“ Bravissimo offers a wide range of pretty lingerie in D-K cup sizes. „
cramming my boobs into a cup size smaller than I should, just because they don't have my size – I am sure there are plenty of ladies out there with the same guilty secret! Well enough I say, check out Bravissimo, either online at www.bravissimo.com or send for their catalogue. Inside you will find a fabulous array of not only skimpy, sexy little numbers, but more practical everyday wear. In addition they also sell swimwear for the more voluptuous figure. They stock a variety of colours from virginal white, to racy red and a variety of sizes form 30 – 44 in cup sizes D to J and all those in between. The underwear is made from cottons, silks, satins and lace that feels fantastic against the skin. I have bought most of my underwear from Bravissimo in recent history, my other half shudders when he sees their website on my screen, not least because he knows his credit card is about to take a hammering! In reality the prices are very reasonable a bra will cost your from £20 upwards, a pair of briefs/thong around £10 so not bad for good quality underwear. The quality of the underwear is excellent there are items stocked made by the Queens corsetiers Rigby and Peller, (Queen as in Elizabeth NOT Freddie Mercury), the household name Gossard, Warner’s and Berlei to name but a few. These are not cheap tacky items. They are good quality long lasting items, which fit exc
ellently. II actually bought my maternity bras from Bravissimo, as I was in agony in the largest bra I could get on the high street.
As a 20 year old woman, I have been dreading having my entire adulthood in beige, black and white bras that look like they belong on my grandma! Bravissimo gives me the opportunity to wear underwear that I actually like, in brilliant colours and patterns (though still somewhat limited at a 34JJ).
However, I do find that the bras have a sizing discrepency and so I'd recommend getting a fitting each time before buying and I've found some of mine are a lot bigger than others despite being "the same size". This makes it more difficult to enjoy the service as the stores are not widely spread enough over the country. The online service however, is very good and offers a good returns policy though postage is not free, so it can end up quite expensive if you do not know your size!
I also enjoy the range of products on offer - I have never felt comfortable in a swimming costume until I found one that was actually supportive so now I can enjoy swimming again!
I first discovered Bravissimo after literally YEARS or struggling to find a pretty, attractive bra that fitted and was comfortable. I've been to many shops and got fitted, with each one telling me a different size, and none of the bras feeling comfortable or giving the support I needed.
I went home in tears after such a shopping disaster and opened a magazine to cheer myself up. A leaflet fell out for bravissimo, and I decided to have a look on the website. It specialised in bras at D-cup upwards, and all the bras on the leaflet looked pretty, like normal bras!! Not the sort of boulder holders your granny would wear.
I found the website great - lots of clear pictures, instructions on how to put on your bra, even a video! At first I was disappointed to see there were no stores in Norther Ireland, but I noticed they had a bra fitting service via email and I thought why not. Sent in the query and recieved a questionnaire back within a matter of hours.
Once I filled in questions such as what style of bra do you wear, what size is your current, how does the cup/strap/back etc fit, I received a very quick reply telling me I was a 34E. As I'd been told by shops I was a 38D, I was sceptical, but I decided to order a bra, and sure if it didn't fit I could send it back no harm done.
I had great fun picking a bra out of the wide selection they have, all styles, colours and material under the sun. The bras all came with matching pants also, and as I prefer my underwear to match this was a bonus.
Some of the bra's were more expensive than in a normal high street shop, but I decided that if it fit properly it was worth the extra money, and ordered a plain white bra to start with.
It arrived quickly, and was beautifully wrapped in tissue paper, along with instructions on returning if needed. I tried the bra on and was completely amazed at it. It fit perfectly, was comfortable, gave me support, you name it! The back didn't ride up, I didn't spill over the cups, it wasn't too tight or too loose. I couldn't believe that a store could give me a perfect bra fitting via email without ever having seen me, I was impressed!!
I've since ordered many more bras, and pants, from bravissimo and the service is always fantastic. They arrive promptly, wrapped in tissue. The all have lasted well, washed well, and in my opinion are completely worth the money paid for them. I've never had better bras in my life and would recommend them to anyone.
Around a year ago I had my first experience of Bravissimo after booking a sizing in their Glasgow store. For me it was a real eye opener, I'd been sized in Marks & Spencer before but they always gave me different sizes and nothing seemed to fit properly. The Bravissimo service was different, it was very professional; the changing rooms are located upstairs in the shop and there is a seated waiting area for you to wait for your appointment. The woman who was to do my fitting was friendly and looked professional with her measuring tape and sizing guide. She informed me that, whilst she could give me a rough measure, the true size often fluctuates and different ranges of bras do not always match size/comfort ways. She helped me find a style I liked in my newly measured size and I left feeling like a valued customer.
The girl at the checkout was also friendly and signed me up for the Bravissimo catalogue.
I would thoroughly recommend Bravissimo to anyone. They offered such a brilliant sizing service and helped me find a bra that I liked. What a difference it made to my confidence! Unfortunately the bra itself pressed in on me on my sternum so much I got bruises when I wore it however that's more a design issue than a Bravissimo one.
Now Bravissimo is the first place I look for a new bra and they are always happy to give advice, I'm just disappointed their clothes don't come in my size!
My advice to anyone out there that hasn't been measured is to go to Bravissimo! I've since been measured elsewhere since and some of the values they come up with are ludicrous! Bravissimo are definitely top of the lingerie shops.
How it was before Bravissimo
I don't think people realise how important it is to wear a proper fitting bra, especially if you're still growing. It's very important to wear a proper fitted one, as badly fitting bras can lead to poor posture, neck and back problems, and even damage to the breast tissue, as well as looking unflattering and lumpy under clothing.
Im 20 at the moment, and in my life i've only had one properly fitting bra. I think it came down to being self conscious, lots of women like me tend to hide away really, it's not our biggest priority to get a good bra, even though it really should be. My main problem was I'm lazy, I'm not a big shopper, and that results in being self conscious because I don't buy lovely clothes and lovely bras, I especially didn't want to go to a shop and get my boobs out to be measured. The only way it can really be accurate though is if you get your boobs properly fitted by staff at a shop, preferably one you trust, as it can be quite embarrassing, and you'd rather get it done once properly than having to do it a few times.
I always assumed I was a C cup when I was 15, because I didn't know anything about cup sizes, and my older sister was a C, so I decided I was! So I just wore whatever bra and didn't really think about it, then I started growing and I think I got measured once but it was over my bra so not very accurate, it turned out I was a DD when I was 16 which was a shock, so I ignorantly just bought a bra for DD without really knowing there are many more factors into having a good bra than just the cup size.
Soon this bra didn't fit so think I just let it for a while, in the back of my mind I was aware this wasn't good, and my main concern was I'd get saggy boobs if I didn't look after them and support them as they were quite big for me and compared to my body.
A year or so later I got fed up and got fitted, to be told I was FF now, or maybe G another shock as I was 17 and still growing, and growing fed up of boobs really!
Basically I was always very ignorant and lazy when it came to boobies.
Shopping before Bravissimo
I used to go to maybe M+S to buy bras, where ever it was I always found bras in my size were mainly aimed at older women with bigger boobies, a very boring selection really, big beige ones or black or white, not a great selection if you're an older bigger women either really, as if fashion stopped mattering after a certain size..
Buying bikinis was the worst, the tops that fit me came with huge knickers, and knickers that fit me came with small tops, I used to mix and match until the shops seemed to all get a new policy where you couldn't do that. So I was stuffed really and a bit depressed about it all.
Thankfully my mum came across an advert or something a couple of years ago for a company called Bravissimo. This is a lingerie company for the bigger sized woman, whether you're large breasted through being overweight or just naturally large but with a small body size. This discovered a whole new bra world for me, where it became clear that bras were designed to be beautiful and comfortable for any sized lady, after all we do come in all sorts of funny shapes and sizes, there is never a one size fits all with bras.
We ordered a magazine that we receive monthly now, and it shows off their enormous range of bras and underwear, it tells you what sizes each piece of clothing comes in, the bras go from a size D all the way up to a K.
So now I have no excuse not to wear a properly fitting bra!
What started Bravissimo and what is it?
If you go onto www.bravissimo.com you can learn all about them. To start with it would be good to read the 'our philosophy' section.
It starts by saying: "Bravissimo is a company that provides a wide choice of lingerie and swimwear in D-K cup, as well as clothing designed especially for big boobed women so that they can celebrate their curves and feel good about themselves!"
It tells you about a lady called Sarah Tremellen who set up the business in her own living room because she was so frustrated about not being able to find a bra in her size and "was fed up of being offered enormous matronly contraptions more suitable for landing parachutes" so something had to be down about it. The company started very small, but now over half a million women have contacted them since they began in 1995, and what started as a small living room business, has turned into a multi-million pound award-winning company. They mainly retail by mail order through their website or catalogue, and they have 20 high street stores.
The website looks very impressive, feminine and friendly. That's the one thing i've always noticed about this company, they seem more personal, maybe it's because they are aiming their stock to people like me, and people like me are so used to not being helped by these companies that we're just so greatful when a good one comes along! They mainly do lingerie, but at the back of the catalogue and on the website there is a selection for clothing made for larger boobed women, nightwear, sports and swimwear. I've never tried their clothing really, but what I like is they have designed tops with hidden support, so for us with big boobs we can now wear tops without having to worrying about a horrible bra underneath. So far i've had no complaints from this company.
What advice do Bravissimo give?
They give you step by step instructions on how to properly fit yourself, where you should be measuring from, and the do's and don'ts of adjusting bras. It's a very complicated business so it's great to have help from people specifically targeting larger boobied people.
If you go to the FAQs on the website they answer questions in depth, such as in the Fitting category: What's the best way to put a bra on? How often should I check my bra size? If my bra is not supportive enough, should I tighten up the shoulder straps? These are quite important questions really, if you don't know the answer to these, then you're probably doing something wrong, or wearing the wrong bra.
They have questions in different categories such as sizing, delivery, website problems and info, miscellaneous and information on payments, ordering etc'.
How I use the company
We subscribed to their catalogue, it comes once a month and we aren't charged for it, so it's nice to see each months selections, there are lots of colourful selections and sections. One thing I don't like is the models they use, I end up looking at their faces and funny smiles instead of the clothing, but thats just me - and apparently my mum! The models they use have a minimum size breast of D or DD, so if you think the bra looks good on the model, it will probably look good on you, so the photos are accurate. I've never visited their shops, they list where they are located, so I know the closest one is in Cambridge.
I've ordered a few bras from the catalogue, the first one I ordered one was perfect, I'm wearing it now! The other was too small even though it was FF I think, sometimes I've noticed that you could have three bras in the same size, yet they won't all fit you. So we sent it back with no complications and they offered us a refund or the option to order a replacement, so we did and paid the difference, trouble was it didn't fit either, so we got a refund for that, again with no complications and friendly service.
We've now decided the best thing to do is actually visit the shop itself to be able to try it on, that's originally what I thought would have been best, seeing as from experience I know how hard it is to get a good fitting over the shoulder boulder holder.
I think using the shop would have a bigger benefit, be more efficient and less time consuming, I've never had a problem with their customer service, any email I've received has always been friendly, I can imagine though staff in the shops can potentially be really nice or horrible.
I think the catalogue comes across as very friendly, so does the website but I generally use the catalogues so far. They have tips on each page about bra fittings and general advice, for example: If you would like your bra to be invisible under sheer tops of T-shirts, try a bra that's closest to your skni tone, rather than matching it to the colour of your top.
They also have customer comments printed on some pages, for example: "I popped into one of your shops to get fitted and what a fantastic job they did. I cannot believe the assistants can work out your correct size so quickly. I was really surprised to find I am a 32FF when I was wearing a 38G, what a difference a well fitting bra makes" - Jayne, 32FF, Flitwick.
I highly recommend subscribing to the catalogue, not only is it free, it's nice to look through, the variation between bras is great, there should be something for everyone from Bravissimo.
Looking after your boobs
This shows where this company differ from the others, not only are they trying to provide great clothing that fits you well, they try to educate you, in this months catalogue it says on one page how to look after your boobs. "Bravissimo girls are lucky enough to be blessed with great boobs so it's important that we take care of them. Here are some tips to pamper, tone and flatter your assets this autumn...''
This is what I like about this company, they make you feel good about yourself for having large boobs, and not feel silly and frumpy when you try to find clothing.
As there is such a large selection prices do vary. For bras the prices tend to be £20 - £35 maybe with some exceptions. The good thing is you can buy the bra seperately from the knickers, the knickers tend to be cheaper, you can buy knickers, thongs or shorts, so the prices vary from £10- maybe £15, again with some exceptions.
I think though, if you're going to buy a bra, you buy one that fits well and supports you well, so these prices are reasonable, especially if you're bigger boobed you'll just be happy to have a fitting bra that looks and feels nice.
These range from bikinis to swimming costumes of all shapes so again prices vary, it's hard to tell but I think it's around £25 to £45, but again probably worth the money as having large boobs and trying to find suitable swimwear is one of the the hardest things to do!
The clothing I think can be anything up to £90 really, but that's mainly for work clothes and it's all going to be good quality made to last, I've never tried their clothing but some of it does look nice, lots of it seems to be mainly smart casual wear.
They have sports bras that seem to range between £25 and £35, I'd like to try one of these as I haven't been able to run comfortably in years!!
To Order call them on 01926 459 859
Monday - Friday 8.30am to 8.30pm
Saturday 9am to 5pm
Visit www.bravissimo.com (I recommend this)
Fax 01926 459 959
PO Box 2622,
I recommend looking at this company if you have larger boobs and are continuously having trouble finding clothing, underwear, sports or swimwear. Wearing the proper fitting clothing makes the world of difference to how you look, how you feel physically and more importantly how you feel about yourself.
There's no losing out if you just go onto their website, from there you can subscribe to their catalogue, I look through their catalogue to know what is available in their shops, as it's a long journey for me to drive the the closest store to not have what I want.
You'll love the range and feel of their clothing. It's definitely worth it and will make you feel a lot better about yourself.
Not only is this a company that is designed for the bigger woman, in weight or boob size, it's designed to make you feel sexy, and special for having big boobs! So instead of finding my body a burden, I now appreciate what I've got, because finally there is a company there for me. I've learnt alot about how to measure myself, and how to find the right bra for me, so I'm no longer ignorant about boobs.
Hooray for boobies!
A girl needs a good uplifting experience when she's buying a bra.
Now, if you are a wonderful member of the male species you might like to turn away....after all the trussing of the mammaries is not a major for you. (I hope you stay with it as the rating will be a bit of a bonus for me!!!)
Big bosomed ladies, the well endowed, can have a bit of a bother when it comes to finding the right brassiere. Certainly I am one of those and a visit to a local bra shop, last week, nearly tipped me over the edge.
I've had a lot of upper back pain, around the shoulders, so found a really excellent massage lady and she recommended I go and have a proper bra fitting as that may well have been the source of my daily agony.
She recommended one in our town so off I go, asked for a fitting and told her it was to be more medical than 'pretty'. She awaited outside the booth, curtain firmly pulled across, and handed me in a 34 F. Well, that was not going to do the trick. She handed in a FF. Nowhere near the target. Then she floored me - ''We don't do anything bigger than FF. You will have to try elsewhere.'' I felt my mammaries drop an inch or two in sheer disappointment... what, have to get dressed and go to another store and go all through this again!!
Well, I decided I was not going to put them through this again and off home I went and put into my internet, Bravissimo - seen the lovely girls on the TV with larger-than-life 'boozzies' .... all lacy and the like.
Wonder upon wonder.... not only was there lots of delightfully feminine numbers (bras etc) but there's a lot of information on how to size yourself. A really pleasant experience going through the site and I took the plunge and ordered a 34GG. (Horrors! Never been that size before!)
Bravissimo aims to please the larger boobed woman with lingerie, swimwear,nightwear and clothing and the postal delivery site is really really well presented with its internet site and my delivery was extremely efficient. The underwear comes in bright colours, florals and patterns or plain pastel colours.
Should add here my sister is in New Zealand and works in a bra shop so she and I spent that day emailing on the subject of bras..... she had bought the one I chose, in New Zealand ,for heaps more than I was going to pay... she loved hers and it was exactly the same as my purchase.
So, five minutes ago it arrived. Beautifully packaged in red-patterned paper and a little feminine seal on it - with information what to do if I have to return it and a competition which may see me win Bravissimo goodies for a year and chocolates too!
I tried it on and it is a miracle - it fits and it looks stunning..... I am a convert. Won't buy another bra off anyone in any store. I Love it and so do my boobs.
Now my new booby buddy has lots and lots of bras for fuller bosoms. Some may say they seem a little expensive but when you are big boobed and you can go on line and order your ''over-shoulder-boulder-holders'' and they arrive through the letter box a couple of days later- fitting and supporting your mammaries so superbly - it is worth it.
So mine is Belle of the Fantasie Full Cup range and the little label says -
Excellent support, full coverage, maximum comfort and ideal for everyday use - that's just what I was looking for and after five minutes I'm delighted. There is still the test of time to come but I head off into this experience with full confidence that my bra fits fantastically and looks great. Not sure how many are going to see it!!!! One can live in hopes. Whatever, the look and feel of my new bra, it makes me feel fantastic and that's what really matters.
It cost GBP31 and postage GBP3-50
There is an excellent return/exchange letter on the back of the invoice - gladly I won't have to use it.
Bravissimo is based in Leamington Spa, England and has the excellent website which introduced me to using it: www.bravissimo.com
I am so excited to have a new bosom buddy - let's hope we have a long and happy relationship.
Several hours have past since I so enthusiastically wrote this review.... I left it to see how I feel about my new bra ---- it's going well and I am confident we will be great bosom buddies for a good long time ahead.
Fellas, if you are still with it...... hope you learned something and this has been an ''uplifting'' experience for you!!
It's been brought to my attention that I don't mention the size range: Back -28 to 40, Cup D to L... as it mentions on their site when you place an order.
Even shops that claim to sell normal backs with large cups don't seem to get it right. The fit is often bad and support non-existent. Now Bravissimo offer it all - fantastic style for every occassion - pretty, sexy and best of all functional.
The shops are wonderful and the assistants so helpful. Shopping on line is quick and easy and purchases arrive beautifully packaged. How did I ever manage before Bravissimo? - I didn't. I always wore bras that didn't fit properly, were uncomfortable and shapeless and that I burst out of. Now at last my 32Fs look neat, firm and sexy. Highly recommended.
Since I was a teenager I've had a big bust. Not your average big bust but a big bust with a very small ribcage (backsize). Slowly over the years the shops have caught on to the fact that us women are getting bigger. Please don't assume if a woman has a big bust then we must be overweight or had a boob job! I've seen a lot of companies start up trying to cater for women with a larger bust and produce nothing except things that resemble a hammock make out of scratchy cheap lace.
Then came Bravissimo.............
It started out with bras then basques and then strapless bras (trust me finding a good strapless bra bigger than a D cup is a godsend!)
Bravissimo's latest catalogue (and website too!) have so much choice and at different price ranges (so you don't have to spend a fortune if you don't want to). The sizes range from a 30D to a 44JJ.
I got very fed up over the years trying to find bras my size (F cup +) that looked feminine and sexy, but finally Bravissimo listened to us and have put together a collection worthy of caining my visa card on. There is every colour imaginable and every style (full cup, half cup, balconette, plunge, basque, sports etc) and nearly all come with matching items (Its nice when you can buy knickers/thong to match your bra). Hallujah, they do plunge bras in larger sizes too! I mean we have the bust so why shouldn't we flaunt it? :-). The colour range is extensive too. They haven't stopped at basic black, white and nude. There's a complete rainbow of colours, pastels and even patterns to choose from. They also stock a large range of bridal lingerie.
Bravissimo have added to their collection over the years and now boast a CLOTHES collection. ..........Ok, ok I can hear the comments. I have only have a big bust so why do I need to buy clothes from them?
Well if you're like me (big bust, small waist and curvy hips) then you'll probably find when you go to buy blouses they gape at your bust? So you buy a bigger size and it either drowns you (but your bust is covered) or it makes you look a lot bigger than you are (anyone else here hunch over trying to make their bust look smaller?). Well Bravissimo came up with a solution, specially tailored clothes
e.g. I'm a 12 skirt/trouser size and my top half I wear a 34 band bra but I used to have to wear a size 14 or 16 to cover my bust. Now with Bravissimo's range I can wear a size 12 blouse!
How? They desgined a range so that if you're a 34/36 back then you'd be a 12 and then you choose the next bit, each of the size then have sub-categories : Curvy, Really Curvy and Super Curvy. Being an F+ I fit into the Super Curvy bracket but it means I can now buy a size 12 blouse that fits me superbly, and it doesn't gape and it shows off the fact I have a figure. They have a chart in the catalogue and on the website that help you choose your perfect size. Apart from blouses they now also do suits (anyone else here used to wearing suit jacket and sometimes struggle to fasten them over your bust or when you do manage to fasten it , it just doesn't look right?), I've had lots of compliments and people asking me if I've lost weight.
The only draw back I've found with these blouses is that they take a bit of figuring out how to iron them as they are curved and you can't lay the front panel on the ironing board at once to quickly iron it, it need to be ironed in two bits at the front the top part (up towards your shoulder area) and then the bottom part. All the fabrics are very easy to iron and litteraly just need a quick skim with the iron to remove any creases.
And now for the best bit..........
Its coming up to summer and I'm sure a lot of you will appreciate (if you've got a larger bust), strappy tops are a nightmare! There are times where you don't want to wear a strapless bra, you want something solid holding you in. But its hot and you'd like to wear a little strappy top.... do you A) wear a strapless bra and then hope you don't have to do anything strenuous (no running around after animals or small children then) or B) wear a normal strapped bra and don't mind the fact the you can see your bra straps?
The answer is you don't have to do either, Bravissimo have come up with a range of little strappy tops (in a rainbow of colours), halter necks (black and white only) and bustiers (black only at the moment) that have built in bras! and we're not talking a bit extra material like a shelf with some elastic, its a proper bra in your chosen size sewn into the garment. So now you can wear a nice strappy top and it really doesn't look like you're wearing a bra but everything looks prefect!
My only problem now is choosing what I'll buy next........... :-)
Conclusion:- Delivery is very quick too everything is wrapped in tissue paper being being packaged up to be sent out. Delivery charge is £3 and bras vary in price from £14 upwards, tops are around £30 and the suits are about £70 for the jacket and about £40 for the trousers. Bras start from £14 and knickers/thongs start from £6.
Bravissimo, the lingerie shop for the D-up brigade, makes the kind of underwear women with a little extra up top always wanted and never got. Its long been held that if youre over a D cup you must only want industrial strength breast-crushers and couldnt possibly get away with the pretty, sexy, sheer frippery that the rest of the female world enjoy
until shops like this came along, anyway.
We all know, then, what Bravissimo stands for, and what it means to provide. So what about it as a company? Well, there are stages to the bra-buying process, so my op will proceed accordingly: fitting, products, prices, service and website.
Just so you know, Ill be talking about the shops in general, with specific reference to my experiences in the West London branch.
Every woman worthy of the name knows that a good bra fitting is absolutely essential. Most have tagged along to some shop or other for a fitting and had some smiling woman squeeze her with a tape measure and announce that she is some size or other, and off she goes, never to be measured again. This is wrong. Just 10lbs of weight either way can have an enormous effect on the size you usually wear. Its sometimes not practical to try on a bra, but I would recommend you at least get the advice of a sales assistant about how close to the standard measurements the bra actually is- stretchy materials and so on can make a 34D feel more like a 36E, and so on. So if you dont try on, at least keep your fitting up to date, and check it once a year or so.
Bravissimo fittings do not use a tape measure. A kindly assistant (thank you Colleen of Ealing Broadway) takes you into a large, comfortable changing room equipped with a huge mirror, stool, and hooks for your clothes. Youre also provided with a T-shirt (for checking the shape a bra makes under clothes) and a satiny dressing gown for a cover up, in case you have to emerge for help. She will ask to see you in your normal bra, and evaluate whether the back and cup sizes are correct. If your bra is riding up your back, its too big, if its digging in, its too small. Shell then choose one of the ranges of comfortable everyday bras for a general fitting, or a specific type of bra if thats what youre after, and bring each one in the range of sizes she thinks you could be and you can try them on.
In my case, she was spot on straight away. (Only on dooyoo would I have to reveal this kind of information about myself!). Id lost a fair amount of weight, and had guessed that I was about a 38D No, no, no, says Colleen, youre a 36DD. And bless her, I was. She asked me about the different kinds of bra I might want. I needed a new sports bra as well, and she brought me the two most popular ones, in different colours, and correctly predicted that as one tended towards tight backs and large cups, Id be a different size.
Colleen stayed in the cubicle as I was changing, and although she was the tiniest of women (except, of course, where Bravissimo counts) and Im not, I never for a moment felt self-conscious, which is somewhat unusual for me. But the friendliness of the staff and the fact that they have excellent training, product knowledge and a professional attitude meant that I felt like I was in a changing room with a cross between my best friend and a teacher. On one occasion, the wide back of the sports bra meant she helped me to do it up, and that didnt feel awkward, as well it might. But dont worry if youre thinking over my dead body is some woman going to watch me strip. Had I asked her to, I am certain she would have stepped out or turned around (and she wasnt watching me, anyway!) while I changed. They do have to see you in the bra to assess the fit.
This is a wonderful way of doing things. Ive been measured the old fashioned way twice in Marks and Spencer, on one occasion the same morning Colleen measured me The woman in Marks proclaimed me a 42D, even though I was wearing a 38 back that rode up and even though when I tried on the size she recommended it was so enormous I might as well not have been wearing a bra.
By the way, do remember that going up or down a back size also means adjusting the cup- the cup of a 34D is not the same as that of a 36D (you might need a C).
The Ealing branch has recently expanded so that the mid-size ground floor is heaving with bras, and the huge basement heaving with breasts in the many, many changing rooms (at least twenty) and lovely comfy waiting area, complete with stacks of magazines to read while youre waiting for your fitting, or for someone to search through the stock room for you. Most of the products I have listed below do now or have previously appeared in this branch- turnover of products is fairly swift, so I cant guarantee that the complete range will be available in that branch. However, it is well stocked, so you should find at least one section on each type of products. The layout is clear, neat and roomy, with not all sizes displayed to keep clutter to a minimum, so do ask at the counter.
Bravissimo products have recently become even better. There is a sound range of black/white/flesh coloured everyday sets and sports bras, which on the whole cover from 30-38 in a D-G cup (some ranges are slightly more restrictive, others are planning to extend even further). This is good, functional wear, and if you take to Bravissimo as you should, youll have a few of these making up the basics of your wardrobe.
The stars of the show, however, are the pretty, luxury sets. Coming in every colour imaginable, the bras are beautifully constructed with full underwiring for absolute support, but still using all kinds of fabrics and materials: sheer, lightweight, satiny, lacy or silky, which are usually overlooked for more supportive ranges. All these bras are part of a matched set, often with more than one kind of underwear, from thongs to shorts. Since Bravissimo dont make their own bras but track down the best designs, many brands are represented, from Freya to Fantasie, and this season a new range of younger designs, with brighter colours and patterns was launched. My last extravagance (in a fit of post-tutoring spending glee) was a wonderfully stripy bra from the new range. Going into my local shop and seeing the shelves heaving with pretty lilacs, cool blues, sexy reds and girly flowers is so much fun after years of trying to find my size and coming up with the kind of thing my grandmother might wear (not that my grandmother isnt funky- she got a Matthew Williamson jumper the other day!).
Bravissimo also stocks a decent range of swimwear, from basic black all-in-ones to bold print halter neck bikinis. These are generally mix and match sizes, all with good support, of course, and some with matching accessories. They include brands such as Footprints, and I got my summer tankini from one of the ranges.
Something Bravissimo prides itself on is its range of vest and halter tops. The vest tops with built in bras are a revelation. They look a little bizarre when you see them on the hanger; they are sort of square in shape, but once on the fit is incredible. They come in a variety of colours, including black, white, brown, lilac, orange and so on, including, recently, some striped versions. You simply choose your normal bra size, and put it on, doing up the back inside. The straps are slim and adjustable, and once on the bra is completely invisible with no lumpiness or second set of bra straps. Since its a one-size-fits-all arrangement, being an average size 16 I was a little worried about the stretchiness of the top, but I neednt have been. The fit was designed to be a little loose, fitted slightly at the waist and flared at the hips. Obviously you should try it on, but using the back size as a guideline, the sizing is pretty spot on. The halter tops are a newer addition, so come in fewer colours for now, but the range is constantly expanding with details of new lines to be found on the website or in the catalogue.
Bravissimo have just produced their first properly tailored women's shirt for the amply bosomed, available in dress sizes 8 - 16 and in bust sizes "curvy", "really curvy" and "super curvy" (I'm a 16 and 36 DD, ergo, apparently, "really curvy", just to give you an idea! I'm not complaining, mind...!). This should eliminate the horrible gaping button syndrome, whilst retaining a very feminine, sexy shape.
The shirts are reasonably long in the body and fitted so that if you tend towards hourglass they nip in beautifully at the waist and accommodate hips as well as bust. They are expensive at £39.99 but are available in a range of colours... I have a black and a white and they've both kept shape and quality beautifully.
These have been joined on the rails recently by fitted sleeveless tops (again, with a fairly long length through the body) and even tailored suit jackets and trousers. The range is forever under expansion... anything I write here will probably need updating within the month...
There is also a range of basques, bustiers and wedding lingerie, all of which the staff at the shop will help you wade through. Most of it looks extremely sleek and pretty
Ah, the sad moment when you look at the price tag. Prices in Bravissimo are varied, but at the top end of the high street. Bras range from around £15 - £35, the average being around £20, which is a lot for a bra, although I must say that quality is such that, as long as you stay the same size, the bra will stay with you. Buying a set can be an expensive venture, with the knickers costing between £8 - £25 however nice a pair of cute little shorts is, it is a luxury buy, and its probably best to either save up and treat yourself, or put a shopping spree at Bravissimo on a presents wish list.
The number of men I saw in there near Valentines Day looking smug
Well, so far Ive had nothing but good things to say about the staff: polite, helpful, well informed and and professional. So now Im going to carry on saying good things about them, and about the business as a whole.
To illustrate Bravissimos attitude to customer care:
A friend of mine who is a 42-something had asked Bravissimo about larger back sizes, and had been told there were no plans to introduce any. I emailed Bravissimo through their website for more information and within 2 days had received a long, personalised email, explaining that the company mission was more about finding bras for women who might be outside the normal ranges, including those for larger women, e.g. a 30D, or something. It also suggested that my friend get herself fitted to be sure, as many women overestimated their back size. Finally it gave three internet sites that carried bras in larger back sizes and details of these are kept behind the counter at individual branches if you ask. Although I was disappointed at the company policy, I was so impressed that Id been treated with such courtesy. My email was swiftly acknowledged, and I was dealt with as a person with a legitimate query who deserved a properly couched and detailed answer, and I was not fobbed off with a half-baked, short company policy mailshot.
Service in the shops is no less courteous, and the whole experience feels luxurious right to the end. You are not hounded in the shop, but an assistant is on hand if you need one. If you decide to buy your purchases are wrapped in crisp white tissue, sealed with a logo sticker and put in a proper stiff bag with string handles, the turquoise-and-cream of which you are proud to have swinging from your fingertips. The receipt is neatly stapled into a little booklet explaining your consumer rights and slipped in the bag, and if you want to you can be put on the mailing list for their catalogue.
Ive included this as an idea of what you might expect if theres no shop in your area (see areas below), but for a full account see the ops in the relevant category.
www.bravissimo.com is an attractive, well-organised pink website with the full catalogue appearing on it. When you order something it appears in a new window so that going back to the catalogue is easy, and there are always links to matching items- although if you have popups disabled, this may interfere with the system. Often the items are pictured in different colours to make buying decisions easier. Navigating is childs play, and there is plenty of opportunity to read up on company policy as well as clear contact details and requests for customer feedback, which, judging by their responses (the halter necks are a direct result of customer request) are taken seriously.
If you do sign up for a catalogue, either through the website, while shopping, or by calling 0700 244 2727 (as they point out, this is 0700 BIG BRAS!!), youll get a slim, glossy catalogue promptly through the post each season, with all the relevant information.
Stores are located in:
020 8579 6866
0161 839 7050
0121 711 3299
0113 247 1259
01865 790 023
CUSTOMER SERVICES: 01926 459 859
(Full contact details can be obtained from the website, by picking up a where you can find us card in your local one or by calling those numbers, it seems unnecessary to repeat them here).
So, to sum up, this is a great shop. Ive thought about docking a star for the expense and the relative difficulty of finding a store in your area, but decided the good factors meant I couldnt give this shop less than an excellent. Besides this, these are factors I expect to improve, if the popularity of the chain is anything to go by.
NOTE: Having never returned anything to Bravissimo, I have to assume after-sales service is as good as sales service. I will update this as and when I have experienced it!
So happy bra shopping, treat them to something comfortable to hang around in (or treat your girlfriends, you know they deserve it and its really a present for you too )
I was led in bed this morning listening to Sarah Kennedy going through the newspapers as she does every morning, and I really wasn?t in a mood to get up. Then she drew attention to an article about a theme park in the UK that was going to ban ?large chested people? from some of their rides. Now I?m sure they are only on about really overweight people who could be at risk of heart attack or from a health and safety aspect on the ride ? but my main thought was, ?well that?s a blow for all us Bravissimo girls!? Now I don?t know how many of you larger breasted ladies out there struggle to buy a decent bra on the high street but if you want anything up to a 36D, you are laughing, loads of pretty and practical bras out there ? anything bigger and you have the choice of the oh so attractive heavy duty bra that 9 times out of 10 it isn?t in stock and ok its practical but sexily its on a par with Bridget Jones?s big scary knickers, and if you want anything other than black or white ? forget it! There is light at the end of the tunnel. The website address you need is www.bravissimo.com. Bravissimo was set up in 1995, by a lady who had had enough of being a laughing stock every time she went to by a Bra, why shouldn?t big boobed ladies be able to go into a shop and say ?which bra would I like, rather than this is the only one that fits?. As such the company specialises in making us larger breasted ladies feel good about ourselves. The company has gone from operating out of the sitting room to having major companies asking their advice when developing bras for the larger market. They stock many of the major brands including Fantasie, Panache, Gossard, Berlei and many more in cup sizes from D to JJ. Bravissimo is primarily a mail order catalogue or internet based company but they do have some stores dotted around the
country, where you can try on and be measured. Details of all 8 shops and how to find them are on the website, they also recomm end that if you want lots of attention that you go when it?s quiet during the week, and that if you are looking for a particular style when you go in, that you call in advance to make sure they have it. Having said that the only store I have visited was Oxford and I?m fairly certain they had most things as it seemed very well stocked and laid out. Moving onto the stock, as I mentioned before they stock many of the major brands of bra and the website is divided into various sections, the first area is underwear section where they have sets where they have the briefs or thongs to match, every day styles, and strapless bras, bodies and Basques then they move onto outerwear. How many large ladies spend most of the summer not wearing strappy tops because they can not go without a bra and don?t want to show off the reinforced ?bolder holder? straps on their existing one, so the next section on the website is strappy tops where they have these classic summer tops with the bra built in ? ok they cost £30 which is a lot more than your 3 for a fiver down the local market but the quality is also a lot better. I bought 2 last year and practically lived in them all summer, the underwire has now gone which is fair enough considering the amount of usage they had but I can still wear them. The latest addition in the Bravissimo range comes next with the fitted tops, isn?t it irritating when you try on a really nice shirt and it fits beautifully with the exception of the bulging buttons at the top these are designed to avoid that I haven?t tried them yet but it may well be on my Christmas list. The next section is swimwear, followed by nursing bras and the most important for me the sports bra. Now I get through these like there is no tomorrow, I do Karate
twice a week and this involves quite a lot of high impact work, including skipping, running and jumping so I need a decent bra and they do a crop top with built in bra, you could wear it on its own as again it is w ell designed to look like a crop top, but the support you get from it is second to none and well worth the £30 price tag, and I have had one for a year now which is almost unheard of for me I just about need to replace it now though. The Christmas season is also catered for with some really nice evening tops again often with the integral bra in as you don?t really want to be showing your straps then either do you? Prices range from around about £15 up to £35 for the bras, with loads of choice around about the £20 mark which for the quality is exceptional, the swimwear is between £40 and £60 but again amazing quality, they also have matching accessories like flip flops and saronges and they often have special offers. Postage is £3. Many ladies in the UK are walking around with bras that don?t fit and ordering mail order can seem like a crazy thing to do as styles can seriously vary the fit of the bra. Firstly they guarantee any lingerie and swimwear for 6 months from purchase and if you are not happy with the initial order you have 28 days to return it (unworn with labels attached naturally) and they send a return sticker with the order just in case it doesn?t fit or you don?t like it. More importantly they offer a huge amount of fitting advice, on the website there is a section devoted to it, if you are still unsure you can phone the helpline or go into one of the shops. Getting a properly fitted bra can make a huge difference to how you look, there is nothing worse than looking like the hunch ?front? of notre dame if your bra is bulging out in all the wrong places. My mum always used to tell me that larger ladies can?t wear underwire bras and until I discovere
d Bravissimo I believed her, a properly fitting underwire can make all the difference. The service from Bravissimo is unlike anything I have ever received from a mail order company before, I have ordered online and using the phone before now, it always arrives within two o r three days and the staff are wonderful. I once miskeyed my credit card number into the website and they were very quick to phone and were very polite. The package arrives in a lovely white box, the bras are wrapped in good quality tissue paper and sealed with a small Bravissimo silver sticker. It looks special, way better than the battered Triumph sports bra boxes that you get from the high street, that are in the boxes because they think anyone that wants that size wants to be as discreet as possible and not lift up a bra resembling a parachute in the middle of the shop. So ladies, this review might sound like I work for the companies advertising department, which I don?t, but the best advertising is always a happy customer and that I certainly am. Just in case you?ve forgotten the web address is www.bravissimo.com and if you just want to call up for a brochure the number is 01926 459 859 (Mon ? Fri 8.30 ? 8.30 and Sat 9 ? 5) Thank you for reading
Bravissimo, celebrating your curves! If you?ve got it flaunt it, such a fabulous saying and oh so true! But to flaunt it properly you need to have a good supported bra, and not an over the shoulder boulder holder granny bra, an attractive sexy bra! But were can you get one of these I here you cry, and completely sympathise with your longing! Well girls you need to look no further, Bravissimo is here!! I found out about Bravissimo through a friend, I was going to a party and needed a black strapless bra. I had been to all the high street stores and could not find a bra in my size any where. I was about to give up and take my gorgeous dress back to a shop when my mums friend produced a copy of Bravissimo?s catalogue! My fairy godmother had at last arrived and Cinders could go to the ball!! Bravissimo bra?s range from a D cup ? L* Cup and back sizes range from 28 ? 40 back, pretty impressive! The underwear they offer comes in range of styles from everyday, sports, evening, nursing bras to special hidden support tops and swim wear. The designs/ make of bras include the following Freya, Young attitude, Panache, Gossard, Ballet, Warner?s and Fantasise. Bravissimo Bra?s are available in a range of colours black, white, nude, gold, red etc. Strapless bra?s and adjustable bra?s are available from D- FF Cup and 30 ? 40 back. Sports bras are available in styles that support your assets and keep you in good shape- also Bravissimo provide a guide on sports bra?s this is avalible on request : Tel 01926 459 59. But it is not just bra?s that Bravissimo provide, they also have a range of control knickers avalible in different colours and styles although they are never the most attractive under wear it?s worth sacrificing a bit of glamour for a smooth line under a special outfit. Supportive swim wear is also a must have, bikinis and swimsuits are avalible, top half fitted to your bra size give you up lifting support, pra
ctical styles for when comfort matters. Bravissimo has also come up with a fitted shirt designed to flatter, along with a selection of different coloured supported strappy tops and halter necks. For this season a beautiful velvet halter top is avalible. Finding the right bra size makes all the difference and at Bravissimo along with a catalogue they also send ?Our Guide to the Perfect Fit?, please read their 3 steps: 1/ The strap around your body should be firm but comfortable. When you stand side ? on at a mirror, the strap that runs around your body should be horizontal and should not ride up your back. 2/ The wires at the front should lie flat against your rib cage and should not dig in, rub or poke out the front. 3/ Your breasts should be enclosed in the cups and should have a smooth line where the fabric at the top of the cup ends and meets your bust. You shouldn?t have any ridge or bulging over the top or sides of the cups, even if you are wearing a balconette style or lower cut shape. Because you can?t really tell how a bra will fit until you have tried it on Bravissimo will exchange any bra for a different style or size at no extra cost. For more information contact Bravissimo on: Tel: 01926 459 859 Lines are open 8.30am -8.30pm Mon ? Fri and 9am ? 5pm Sat. Fax: 01926 459 959 Website: www.Bravissimo.com. Or better still pop into a branch were you can get fitted by a professional sales advisor. Branches are based in West London, Manchester, W. Midlands, Leeds, Oxford and one is coming soon to Cambridge. For the perfect Christmas or birthday gift for a friend or loved Gift Vouchers are avalible from £5 - £500.
This company has changed the life of my boobs forever. As a size 30G it was nearly impossible to buy bras in my size, until I found bravissimo. Selling bras, tops, and swimwear for busty girls they specialise in bras that look nice as opposed to the usual 'boulder holders'. Every season I get sent their catalogue which always has lots of new styles to choose from, all at reasonable prices. When placing an order by phone the staff are unbelievebly friendly and helpful, many of whihc are 'bravissimo girls' themselves. Any problems and returns / exchanges are free and staff can even help you figure out over the phone which size to choose. Postage is almost £3 which isn't bad, though figleaves.com post free of charge and have a similar range. Figleaves are also beginging to provide more larger sizes. Prices of bras range from £18 upwards, and although not as cheap as some high street stores, for thosre of us who can't buy our size on the high street these are cheap! Bravissimo also campaigns for manufacturers to make more bras in larger sizes, and the results of this are seen each year, as selection increases. Little tip: Always ask when you ring in if there is anything on sale in your size, you'll be surprised how much is often on offer! You will never need to feel ashamed of large boobs with a natural sag again! You will be sure to find a bra that you love here, and the team on the phones are amazing. (I even cryed to one about the sage of finding a bra to go with a strappy dress!) Not only bras, but swimwear and tops as well. At £30 each the tops are a little expensive, but with an in built bra you will be wearing styles you never thought possible, I pranced about for days when I was able to wear my first ever halter neck! Not do the tops look great, but they are comfy and provide amazing support. All the goods are from great brands, and look and feel great. Staff can advis
e you on differences in each brands sizing and with free returns you don't need to worry. Should an item be faulty it is easily sent back and you get not only a letter but also a phone call to apologise! If you have a large chest try bravissimo, you won't be dissapointed, great styles, helpful staff and little extras, such as the packaging that feels like opening a birthday present make this one of my favourite stores.
I've used the mail order service that Bravissimo offer for a while now and it's very good - no complaints at all - in fact it's great and they give really helpful advice but you know after a certain point after you've fulfilled the customers order and got the goods there real quick how can you much extra to that? Well. I went into the New(ish) Bravissimo shop in Leeds and found out. In order to get a fitting you need to book in, so if you are planning an expedition at a weekend or lunch break it might be a good idea to phone ahead and make an appointment or at least pop in and then pop off and have a coffee. That said I only had to wait a couple of minutes for my fitting. First of all you get shown into a huge changing room which has a little dressing gown to put on inbetween bra's. There's plenty of room to bounce about if you are trying on sports bras!!! There was a conversation about exactly what I wanted style, fabric content and then they are brought to you and fitted by the assistant. The woman who fitted me was fantastic - really felt like what I wanted was being taken into account rather than making the best of it as had been my experience in other places. I also learnt that I shouldn't grab my boobs and hike them up into position... What I do now is get the bra on lean forward and pull it away from my chest a bit and hey presto they get their of their own accord and stay there (if the bra fits right).
My Experience ------------------ A fellow big busted friend (who also happened to be my bridesmaid) told me about Bravissimo when I mentioned that I was about to start the search for my wedding underwear. What a top bridesmaid she turned out to be. Despite generally being cautious about buying underwear mail order I had left it all a bit late and was grateful for any suggestions that would avoid traipsing round dozens of shops. So, I had a look at the website and saw two possible sets. I phoned them to order my first choice but unfortunately it was out of stock in my size. My second choice arrived a few days later. It was beautifully packaged and a real pleasure to receive. Unfortunately I was a little under ambitious on my bosom size and it was too small. I followed the returns procedure easily returning the set for a bigger size. I had been using my work address for delivery but then realised that it would probably arrive after I had started my pre-wedding leave. I called Bravissimo and explained my predicament and they arranged for it to be sent to me express delivery which is guaranteed next day arrival. This normally costs an additional £3 but the waived this for me (I was getting a bit worried that I might have to get married ‘commando’ and I think they took pity on me). The underwear was beautiful, fitted great, held everything in place, was pretty comfortable as boned basques go and my husband LOVED it. My Opinion of Bravissimo in General ----------------------------------------------- Bravissimo have a great selection of underwear for all occasions that really flatter the bigger bust. I also think they are pretty reasonable priced. The odd item is hideously expensive but then they are usually things like Rigby & Peller which I would expect to be dear. As I am now a customer I am also now on their mailing list and receive an updated colour brochure periodically which i
s lovely to flick through and very useful for leaving open at certain pages around birthdays, valentines etc… My only negative comment would be that they do not seem to hold much stock so you have to be prepared to wait for a special order, or choose something else & a few designs have very limited availability in some colours (usually the nicer colours).
Bravissimo managed what I thought was impossible - providing me with a bikini top. It is underwired, it fits beautifully, and it is as supportive as a good bra. Given that most shops don't manage more than a skimpy D cup (and I'm way up there in the FF range, with an extra narrow back to complicate the issue further) I had pretty much given up hope. I was resigned to having to cross my arms strategically on the bumpy ride to the beach, and then spend the day with a soggy tummy. But no longer! Bravissimo do a fairly small range of swimwear - usually a choice of about six bikini sets and about eight swimming costumes. But this is a huge improvement on any other shop I've found (including John Lewis on Oxford Street, which was my previous bra Mecca). And - and here's the good bit if you're big busted and under 40 - they do young styles! They're not all navy with white trimming or big florals. They're not designed for people who are big all round, rather than just up top. And they don't have frills and other folderols that look silly and get in the way. Plus, in some styles you even get a choice of matching briefs and/ or wraparound skirt (though personally I think that really short skirts with a big slit down the side are a bit pointless, but that's just me). The prices are quite high - £35-£65 for bikini sets and £35-£50 for swimsuits. However, you get a lot for your money. The stuff is good quality - I wore my bikini for a full week, in and out of the sea and sun, and its still comfortable, unfaded and has no trailing threads. Plus, if you visit the Bravissimo shop you get fantastic service. They provide pleasant changing cubicles, plus a T-shirt (so you can see what bras etc look like underneath clothes), a dressing-gown (so you can potter out into the shop to get the next size up without having to get dressed again) and very knowledgeable and well-trained assistants who will (cheerfully!) keep popp
ing out to the stock room to see if your choice is available in purple. Bravissimo have two shops (one in Ealing, West London and one in the Triangle Centre, Manchester) as well as a catalogue and a good website (www.bravissimo.com), so its very easy to order. Personally, I wouldn't want to buy a bikini/ swimsuit without trying it on - the Bravissimo ones are so like bras that the fit is really important and I want expert advice. However, if you can't get to either of the shops and really like the look of something, you can order and then post the item back if it doesn't fit (they pay for first class postage within the UK). My one gripe is that the London shop gets very busy indeed at weekends. If you plan to go there, its worth sacrificing your lie-in to be there when the doors open. This means that you get a cubicle and you're out before the place really gets manic. Alternatively, you can treat yourself to a day off and go mid-week, when I'm told its much quieter. If you've never found a bikini that fits, I would highly recommend Bravissimo. It feels so liberating to wander round the beach in shorts and a bikini top!
The company was established in the mid 1990s by founder Sarah Tremellen. Today, Bravissimo customers are able to ask themselves which bra do I like rather than what comes in my size.