Friday, April 25, 2008

Buying Bras Online: a short guide






    Online stores carry a way much better selection of sizes than most stationary stores do. Unless you are living in bra heaven (the UK), the salesgirl at most stores will look scared when you ask her for 60E, and a request for 110J might make her faint on the spot. Of course, she will tell you that your real size is 75C, because whoever heard of such strange sizes ?
   Online stores did hear of them, and they do store huge selections of sizes in many beuatiful models. However buying online makes a lot of people uneasy. Here is why it aint so hard !

Q: I'm scared of buying bras through the internet !

A: Actually, buying bras online can be easier and more comfortable than buying it in real stores.

   Think about it: you can really try on the bra 20 times, prance around the bedroom in it, think about it, ask your boyfriend's opinion... do you get that freedom in the stores ? You can even order a couple of different sizes in the same model, and keep only the one that fits best.
   According to the law, if you are not satisfied, you can return the bra and get the full refund (cost of the bra + even postage costs in many countries). (In Britain, you just need to repeat the formula "the bra is not as it appears to be in the picture") Brastop.com even gives you a 10% discount when you send back a bra and buy another size in the same model.  Think of it as paying caution money to try on a bunch of bras. You pay only if you are satisfied.

Secondly, you won't have to listen to stupid comments of ignorant saleswomen: "My dear, you don't wear 60DD for sure ! Why, your boobs are quite small ! Here, try this 75C" or "Whaaaat ? J cup ? Such monstruous sizes are not manufactured !" (these are real lines heard in bra stores.) Most women working at lingerie stores are stuck in the Bra Matrix and don't have a clue about proper bra fitting.
And finally, how many of us buy stuff just because we feel uncomfortable to say "no" to persuasive salespeople... and when you buy online, you have the time to think about your purchase, and you don't have to offer any explanations if you are not happy with it !


Finally, remember that you might have to "translate" your bra size, according to which country you are living in. It's very easy, just use the bra conversion table.



Q: OK, so where do I start ?
A: Read  How to buy your first right-sized bra for great tips on choosing a bra for your first time in the right size.

Q: Which online stores should I buy from ?
A: Some online stores that offer quality bras, a full size range and reasonable prices. They do international shipping, and have all received good reviews from the ladies in the Lobby Biusciastych:

ONLINE BRA STORES

Most ship worldwide!
UK

EUROPE
Fashionwear24 (Switzerland)
SpravnaPodprsenka (Czech Republic)

USA

CANADA

ASIA
Lora (S.Korea)

AUS & NZ


Is your country not on the list? try googling for online or stationary shops in your area that sell the following brands:

Freya, Panache, Curvy Kate,  Ava, Pour Moi, Alles, Konrad, Parfait Affinitas, Ewa Michalak, Claudette, Fantasie, Chantelle, Marks&Spencer, Kinga, Avocado, Fayreform, Just Peachy, Gossard, Kalyani, Playtex, Gorsenia, Gaia, Virginia, Lepel, La Senza, Comexim, Ultimo, Lupo, Wies-Mann, Mardo, Elle Macpherson Intimates, Lisca, Adore, Miss Mandalay, Calvin Klein, Bravissimo.


You might find info on stores in other countries and languages in these blogs:

busenfreundinnen.net 
Przewodnik po stanikowych sklepach 
Bra Mania 
80B does not exist !   (in English)
Busthalter 
Vsechno o podprsenkach  


   Then there is, of course,  British Ebay. The bras there are much cheaper, but not all sellers let you return their wares. So I suggest doing your first buys in e-stores (or on Ebay shops that let you return or exchange items.) Once you know your size well, and have bought a couple of bras, you'll be much better at buying on Ebay.
Read my guide  Buying bras for the broke: "unusual" sizes on Ebay

Q: Are bra sizes the same with all manufacturers ? How do i know which size to order?

A: Unfortunately no.  Some companies may have slighly smaller or bigger cups, the band may be more or less stretchy, and the underwire may be narrower or broader. The best thing to do before ordering a bra is check out the review on Bratabase, as well as look for reviews on lingerie blogs.

Also, don't forget that some brands have their own sizing systems: for example marks and Spencers don't have a FF cup (after F comes G).

Q: I'm not quite sure what size to get, as I seem to be in between sizes / have a strange bust.
A: Order a couple of sizes, and return all but the best fit. 
Most online stores give 100% refund to unsatisfied customers (in Europe they even refund shipping costs, but do check for laws within your country). For example you might try 40C, 40D, 38D and 38DD. Usually it makes sense to make a bigger order and return most of the bras, rather than ordering just one or two and sending them back and forth.

Q: I'm not sure I want to spend that much on a bra, so far I've been buying bras at the bazar for a dollar or two.
A: First, bras are perhaps more important thing we wear. The bra you wear shapes your breasts in a good or bad weay. Secondly, you can find good and cheap bras.
So, I advise you to invest in a good bra, and scrimp on clothes and shoes if you have to. A bad bra will flatten or squash your breasts, and after some years of that you'll end up hating your bust or considering spending lots on surgery. And remember, a great shaped bust makes you look much better in anything you wear !
Once you've determined your bust size, tested a few bras and found a compatible brand, you can buy great and cheap bras on Ebay (here's my how-to guide). I've got some beautiful new Panache bras from there for less than 10€, and that's including postage.

   Where do you buy your bras? Which online stores would you recommend?

Photo by  chokobichonne  




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5 comments:

  1. I think you make some great points. However, for international customers it's not that easy. Shipping costs are not the problem but custom costs are! I live in Brazil and they pretty much double the costs of the bras! If I have to return bras I never get that money back. :( It's made it extremely difficult to find bras here.

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  2. I had no idea about that, June! That really sucks. What do you think could be a solution? Maybe something could be done to attract brands with a big size range to Brazil.

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  3. I am happy when reading your blog with updated information! Thanks a lot and hope that you will post more site that are related to this site.

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  4. Thanks for informative blog. Keep up good work. Cheers!

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  5. Would like to ad two more fro AUS.
    http://www.isabellaspassion.com.au
    http://www.brasnthings.com/

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