Last year, you may remember, I had my first bra fitting in waaaaaay too long at Bravissimo Solihull. It was a brilliant experience, relieving the actual, physical pain that I was experiencing from wearing the wrong size bra. My only feedback was that I wished that there was a store in Birmingham, and that there were more high waisted knickers on offer. Well, guys, good news – Bravissimo have opened a fabulous new store in Birmingham City Centre, and they invited me along to take a look around, and get another fitting. Double good news – when I arrived at the stylish new store front on Cannon Street, I was greeted by these high waisted beauties in the window…
So, first thing’s first, why another fitting so soon? Well, in reality I’m actually quite late. Bravissimo’s experts recommend having a fitting every 6 months, to take account of fluctuations in size due to various reasons, including weight change. I’ve actually lost around a stone since my last fitting, and had noticed that my favourite bras (I have basically become addicted to the Satine since I got my first, and snapped it up in multiple colours and patterns, a bit of a wonder as before Bravissimo, I really thought I’d never find a plunge bra where my boobs didn’t just fall out of the middle) were becoming a little wrinkly/baggy in the cup area. However, I just hadn’t managed to get over to Solihull for a ‘bra check up’ due to all of the wedding/moving/hospital madness that went on in the beginning of this year.
So, I was pretty convinced upon my arrival that I’d be going down a cup size.
Before my fitting I was shown around the new store – it’s a new concept for Bravissimo, with a very ‘city feel’ – lots of grey wood panelling and exposed brick. It really does feel very stylish, and I liked that they’d switched things up and showcased their underwear at the front of the shop, with the Pepperberry range of curvy clothing at the back. I noticed that even though we’re coming into Autumn/Winter, there is still a good range of swimwear stocked, which is great as we don’t all go away in the Summer, and large-cupped bikinis can be a pain to find at the best of times! And mentioning Pepperberry, the focus in this store is very much on the things that curvy ladies can find difficult to buy – button-through shirts, coats, and dresses – although you will also find a few pairs of jeans and trousers to complete your curvy capsule wardrobe. I particularly liked a striking navy and orange tartan dress, perfect for livening up your office wardrobe, and in general was really impressed with the amount of navy over black.
We then popped downstairs to the fitting rooms. I loved the fact that each room is named for a real ‘Bravissimo girl’ (I was able to use one with my name on it!) and features an inspiring quote from them. Again, the decor in the fitting rooms is like a sumptuous city centre apartment, lots of beautiful mirrors, more exposed brick, and colourful velvet seating. A soft knitted robe was provided for me to change into, and the expert fitter then had a quick chat to me about their techniques – no tape measures, purely going on how the bra looks and feels on your body, checking things like the cup encompassing the whole breast (this had been my issue last time – I was wearing way too small a cup size, which was pulling my whole bra forward, causing them to dig in painfully at the sides), the gore (the part of your bra between the cups) sitting flat against the body, and the band fitting comfortably around your body on the loosest setting (enabling you to do it up tighter as the bra stretches with wear.)
I explained my issues, and showed the fitter my ‘wrinkly cups’ (!) she took a quick look, asked me the size I was wearing, and asked me a few questions about my bra preferences (no black!) and off she went to gather a few styles.
The first one I popped on was my old favourite (and in fact what I’d worn to the fitting) – the Satine. It fitted perfectly. “Brilliant”, I said, “so much better. What size is this?”
The fitter revealed with a smile that it was EXACTLY the same size as the one I was wearing.
You see, I’d ignored another of Bravissimo’s cardinal rules – regularly worn bras last around 6 months. The one I was wearing was the newest, at 7 months old (and, thinking about it, by far the least ‘wrinkly’), and other (far baggier!) bras in my collection were up to a year old. After throwing out my old, incorrect sized bras last year, I have a far smaller selection that I’ve re-purchased, and hence am wearing them a lot more often.
I hadn’t got smaller – the bras had got bigger!
I was glad to find that the weight I’d lost hadn’t entirely come off my chest – and to updating my underwear drawer. The lovely folks at Bravissimo had offered to gift me a set, and although I tried a few on and it was a difficult decision, I of course returned to the fabulous Etta longline bra (which is actually based, surprise surprise, on my favourite Satine shape) and matching highwaisted knickers – this really is the shape that suits me the best. I find that any low-cut knickers simply roll under my tummy, which I find uncomfortable, and I prefer the smooth line under clothes that the high waist gives me. I mentioned earlier in my post that I’d really struggled to find higher waisted shapes previously in Bravissimo, and blog readers have commented to me that they’d found the same, so it was great to find multiple styles this time (although I’d love to see even more!)
All in all, a fantastic service in a beautiful new shop. I’ll definitely be back, and will be putting a note in my diary for another fitting in 6 months!
If you fancy checking it out yourself, the lovely folks at Bravissimo were also kind enough to offer the following to my readers, so go on – treat yourself!
10% off full price Bravissimo purchases for readers of Emily Jayne
Quote ‘Love Brum’ in store.
39-40 Cannon St, B2 5EE
Terms and conditions apply. This offer is valid on full price styles only at our Birmingham shop until 16th October 2016. It cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount.