I’m almost loathe to do this because, with their excellent promotions, wide range of stock, professional service, functional website, lovely staff on Twitter, and their increasingly tempting Midnight Grace swimwear range, I’m a big fan of figleaves.com.
Only almost though. I am increasingly baffled by the contradictory fitting standards promoted by this titan of lingerie etailers. Unlike Simply Yours – who don’t seem to be able to recognise good fitting practice even when it launches a full social media campaign against them – Figleaves have one of the most comprehensive, clear and well executed fitting videos I’ve seen.
For the first 3 minutes and 25 seconds, Figleaves give a clear and helpful demonstration explaining everything from good and bad fit to how to put a bra on properly. And unlike Simply Yours, whose video ends up squishing a girl in to a bra clearly not meant for her, Figleaves are able to prove they know what they’re doing by showing a model in a well fitting bra, visually reaffirming the lessons of the video.
And then they go and ruin it all, by directing customers to a plus four chart. And while the video is explicit in saying ‘it’s a guide’, and places absolute emphasis on heeding the practical demonstration over the sizing chart , I’d argue that Figleaves are still doing their customers a disservice. It’s true that if you followed the video to the letter, after a few frustrating trips back to the post office you’d find your way to a proper fit. But the grim fact of the matter is most people won’t watch that video. They’ll go straight to the chart, do the sums, and end up with something completely wrong.
Something completely wrong that will then be validated as right because it looks like one of the fitting disasters modelled in their product pictures. So much of the Figleaves catalogue could have come directly from their own ‘when it’s not right’ guide that the six images above took practically seconds to capture. It’s pretty damning, and will only help to reinforce the unhelpful messages of the sizing chart.
This baffles me on two levels. Firstly, the first 3 minutes and 25 seconds of that fitting video are so good it’s almost incomprehensible that it comes from the same company so beleaguered with these dreadful images. And secondly, I’m amazed brands – including high profile fitters like Freya and Panache – allow their product to be shown like that. In my non-boob life I work for a large fashion brand: our merchandisers would certainly have something to say if the products were being presented so disastrously. It makes the product look bad, and that’s bad for the brand too. Both Freya and Panache campaign for better fit. Don’t they have something to say when their bras are being modelled so poorly?
With their video, Figleaves are so close to getting it right for their customers. Will they be bold enough to take it to the next level? Will they join the war on plus four, sort out their product pictures and eliminate the plus-four sizing chart to becoming a shining example of perfect fitting for every woman? And, perhaps more importantly, if Figleaves won’t listen to us, will our favourite brands stand up and make them listen to them?