Are Expensive Bras Better Than Cheap Bras?

Are Expensive Bras Better Than Cheap Bras?

I have three freinds with very different approaches to buying bras:

Friend A: I never spend more than 10€ on a bra. The bras from bazaars / the high street are just as good as the more expensive stuff, and I can't see any difference in fit and comfort.
Friend B: I try to spend a bit more to get quality stuff so I spend 30-40€ in places like Triumph.
Friend C: I spend at least 80€ for a bra, I know it's a lot but that is how much I have to spend to find a bra that fits me. I just cannot find anything for me in a lower price range, besides, bra are important, so I prefer to splurge a bit more for quality.

    So which friend is the smartest? Actually all of them have got it wrong. Let me explain. Lets say we divide bras by price into low-end, medium and high-end. (These prices are for orientation only, please remember that they may be different in different countries).

Low end:

    This starts at chinese items at bazaars and ends at high-street stores. Price range of roughly 5€ to 20€. These bras are barely worth your attention -- the size range is tiny, and the quality ranges from awful to ok. All right, maybe if your size is really 75-80 A-C, you might find something here that fits right and doesn't stretch out terribly after a few washes.

Medium end:

     Price range 20€ to 60€. Most of the best bras are in this price range, but not every brand in this range is worth your money. Now, pay attention, there are two kinds of brands here: the pretenders and the real thing. The real thing are quality brands, the pretenders are sorry excuses for a bra company. Now what makes a bra brand a quality bra brand that is worth your money?
1. It offers a big range of sizes, starting at least at a 30 (65) band and hopefully covering cup sizes like J and JJ. No, these sizes are not unusual -- the only reason they are thought to be unusual is the bad fitting practices of the crappy brands which squeeze women into wrong sizes.
2. The construction has to be stable -- bands that have a stable construction and that don't stretch out after two washes, underwires that are not terribly bendy. Also, the cups need to be cut differently in bigger sizes -- you can't just scale a cup to a bigger size and expect it to work.
3. The aesthetics -- the cups should be constructed to give a good shape and be comfortable. This is especially apparent in soft cups where all fit issues are very visible. There should be pretty stuff also in the bigger sizes.
   Some quality bra brands that I know are Ewa Michalak, Affinitas, Freya, Curvy Kate, Fantasie and Panache (and their sister brands) to mention just a few, since their bras fulfill most of the above requirements. Also worth a mention are very affordable in-store brands like Bravissimo and Debenhams. On the higher end of this price range you get more luxurious designs like the Masquerade line of Panache or Fauve by Fantasie.

Imposter Brands:
1. Have a crappy range of sizes and will fit you wrong just so they can make a sale.
2. Stretch out after a couple of washes, bendy underwires, cheap fabrics.
3. The aesthetics in the bigger cups could work as birth-control.
4. Make you feel crappy about your body because you can't find anything that fits you.

High End:

    60€ and up. Here you find a couple of quality brands with luxurious fabrics and designs -- for example some very pretty pieces from brands like Masquerade and Claudette. But mostly for such high prices you will find either Expensive Imposters and Fake Problem Solvers. Expensive Imposters are oh-so-exclusive designer lingerie lines -- their size range is so exclusive that it correctly fits around 1% of the population. The price tag includes mostly the illusion of exclusivity, fees for the advertising and the models, and pure hot air.
    The Fake Problem Solvers are bras that offer to solve problems that would not appear if women simply wore their correct bra size. If you want an example switch on the infomercial channel.

The bottom line:

      When it comes to bras, more expensive doesn't mean better. Quality can't be recognised by the price tag (this goes for most things in life). Also, the best advertised brands aren't the best, neither are the most "popular" ones. I'll mention two lingerie giants, USA's beloved Victoria's Secret and Europe's Triumph. Victoria's Secret, with its ok bras, a miserable offering of sizes and even worse fitters, has been responsible for many women hating their breasts. And what's wrong with Triumph? Their size range is not bad, but the stretchiness of the bands shrinks the size range; not to mention the stretchy underwires,  weak fabrics -- and the fact that the fitter hand bigger-busted women either minimizers or the (in)famous Doreen. When for the same price you can have indestructible Panaches or luxurious Affinita pieces or ingeniering masterpieces from Ewa Michalak, you will realise that Triumph is extremely expensive.

    Now, a question: what is a reasonable price for a bra for you? I used to buy 5€ bazaar bras (arrgh!!) but now I see 30-40€ as a good price for an everyday bra. How about you?

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