M&S to Boux Avenue — we try virtual bra fittings to see if they measure up

WITH retail shut and non-essential shopping on hold, browsing for a well-fitting bra is a no-go.

Ordering underwear online can be guess work and ending up with incorrect sizes and having the hassle of returns means it can feel like more trouble than it is worth.

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Eight in ten women are wearing the wrong size bra, according to research, and half of women have not had a bra fitting in more than seven years.

Well-known lingerie brands have now come up with the answer to all our lockdown bra woes.

From virtual appointments to video calls with experts on hand to offer advice, there is no excuse when it comes to finding the perfect fit.

Here, Abby McHale, who flits between a 34DD and 34F bra, gets measured up and gives her verdicts on each.

M&S

Online questionnaire – They say: 34GG Abby says: 7/10

THE APPOINTMENT: I find the questionnaire in the lingerie section of the Marks and Spencer website.

Armed with my tape measure, I fill in the details of my back size, measuring, as requested, beneath my bust and all the way round.

I then answer questions about the size of bra I am currently wearing, the brand and how I find it for comfort.

It takes five minutes to complete and at the end of the session, the result tells me I am a 34GG.

Scanning the website for potential buys there are plenty of bras to choose from.

Plus, there is a full range dedicated to women who are a DD chest and upwards.

VERDICT: The cups fit me perfectly and although the straps are comfortable, the band underneath feels slightly tight on one side, which will loosen over time.

Customers can also book a free 20-minute ­virtual appointment for extra guidance.

Purple bra, £18, Marksandspencer.com.

Boux Avenue

Online questionnaire – They say: 36E Abby says: 6/10

THE APPOINTMENT: The quiz on the website asks me for the brand of my usual bra as well as my cup and back size.

It takes a few minutes to complete and I need to make an account to see the results.

A clever ploy to sign up new customers?

It tells me I am a 36E, the largest back size of all the brands I tried.

Some of the questions were a bit confusing and could do with extra explanation.

VERDICT: I loved the style and colour.

Finding a pretty bra when you have a bigger bust can be a challenge.

However, the straps were way too tight on my shoulders even when they were at their loosest and I only just fit into the cup.

Blue bra, £28, Bouxavenue.com.

Figleaves

Phone call – They say: 34G Abby says: 9/10

THE APPOINTMENT: Figleaves has a bra-fitting guide which is easy to access on the home page.

The retailer offers advice on the most common bra problems such as the cup and back size not being the right fit.

There is a number customers can call for more advice.

I call it and within five minutes I get through to a bra expert.

After talking through my bra woes – cup spillage – she suggests I size up from my usual cup size of around 34DD/34F to a 34FF.

She advises me to call back if I still have the same issue once the bra arrives.

VERDICT: I chose a comfortable 34FF beige bra but when it arrived the cup was too large with lots of gaping.

I called Figleaves back but it was difficult to explain the problem clearly over the phone.

Beige bra, £22, Figleaves.com.

Bravissimo

­Zoom call – They say: 34G Abby says: 9/10

THE APPOINTMENT: After filling out the simple request form on the Bravissimo website, I am sent a Zoom link confirming my appointment for the following week.

On the day of the fitting, I am sceptical when my bra expert says she will be able to judge my size simply by looking at my chest.

After a quick look through the webcam she says I should be wearing a size 34G – not the 34DD bra I am in.

She takes me through the different styles on the website and gives me support advice.

VERDICT: I went for a simple, 34G, black bra which was recommended during the fitting.

While it was the perfect fit around the back and the straps were comfortable, there was a slight gaping at the top of each cup.

When I emailed Bravissimo they suggested I move my breast tissue further into the cup which solved the issue.

I was really impressed with the service.

Black lace bra, £34, bravissimo.com.

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