I first heard from Bravissimo’s press office back in August that a US site was in the works, and this morning I noticed that it’s live! Bravissimo, for those not in the know, is a UK-based retailer offering lingerie, swimwear, active wear, sleepwear, and clothing, all designed for people who wear full-bust bra sizes (DD+ cups). They carry popular full-bust brands as well as their own in-house designs.
While Bravissimo recently drastically redesigned their UK site as well, which I’ll talk about a little more in a moment, there are two important features that stand out on the US site: all prices are in US dollars, and there are now FREE RETURNS from the USA. That’s right, no more filling out customs forms or standing in line at the post office, you can just stick a label on a box and send it on its way. Thank you for sparing me from the Grand Central Post Office, Bravissimo!
I’d also like to thank Bravissimo from the bottom of my heart for not relabeling their bra sizes to try to convert them to “US sizes”. Most American companies don’t manufacture anything close to the size range that UK brands do, so we (mostly) don’t even have “L” cups or “I” cups or “DDDDDD” or whatever else happens when people try to convert sizes. Furthermore, most full-bust customers who wear the brands Bravissimo carries are already well-versed in UK cup sizes, so relabeling just hopelessly confuses the issue (looking at you, ASOS and Figleaves). Bravissimo’s clothing sizes, on the other hand, have been relabeled for American customers, which I think was absolutely the correct choice.
A few other notes, while I’m clicking around: I deeply, wholeheartedly loathe the size selection menus on the new site. In order to select a size to order, you have to first select band size, and only then will a menu of cup sizes appear. It makes for unnecessary clicks and means that on any given product page, there’s no quick way to glance and see what a product’s full size range is.
Secondly, WOW, hello, much higher prices, how are you? I know that the US places high import fees and taxes on foreign brands, but it was still startling to see the difference. When I used to order from the UK site, Bravissimo’s in-house bras usually clocked in around $42, including VAT. On the US site they retail for $60+ each. I suspected this would be the case, considering that that’s the standard starting retail price point in USA for Freya, Panache, etc., but it’s still a bit of a shock. That being said: I once spent $73 in postage returning a single order (multiple items of clothing + lingerie) to Bravissimo. That’s right: I spent $73 at the post office for the privilege of returning items that didn’t fit. That put me off ordering from Bravissimo for a long time. The promise of free returns will most likely radically change the frequency of my shopping with them. In addition, I should mention here that I think Bravissimo’s in-house lingerie designs are moving from strength to strength. They show an increasing sophistication of design and use of textiles, the size ranges can’t be beat, matching accessories are getting a lot of love and attention to detail, and they’re even dipping their toes into popular trends like longline bras and “underwire bralettes”. I think the tea rose Bryony set above, with strapping details at the center gore and straps, is absolutely divine, and if I wore half cup bras I’d have already bought it.
A nitpick: you cannot zoom on product images, which is, frankly, barbaric (I’m kidding! Sort of). Let me zoom! I want to look at prints and texture and seam details before I purchase!
As a final note, it looks to me like Bravissimo’s clothing collections (formerly called Pepperberry, now wisely tucked back under the Bravissimo name) might be settling into a design groove. After some trials and errors I feel like they’re now aiming for the Boden customer, with a mix of classic shapes, styles, prints, and colors. The collection features easy-to-wear pieces that, while not exactly the height of chic (ahhh, that sounds so catty, I just mean that they’re not trend focused or super Fashion-y with a capital F), make for cute, simple outfits. Most new collections are available in a classic colors like black, white, red, and navy, which makes it easy to mix bust-friendly pieces with other items you might have in your wardrobe. While I haven’t had much success with Bravissimo’s clothing in the past (I’ve found the items to be SO SHORT, like laughably so, and the shoulders frequently too narrow), the prospect of free returns makes me more likely to try out some bust-friendly basics like tees or cardigans.
What do you think about the debut of Bravissimo’s US site? Were you already a Bravissimo customer, or do you think you might be now? What do you think of the different collections?