Last week, a debate about Simply Yours’ fitting advice video prompted a backlash from the boob blogging community. Why, we asked, when all of us were failed by the plus-four method and are now happily rehomed in bras that fit us perfectly, are companies – curve specialists no less – still promoting the plus-four method as the best way to get a perfect fit? The resounding cry from writers, customers, enthusiasts, retailers and specialists was that the practice has been outdated for years and no good can ever come from it. We took our argument to Simply Yours and eagerly awaited an answer.
Firstly, I’d like to thank Simply Yours for responding. It’s encouraging when a company engages with customer complaints, and I’m looking forward to getting this resolved for all of the curvy girls who love but are disappointed with the company. But having read it several times over, I’m afraid I’m still completely in the dark about why Simply Yours still use the method and promote it actively to their customers. They say that it is a complex issue (it is), but in automatically adding four they are adding more confusion than they are inches.
Here’s what it comes down to. I can think of no exceptions I know (and I’ve coerced, cajoled, and cheerleaded coachloads of women in to better fitting bras) of D+ women who have received a better fit from the plus-four method than they have working to the raw underbust measurement. I personally went from being a totally sedentary plus-foured 34E girl, constantly cursing my own body for being uncomfortable, unruly and cumbersome; to being a 28GG/30G girl who runs, swims and cycles as often as possible without ever thinking twice about whether her ample chest will get in the way.
The simple fact of the matter is that brands do vary and sizing is difficult. But nuances between brands don’t tend to vary by the 4-6 inches or 2/3 cup sizes difference commonly perpetuated by the method. And my two favourite brands – proudly decorating the Simply Yours banner (above) – both give the best support when worn at the raw underbust measurement. (Just discovered that our European sisters have to subtract ten cm from their underbust to get the equivalent of their raw size: more opportunity for confusion. The plus four method used there would result in a 20 cm band difference!)
So this this ‘complexity’ does not excuse the perpetuation of a practice that at a very obvious and basic level fails women and denies them the empowering and life enhancing (I’m not hyperbolising here – over a D cup this is true) impact a proper bra fitting can have on a woman’s life. Simply Yours defend themselves by stressing it’s just a guide for a good fit, and that nothing can replace a proper fitting. But their guide is directing customers the wrong way – that much is clear from the imperfect fit shown in the video – and a plus-four fit is not going to make a body-conscious woman any more confident about seeking out a proper fitting. And if she’s looking for a plus-four fitting anyway, she’s never going to know how to recognise it.
We firmly believe that Simply Yours would better serve their curvy customers by retracting the ‘plus-four’ video immediately, and replacing it with a better example using the raw underbust measurement instead. Bra fitting may still be difficult, and the raw underbust may still only be a guide, but at least – finally – it’s a guide in the right direction.
And all I can say to my fellow bloggers is this: you know what to do. Comment, blog, cajole. If Simply Yours won’t tell their customers the best possible advice to get the best possible fit, we’ll just have to shout louder than them….
We look forward to what Simply Yours do next…