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New year, new lingerie! It’s the perfect time to review and refresh your lingerie drawer. Book a professional bra fitting if you haven’t had one for a while, and take some time out this month to try on all of your existing bras to check that they still fit you well. Check too for ones that are looking a little worse for wear – bras have a finite lifespan and, especially if it’s a well-loved favourite that you reach for all the time, it could well be time to find a replacement.

Whether it turns out that you do in fact need some new bras or you simply feel like treating yourself, below I’ve rounded up 8 chic bras that will breathe fresh life into your lingerie wardrobe this spring. Because whilst we may still be in the depths of winter right now, but it won’t be much longer until the mornings start getting brighter, the evenings later, and the skies a whole lot sunnier. And a bright new season calls for stylish intimates that will match your upbeat mood!

Here are eight pretty bras to lift your mood this spring: 

Romina Unlined Wire Bra

unpadded lace bras

Romina Unlined Wire Bra P5522 in Mediterranean Blue

Wave goodbye to gloomy grey weather and welcome in the bright blue skies of spring with the Romina Unlined Wire Bra P5522, designed especially with the new Spring-Summer 2018 season in mind. With contrasting black trims, it’s a vibrant, youthful style with a refreshing splash of colour that is sure to perk you up in the mornings!

Marion Unlined Wire Bra

what is an unlined bra

Marion Unlined Wire Bra P5392 in Pink Parfait

For a softer, more romantic antidote to the darkness of winter, you’ll simply love the blush-pink Marion Unlined Wire Bra P5392. The unlined version is made from all-over lace for a look that’s beautifully delicate, but with a subtle, beige mesh backing to ensure it still offers all of the support you need.

Ava Padded Bra

best padded bra

Ava Padded Bra P5371 in Black Floral

Nothing says springtime like a colourful floral print, and they don’t come much more eye-catching than on the vintage-inspired Ava Padded Bra P5371. It has all the practicality you’d expect from a standard smooth, t-shirt style bra, but the luscious, leafy print and cute button details make it far more fun to wear!

Casey Plunge Molded Bra

floral print bra

Casey Plunge Molded Bra 2801 in Black/Rose Print

If you like the Ava above, there’s a good chance you’ll love our Casey Plunge Molded Bra 2801 too. Also black with a bold floral print, this one has a plunge shape at the front that makes it a better choice if you tend to wear a lot of low V necklines once the weather warms up. Or, you know, you could always treat yourself to the two of them.


Related: Bra Shopping Guide: Tips For Buying New Bras


Charlotte Padded Bra

what's a padded bra

Charlotte Padded Bra 6901 in Floral Shimmer

Prefer your underthings to be more neutral in colour? You can still indulge in some beautiful springtime blooms with the floral version of the Charlotte Padded Bra 6901. The #1 Parfait bestseller, it features the same highly-supportive construction and expansive size range (up to a 44G) as its block-coloured counterparts, but with the added plus of a gorgeous monochrome print.

Irene Unlined Wire Bra

what is an unlined demi bra

Irene Unlined Wire Bra P5332 in Ivory

For a more subtle take on florals, take a look at our ivory Irene Unlined Wire Bra P5332. The semi-sheer, flowery mesh feels wonderfully light and breathable against the skin, perfect for those warm and breezy spring mornings.

Enora Minimizer Bra

best minimizer bra for dd

Enora Minimizer Bra P5272 in Whisper Blue

When the skies outside are clear and bright, match your underwear to your mood with our Enora Minimizer Bra P5272. In the lightest of powder blues and with a clean-cut design, it feels fresh, chic and very modern. From a distance it may seem like a fairly simple bra design, but take a close-up look and you’ll fall in love with the gorgeous jacquard detail on the fabric and the little silver charm between the cups.

Sandrine Plunge Longline Bra

plus size longline bra

Sandrine Plunge Longline Bra P5351 in Wild Pink

Let’s end this list the way it started – with a lingerie option that’s bold and bright enough to carry you not just through spring but through the summertime too. How could it be anything other than the fuchsia pink Sandrine Plunge Longline Bra P5351? Not just pretty but practical too, the lacy longline is boned and offers exceptional support despite the deep plunge neckline. Put this one on in the mornings and you’ll instantly be feeling zesty, energetic and ready for the day ahead!


Related: 12 Reasons Why You Should Invest In Beautiful Lingerie


We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Do you treat yourself to new lingerie as the seasons change? What’s your favourite bra featured here today?

Found your perfect bra? It goes without saying that you want your purchase to last as long as possible, and here some tips to help make that happen. However, even with the very best care, no bra lasts forever.

Bras come under a lot of strain when worn, particularly in the larger cup sizes. Underwires get pulled out of shape around the curve of your ribcage, and spend the day pushing against their casing as they try to spring back to their resting position. The elastic of the band and straps gets stretched, and even the fabric of the cups comes under some pressure from supporting the weight of your bust.

Do you always need to throw out (or donate) your bra at the first sign of deterioration though? The answer is: it depends. Some types of damage can be repaired, giving your bra a new lease on life and letting you wear that everyday favourite a little while longer. Other types of damage are harder to fix, and may signify that the bra is no longer able to offer the support it’s supposed to.

Having trouble parting with your old bras? We’ve got you covered.

Check out our helpful guide for when to fix an old bra, and when to replace it:

Easy bra fixes

These bra hacks and repairs are so simple to do, and can add months to your bra’s lifespan in a matter of minutes!

Discolouration

Bra looking a bit old and grey? Or yellow? Often, stains on a bra can be attributed to deodorant, sweat or a general build-up of dirt. A good scrub will get most out, or at least fade them. For tougher marks, try using baking soda or a soak in a well-diluted 3% hydrogen peroxide solution.

Slipping straps

If your straps no longer used to slip off your shoulders but now they won’t stop, the solution could be as simple as adjusting them. The elastic may have lost some of its stretch, or the sliders may just have moved out of place. And if they’re already at their shortest, small clips are available to convert regular straps into a tighter racerback – you can even do it using only a paperclip!

Tougher bra fixes

These bra fixes require a little sewing know-how – or paying for the services of a local seamstress – but are a wallet-friendly alternative to buying a whole new bra.

A popped underwire

When an underwire breaks through the end of its casing, it can be quite painful. But it can be fixed! You’ll find a number of no-sew solutions online, but for the most secure and long-lasting repair you’ll want to get your sewing kit out. Push the wire back inside the casing and stitch it closed. If the wire is still threating to pop back out, or the stitched area starts to rub, sew a strip of thick, soft fabric such as moleskin on top.

A loose band

Over time, the elastic in your bra’s band will deteriorate and it will get longer. That’s why you should buy a bra that fits on the loosest hook, so that you can gradually tighten it over time. What to do, besides replacing it of course, when you just can’t get it tight enough though? Either remove the hook and eye sections, cut some band length away and sew them back on, or simply fold the band and keep it that way with a few stitches.


Related: How Long Should Bras Last?


how often to replace bras

Parfait Sandrine Plunge Longline Bra P5351 | Parfait Sandrine Brazilian Thong P5354 in Cameo Rose

Signs your bra is not worth fixing

Crushed molded cups

If your molded bra cups have become lumpy or dented, sadly they’re going to stay that way. To avoid this happening in the first place, always reshape the cups whilst damp and store the bra in such a way that the cups aren’t being crushed.

Holes

If your bra is so damaged it actually has holes, it’s definitely a sign that it’s time to move on! The biggest culprit here is a harsh washing routine; minimise the risk of holes developing in your other bras by hand-washing or using mesh lingerie bags in the washing machine, and avoid the tumble dryer altogether.

Visible elastic threads

Over time, the elastic fibres in certain materials (particularly stretch lace) will become brittle and break. Speaking of tumble-dryers, this will happen rather fast if you use one for your bras, since heat is particularly good at destroying elastic! You’ll see it as tiny strands of elastic poking out of the straps or fabric. As well as being unsightly, it’s a sign the support is being compromised, and there’s unfortunately just no way to undo it.

It no longer fits

Just because a bra once fit you perfectly, doesn’t mean it always will. The band can stretch out (see above), or you can change size. Here are 10 signs your bra is no longer a good fit. At best a poorly-fitting bra won’t be supporting your bust the way it should be, at worst it will be causing substantial discomfort. So if your bra’s no longer a great fit, it’s time to replace it with one that is.

To repair or replace?

As you can see, many types of bra damage can be repaired. You’ll need to invest a little time, and perhaps a little money, but are all worth considering if you really love the bra and are keen to keep hold of it.

If your bra is suffering from multiple signs of damage listed above though, it’s time for a replacement. Patching up a small fault is one thing, but when the bra is practically falling apart, there’s no way it will be doing its job properly anymore. No one likes getting rid of a bra that was once a firm favourite, but just think of it as a chance to treat yourself to something lovely and new. A new bra perhaps?


Related: The Best Places To Donate Your Old Bras


how often should bras be replaced

Parfait Elissa Strapless Contour Bra P5011 in Pearl White

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Featured image lingerie:
Parfait Elissa Strapless Contour Bra P5011 in Black

Do you ever repair your bras? Or do you get rid of them as soon as they start to look a bit old?

We’ve all got a bra that we love simply because of the shape it gives us. So you’ll know already that your breasts can look quite different depending on which bra you’ve got on. Some will give you lots of lift, some won’t, some create a very rounded profile, some one that’s a bit pointier or flatter… But why is this? And how can you predict what shape a bra is going to create when you’re shopping online and can’t try it on?

Below I run through some of the construction basics of a bra that affect its shape: 

What do bra seams do?

What’s the point of seams in a bra? Rather a lot as it happens – they’re fundamental to creating the bra’s unique shape.

Vertical seams

Vertical seams are there for support. The seam is thicker than the fabric surrounding it, and therefore stronger. Imagine holding something heavy inside a piece of thin fabric. The lowest point where the strain on the fabric is at its highest is going to stretch and deform.

Your breast is like that object, and adding a strip of reinforced fabric prevents the cup from warping so that the bra holds its shape better. Typically, if there’s a vertical seam it’ll be up the centre of the cup where it’s under the most strain. Some bras though have multiple vertical seams, for lots of upwards lift!

Horizontal seams

Horizontal seams on the other hand don’t affect the amount of lift the bra has. Instead, they’re there to give it more ‘forwards projection’. A totally horizontal seam that runs straight across the nipple will create a more perky, pointed shape. One that runs slightly diagonally, up towards the strap, will create more of a rounded shape.

Seam combinations

A popular bra style is the ‘3 part cup’ – the bottom part has a vertical seam, but it’s cut off by a horizontal/diagonal one instead of reaching all the way to the top of the cup.

A bra that is only vertically-seamed is very uplifting, but can make your chest look somewhat flat from the side. So this combination of vertical support and horizontal shaping creates a shape that is both lifted and rounded. Full-busted women in particular tend to love it!


Related: 3 Important Factors That Determine Your Bra Band Size


What else affects bra shape?

Seams are very important, but they’re not the only thing that influences bra shaping. With bras being such intricate garments – often containing dozens of individual pieces and components – there are all sorts of ways for designers to tweak the basic shape of a bra.

Side supports

A side support is a vertical piece of fabric reaching from the base of the bra up to the strap. It may be a part of the cup itself, or a separate sling inside the bra. The point of a side support is to stop breasts splaying out sideways. The support pushes breast tissue at the outer edges inwards, creating a narrower shape from the front and a more projected one when seen from the side.

Gore size

The gore is the little piece of fabric at the centre-front, between the two cups. Some bras have a wide gore, with maybe as much as an inch between the two underwires. On other bras, it’s much more narrow – the wires may even be touching.

A wider gore will help to separate your breasts, and a narrow one will therefore hold them closer together. If you’re aiming for cleavage, you want as narrow a gore as possible.

Underwire shape

The underwire sits right at the base of your breast, and is designed to mold the soft breast tissue above into a particular shape. The narrower the U shape of the wire, the narrower (and therefore more projected) a shape you’ll have in it. Though be sure it is still sitting entirely under your breast – if it’s on top of it, it’s too small and you need a larger cup size.

There are also plunge bra underwires, which are less U-shaped and more like a J, not coming up very high on the inner side. This allows your breast to ‘spill over’ as it were at the centre, creating cleavage.

Molding and padding

Some people love unlined bras, others swear by molded ones. In a molded bra, the cup is pre-formed using heat, and retains its shape when you take it off. It’s therefore perfect for giving you a very smooth, round shape. Many molded cups don’t even require seaming because they hold their shape so well, though you can find molded bras with seams for adding support.

Padding is an extra-thick area inside the bra cup designed to give you the appearance of a larger bust. The padding may be built-in, or in the form of removable pads. If the padding is across the bottom of the cup, your breasts rest on top of it and therefore sit higher on your chest. If the padding is towards the outer side of the cup, it forces your breast tissue inwards – another way to create cleavage.

Now go find a bra you love!

You can refer back to this guide when shopping online, to get a sense of how the bra is going to look and fit. Take a moment to analyse that favourite bra of yours, the one that you love the shape of. Which direction do the seams go in? How wide is the gore? Are there side supports? Note down the key construction features, and you’ll be better able to hunt down bras by other brands that will fit in a similar way.


Related: The Complete Guide To Breast Shapes


We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Featured image lingerie:
Parfait Matilda Contour Plunge Padded Bra P5311 in Bisque

What’s your favourite type of bra construction?

If you’re unsure of what bra band size you need, a tape measure is a good place to start. Wrap it horizontally around your ribcage, just underneath your breasts where your bra band would sit. Pull it as firmly as is comfortable, and read the measurement in inches. Now you’ve got a figure to work from, but here’s the thing – that number might be your band size, or it might not be. Numerical measurements can only tell you so much about your body.

Of course, there is some correlation between body size and band size, but it’s not as simple as saying a clothing size 8 = a 32 bra band, a clothing size 10 = a 34 bra band and so on. Two women can both measure the same around the ribcage and yet wear (well-fitting) bras that are one or even two band sizes different.

Here are 3 other factors that come into play when determining your bra band size:

Body Composition

The majority of the support in a bra comes from the band, and to be able to offer that support it needs to fit rather snugly so it’s not slipping and sliding around. If your ribcage is soft and squishy, your band will need to hug you a little more tightly to get that same, firm fit. In other words, you’ll need a smaller band size than someone whose ribcage isn’t as easily compressible.

So what affects how ‘squishable’ your ribcage is? One thing is the amount and location of body fat – is there a layer cushioning your ribcage, or do you not carry much fat here? Another is bone structure – do you have a wide or narrow ribcage? Muscle mass is important too. It’s harder to compress than fat, so if you are regularly exercising the muscles that surround your upper chest, your band size may be larger than that of someone with a different or less-intensive workout routine.

Personal Preference

Even with identical measurements and very similar body types, two people can still wear a different band size. That’s because a part of it is simply personal preference. One person’s ‘comfortably firm’ may be another person’s ‘ouch, this is too constrictive!’.

A bra band does need to fit snugly in order to provide support. However, it’s also important that you’re comfortable. If it’s so tight that you’re finding it irritating or painful, do size up. You should always feel like you can breathe and move about easily in your bra.

You may also just not feel like heavy-duty support is a priority for you, particularly if your cup size is at the smaller end of the scale. In this case, you can ‘get away with’ a band that’s slightly looser.


Related: Why Do So Many Women Wear The Wrong Bra Size?


Brand Differences

If you’ve got a few minutes to spare and are feeling bored, try this little experiment: gather all of your bras with the same size label and lay them out flat to compare the bands. Are they the same length? If you own bras from a mixture of brands, you’ll almost certainly find that some are longer or shorter than the others.

This is because there’s no universal standard for bra sizing that all brands adhere to. Even the way they will tell you to calculate your bra size differs, with some sizing guides saying that if you measure 34” around the ribcage you should start by trying a 34 band size, and others telling you to add 4 inches and try a 38 band size. This means that some brands’ 38 bands will actually stretch to 38”, and others only to 34”. There can be quite a difference!

Remember:

Confused? It would be understandable. The best way to work out the band size you need in a particular bra is to head to a boutique and try a few on. Remember that once you’ve found your ideal fit in the cups, if you move up or down a band size you’ll need to do the opposite in the cup size. It’s called sister sizing and there’s a full explanation and handy conversion chart here.

As always with bra sizing, when in doubt consider getting a professional fitting. You may be surprised at the band size they suggest for you to try, but if you give it a go you may be even more surprised at how the bra looks and feels on!


Related: The 7 Golden Rules Of Lingerie Shopping


We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Featured image lingerie:
Parfait Irene Unlined Wire Bra P5332 in Ivory

How do your underbust measurement and bra band size compare? And do you find that you wear a different band size depending on the brand?

Once you’ve found your perfect bra and made it yours, it goes without saying that you want to keep it looking great for as long as possible. And whilst no bra lasts forever, even your everyday favourites should survive longer than just a few months before they begin looking shabby and worn.

If your bras seem to be looking old before their time, it could just be that they’re particularly low-quality ones. More likely though, it’s a sign that there are things you could do to improve the way you’re caring for them.

Here are 5 tips on wearing, washing, drying and storing your bras that will dramatically improve their lifespan:

Put your bra onto clean, dry skin

Deodorants, body creams, lotions, oils… all of these things can get clogged up in the fabric’s fibres, gradually discolouring it over time. And if you spray perfume on over your bra, you should know that it can not only affect the material’s colour but make it pill and wear thin more easily too.

So as far as your bra is concerned, it’s best to put it onto skin that’s completely clean. In the real world of course, you may not be prepared to give up using skincare products on your chest area altogether, but you can at least let the products soak in and dry fully before you put a bra on top.

Wash your bras regularly

Following on from the above, be sure to rotate your bras often and wash your bras frequently – it’s much easier to remove dirt before it’s had a chance to build up! Even if your skin is free from toiletry products, there will still be natural body oils, sweat and dead skin cells to contend with.

Exactly how often you should wash your bras is a hotly-debated topic. However, if you’ve been sweating excessively – enjoying a high-intensity workout in your sports bra for example – then that bra definitely needs to go straight in the wash. For other bras, unless they’re obviously dirty, then I would say washing them after every 2 to 4 wears is about right.


Related: How Often Should You Change Your Bra?


how to hand wash bras

Wash your bras by hand

We all live busy lives. When you’re faced with a family-sized mountain of laundry to work through, throwing your bras in with a load can seem so much more simple and tempting than washing them separately by hand. I get it. However, if you’re really determined to keep your bras in tip-top condition, then I cannot emphasise enough how much of a different hand-washing makes.

If you absolutely must machine-wash your bras, be sure to do so on a gentle, low-heat, low-spin setting. Protect delicate bras inside a mesh washing bag too. Here’s a more in-depth guide on how to wash your bras by machine or by hand.

Allow bras to air dry

Just like hand-washing, air-drying bras makes a huge difference compared to tumble-drying. In fact, it’s even more crucial to keeping them in great condition because excessive heat can destroy a good bra in just one spin cycle.

All bras contain elastic fibres, and these don’t react well to heat. Once they’re damaged, your bra’s band and straps will lose their stretch, and that affects the fit. So dry your bras on a washing line instead – but hanging them from the band also risks stretching it out, so drape them at the centre between the cups. And no laying them out on a hot radiator either!

Store your bras carefully

You don’t want to go to all the effort of washing and drying your bras with care, only for them to get damaged sitting in your lingerie drawer. Before you put them away, fasten the hooks at the back f the band so that they can’t snag on any of the delicate lace and mesh fabrics they’ll be stored amongst.

Molded cups can also become crushed pretty easily, and like a sheet of crumpled paper, once they’re wrinkled and dented you’ll never quite get them perfectly smooth again. The easiest solution is to lay your molded bras one on top of the other, so that each pair of cups is held in shape by the ones below. Avoid just shoving your bras into a drawer and hoping for the best – you might be disappointed!


Related: How Long Should Bras Last?


how to store bras

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Featured image lingerie:
Parfait Sandrine Unlined Wire Bra P5352 in Cameo Rose

How do you care for your bras? And how long do they typically last before they start looking like they’re due a replacement?

With over 1,000 stores across the United States, Victoria’s Secret is the largest player in the US lingerie industry by far. So when it’s time to buy a new bra, it can seem like the obvious place to go.

However, I’m here today to hopefully convince you to take a trip to your local lingerie boutique instead. These are 5 things you can expect to find when you head to an independent lingerie retailer:

1.  Superior Service

Let’s face it, a lot of people working at a store like Victoria’s Secret won’t be particularly passionate about what they do – it’s the kind of high-turnover job that a person often takes to support themselves through college, until they’re qualified for whatever else it is that they want to do in life.

On the other hand, someone who’s launched their own lingerie boutique clearly loves what they do, and this difference affects everything when it comes to customer service. You may find that the staff in a smaller boutique to be friendlier or more approachable, and they will almost certainly be more knowledgeable about brands, styles, bra fit and so on.

You can also expect to receive more personalised customer service. If you’ve had a fitting for example, some lingerie boutiques will record your size and style preferences so that they remember them for the next time you’re in. Their goal is to build a long-term relationship with you, not just to hit this week’s sales quota, which means they’re less likely to try to sell you a bra that’s not quite what you need.

2.  Better Bra Fittings

Following on from the above, I’ve heard more than a handful of stories from people who went to Victoria’s Secret for a bra fitting and were measured as a size they’re not. Perhaps it was because the fitter was trying to sell them whatever bra they could (rather than admitting they’d be better off shopping elsewhere), or perhaps it was simply a lack of training.

Either way, you’re more likely to receive a ‘proper’ bra fitting if you do it at an independent boutique, where the owner most likely has years of experience and really knows what they are doing. It’s also, again, a more personal and one-on-one service – I know of at least one girl who was passed between three different sales associates for a single bra fitting at Victoria’s Secret!

3.  A Wider Size Range

Despite four decades of existence, Victoria’s Secret has never bothered trying to expand into full-bust sizes (beyond a DD and DDD/E anyway), and stops at an XL. So if you’re plus-sized, full-busted or particularly petite, lingerie shopping at Victoria’s Secret may not even be an option.

I’m not saying that lingerie boutiques that also focus on this core size range don’t exist, but there are also numerous specialty boutiques out there that offer something different. In fact, some independent retailers can special order a particular size for you, even if it’s not one that they normally carry. Now that’s a level of service you don’t get at a big chain store!


Related: Why Do So Many Women Wear The Wrong Bra Size?


best alternative to victoria's secret

Parfait Marion Unlined Wire Bra P5392 in Tango Red

4.  More Styles to Try

Victoria’s Secret may have a lot of bras on its shelves, but they’re all by one brand – Victoria’s Secret. It’s common knowledge that they favour a moulded, t-shirt bra kind of design, but there is so much more to lingerie than just that one look.

An independent lingerie boutique will carry numerous different brands, which inevitably means a variety of different styles – and that means a much higher chance of finding a set that’s right for you. And I’m not just talking about fit but aesthetic too; from minimalist or frou frou, a local boutique is the perfect place to pick up something unique.

5.  A Way to Support the Local Economy

Studies have shown that when you shop at a local business, more of your money stays within the local economy than when you spend the same with a bigger company.

If you love the independent boutiques that make your local area unique, then buy your bras from a small lingerie shop and help not only that store, but the local community in general to survive and thrive. You get a chic new lingerie set and a warm, fuzzy feeling inside – who doesn’t want that?

Choosing to shop at a local lingerie boutique instead of at Victoria’s Secret seems to me like a better experience all-round. When a business can’t compete with big chain stores on factors like price or accessibility, it finds ways to excel in other areas, and offers benefits that the big retailers can’t. And when it’s their own livelihood on the line, you know that independent boutique owners will go that extra mile to make sure you’re totally happy with your lingerie purchase.


Related: 10 Bra Fitting and Lingerie Store Secrets Professional Bra Fitters Want You To Know


We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Featured image lingerie:
Parfait Marion Contour Padded Bra P5391 | Parfait Marion Hipster P5395 in Tango Red

Do you prefer to shop at local lingerie boutiques over Victoria’s Secret, and why or why not?

Do you have a favourite lingerie label, one that you shop with season after season because they keep on bringing out new designs that are simply everything you could want in a bra? Or are you still hunting down this elusive brand, the one that feels like it was created especially for you?

It’s frustrating to be in that latter camp. It can feel like you may never find your perfect bra. Don’t give up just yet though! Instead of continually seeking out new lingerie brands to try, why not invest that energy into encouraging the ones you already know and like to make a few changes to the way they do things?

“What’s the point?”, you may be asking yourself, “Why would the lingerie brand listen to me?”. And you’d be right that they aren’t going to go ahead and tweak a design simply because one customer asked for it. If you’re one of fifty customers however, they just might.

The truth is that lingerie brands really do value customer feedback. That’s why they spend money on consumer satisfaction surveys, and work with fit models not just to see how the lingerie looks but to get an opinion on things like comfort too. The brand is only going to stay in business if enough people buy its bras, so they want to make the lingerie that you want to buy.

Perhaps you know a bra brand that makes your perfect fit, but the colours they choose are rather boring. Or there’s one creating stunning bra designs that you absolutely love, but the size range stops just below the one you need.

Whatever your frustration is, here are three ways to maximise your chances of things changing in future collections.

Leave a review

If a lingerie brand allows customers to write product reviews on their site, and many do, then this is the quickest and most straightforward way to share your thoughts. You may think you’re helping other customers, and you are, but you can be sure the brand is going to read your feedback too!

Remember to be constructive – “I didn’t find this bra comfortable” doesn’t really give them anything to work off of. On the other hand, “The straps were too thin and dug in” or “the mesh wasn’t soft enough and felt scratchy” tells the brand exactly what they could do differently next time.

No option to leave a review? You can still drop the brand an email. Even if it’s a simple question such as “Do you have any plans to expand into 40 band sizes?”, you’ll still be making it known that there’s an audience out there who’d be buying their lingerie if only they could.


Related: Here’s Why Bras Cost What They Do


Spread the word

As I mentioned earlier, a single customer is going to have a tough time trying to influence a lingerie brand on their own. That’s why it’s important to get other people involved too.

Love a brand’s latest campaign featuring plus-sized models? Share it on social media. Seen a newly-released bra set you absolutely adore? Share that with your friends, even if it’s just over a glass of wine come Friday night – they may just fall in love with it too.

A thumbs up on Facebook might not seem like much, but having a product or campaign ‘go viral’ can lead to positive press coverage for the brand, and make them seem more popular in the eyes of retailers – and the better the brand is doing financially, the better-equipped they’ll be to invest in things like improving their fit!

Buy – and not just on sale!

At the end of the day, the success of any brand depends on whether people are buying its products. Introducing new sizes in particular requires a considerable financial investment. If a lingerie brand responds to hundreds of requests for G+ cups by introducing them, only to find that very few get bought, you can expect those larger cup sizes to be dropped again in future collections.

So if you’re vocal about wanting something from your favourite lingerie brand and they take that feedback on board, be the first person in line to purchase it. Show them that they were right to listen to their customers!

Importantly, this means purchasing the lingerie at full price. Selling a bra on sale is better than not selling it at all. However, it still tells the brand that they’re not going to make a profit on this product. And if you’ve waited until it was steeply discounted, such as 60% off, then it’s very likely the brand has actually made a loss.


Related: Why Don’t I Wear The Same Bra Size In Every Brand?


Don’t forget

Of course, you need to be realistic about what to ask from brands. Asking, “can you make your bras cheaper?” is unlikely to get you what you want, because there’s a reason good bras cost what they do. You’ll also have a lot more success asking a brand to cater to your G-cupped chest if they currently make DD-F sizes, rather than asking one that’s only doing A-D.

All of this goes for lingerie boutiques too, not just the brands creating the lingerie. Did you know that it’s not uncommon for a brand to offer an extensive size range, but only end up producing the ‘standard’ sizes because no retailers placed orders for the larger or unusual ones? So don’t be afraid to tell your local, independent lingerie boutique what you want – brands you like, colours you love, sizes you’d love to see them stock… They may even offer to order a product in just for you!

parfait charlotte padded bra bikini bronze - How To Encourage Lingerie Brands To Make What You Want to Buy

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Featured lingerie:
Parfait Charlotte Padded Bra 6901 | Parfait Charlotte Bikini 6905 in Bronze

What would you like to see your favourite lingerie brands do differently? Have you ever given a brand feedback and seen them change their product as a result?

Recently I wrote a guide on how to shop for lingerie online, but the purchase doesn’t end there. In store, you’d typically try a garment on and make your mind up then and there on whether you want it. When shopping online though, that decision-making process happens at home.

Once the goodies show up, it’s time to evaluate them, and here’s how to do it.

First things first

Don’t remove any tags until you’re absolutely certain that you want to keep the lingerie. Once they’re gone, the shop will probably refuse to accept the garment back. The same goes for any hygiene stickers that may be inside the gussets of briefs and bodysuits.

Now, check the lingerie for any signs of damage. Look for marks, torn lace or unravelling seams. Satisfied that things look great? Awesome. Now it’s time to check it fits…

Trying the lingerie on

Of course, you want to make sure that you don’t damage the lingerie yourself. Either you won’t like the set, in which case you’ll need it in perfect condition to return it, or you’ll love it, in which case you will definitely want it to stay looking gorgeous and new.

The best way to avoid any damage is to try the lingerie on when you’re fresh out of the shower, without any body lotion, deodorant, perfume or makeup on that could stain or scent the clothing. Try briefs and anything else with a crotch on over your own underwear because, yes, gusset stains are a thing and yes, those will definitely invalidate your right to a refund!

where can i buy 32dd bras online


Related: How To Buy Lingerie Online


So, will you keep it?

Don’t keep lingerie that you’re not in love with. If the fit’s a little off, or it’s not as comfy as you were hoping for, chances are it will just end up languishing at the back of your lingerie drawer.

Yes, you may have to pay to send it back, but the cost of that is usually only a fraction of the lingerie’s value. If it’s the size that isn’t quite right, most stores will ship a replacement in a different size out to you for free once they receive your first order back.

Yay, you’re keeping it!

You adore the lingerie; it fits great, makes you feel fabulous, and you couldn’t be happier with your purchase. Woohoo! High five! But wait – you’ve just yanked the tags off and torn a whopping great hole in your new favourite bra… Don’t let this heartbreak happen to you. Always snip the tags off carefully with a pair of scissors instead.

You probably can’t wait to wear your new lingerie set. However, a little patience is better here. You don’t know how many other people have tried on or handled the set on before you did, and even if it’s fresh-from-the-factory new, there will still be dyes and other chemicals in the fabric that could irritate sensitive skin. So I’d recommend to carefully wash the lingerie before the first wear.

There’s one last step that isn’t obligatory but is always appreciated – leave a review. If you love your new lingerie then this is a great way to thank and support the store that sold it to you, and you’ll be helping other customers like you to make their mind up about a purchase too.

Boohoo, you’re returning it

Sadly, even the most experienced online shopper will end up needing to return an item here and there. Especially with something that needs to fit as precisely as a bra does, it’s just impossible to get it right every time when you’re not able to try things on.

Now, if the reason for the return is the store’s fault (such as being sent the wrong size or lingerie that turned up flawed), drop them an email to let them know. Be polite! Mistakes happen, and I’ve even had lingerie stores offer to ship out a replacement without me needing to send the faulty product back.

Probably though, you will need to return the garment. However, any good lingerie boutique will cover the cost of sending it back where they’re the ones at fault. You may be sent a pre-paid shipping label, or you may need to pay the postage up-front which the store will add onto your refund. Ask the boutique to clarify this when contacting them, if it’s not made clear in their returns policy.


Related: The Golden Rules Of Online Shopping


where to buy cute bras online

Whatever your reason for returning your lingerie purchase, even if it’s just that you changed your mind, be sure to follow these four steps:

 1.  Check if you need a return authorization number (or RA#). Some lingerie stores won’t accept a return without one, or may take longer to process your refund or exchange.

 2.  Write ‘returned goods’ clearly on the packet if you’re posting it abroad. This will avoid the lingerie boutique potentially being charged a customs fee (which could be deducted from your refund, or they may simply refuse to accept the parcel).

 3.  Package your return well, ideally in the same packaging you received it in. You’re responsible for the lingerie until the boutique receives it back, so if it’s damaged in transit – moulded cups get crushed, or a paper envelope gets wet, for example – that could affect your right to a refund.

 4.  Speaking of the lingerie being your responsibility until it reaches its destination, make sure you choose a postal service that’s trackable and insured. This way, in the unlikely event your parcel goes missing, you’ll still be able to claim a refund for it from the shipping company.


Featured lingerie:
Parfait Ellie Unlined Wire Bra P5082 | Parfait Ellie Hipster P5105 in Pewter/Nude

How do you evaluate a lingerie purchase you’ve made online? Do you generally find the returns process for bra shopping on the web easy and hassle-free? Let us know in the comments below!

You’ve probably heard the oft-cited claim that 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size. That’s probably not true. It’s based on three studies done between 1999 and 2008, but with sample sizes of between only 30 and 103 women, they can hardly be expected to be representative of the entire world, or even a country. Plus, we’ve come a long way in terms of bra fit education and size variety since 2008.

And yet, a lot of women are wearing a size that’s not optimal. Perhaps not 80%, but a fair few nonetheless. Just ask any bra fitter – they’ll tell you that most women leave the boutique with a bra that’s a size different to the one they came in wearing.

So why is it so common to get your own bra size wrong? We don’t wear shoes that are too big or dresses that are too small, so what makes bras any different? Well, as it turns out, a few things.

You don’t have a right size

It’s definitely possible to wear a wrong bra size. I usually wear a 30DD – put me in a 34B and it’s not even going to come close to fitting. However, I have plenty of bras in sizes such as 32C, 32D and 28E that do fit me well.

We don’t have one ‘true’ bra size. It’s completely normal to find your best fit in different sizes based on the brand, the style, and even the time of the month – breasts can swell and shrink with hormonal fluctuations.

Part of the reason that you can’t compare bra fit to the fit of a dress or top is that bras require so much more precision. Variations of as little as a few millimetres when designing and sewing a cup’s panels can change the fit, so it’s no wonder there’s very little consistency between brands. Here is an in-depth explanation of why you don’t wear the same size in every bra brand, if you’re interested in learning more.

So when you get fitted for a bra and are told you need a 34D, remember, you need a 34D in that bra. There is a good chance you’ll also need a 34D in another, making it the best place to start when picking one up to try on, but it’s not a sure thing.

Bra sizing is confusing

Or at least, that is what a lot of us believe. However, this is only because there’s still not enough education on the topic. It’s not something we learn in school, and a lot of the time it’s not something we were taught at home by our mothers either.

This leads to a lot of misinformation, and often, people don’t even know how a bra is supposed to fit. For example, did you know that the band needs to be fairly firm because that’s what’s supporting your breasts, not the shoulder straps?

Understanding bra fit is actually not that complicated. If you read this list of 4 steps to check that a bra is fitting well plus this explanation of sister sizing, then you’ll already know enough to judge the fit of the bra in the changing room and pick out which size to try next if the first one’s not quite right.


Related: Bra Sizing Explained: Here’s How Bra Sizing Works


A lack of size variety in stores

You’re much more likely to be wearing the wrong size if the one you really need is not a ‘core’ one, i.e. not in the 32-38 A-D range that most brands and popular lingerie stores typically focus on.

If all you ever see is A-D cups, then it’s understandable if you just assume that you must be one of those sizes. You may not even realise that there’s an alternative, that bra band sizes actually go as low as a 26 and as high as 50+!

One of the most common bra fit problems is wearing a band that’s too big. That’s probably because many women will try on the largest cup size in store, find them too small, and mistakenly think the solution is to try a larger band size because, well, they can’t go any higher in the cup size so what else to do?

Stigma surrounding large cup sizes

Linked to the above point, because A-D cups are what is most commonly available, those can feel like ‘normal’ sizes and therefore anything higher, abnormal. Some women just don’t want to be a large cup size, especially when there are cartoons floating around online saying things like “E is for Enormous, F is for Fake…”.

The truth is that a cup size on its own is meaningless. The cups on a 32F and a 38F are not the same size, and wearing a D-cup or above doesn’t automatically mean that you have ‘huge’ boobs. And if you need an F cup, or a G, or a J, so what? You don’t have to tell anyone what’s written on the label of you bra if you don’t want to!

Lack of regular fittings

When did you last have a bra fitting? You’ll be in the majority if your answer is “quite some time ago”. Perhaps the reason that so many women who get bra fittings find out they need a different size, is because only those who are experiencing discomfort due to wearing the wrong size are the ones who prioritise it!

However, the longer it’s been since your last professional fitting, the higher the chance you could find a better size. Our breasts don’t reach their final size post-puberty and stay that way forever. Age, weight loss, weight gain, pregnancy and a new exercise regime are just some of the things that can cause a change, and you’ll wear a variety of bra sizes over your lifetime.

So don’t assume that you need a 34C just because that’s what you’ve always worn. Have a fitting every 6-12 months, and you may be surprised by what you’re told!


Related: What Is A Bra Fitting?


how do you know if your bra fits

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


If you used to wear a size that was wrong and have since discovered a better fit, what do you think is the reason you didn’t find it out sooner? Share with us in the comments below!

Lingerie is powerful. Why? Because it can transform the way you see yourself, which in turn can change how others perceive you. We’ve all heard that confidence is sexy right? Well, when you feel good, it really does show – you’ll walk a little taller and smile a little bigger.

All that from just your choice of underwear? Oh yes! Here are 5 of the top reasons why the right lingerie can have a positive impact on your confidence.

Comfortable means confident

It’s hard to feel like you’re winning at life when there are underwires poking your skin, your straps have just fallen off your shoulders for the tenth time today, and you’re pretty sure there’s a bruise developing under your bra band.

You’ve got better things to do than worry about than a painful bra, and despite misconceptions to the contrary, your lingerie should never hurt. That’s a sign of either low quality or a poor fit, so head on down to a boutique and treat yourself to something new. If you explain your bra issues to a bra fitter, they’ll be able to pick out things you’ll find comfier.

Your unicorn bra that’s both perfectly-fitting and comfy against your skin is out there, and you’ll know you’ve found it when you get to the end of the day and forget you even have a bra on.

Find your fit, feel fabulous

The fit of your lingerie affects more than just its comfort. Place a couple of seams just-so and a bra will lift and round your breasts. Change those seams a bit and suddenly it will push everything in to the center instead. I’m pretty sure that bra designers are some of the cleverest people around!

Whatever shape you want your chest to be, there’s a bra out there for that. You can give your bust a boost, or minimise it down. And from corsets to shaping shorts, there’s lingerie to transform the rest of your figure too. We should all love the bodies we’re in, but it’s nice to have a helping hand here and there right?

Lingerie can help you to tweak those things you’re not so confident about, as well as emphasizing your favourite bits. It can even improve the way your clothes fit. And when you love the way you look, you’ll shine with self-esteem.


Related: If You Don’t Like Your Bra, Ask Yourself These 5 Questions


how to boost confidence

Parfait Charlotte Padded Bra 6901 | Parfait Charlotte High Waist Brief 6917 in Red/Black

Be you, for you

For various reasons, we can’t always wear the clothes we’d prefer to be wearing. A lot of the time, it’s workplace dress codes that force us to look a certain way five days out of every seven. But underneath it all, you can get away with almost anything!

Lingerie gives you an outlet to express your personality and be who you really want to be, even if no one else can see that. Whatever you’re wearing, if you know you’ve got your favourite donut-print booty shorts on underneath, you won’t be able to help but smile.

You’re sexy and you know it

Hopefully you already own a lingerie set (or five!) that makes you feel like your sexiest self. If you don’t, the great news is that there are so many styles of lingerie out there that there’s always something new to try. You can experiment with a bold new colour, try stockings for the first time, or swap padding for sheer lace, until you find what makes you feel cool and confident. Don’t be afraid to pick up something a little different to try on next time you’re in a lingerie boutique – the worst that can happen is you end up not liking it and it goes back on the shelf!

Lingerie can be really empowering and totally transform the way you perceive yourself. And when you’ve finally found that style that makes you feel fierce, you’ll be ready for anything that life throws your way.

Girls just wanna have fun

Who didn’t love playing dress-up as a kid? Or later in life, getting all glammed up for a night out? Thanks to lingerie, you can have that feeling every single morning.

Putting on a chic lingerie set – especially one that involves a few pieces, such as a suspender belt and stockings – is a bit like donning a costume, and isn’t that what fashion is all about? That experience of getting all dressed up and slowly seeing the (killer!) final look take shape, can be just as much fun as the actual wearing of the lingerie itself.

So there you have it, five reasons why the right lingerie can give you a healthy dollop of confidence. And what is the right lingerie? Well that’s all down to you.

Lingerie needn’t be expensive or even fancy to make you feel good. It’s all about finding what works for you, and if you simply love the shape you get in your favourite $30 t-shirt bra and that’s what makes you feel your best, go for it. Wear lingerie you love every day, and you’ll always have at least one reason to be happy.


Related: Bra Shopping Guide: Tips For Buying New Bras


how to boost self confidence

Parfait Elissa Contour Strapless Bra P5011 | Parfait Elissa Bikini P5013 in Nude

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Featured image lingerie:
 Parfait Elissa Unlined Wire Bralette P5012 | Parfait Elissa Brazilian Thong P5014 in Pearl White
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