had got it spot-on and I was very impressed! As it happens, I had been wearing a 38D when in fact I was a 32GG! Once we knew what size I was, she asked me what kind of styles I liked and went to fetch me some things to try on. I can't fault the quality of service at Covent Garden in the slightest.
Where the store does fall down is firstly in the organisation of the stock on the racks. On the day I went, it was early and there were hardly any customers yet all the stock was completely out of order. You would think all the sizes would run from smallest at the front and have the biggest at the back. However, once I knew my size I had to spend ages going through the racks checking the labels on every single bra because they were all over the place.
The second problem I have with this branch is that there was not a lot of selection. There was only a teeny tiny fraction of items available in the store that are available on the website and in the catalogue. There also didn't appear to be much of the newer lines in the store - a lot of what they had there seemed to be from the last catalogue and not the most recent one. However, you can order anything you want for home delivery and there is no delivery charge if you order in-store.
Lastly, knickers. On my visit to Bravissimo in Covent Garden, every time I found a bra in a style I liked and spent ages rifling through all of them to find one in my size, I could never find any knickers to match. It was very frustrating and I ended up ordering most of the stuff that I had gone all the way from Hackney to Covent Garden to buy and bring home.
A slightly smaller store than the Margaret Street branch, I come here when I can't brave the tube to Oxford street. This location does not have Pepperberry clothing, but they do have lovely staff and a very decent selection of items. They are also more than willing to call the other London branches to hunt something down if they don't have it.
For the uninitiated, don't spend time going through the display racks for your size, just grab an example of what you need, and head downstairs to have the right sizes pulled for you. There is no way they can keep all the sizes out on the floor, so your best bet is to let someone go hunt down what you need.
It's just really amazing to be able to buy bras which fit properly, look sexy, and to be able to get a proper fitting done by someone who doesn't make you feel as though your shape is freakishly large.
Any woman a D cup or above will tell you that the first visit to Bravissimo is a bit like discovering a big bar of Galaxy at the back of the fridge when you're craving sugar and all the shops are shut. In short, it's about as brilliant as you're ever going to get when shopping for lingerie.
The shop is bright and bold and full of all kinds of pretty bras and knickers that are a far cry from the D-G styles of old. The friendly and incredibly savvy staff will fit you for a bra without even touching a measuring tape (sounds ridiculous, but it worksthey just 'know' boobs) and they really know what they're doing.
If you get a free fitting (and you really should) you'll probably be shocked, you'll probably need to check the label to make sure that really is your sizebut I'll bet you'll leave a good £50-£100 worse off, feeling surprisingly chuffed considering all you've done is bought some new undies.
I think they put something in the air conditioning units, myself
It seems that finally a market is opening to cater for larger-breasted women in regards to lingerie and swimwear. I for one was relieved to find Bravissimo, who have a great selection of gorgeous bras, bikinis and underwear.
I recommend getting fitted there - the staff are so friendly and professional that I was immediately impressed, and they put me at ease. I didn't feel at all embaressed, though I thought I would, and I soon had myself fitted and could choose from their wonderful array of products.
And once fitted you can then order online without worrying about trying things on - their sizes are consistant. If you're larger than a D cup, go to Bravissimo, it will change the way you look and feel!!
An absolutely essential store for any woman who even THINKS they might wear a size D bra and up. 60% of women in the UK are wearing the wrong bra size, so you're probably one of them. I had a life of shops telling me I could fit into their bras that only go up to a paltry D cup only to have Bravissimo liberate my boobs and promptly upgrade me to a more appropriate FF! They take the time to TEACH you how a bra SHOULD fit and then ensure you leave the shop with several that make you boobs stand high and proud.
The clothing range is to die for, full of shirts and jackets that ACTUALLY BUTTON over the chest. Probably a little pricey, they do offer a niche service that makes me willing to pay the price. The swimwear is also the only place you can buy a takini with a built-in bra! Hurrah!
I don't make a habit of hanging about here, really I don't, but I have had occasion to visit a number of times over the years ( e.g. for fitting out of pregnant Mrs Tigreblanco). The staff have always, in my limited experience, come across as helpful, and there's places to sit and things to read while you're waiting for a fitting. What more could a chap want ? Well, within reason I mean ?
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