Gossard vs Good Fit: the battle continues

Gossard Badly Fitting BraRegular readers may remember the battle Busts 4 Justice had with Gossard’s fairly questionable bra calculator and fitting advice a while back.

To their credit, they reached out and have been working on the situation. I was very disappointed then, to read this this afternoon:

Hi Becky (sic),

This week, as promised, we organised for two women to come into the office to get fitted using your +0 idea, in order to compare to the traditional +4 method.

The first of our models measured 32 underband and 40 overbust. This meant that Gossard measured her at a 36F, however our model expressed that she would merely use this as a starting point, as she in fact feels most comfortable in a 34FF. Using the proposed method by Bras4Justice (sic), this would mean our model’s starting point would be a size 32G, or in relative terms 30GG.

With this new calculation we asked our model to try a 32FF. Unfortunately she was unable to get the bra to fit, as she felt the band size was too tight and uncomfortable, therefore opting for the 34 band instead. This would mean she would measure a 34F, one band size smaller than Gossard’s original calculations, or one cup size smaller than the size our model actually wears.

The second model was unfortunately absent, so we were unable to use this method on another larger busted model.

It is Gossard’s view that although, for the minority of women, the +4 method may not work, for the majority, it is in fact an excellent starting point. If we were to use the +0 method we believe many women would experience the same frustration as our model experienced, that the band size they are given does not in fact feel comfortable as it is too small, and they would have to increase their band size. However, we understand that, from the Busts4Justice point of view, the traditional method may leave women feeling as though the band size they have received is too large, so there is obviously a compromise to be had.

We believe that this compromise should be in ensuring that we increase the information on our website, which will increase the options women have when choosing their bra size. Our current measuring calculator states that the size you receive will in fact be an estimate and is a starting point, not a definitive answer, especially for women above a DD. We also state that in order to get the size most suitable for your measurements, it is best to get measured by a professional. In addition to this information, what we aim to achieve is an informative guide for women which allows women to either use our sizing application, or our sizing chart for a starting bra size.

Gossard is also dedicated in informing women on how to correctly measure themselves, as we have found that many women in the UK have been misinformed that measuring without a bra is in fact the best method. There is the possibility that this fact is the reason as to why many women, especially those with larger busts, are wearing the wrong size. If you are measuring your breasts whilst they are not supported correctly you will in fact get an inaccurate measurement of the overband, however if you had a bra which supported you correctly in the first instance, you would not be trying to find your true bra size! On our website we will also be introducing a separate guide explaining how to use the theory of relativity, and how to know whether to go up or down a size using the most common complaints from women, e.g. ‘ spilling from the cup.’

Kind Regards,

Jade
Courtaulds Brands Ltd (Gossard & Berlei)

Can you spot the fundamental flaw in their argument here? They weren’t using their bra calculator algorithm in the test! My response:

Hi Jade,

Thanks for replying. I have to say, I’m a little disappointed. I have a couple of points though:

“It is Gossard’s view that although, for the minority of women, the +4 method may not work, for the majority, it is in fact an excellent starting point.”

The reverse is actually true – there has been a recent study proving this – you can read about it here: . I also have the full download if you would like to read it in more detail. In any case…

“The first of our models measured 32 underband and 40 overbust. This meant that Gossard measured her at a 36F, however our model expressed that she would merely use this as a starting point, as she in fact feels most comfortable in a 34FF. Using the proposed method by Bras4Justice (sic), this would mean our model’s starting point would be a size 32G, or in relative terms 30GG.”

This is not true to the bra calculator we’re talking about, which would actually have put her in a 36D. The bra calculator worked out the cup size from the difference between the underbust +4/5″ measurement.

When you consider this, a starting point of 32G (which is actually equivalent to a 34FF) is a much better starting point than a 34D – which is not even an equivalent cup volume.

With this new calculation we asked our model to try a 32FF. Unfortunately she was unable to get the bra to fit, as she felt the band size was too tight and uncomfortable, therefore opting for the 34 band instead. This would mean she would measure a 34F, one band size smaller than Gossard’s original calculations, or one cup size smaller than the size our model actually wears.

Why didn’t you try her in a 32G, as the calculation suggested? I personally believe that Gossard bras do come up tight in the band, but it will feel even tighter if the cup is a size too small.

I thought this was supposed to be a fair and controlled experiment, but it has been incredibly variable. Personally I would advise you to do it again – and properly – before proceeding further with your revisions.

Finally, a bra calculator/starting point means nothing if it not supported by clear and accurate visual guides and product shown on models wearing correctly fitting bras. Historically, Gossard have been bad at this – rendering any ‘starting point’ useless. Is there any plan to address this?

I genuinely do appreciate you investigating this, but it’s important Gossard do not miss this opportunity to address their fitting issues for their customers.

Best wishes, Beckie

Arg. I’ll keep you posted. Love from Bras4Justice (wtf?)

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17 Responses to Gossard vs Good Fit: the battle continues

  1. June says:

    Arg! The dumbest thing about this is that they put her in a 32FF, which is clearly too small in the cups. If it’s too small in the cups then the band will fit too tightly too even if it’s the correct size! I don’t get why they didn’t start her off in 32G? ??? If anything she might actually need a 32GG because a too big band can mask too small cups. Also, getting an accurate bust measurement is hard if she’s wearing the wrong bra size. UGH!!!!

  2. Sarah M says:

    I don’t understand–if they measured using your method and got a 32G, why did they have her try a 32FF and not a G? How is that testing your method? And how can they make a definitive statement that their method is best based on fitting one person, ignoring studies that use a much larger sample size? *And,* why do they have a bra calculator that is so far off, apparently, from their own fit methods?

  3. Helen says:

    The theory of relativity? We need Einstein’s help to work out our bra sizes now? Although it’s true a bad fit can certainly cause some serious spatiotemporal anomalies…

  4. eiremerald says:

    And the legions of women who actually wear a band size that equals their underbust measurement groan collectively. Good grief.

  5. Anna says:

    Oh my lord. There is so much wrong with their response…. Loved your email back, especially the fact that you attached an ACTUAL study, as opposed to their flawed experience with one woman.

  6. Anna says:

    Still thinking about this… Even if the model did find a 34FF to be the best fit, that doesn’t give weight to their method. A 34 band is one band size down from their method and one size up from the “Busts4Justice” method. Their “experiment” proved nothing. And by the way, do they realize that many, many women (not to mention intelligent brands and retailers) base band size on the actual underbust measurement, and that this isn’t a random thought being pushed by one blog…?

  7. Gossard’s bras don’t go above a G cup. Basically they are happy selling the 30-38 band sizes in G cup. So in order to fit the women they picked to model, they would have had to make a bra for her specially. It’s too bad that they don’t want to listen to their customers/possible customers.

  8. Kath says:

    Good lord what were they thinking! I think they should be grovelling for forgiveness about now. Many of our customers comment on a tighter band feeling uncomfortable initially but that’s no wonder when they’ve been wearing bands that are 4 inches too big! Keep them talking for a few minutes and all of a sudden they don’t notice that they are wearing them. Personally I feel that women describe the band as feeling too tight simply because it feels different!

    • And it’s not really a fair fight when you ‘test’ a method with a cup size down. Of course it’s going to feel tight! 34 backs feel tight on me when it’s a D cup!

  9. Zoggi says:

    OK, so many things wrong with their response.

    1: The +4 method would actually put their model in a 36D, not 36F. They are misrepresenting the facts to hide how bad they are.

    2: They say that she normally wears a 34FF, and that the busts4justice method would put her in a 32G. In other words, your method accurately predicts her cup size. Theirs doesn’t.

    3: They tried to test your method using a 32FF bra – one which has a smaller cup size than you both agree she needs. Of course it’s going to be too tight – when the cups aren’t big enough, the breasts will push the band out from the body.

    4: Aside from the factual errors and poor judgement, their whole tone seems really childish.

  10. Penny says:

    So, a sample of one person wanting a bra band size bang in between the two methods proves the +4 method over the +0 method. Anyone who knows the slightest thing about running experiments should be facepalming at their logic.

    Also agreed on it being meaningless without some more evidence like pictures. When I first started wearing 28 bands they felt too tight, this was because I wasn’t used to having a bra supported by the band rather than it being wrong!

  11. Kay says:

    The plural of anecdote is not data. Even if an accurate comparison had been made, a sample size of 1? Give me a break.

  12. I just started reading your blog, and as a 30HH I’m very excited by what you have to say. Excellent rebuttal. I tried a Gossard bra once (the one in the far left picture in this entry) in a 30G (have gained weight since.) Not only was the sizing way off, the bra was just weirdly cut, with seams and puckers in places that can’t be concealed under clothes. I gave up right there. I admire that you’re going after them about it!
    In addition to what you pointed out, I’d also like to mention that many women are not used to wearing the right band size and don’t realize it’s SUPPOSED to be snug because that’s how you get support. The initial reaction might be negative, but as they get used to wearing a properly supportive bra (and break the bra in a bit) usually people realize the results are much more comfortable.

    • That’s such a valid point. Often girls will choose a slightly too big band as they size down, simply because it’s strange. My first week of 30 backs definitely felt like I was being bear hugged to death, but the support was worth persevering with and it was only a few days before it became second skin. So much of learning about a fit happens away from the changing room, it’s so important to give women the tools they need to help themselves x PS thank you for the comment about Gossard… you’ve reminded me – they need a kick up the backside!

  13. amb says:

    ugh! If we look at the sizes they gave, then both methods are equal – if she preferred a 34FF, and +0 put her as a 32G, and their method at a 36F, then you are both equal in fitting.
    But how can they say that they put her as a 36F, when in fact I am on their calculator right now, plugging in the numbers 32 and 40, and it is coming out as 36DD? Then you are definitely closer! Even if we pretend that they actually tested your size-suggestion. I get so angry! 😮

  14. I’m sorry: they tried this with one woman? *One woman*? If they had tried it with, say, everybody that came into a Gossard store that day or something, then it might be useful information. But one (ONE!) woman is not a sample. Gossard *make bras*. It simply isn’t good enough for a company that *makes bras* to say that they don’t know how to help their customers choose the product that is appropriate for them. Can you imagine this with any other item of clothing? ‘I make socks, but … yeah. I’ve no idea which ones will fit you.’
    It would be so much better if they just admitted what we all know: that when you choose a bra, what you do is try on the size you normally wear *and then you adjust depending on how it actually feels*. Bravissimo have what they call ‘troubleshooting’ advice, which is super-useful in the adjustment part of this process (i.e. if the straps are too tight consider going down a back size but up a cup size and so on) so that you can iterate your way to a bra that fits correctly. I think that what women actually need (as well as ditching this nonsense of +4, of course) is a proper mechanism for determining a. that your bra doesn’t fit and b. *what to freaking do about it*.

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