Playtex US respond to criticism… barely

Playtex bad fitting advice

It’s past my bedtime here, but I had to swing by to share Playtex’s response to the War on Plus Four currently raging against them. They write:

“Thank you for contacting Playtex It Fits.  We are always delighted when Consumers take time out of their schedule to share their comments and welcome the opportunity to address inquiries regarding our products.

We appreciate your feedback and certainly keep your comments in mind. We are always working to fine tune our fit calculator. We have changed the calculator in response to women’s changing bodies. Currently we suggest that women with a band measurement of 35″ or above add 3″ instead of the old 5″ recommendation which will give you a band size of 38 instead of the 40 band size under the old system. However, this measurement is only a starting point and depending on your body type, some women of a band measurement of 35 will fit better in band size and other in 40.”

Three words: NOT. GOOD. ENOUGH.

1: These comments do not help women in the mind. They need actions.

2: A bra company describing itself as ‘expert’ should know that the plus-inch method serves nobody other than the lingerie brands pedalling it to ensure women stay in the same old narrow range of bra sizes.

3: A bra company describing itself as ‘expert’ should be in some way concerned that a tool they have created to help people find a perfect fit can suggest sizes that cause extreme discomfort, poor support, and awful shape. (And that’s before you mention the ones who just fell straight out of the bottom of their wear test…)

3: The bizarre concession to +3 instead of +5 inches when you’re over 35″ makes no sense. A +3 will fit better than a +5 on any back, because backs need to be as firm as possible when dealing with C+ busts.

4: Bra companies need to own their ‘guides’ and their ‘starting points’. As I’ve said before, giving someone a tool like this is as helpful as handing a lost person in Berlin a Rough Guide to Mexico. Starting at the true underbust measurement is also ‘just a guide’. But it’s a guide that doesn’t immediately land you six inches in the wrong direction…

I will reply again to them tomorrow. In the meantime, you fabulous War on Plus Fourers… keep pushing. Women deserve better from lingerie brands than Playtex US are currently offering. Make sure they hear you.

Contact Playtex here:

Post to their Facebook here:

 

 

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33 Responses to Playtex US respond to criticism… barely

  1. Kimberly says:

    Not sure why they use that measurement guide. I’m a 38C and their guide says a I should wear a 40AA. Why not just be fitted for a bra from a bra fitter or a “Bra Lady” like me? You get a complimentary fitting and can order from my catalog. Any of my customers who wore that brand are over 60yrs old! It doesn’t do the job for sagging breasts or large breasted women anyway!!

  2. I’m at a loss as to how they thought that response would cover the concerns you raised! Realistically speaking they have only demonstrated their unwillingness to understand the problem/issue by revealing such a PR Fail-worthy reply. I’m looking forward to reading your response to that trifling response.

    Keep on speaking the truth and their bound to recognize just how damaging their calculator is and how it alienates their target market by demonstrating a lack of concern for their health, comfort and safety.

    Cheers,

    Maggie

  3. I totally agree – either have the courage of your convictions and stand 100% by your ‘TOOL’ or admit that you’re wrong. Admit that this lazy epidemic of outdated advice is the main reason women are in the wrong bras. The industry is letting women down and making women feel that they’re the problem “80% of women wear the wrong bra blah, blah, blah” 80% of retailers are peddling totally incorrect advice – who’s really to blame?!!?

  4. Gayle says:

    Commented on their FB and on a few other womens’ posts.. this is just sad. I am so happy I found your site (and a few of the other larger busted bloggers), because sizing tools like that – and sizers who used that method in person – are the reason that my breasts have hurt for over a decade, and why I’ve not been happy with how my breasts look in bras since I have kids (they stood up on their own, despite their size, before that… how I miss those days!).

  5. Bras I Hate says:

    I find it so hilarious that Playtex takes this tone in their message. They speak as though they’re experts. Probably 99% of the readers of your blog know more about bras than this bra company knows.

    At least your message “delighted” them!

  6. Karen says:

    I received a response today as well:

    “Thank you for contacting Playtex It Fits.  We are always delighted when Consumers take time out of their schedule to share their comments and welcome the opportunity to address inquiries regarding our products.

    We have forwarded your comments over to the correct department for review. I also wanted to let you know that we suggest to all of our customers that they go and have a professional bra fitting at one of the department stores. We also advise that is you are going to use the sizing chart online that you have someone measure for you so that you are in the appropriate stand still and get the appropriate measurements. If you were to go into the department store for a fitting this would be at no additional cost to the customer.”

    Honestly? They want me to go to a department store when they don’t make my size to begin with? The only reason that they suggest these sizes is because these are the only sizes they offer. Because their size run is so limited, they end up perpetuating bad fits because department store fitters don’t have what most customers need…so the fitters end up going bigger in the band to make up for the lack of cup size.

    I really, really wish that there were more fitting salons in the US to make more customers aware of proper fitting…or more department stores that carry sizes above a DD cup and bands below 34 or above 40.

  7. eiremerald says:

    I haven’t gotten a response from Playtex, but I got this from Bali:

    “Thank you for contacting Bali. We are always delighted when Consumers take time out of their schedule to share their comments and welcome the opportunity to address inquiries regarding our products.

    We are sorry you are unhappy with the measuring instructions and the bra fit calculator. We will be happy to forward your comments and concerns to the appropriate department.”

    *Harumph*

    btw, I left scathing comments on a few of their youtube videos. Not that it will probably do any good, but at least I felt better afterward. 😉 I spent too many years thinking I was a freak of nature because I couldn’t find a bra that fit in a “normal” store. I want to save others from this fate!

    • Uch, that’s horrid. Almost identical first para as the Playtex responses too! I’m determined to keep fighting brands – and I know we can force a change if we keep fighting hard. We did it in the UK, and with a bit of muscle we can do it in the US too. Thank you so so much for being a War on Plus Four hero – it’s truly fantastic and makes me smile whenever I see what you’ve been up to xx FYI Playtex have basically gift wrapped a PR fail for us on their Facebook today… go have some fun 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/Playtex

  8. Beckie says:

    My reply:

    Hi Shanna,

    Thanks for getting back to me, but I’m afraid on behalf of my readers I must press you on a few things.

    A lot of people – your customers – have tested your calculator, and found that far from being a helpful guide your calculator often puts them in wildly wrong sizes.

    Our point is that in reality most people do not recognise what a good fit is – and what an empowering and life changing experience finding it can be. This is largely due to a long culture of misinformation on the matter – supported by gimmicky bra calculators that make it even more bewildering for women who don’t understand their size.

    We would argue that a fine tune is not enough. Calculations that add any inches to a band size with a bust over a C cup move women – especially the fuller busted women who need the most support – even further away from the chance to experience that life changing fit. The concession to add 3 instead of 5 over 35 is illogical. Girls with a (very normal) under bust measurement range of 26-32 are more likely to have a proportionally large cup size, and so are even more in need of a snug fit.

    I take your point that it is a starter guide, but realistically you position yourself as ‘experts’ in fit – and with this comes great responsibility. Often women will not seek out a professional fit because of time, accessibility, and the fact that fit experts have already calculated their size for them online – and they must know what’s right. In fact, from the (many, and mostly US based women) who contact me, horribly uncomfortable bras were a main obstacle for not visiting a professional. Often women – resilient as we are – will assume that our awful fitting 34C and the discomfort it comes with is a fact of life.

    We would urge you to rethink your current fitting advice, to a model that promotes recognising a good fit (snug band, flat centre gore, breast totally encased by wire, band horizontal to the floor, straps not digging in, smooth cups, etc etc) – without adding those inches to the under band. Giving a 30I woman a 34C ‘starting point’ (and this isn’t even the most extreme result your calculator has generated) is as responsible as taking the kids to school by dropping them off on the opposite side of a motorway.

    Playtex market themselves as fit experts, and as such have a responsibility to respect the trust women will put in you. As I wrote before (and have at length on busts4justice.com), Playtex UK have taken that responsibility very seriously indeed – removing their bra calculator and hosting focus groups to reconsider the best way to advise and help women. I really hope Playtex US can do the same.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Best wishes,

    Beckie
    Busts 4 Justice

  9. Fab reply Beckie – “Being an expert comes with great responsibility” is the core of this argument for me. Which brands are taking their responsibility to bra education seriously?

    • I’m pretty shocked by how bad things sound in the US – it makes me all the more resolved to fight hard against this calculator and keep spreading the fit word across the globe. Good fit knows no borders! x

      • The sad thing is that here in Canada Playtex is far from the worst offender for lazy and inaccurate bra fitting advice. Plus Four is an epidemic over here. I have been trying to find a PR champion who will take on the fight but no one fully understands the physical and emotional consequences of this mathematical error. It’s incredibly frustrating.

  10. Laura P says:

    I can’t wait to see if they actually reply again!

  11. Beth says:

    I suppose at least they did give you a response; I haven’t heard back from the email I sent them two days ago. I’ll just have to write again, I guess! I took a look around for other sizing charts by US brands, and I was kind of appalled at how many say to add inches. It looks like we’ve got a long way to go in this country.

    • It’ll be a long fight, but we won’t stop. I promise! I’ve starting bombing their Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Playtex) too – they’re active there every day so it makes the ignoring all the more ridiculous. Today’s update in particular is a gift from the PR gods – you should go and vent 🙂 Thank you for the support so far x

      • Beth says:

        I did see it, and had quite a laugh! They must have a list of questions in advance, why on earth did they choose this one? Oh well, more fun for us!

      • Either that they queued everything up at the beginning of the week and there’s no one behind the steering wheel, or they’re totally devoid of any kind of sense or PR guidance… V fun though – I just went back for more.

  12. JoW says:

    I went – I vented.
    Well, they were asking for it! 😉 x

  13. Boosauraus says:

    Sent an email and got a terse response: http://boosauraus.blogspot.com/2012/01/dont-tell-me-to-add-5-6-inches.html

    They can’t ignore all those Facebook comments forever!

  14. bybabysrules says:

    They are finally replying on facebook, with the same canned response to everyone.
    “Thanks for your comment! We welcome your feedback as we are are always working to fine tune our Fit Calculator. Please keep in mind that although our calculator is meant to be a helpful resource and guide, we maintain that it is always best to be personally fitted for a bra as every woman is wonderfully unique and different. Please check with your local Playtex retailer to find out the best way to get fit for your bra.”

    I replied back with my own little response.
    “Thanks for the reply back. I’ll tell you though, it would be better if you did not use the same canned response for every one that has posted. We are not going away until you stop fitting women incorrectly and providing bad fit advice.”

    This is seriously irritating. Tomorrow I’m off to search for a Playtex bra in the size they gave me to get some pics of how horrible it fits. I’m so irked that I did not even get a response to me, we all got the same generic canned reply. Not good enough!

    • eiremerald says:

      I did that the other day. I tried on a 40D and fell out the bottom of it because I could pull it away from my body a good 4-5″ (gee, I wonder why?). I’m not brave enough to post them online, but I sure included them in my emails! I wonder if I actually went to a store under the guise of getting a “fitting” what would happen…

    • I saw – just staggering. I have just written another post and put it to their page. That they can send out those platitudes at the very same time customers are complaining of symptoms all caused by big band small cup – and indeed offer nothing to those customers suffering – is disgusting. Their ‘just a starting point’ is clearly not working. Why are they defending it so stubbornly?

  15. Alyi says:

    This method is beyond wrong…Why? Because even a 36 is loose on my 34 inch underbust and they insist I’m a 38 or 40…Ugh…I need to find a place where they have good demi plunge push up bras, since that fits best on me…But I can’t even find a place that carries a 34DDD, so I try 36DD. I think on the 36DD the band is too big and the cups are too small…

  16. Kathe Smith says:

    I’m currently a 30G/.30FF/32F. I don’t have much fat on my ribcage so I wear the wrong (bigger) back size so that the band isn’t uncomfortable, and bras in these sizes fit me well and don’t cause me problems. I followed the Playtex video and was surprised to learn that I should REALLY be wearing a 34A. Needless to say I have emailed them. Thanks, Playtex!

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