Category Archives: highstreet

Bravissimo – a review

Lingerie label Bravissimo got in touch with me the other day and asked me if I wanted to try out their unique fitting service and choose a free lingerie set. I’d already read a really interesting review about them on Retro Chick who had been asked to do the same thing. Curious, and admittedly very tempted by the free underwear, I went along to my bra fitting yesterday.

I have been to bra fittings before, once at M&S, once at Intimissimi, who’d both measured me with a tape measure and had each come to the conclusion I was a 32DD. I’ve followed their guidance and have stuck to the size eve since, although I have been failing to get many bras that fit right.

Just over a year ago, I also had to have quite a bit of skin removed on one of my boobs, which has left it slightly smaller and a different shape to the other one. Although the difference isn’t huge, some of my bras actually accentuate it, which shows under my clothing.

Bravissimo are aimed at women with bigger boobs, their range going from a D to KK cup, and uniquely they don’t measure you with a tape but fit you based on looking at your boobs. This is something that makes a lot of sense to me, I’ve never understood how measuring your chest circumference can tell you anything about what cup size to wear.

At my fitting appointment I was lead to a lovely, plush fitting room and allocated an assistant, Chantelle, who was both friendly and knowledgable. After looking at me in my bra, she went off to fetch a range of models and sizes. The first bra I tried on fit amazingly and evened out the difference in shape and size of my boobs.  I’d gone down a back size but up two cups, yet my boobs actually looked smaller. Chantelle asked me to put on my top again, a size 10 Topshop blouse, amazingly it was now visibly too big.

Once we’d established my size, Chantelle suggested different bra styles, and after trying on a simple T-shirt bra and a fancier balcony one, I settled for a Harmony set. I have to admit, there weren’t that many styles that appealed to me. I like my lingerie simple and minimal in vintage-inspired shapes and a lot of Bravissimo’s range steers towards a lot of lace in pastel colours – not really my thing. The Harmony bra, which comes with either thongs or briefs (I went for briefs) is one set whose design I really liked though.

Would I recommend Bravissimo?

  • Yes, definitely! I’m genuinely surprised what a huge difference wearing the right kind of bra makes – I’ve actually gone down a whole dress size, dresses and tops that were a bit tight now fit properly or are even too big.
  • The service was impeccable and my fitter, Chantelle, made sure I felt comfortable at all times, offering to leave the changing room in case I didn’t want to get changed in front of her.
  • In case you are not happy with a purchase or your bra starts getting uncomfortable once you start wearing it, you can return it.
  • It’s lovely to go lingerie shopping in style. Seriously, who wants to quickly grab a bra in a rush? Just like shoes or other items you wear a lot, taking your time and trying things on is essential.
  • The prize range is fine – I personally don’t consider £25 upwards for a bra very expensive, especially if it is well made and lasts for many months.

Is there a downside? The only thing that will stop me from exclusively shopping there in the future (and I will most certainly be back soon to get one or two more sets), is the limited range of design. I’m a What Katie Did or Riby and Peller kind of girl and would love to see more minimalist glamour.

Star rating? 4 out of 5.

Swedes + Swedes = clogs for everyone

What happens if a Swedish fashion retailer – H&M – collaborates with a Swedish cult shoe label – Swedish Hasbeens? Seventies inspired clogs and wood sandals at affordable prices. The new collaboration will be in stores on 20 April with prices starting at £35. I’m a big fan of the Hasbeens but can’t really afford their £100 + price tag so this is one designer-highstreet combo I’m really looking forward to.

Topshop goes 70s prep

I’m rather taken by Topshop’s spring collection, particularly their Graduate-themed one (“preppy with a 70s twist”), which has a range of good, basic pieces.

Cream striped bow blouse, £38

Coral leather bag, £55

Tan suede skirt, £55

Topshop does 60s – well sort of

Their new collection is called ‘Demi Couture’ ( err, why?) and aimes to ‘exude girlish 60s charm’. In my opinion it’s as authentically Sixties as an Austin Powers fancy dress party, but saying that, I seriously like the black fur-collar coat, which I already have in green. Can I justify buying the same thing in two different colours?

I’m also rather taken by the lacy peter pan collar dress and the Greta mary janes. This might need further investigating in my lunch break…

Sale is my favourite four letter word

London-based label Dahlia are having a special sale on. With promo code BIRTHDAY you can get 10% off all full-priced items until the end of the month.

 

Strike me

Totally love this lightning bolt shirt from Whistles. But not for £95.

Tried and tested: A|wear

Last week I was invited to try and test out the shopping experience on online retailer A|wear. I have to admit I’d never heard of them before…

At first glance I wasn’t actually sure I’d find anything on  A|wear I really like – I am not particularly into trend-lead clothing after all. In terms of what’s on offer I’d say A|wear sits somewhere between New Look and Miss Selfridges. There’s your aviator jacket, your pussy bow blouse, your leopard print coat, good solid copies of current fashion trends, but nothing that would fuel my thirst for individual, stand-out pieces.

In terms of the shopping experience, I rather liked how key pieces were grouped together in themed collections, although rather disappointingly, the ‘Factory Girl’ selection wasn’t quite as Sixties as I’d hoped. Each item is described in detail and shoppers can leave feedback and rate items, something I found very valuable as not all feedback on the site is positive.

In the end I decided to go for this leopard print scarf (£12), a bird pattern jumper (£30) and some black Wayfairer-esque sunglasses (£4 in the sale).

The order arrived promptly within three days and each item was carefully wrapped in pink tissue paper –  a nice touch, the quality is surprisingly good too.

So would will I become an A|wear regular? Given that I’m into more quirky, vintage pieces probably not. But if you are looking for on trend items, the site is a great alternative to shopping on the highstreet.