Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Review: True&Co. online bra fitting service

I have done the bra-fitting thing many times in my life, mostly at department stores like Macy's. But I really never loved the way my bras fit. The band would ride way up. The band would gap in the front. The straps would slide off my shoulders. I would sometimes even get the dreaded "quad-boob" look because the cups were too small.

I had great luck at {intimacy}, both my first and second times. However, in my two visits to those stores, I spent more than $1,000 on lingerie. That's a lot of money.  The personal attention factor has its downside -- you feel so great because you're being told you look so great, and then you spend a bundle.

My local Dillard's actually carries some of the same brands and the same sizes, but the saleswomen think I'm crazy when I tell them what size I'm looking for.  I have gotten a few bras there, but I always feel pressured to hurry up and buy and get out of there before they try to foist a 36 or even a 38 on me.

When I heard about an online bra-fitting service called True&Co. on Marketplace Money, I thought I'd give it a try. The tester had good results, and since the process sounded easy, I thought I'd give it a shot.  I even tweeted about it:
I signed in to the site. It asked me to put on my favorite bra and answer some questions about the fit.  My favorite bra is from PrimaDonna. It sells for more than $100. It fits very well at size 32F. I answered the questions and then was given a selection of 5 bras, and asked to pick three. The "expert" would pick two for me. I would have preferred to have more choices than just 5 -- especially since two of the styles were the same bra.  I filled out the order form, gave my credit card number for the $45 deposit, and hoped for the best.

My bras arrived this afternoon via UPS -- just two days after I ordered them. They were nicely packaged, and I was excited to try them on. One of the "expert" choices had not been available for me to choose. The second was a duplicate of the white cotton bra I had chosen, just in a different size, 32E. All the rest of the bras were the same size as my favorite, 32F. In the photo, the three on the left are my picks, and the two on the right are the expert choices.

The brands were not the same kind of brands that I saw at {intimacy}, but the prices were also a lot lower. None of the bras cost more than $60.  Weirdly, the price list was not included in the box, so as I was trying them on, I didn't know which ones cost how much.

The black and white cotton bras fit in the band, but the cups were way too small. Hello, quad-boob.  The blue one with the cute pink trim was way too small. I couldn't even hook it. Sorry, Elle McPherson.  The pretty peachy one went on and hooked, but the cups were just a little too small.  I was disappointed, because I really liked that one.

Only the brown "expert" pick one fit. It, and the peach one, looked like it was higher-quality than the others. It said that it had been adjusted to fit me, and it did. I am keeping it. It was $45, the same as my deposit, which works out nicely. I went online to indicate which one I wanted to keep and clicked the reasons that the others didn't fit. My shop now has a couple of different bras, but oddly, the black and white ones that didn't fit are still in there, in the same size that didn't fit.  This seems like a problem with the algorithm. I might try again later, but nothing in my personal shop is tempting me right now. I am guessing that because I wear an odd size, I get a smaller selection than someone who wore a normal size like a 34C.

The other big problem is that when I shopped at a store with a fitter, I wasn't just given all the same size bras. The band sizes on my bras from {intimacy}varied from 32-34, and the cups are different too, varying from F to G.  Each brand fits differently, and even different styles within the brands vary.  The thing that a real-live person can offer is a knowledge of the product and the brands, and the ability to steer a customer toward the ones that will make her look and feel good. That personal touch comes with a price tag, but  I felt happy about my purchases.

I think the True&Co. service is worth trying. I would be curious how often it recommends a different size than the one someone is wearing already, and whether people with more common sizes get more and better choices than I did.  If you try it, please let me know what you think.

For now, I'm going to keep hand-washing my bras and drying them on the clothesline in my basement, because it would be expensive to replace them.

4 comments:

  1. I will have to check it out. I love Elomi bras and I wonder if they would recommend it to me,

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    1. You don't know what brand they recommend until you get the box.

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  2. Did you look on line at stores like Macy's for the ones you have/love in your non-standard sizes? I can't find anything IN the stores either, but they carry very different sizes on line. I think I have ordered and returned at the store to avoid shipping fees.

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    1. I have looked, and ordered a few online, but I have mostly had to return them. I'd like to replace the PrimaDonna -- it has a stain -- but I'm flinching at the price, which is probably silly. It's a nice basic and I will wear it a lot. Macy's doesn't have it but I could order it at herroom.com

      I thought this service would be fun to try and fun to blog about. I might try them again, especially if they have more of a selection.

      Luckily I'm pretty set, other than the one white basic, at my current size. If I start to lose a significant amount weight, I will need another fitting.

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