Marks & Spencer have dramatically proved what many of us have known for so long – that fit is definitely not their strong point – with the launch of their new, 50′s and Mad Men inspired ‘Flatter Me’ bra.
A Daily Mail article said “In focus groups, women commonly complained they hated the bra ‘muffin top’, or the bulge that appears around the back and sides of some traditional underwear.
“So the Flatter Me bra, which will cost £25 when it goes on sale next month, uses traditional boning and deep wings to remove the overspill – and boost cleavage.”
It is baffling. Surely everyone in lingerie – especially the high street’s biggest lingerie retailer – should know that boobs bulging out of bras are a clear signpost that the bra is not properly fitted, not that all modern bras uniformly cause lumps and bulges. If Marks & Spencer’s customers – if their models - are bulging out of their bras at the top, it is a clear sign that the people responsible for putting them in to those bras are ill-equipped to fit properly.
But instead of addressing the problem at its root cause, M&S have simply taken women’s too small bras and added new bits, giving them an equally poor fit (so perfectly demonstrated by the model pictured) and charging them £25 for the pleasure. In a time where our wallets are increasingly stretched, that’s hardly representative of the ‘value for money’ M&S claimed steadied their sales last quarter.
Yes, there is certainly a trend for 50s inspired lingerie and a Mad Men silhouette, and no doubt M&S will make a killing cashing in on it with these bras. But if M&S truly cared about their customers, they would invest less in headline-grabbing fads and more in addressing the fit problem endemic throughout their company. Charging £25 to solve a problem you probably had a hand in creating shows an appalling lack of respect for your customers. In this climate, is that something M&S can really afford to do?