Review: Buying bras online from M&S
I recently brought a bra from the M&S website and, unsure of what size to go for, decided to try their bra size calculator. Armed with my three best fitting bras and a tape measure, I filled in the form once for each bra and two out of three times it came back with 34DD. When the bra arrived, it was so comfy and such a great fit that I was sure this had to be a fluke. More data was needed, so I enlisted my good friend and metamour Amanda to see if M&S could work its magic for her too.
I have been avoiding bra shopping like the plague so, when Lori told me about her M&S discovery and offered to see if it worked for me too, I figured I had nothing to lose. My only well fitting bra is a plain black t-shirt bra from TK Maxx that I didn’t even try on before buying. It was a fluke, a random find that looked about the right size and was cheap enough to buy as a punt without going near a changing room. However, I love it because it doesn’t dig in anywhere and I never start daydreaming about taking it off at 3pm. It moves when I move and I never fall out of it, or have to tug at the straps. As much as is possible with a bra, I’m able to forget I’m wearing it. I also love it because I don’t feel it’s trying to force my boobs into a shape that they’re not – a ‘sexy’ or ‘perkier’ shape – it just supports them as they are.
The M&S bra size calculator asks a few questions that can easily be answered with the help of a tape measure and a quick look at how your favourite bra fits. You have to tell it the size and brand on the label of that bra, plus what shape it is (plunge, balcony etc) and whether or not it’s underwired. Then we got the tape measure out and measured where the underband sits (a mysterious 31 inches!), before answering five questions on how the bra fits in various places and a couple on body shape. Based on my answers, the calculator reckoned I should try a 34B.
Looking at my current favourite bra, Lori browsed the M&S site for bras available in a 34B and came up with a shortlist for me to select from. I chose a lightly padded underwired full cup t-shirt bra that comes in a pack of 2 for the bargain price of £16. It comes in various colour combinations, but I went for the pale blue and white. (Lori also found a multi-pack of cotton knickers that meant I had the option of at least a couple of coordinating sets.) We ordered and went for the option to collect in store, so there was no delivery charge, and got an email the next day to say the order was ready to pick up!
These M&S t-shirt bras are very soft, with fully adjustable straps, and they even pass the all day comfort test. I think the wider band, the formed cups and the lack of trying to be ‘pretty’ or ‘sexy’ meant that there weren’t those little annoying details that can sometimes cause discomfort (e.g. scratchy lace, too-thin straps etc).
The overall verdict? MAGIC! I did not at all believe Lori would be able to basically get me perfectly fitting versions of what I wanted, at a sane price, from the internet. I don’t like bra shopping. My boobs aren’t my favourite part of myself to try and fit for, and I find the focus on boobs as sexual or inconvenient (sexy push up bra! sports minimising bra!) a false dichotomy. I’ve found it difficult to get simple middle ground – I have boobs, here they are, they’re not (just) for sex, and they’re not in the way. I guess I wanted ’emotionally neutral’ bras and, much to my amazement, Lori found exactly what I wanted at M&S.
This post was written by a RWL Guest Blogger – Amanda (pronouns she/her) is a trained psychotherapist, teacher and dancer. From these seemingly disparate skillsets she inherited a mix of boundaries and timekeeping, project planning and execution (with a dollop of excellent communication skills) and a heap of enthusiasm, energy and creativity that she likes to combine and channel into Running all kinds of exciting Things!