Fantastic news: the war on plus four won a significant battle this afternoon when Playtex removed their controversial (and totally hopeless) fitting app from Playtex.co.uk, and promised to – with the help of focus groups of like-minded and knowledgeable women like us – review the plus-four calculator and the way that they advise fitting to Playtex customers in future.
Thank you for posting our email response on your blog.
As mentioned in the email, we had a meeting with our website and fitting teams to discuss the comments made by yourself and your followers about our online fitting tool.
We value all customer feedback and the points yourself and your followers have made are valid. We have taken the decision to deactivate the current online fitting tool to give us the chance to review it, with the aim to improve the way it works. Please note that if you have used the fitting tool before, you will need to clear all cookies, caches and temporary internet files for the deactivation to take effect on your PC.
As part of the review process, we would like to invite you and some of your followers to attend a focus group with us here at Playtex, which will give us the chance to listen to and discuss the changes you’d like to see made to the tool, including the calculation method used. Please let me know if this is something you’d be interested in taking part in, so we can look at organising ASAP.
Claire at Playtex
Well done everyone who commented, complained, blogged and tweeted to get the app taken down. It goes to show, together we are strong, we are informed, and we can make a difference. Here’s to the revolution, and to a better fitted future for every woman.
Congratulations everybody. Who will be next?
P.S: I’m not sure how they’re planning to assemble their focus group yet, but for now if you’re interested put yourself forward in the comments below… 😀
Wow! That is fantastic news! It looks like we are finally beginning to make some real progress towards changing attitudes to bra sizing.
I would welcome the opportunity to attend a focus group with an established international company like Playtex, this could really help to move things along.
The idea of using the underbust measurement as a more accurate guide to the band size is something I have seen steadily grow in forums, blogs and social media ever since I wrote “Bra sizing – choosing a bra and debunking some myths” as an ebay guide 5 years ago. This became the basis for the bra fitting guide at belladonnaeyes.co.uk which is unfortunately no longer online since I am no longer in business, but I am definately planning to have a new website up and running since it has helped so many women.
To have a company recognise that there is even an issue with their measuring guidelines is an unprecedented achievement!
Hey Zoe – still a place left on the fitting focus group if you’re interested: https://busts4justice.com/2011/06/27/join-playtexs-fitting-focus-group/
Wow exciting stuff! How great that they took all the comments on board!
Pick me! Pick me! Xx
Well done Beckie – this is no small victory. You are leading the way in changing the bra establishment. 🙂
Fantastic Beckie – a huge well done to you! Also to Playtex for listening and actually doing something about it!
Thank you Jo! And yes, agree credit where credit’s due: it takes a lot for a large company to bow to pressure like this. Let’s hope they’re serious about improving things for their customers…
Still have a place left on the Playtex fitting focus group if you’re interested! https://busts4justice.com/2011/06/27/join-playtexs-fitting-focus-group/
Good to see Playtex have listened to their consumers!
Thank you Sarah! x
Still have one place left on the Playtex fitting focus group if you’re interested… https://busts4justice.com/2011/06/27/join-playtexs-fitting-focus-group/ x
Great news. I’d be interested in the focus group, or at least in hearing more about it.
Have heard marginally more about the Playtex focus group… Check this out and e-mail me if you’re interested: https://busts4justice.com/2011/06/27/join-playtexs-fitting-focus-group/. Thanks! x
That’s great! Here’s hoping Playtex will update with sizing information that is correct (and thus much more useful)!
Just looking at that picture makes me cringe… those were almost exactly my measurements before I lost some weight, and I wore a 30G.
Utterly bloody amazing, well done!
Also…pick me too!x
Thanks G! X
Love they they did that! Too bad the American side didn’t take my comments against plus four to heart… maybe you can convince playtex UK to get playtex US to do the same?!
Will definitely follow up on this and ask them for you! And feel free to use this blog to back up any complaint you might send to Playtex US: the more grassroots complaints they get the harder it becomes to ignore!
I took a look at the US Playtex site and in their video it’s not even add 4 inches, it’s add 5 inches!!
Great job with getting them to remove the awful fitting calculator! I will forward this blog post to the US site. 🙂
It might be 5 over here because our bras have more elasticity in them, a smaller band with more stretch allowed. I’ve noticed a lot of European bras are not as stretchy, kind of like vintage bras, so adding less to the band measurement would be more appropriate for them. (I follow the add 2″ rule and sometimes 4″ if it’s Panache bras, assuming they’re not flawed, and it works out fine for me – eg. my unworn Porcelain in a 28 measures 23″ unstretched, whereas the 30 only measures 24″. Shouldn’t it be a 2″ difference between the sizes? Ftr, my American brand 32’s measure 24-24.5″ unstretched = notice the extra elasticity?)
Would this group be an online thing, or in person only? I’d love to be involved because I don’t agree with either opinion. To me, I feel if you’re wearing what you measure at, the bra is going to break down a lot faster which is not exactly economical considering how utterly over priced European bras are, and I don’t consider the quality to be good, so it makes no sense to me to wear something so tight fitting only to replace it in a few months.
Have followed up with Playtex – unfortunately UK Playtex is managed completely separately from elsewhere in the world so campaigns need to be addressed separately. That said, I think we should be able to use the success we’ve had with the UK team (am building the focus group as I type almost: https://busts4justice.com/2011/06/27/join-playtexs-fitting-focus-group/) to pressure the US team. Are you up for sending them a Strongly Worded Letter? Feel free to use the posts here to help you, and I’m on hand to help if you need anything! x
Well done Beckie, and thank you Playtex! This is very encouraging to hear.
@ Me (since there’s no reply button) –
I understood the rule as adding four inches if your underbust was an even number or five inches if it was odd, thereby giving you an even-numbered band size either way. In one respect I agree with you; I don’t think “take the same size as your underbust measurement” should be used as a general rule either. However, I don’t see this as a debate between an “add 4-5 inches” camp and an “add nothing at all” camp – to me, it’s more of a push for accurate, helpful fitting advice. No single formula is going to work for everybody… that’s my position, anyway. 🙂
Absolutely – it’s all about giving women the best possible chance to find the best possible fit – whether that’s the underbust measurement, +2 or (as it sometimes is with me) even -1.
@me Interesting point about tighter bras not lasting long – I find that looser bras go just as quickly: only they tend to ladder/hole where the straps meet the back, or distort in the cup. So long as I hand wash my bras, I can get 6months – one year out a good, regularly (not intensively) worn bra, which seems fair. The price of bras outside of the UK makes that a fairly daunting prospect perhaps (I’m in NL at the moment: €80 for an out-of-season Freya is pretty standard) – but most UK companies do ship internationally for a reasonable sum, which helps…
Thanks for all the support!
To me it almost seemed like a few people were insisting it should be a standard rule and would apply to everyone. Maybe I misunderstood them.
As far as bras lasting, I have a couple of cotton bras from a popular American brand that are about 4 years old. I’ve had to take the band in considerably because it was loose to start with. I wear them religiously! They are my go-to bra for most clothes, but despite how much wear I’ve gotten with them, the fabric/elastic has only stretched a small amount compared to a certain other t-shirt bra from Freya that has stretched a lot more and now has puckering in the fabric from minimal wears. Also, once I wash my bras after a few wears the fabric shrinks back to normal so it’s like new again. Cost – 2/$40 =) What is the exchange rate for C80 to USDollars? Just a hunch, but when you say laddering/holes, are these on bras that have a smooth/solid band or a lacy band? I can understand that happening with more sheer material or one with a band like the Panache Porcelain Lace, but if that’s happening on one with solid fabric then the problem would lie in the fabric and contruction, especially if any seams are falling apart. (I’ve been making my own clothes since childhood, and I’ve made a few bras as well, so I can tell poor quality sewing from good.)
@Me – if you check out the original Playtex posts you can see it is still about education, not about replacing one arbitrary rule for another. Using underbust is still just a guide, it’s just a more reliable guide than the one given by plus four/five methods. Bra sizing varies so wildly it’s impossible to take any measuring method as gospel and expect to get a consistently good fit anyway.
What brand is that? I haven’t actually worn a cotton bra since I was about 16: I was so traumatised by the ugly (and totally misfitted) bras I had to wear that I never looked back! I’ve only had one experience of laddering since going from 34E to 30G, and that was with a Panache – it was starting to slack anyway and then I wore it cycling over Amsterdam cobbles… disaster!
Oh, it wasn’t so much this blog as a couple of others. There’s one out there in particular that claims they have the correct way to measure and not to go by the “old” advice, it’s almost hypocritical. But I am glad you are getting some victory in this debate with companies like Playtex!
The bras are Victoria’s Secret Full Coverage, lightly lined. But they are an older style so the straps are a bit more supportive, they’re 3/4″ thick and are half the fabric, half elastic. The ones they have now have fully adjustable straps that are more narrow, I also have 2 of those but they don’t fit as good because of the overly stretchy straps, they cause pain. My only complaint about all 4 of them is they’re not a full band style (and I’ve heard some people consider that cheap, but it’s just a style, it has nothing to do with quality), I’m thinking of changing that at some point and turning them into one so I’ll get more support.
I actually prefer the t-shirt/plain style over the lace ones. To me (and my husband as well) they seem old lady-ish because of the lace, and they’re not practical IMO because they show through shirts and sweaters even. I have seen some prettier styles, I just prefer a more modern look and that’s something I have not been able to achieve from a non-molded bra.
@me: if your straps hurt you chances are that the band you wear is too loose. I’m a 40 J (US) with Goddess, on my favourite bra I can lengthen the straps, slip them of my shoulders and tuck them into the bra and wear it as a strapless all day long without the bra sliding around or sacrificing shape. Even worn normally with the straps up there is absolutely no weight on the straps at all. You should also know that VS has a notoriously bad reputation when it comes to bra fittings, I would not trust their attendants to determine your bra size. Try Nordstroms instead.
Oh I agree MariaH, but Nordstrom is just as bad. They add 4″ to the band, infact they’ve fit me into 30’s and 32’s before. If I’m getting my bras from VS I’m not going there for a fitting, just shopping =). I find wearing 32’s and 34’s for me to be more comfortable, the straps are actually less painful than 28’s (fyi, my ribcage is 25-26″ depending on food and drink intake). I’ve never been able to wear a bra without the straps no matter what the size. Maybe it’s because of my shape? My boobs sit lower on my chest, so once I take the straps off the band slides right down.
@Me – have you ever had a chat with Brittany from thinandcurvy.com? She’s based in the US and has a similarly tiny chest with an H cup. She’s also very nice. She might be to help you problem solve your strap and slipping problem…
Yeah, I actually stumbled upon her site last week. I posted a comment about my size issue but I don’t think she’s responded yet.
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Fantastic news – would love to help in this mission!
Great! Check out your availability against this post and then e-mail me your details 😀 https://busts4justice.com/2011/06/27/join-playtexs-fitting-focus-group/
What fantatic news!! I’m definitely interetsed!!
Well done and hope I can take part to make a difference in the way bra sizing is viewed and commissioned.
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Helen, Libelle Lingerie, Dumfries.
I have owned and fitted ladies of all age groups, shapes and sizes in my store for the last four years, It has been a long and hard struggle fighting to fit ladies into bras that fit them properly and getting companies on board that do the sizes I need to fit these ladies of all sizes and age groups.
Marks & Spencers, Evans, Department stores, Catalogues and supermarkets all do the ‘add inches onto back and take cup sizes down’ for ladies to fit them into the range of bras sizes they sell, rather than fitting them in the right size. This means that it takes up less stock space with a smaller range of cups and basic range of back sizes and they do an ordering service that the lady feels oblidged to purchase. Its about making more profit and making women feel they are the wrong shape and size for beautiful lingerie.
When I first opened I planned to fit every lady who came through my door and turn no one away because I didn’t have their size, to make them all feel beautiful and to love their bodies.
I research all the time for new companies and designers that do from small to larger cup sizes and I nag untill I get what my customers what they need!
This is so inspiring Helen, thanks for getting in touch! Would love to hear more about Libelle Lingerie xx