Eventually of course, probably around the age of 15/16 I started to realise the "power" or the boobs and got a bit more comfortable in my own skin. I still had a journey ahead of me, but I was starting to realise I wasn't fat, I just had big boobs. You see, I have a more "unusual" breast size. I have a small back and large cup size. I am normally a 30/32F/FF. For years, and I mean YEARS most shops didn't even stock this size, let alone know how to cope with me. Buying a bra that fitted was almost hopeless. I remember being about 18 and finding out that House of Fraser finally stocked a wider range of bras but even still, they only ever had about 1 or 2 designs in my size to choose from. Buying swimwear was even more of a pain in the ass. I can't go into Debenhams, Top Shop or Primark and just buy a "size 10" bikini. The bottoms would be fine, but the top? No bloody chance. No, I discovered that I could get swimwear to fit me but that I would have to stump up around £60. No cheap and cheerful swimwear for me!
I remember the day I discovered Bravissimo. I was so excited I think I nearly jumped a hole in the floor! Now, according to the Bravissimo website, it started up as a mail order company from the living room of founder Sarah Tremellen in 1995. I certainly didn't discover them then. I think it must have been around 2001/2002 when I found them. I know it made my day though. It was so wonderful to have more than 1 or 2 bras to choose from. In different styles as well!
I started a new Bravissimo journey in 2009 when I was pregnant with Ethan. There was a shop in Cardiff (it's the closest one to me) and I decided to go and get myself fitted part way through my pregnancy as I knew my breasts had grown. I had a fantastic experience there. The staff were kind, helpful, discreet and attentive. You feel really cared for when you're with them, like they are totally focussed on you. I was so impressed.
Now, I am pregnant again. I've been meaning to get myself to Cardiff for months but it just hasn't happened. Finally, this weekend, at 37 weeks pregnant I've made it there again to get myself measured for a bra to wear now and a nursing bra. Again, I had a fantastic experience. I had a lovely lady fitting me called Jane. Just like before, I felt she was totally focussed on me. There was no hint of a rush despite the fact they had full fitting rooms with more people waiting to be fitted. She sorted me out quickly with something to wear now - in fact, I went with the first bra she brought in (a gorgeous spotty number). She also sorted me out a nursing bra. We went for something with some room for growth because I still have a few weeks to go but she was happy to point out that as long as I keep the tags on, I can try it on when I actually need it and if it no longer fits, return it with no issue.
I cannot recommend Bravissimo enough. I'm always recommending people go there, even if they don't believe they are an awkward bra size. So many ladies are actually wearing the incorrect bra size due to the outdated measuring techniques that most shops use (step away from the tape-measure people!!!). I myself had a rubbish experience the other week. In an attempt to avoid the trek to Cardiff, I popped into the Triumph Bra Shop in Clarks Villiage whilst we were there the other weekend. I was "measured" by a grumpy lady and her tape-measure She put me in a bra that I knew was all wrong. It didn't fit, it wasn't supportive in the back and was baggy in the cups. To give you an idea, my new bra from Bravissimo is a 34FF (my nursing bra a 32H) but this lady in Triumph put me in a 38EE. Completely wrong. When I tried to suggest so to her, she got very defensive and just said "Well, that's what the tape-measure says". Hmmm.. I don't trust these old fashioned methods! You can find out more about Bravissimo's fitting philosophy here. You can read all about why the old tape-measure method is so bad here.
I've not been asked to write about this, this isn't a sponsored post. I just love Bravissimo and want to tell you all about them!