Why Playtex MUST act now

Awful Fitting Advice from PlaytexTracking the Playtex Facebook page last night, I couldn’t help but be moved. Not just by the tremendous support for the War on Plus Four on the page, but by the overwhelming amount of Playtex fans responding to their (kinda gift-wrapped for us) daily straw poll of “What’s most annoying about wearing a bra?”.

“Uncomfortable”, “straps digging in”, “straps that fall down”, “wires poking”, “wires coming out”, “having to adjust” and “everything” were common hates between women. Worse were things like “they hurt”, “by 3pm I’m nearly in tears” and “I can’t wait to get mine off at the end of the day”.

I, and a lot of my partners in crime, found it terribly upsetting to read. We all could relate to everything they were posting – because that used to be us. Almost every single complaint was a common symptom of a wearing a bra too big in the back and too small in the cup. Symptoms that would be caused if you followed a gimmicky fitting guide that added inches to your underbust measurement. Symptoms that can be remedied very easily with smaller numbers and larger letters.

And yet ‘fit experts’ Playtex see this, and instead of addressing the fitting issues or answering our challenge to the bra calculator, write insulting platitudes suggesting we get professionally fitted and insisting the calculator is a guide. They offer nothing to the women miserable in their underwear.

Oh Playtex. You can say “it’s just a starting point” until you’re blue in the face, but the simple fact is your advice at the moment is failing your customers. Read how many of them are telling you they hate wearing bras! Is there no compassion for women who feel uncomfortable all day long because they don’t have the tools to find a perfect fit, and the tools they have send them in a totally wrong direction? How can you read that and then ignore our complaints? Do you – the fit experts – actually even care at all?

Finding the correctly fitting bra (which often means taking the true underbust measurement as it is before calculating cup size) is a life changing experience. It’s the difference between having to adjust it all day and then tearing it off as you get home, to not giving it a moment’s thought between getting dressed and bedtime. It’s the difference between feeling every staircase jolt through your chest, and moving with total support and freedom wherever your day may take you. It’s the difference between resenting your boobs for holding you back, and celebrating your curves for what they are. It’s the difference between the awkward, self-conscious E-cup girl I used to be, and the determined, relentless G/I-cup woman I am today.

(If you’re new to this blog (hello!) and are curious about good fit, have a look at What Most People Don’t Know About Bra Sizes for a quick crash course in understanding cup sizes, fit, and what’s wrong with the system.)

I digress. As shown clearly by their (lack of) actions and their insulting platitudes, Playtex seem to be missing the point a bit here, so let’s spell out exactly what we want. Hint: it’s not generic customer service responses or cut-and-paste Facebook replies to our criticisms.

1: IMMEDIATE removal of the bra calculator.

2: IMMEDIATE removal of the bra ‘makeovers’ (as above) that show women being refitted in to bras that do not fit (as can be demonstrated when the center gore does not lie flat, when the breasts are pushed together, when the band rides up, when the cups spill over with movement, when the breasts come out of the bottom of the cup when arms are raised, when shoulder straps dig in, etc etc.)

3: A review in to how better they could help women actually find their perfect size – I always call out Bravissimo guidelines here – featuring a focus group/study of independent bra experts (like Butterfly Collection).

4: A new campaign dedicated to educating American women on recognising genuinely good fit (not the fit as they currently promote it…), and a commitment to raising the bar for fit standards in the US.

And the rest of us? Keep posting, keep writing. They may not be listening right now, but they will hear us.

e-mail consumer.care@hanesbrands.com

Or find their Facebook here

This entry was posted in Busts 4 Justice, Campaigns, News, War on Plus Four and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Why Playtex MUST act now

  1. Beckie says:

    Playtex have done it again – go take a look at their latest update… and don’t forget to have fun with it 😀 https://www.facebook.com/Playtex

  2. Most of the people that use bra calculators don’t understand starting point. It’s really something that has to be spelled out. I have noticed that most females are willing to go up on the band rather than up on the cup. I think it’s because most females see themselves as one cup size and they couldn’t possibly be more than that. On the other hand there are a lot of females that think the band size number is really the circumference of her chest.

    In the US there is a lot of talk about ill fitting bra and how a bra can change your body shape, in magazines and on t.v. But they never say how a bra should fit, or how to measure to get a starting point. Most of the time it’s an expert that says you should come to my shop and i will get you good fit

    I’m starting think most bra companies and bra seller do not want women to know how to fit themselves, so they keep coming trying on new sizes.

    • Boosauraus says:

      Not only that – but Playtex also *tells* women to try going up a band size if the cup is too small in some cases! The ignorance about bra fitting that they’re spreading is really infuriating, and it seems as though they just want to fit women into the sizes they have, even if it means a poor fit. Terrible!

    • Exactly – and let’s face it, starting point does suggest it’s in the ball-park. Plus-six isn’t even in the car park!

      It’s only through being so immersed in the boob world that I understand the fit so well. Before, I hated my bras and shape and suspected there was a better way – but whenever I googled for it and came across another +5 technique I just continued to accept that spider veins on my shoulders, constantly fidgeting with my cups, weird sweat pockets at the bottom, and permanent spillage were a fact of my life. It was only in Bravissimo when – with no calculators – they explicitly explained to me what a good fit looked like that I could see where I’d been going wrong all this time. I felt like I’d been duped by every single woman who’d ever fit me. And it’s kinda true – brands let women down when they rely on gimmicks to sell bras, not genuinely meaningful fitting advice.

      And there may be something in that, but I can’t help thinking that women who love their fit and love wearing their underwear must spend loads more on bras than people who resent them completely… Or is that just me?

  3. Boosauraus says:

    Also, I can’t stand the bra makeover blurb/explanation referenced above. There is no way that poor lady is a 42D. And “her boobs were not as big as she thought they were” – wth is that? A 40DD is the same cup volume as a 42D! And if she could put on a 40 band, why did they give her an even bigger band? Why is the underwire sitting on her breast tissue and the center gore poking out? Gah! She needs something more along the lines of a 36G.

    • Oh my god, the fit makeovers are terrible! Those poor women. At least they’d have some defence if they could prove that – calculator or no calculator – they knew their way to a good fit when they found it, but they don’t! Playtex’s website shouts ‘we don’t give a crap about your comfort, just keep buying our stuff and put up with it.” A hideous customer care ethos.

  4. Penny says:

    I’m trying to work out whether their Facebook page is run by a complete and utter idiot, a closet B4J supporter trying to hand you opportunities, or they just post questions to give the place a community feel but never actually read the comments.

    • There is a theory in social media that you should let your biggest brand advocates be your best defence… are they trying to rally them? Because it only really works if there’s enough brand love for them to care 🙂 Either that or they’re completely heartless – that they weren’t moved by the plight of those hundred or so (unrelated to this campaign) women complaining about their fit really shames them. Ugh.

    • I like the idea that it’s a B4J supporter though… makes me feel like Tyler Durden 😀 x

  5. Emailed them, I don’t think they know ANYTHING about bras.

  6. Alyi says:

    Actually, according to their calculator, I’m a 40A, which is ridiculous. I even tried on one of their 38D bras, adjusted it to the tightest hook, but the band was still riding up indicating that the band was too big. I’ve had a lot of problems with bra fittings. Right now, I wear a 36DD/E. However, the band moves up and the shoulder straps dig in. I also have problems with the wires poking my armpit and the center tips away from my body. It makes the underwire feel uncomfortable at that. So I went to Cacique and they measured me at a 36DDD/F (but I was wearing quite the push up bra). However, they gave me awful advice. They said because I “have more than a 6 inch difference” between the bust and band measurements, they insisted that I try a 38DD. They said that a more roomy band is better for big busted girls. To me, that seems like it’s bogus. I’ve done my bra homework. Also, they think I needed big heavy duty support bras, but I found that the style wasn’t right. It didn’t feel right. I adjusted the bra to the tightest hook, but I was able to slide my whole hand underneath, still rode up. The cups felt a little small… I actually have problems with my 36DD with the band riding up and going up makes that worse. It seems like full coverage bras don’t work for me…What should I do? I actually measured myself…
    Overbust: 35
    Underbust: 33~35 (mostly 34)
    Bust: 40ish or 41ish
    What bra size should I try? I have a hard time finding bras in my size as it is. I’ve been told I’m a 34DD or E/DDD or F/DDDD or G, 36D/DD/DDD, and 38B/C/D/DD, 40A/B/C…I don’t know where to go. No store in the US carries a 34DDD so I tried a 36DD. It fits OK, except for the band moving up…They insist that I go bigger but it only gets worse as I try to increase my size…So the add 4/5/6 inches never works. A 34 can fit on me and it can fasten, with a 34 in underbust. So if I’m such and a 36 can fit big, then what should I do? I don’t even know what size I am…maybe a 34F/34G…but I can’t be sure…So this “standard” method is WRONG!!!

    • Oh Alyi I feel terrible for you. It doesn’t take a lot of lousy advice to knock your confidence in your bra. Bottom line if you know if you feel good in your bra or not! Based on your measurements I would start you off in a 34FF or 34G bra. You’re absolutely right that advising you to wear a looser band it total rubbish. Your band is everything. Once you get the band right (and bear in mind that some brands are tighter or looser than others) then you’ll be able to try on a couple of cup sizes and see what fits. Remember that style makes a difference to fit too. A full cup bra is a good place to start then branch out into molded balconettes and plunges! I hope you start to enjoy bra shopping and your fab figure very soon! xx

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