Product Type: Marks & Spencer Jeans LEvi s
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Bras for Big and Small (Breasts and Budgets!)
Member Name: jo1976
Date: 11/03/13, updated on 10/09/13 (56 review reads)
Advantages: Good range of sizes, styles and price ranges, bra measuring service in store
Disadvantages: Too much choice
I have been wearing Marks and Spencer underwear since my teenage years and, although I have tried other brands and stockists over the years since then and now, I always find myself returning to M&S.
I do tend to purchase my bras instore and it is here that M&S excels, offering a simple and convenient bra measuring service. Although many of us continue to wear the same sized bra out of habit, I have found that my body shape, including the size and shape of my breasts, has changed considerably over the years, particularly during pregnancy and during and after periods of breastfeeding. I find the bra measuring service convenient and reassuring, helping me to identify bras that will offer a comfortable and supportive fit. There is never any hint of embarrassment when revealing your 'hidden assets' to the efficient assistants at the changing rooms. The only issue I've experienced with the service is that there is not always a dedicated assistant able to undertake measurements midweek, when the store is likely to be quieter. On the other hand, I have sometimes had to queue to be measured during weekends, so it can be difficult to gauge when is the best time to get measured up, particularly in the smaller stores.
After being measured, the assistants are always willing to identify the exact style and design of bra to meet your needs. I find it easier to take in a particular style of bra that I like to give the assistant some indication of the type I am looking for. This service is particularly useful for maternity and nursing bras, as I have found M&S to have a far wider range of products than the limited stocks in Mothercare, for example. I also find that their prices are very competitive, as other stores seem to charge a premium for nursing bras which can be frustrating as I find that they need to be replaced far more regularly than standard bras, for both hygiene reasons and the fluctuations in breast size.
Although I generally prefer to buy in store and have the reassurance and convenience of trying each bra on individually, I do struggle to fit everything into an average working week. My youngest son is now of an age where he is increasingly reluctant to wait patiently in a pushchair whilst I go shopping, so I have been forced to buy more and more clothing online to avoid the embarrassment of having him run amok amongst the rows of undies!
Having successfully revamped and whitened a couple of my old and greying bras, I still felt the need to replenish my underwear drawer and placed quite a substantial online order at M&S recently. Having had a quick look at the Figleaves website previously, I was shocked at the cost of many of the bras on there - with most costing £30 or more- and has I wanted to buy several bras in different shades for everyday wear, I couldn't justify the costs.
Fortunately, I found good old M&S continues to offer a huge variety of bras (and matching knickers, where required) in a generous range of sizes with prices to suit all budgets. In the end, I purchased several twin packs as these were particularly well priced. One of the sets that I ordered cost just £9.50 for two bras, which was an incredible price! I wouldn't have expected to pick up a single bra for that kind of price range and felt that it had to be worth a shot at that price. Likewise, I picked up two other twin packs for just £15 per set, one of which offered different colour mixes so I wasn't restricted to just the boring and practical white bras. At the other end of the spectrum, M&S do offer considerably more expensive products so there is something suitable for any occasion.
Buying online can often be something of a lottery but I was pleased with the quality and, crucially, the sizing of the bras with all of the six bras I purchased feeling true to the size I ordered. I have found that there can be an element of variation between sizes, even from the same brand, due to differences in style and design, but these twin packs were consistently sized.
In terms of quality, despite the ridiculously low selling prices all of the bras were worthy of the M&S brand name, with no issues around stitching. The bras purchased were mostly cotton with some elements of lace/embroidery and the addition of a small amount of man-made fibres for stretch and comfort. I have since worn and washed all of the bras and found that the material has consistently held its shape with no sign of any shrinkage or deterioration. I particularly like the supportive nature of the underwired bras and find that the straps do not rub or cause any irritation even by the end of the day.
The only issue that I experienced when buying M&S bras online was the sheer quantity of bras available. Fortunately, the site offers various ways of narrowing a particular search down but, even when I had specified bra and cup size and narrowed the field down to only underwired bras, I was still pretty overwhelmed by the choice available. This is, however, much more preferable to being restricted to a limited offering within each size and this is something that M&S as a well established brand is able to provide.
I am sure that I will continue to purchase my bras from Marks & Spencer, whether in store or online and would recommend their services and range of good quality, often inexpensive bras to other women, regardless of breast size or budget.
Summary: Good value bras that I continue to buy
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