Thursday, 10 June 2010

Bravissimo - ish.

Before I begin - remember: Friday Frocks is tomorrow.  Keep the fabulousness flowing, and send me your pictures!

The basic USP of lingerie retailers Bravissimo is to sell pretty bras to women who have big boobs but who aren't especially fat. They have a young, friendly image, their stores are staffed by bright and lovely bra fitters, and excellent customer service for their online retail business. I'm right at the top of their sizing range: massive rack (K cup) but weirdly slim back (34 inches - despite being roughly a UK dress size 22 (US 18)) and this tends to mean that the pickings are very slim. Not only are there fewer people buying in my size, but it's mechanically much harder to make supportive undergarments for my dimensions... so I was excited to see in the summer catalogue, a new style in my size.

The Boudoir Beau is by Panache, available in the peachy coral colour shown, or a more subtle minky silver.  The bra is available in back sizes 28 to 38, cups D to K (in the 28 back the cups are only DD-J).  It costs £29 and there are matching shorts / thongs available. You might justifiably be thinking "so what?" - it's pretty but nothing particularly special, and most, more normally-sized women will be able to find more fabulous and swelegant lingerie elsewhere.  Well, I have two reasons for mentioning it: firstly, there's news for those of us who rely on Panache bras for their size range, but end up wounded under the arms because of their brutally high-cut underwires - you can give a cheer, because this style is pretty comfy and low-rise. It also gives a fairly natural shape - not sit-up-and-beg balconette to be fair, but nice and perky.  The other reason for featuring this style is that Bravissimo are donating a quid for every bra sold to Coppafeel - a charity (launched by a twenty-something breast cancer survivor) which wants young women to be more breast-aware and examine their boobs for lumps and bumps regularly. You can't say fairer than that.

The other notable thing about the summer catalogue is lots of new clothing. Bravissimo manufacture their own line of clothing which, as well as being sold in traditional dress sizes (8-18) is also sized by the enormity or otherwise of your boobs, allowing you to buy clothes which fit all over. They're not especially cheap, and not especially funky (if you're into more unusual looks, go to Get Cutie for the same boob-size fitting), but they do a marvellous job of providing smart, tailored, well-fitting work / wedding-guest clothes to boobalicious types. It's not all good though - some of the designs look cheap and nasty, and some is bizarrely unflattering, so what is worth a look? Let's start with the red dress above it's an easy-wear shade, and quite retro / Mad Men in influence - sexy but reserved, it's £59.

More flattering to tummies and bums is this almost-wrap-dress (£50).  The asymmetric hem and feature seaming detail at the waist are flattering as hell, as is that deep V neckline.  I'm not so keen on the colour - though it will suit pale skins, and not all khaki tones do - so I'd want some seriously gorgeous accessorising (red, turquoise, lapis blue...).

Lastly, a more casual frock. I don't wear maxi dresses (you need to see feet at the bottom otherwise you look like you're dressing up in your Mum's clothes - I'm just too short) - but I know lots of you love them for their ability to hide a multitude of sins.  I love this bold zebra print, and imagine a sun dress built to wear a bra with and cut so you weren't 'busting out all over'... but £59 is a lot of money for a sun dress.  I'm not entirely convinced.

As a post script: I like Bravissimo as a company - despite their hit-and-miss clothing collection - and I'm happy to support them on these pages. But I don't know if I'll bother again. They've made every image on their site really hard to copy or save, unless you go through the palaver of using print screen, as I have here.  I don't see what that achieves - other than to put off bloggers like myself, who are essentially providing free advertising... grr.


  1. The dresses would give a better point of reference if they were worn by a lady whose boob size is much larger than the rest of her frame as this is meant to be one of the selling points of the collection. I worked with a lady who had about size 12 figure and XL boobs and trying to find something that was flattering but not drawing attention was actually difficult.

    Do you think there will be a company creating clothes for the bottom heavy? :D

  2. I'm currently a 36HH and get all my bras from Bravissimo because of the service they provide - I never have to go trawling through looking for bras that might fit, they always just bring them right to me.

    However, I do find it frustrating that so many of the bras really cut you up under the arm. Why do they make them like that? Perfect fit around the boob, wires digging right into your armpit. Perhaps they're making them for taller women. I always end up with Freya bras.

    I also found their much-touted in-built-support tops a bit disappointing. They didn't provide nearly the amount of support a bigger-boobed woman needs and there's no way you could wear their vest tops without a bra, as they claim.

  3. just dropping by to say nice work! saw your blog in Lookville

  4. Love the big boob blog.
    I rejoice at the ever increasing range of attractive bras in my size (I'm a 34 FF/G) and despair at pokey under arm underwires.
    Do you think the manufacturers ever trial their designs on real women?

  5. Thanks for the responses - I know exactly your frustrations - when I got married last year literally the only pretty bra in white / ivory that fitted was the Panache 'Confetti' and it left angry red marks under my arms (fortunately I was too happy to notice, but...). I hate it when companies don't seek out customer feedback - especially in such a specialist area.


Thanks for commenting - always nice to know I'm not talking to myself...