Friday, 8 March 2013

Marks and Spencer strike again

And, in another "isolated incident" it's another epic fail from Marks and Sparks!

A 30HH goes in....

I went to the fitting room and asked if it was possible to be fitted for a bra. The helpful and friendly lady on the desk said that the fitter was with a customer but I should wait in the cubicle, strip down to my bra and she would send her in. First fail! I waited for a good ten minutes sat in my bra. I heard another customer come in after me who was also waiting.

When the fitter arrived she did not introduce herself or apologise for the wait. She looked critically at my bra (I was wearing a Panache Tango 32H, slightly big in the back but otherwise a good fit). She told me that the red marks caused by the band were a bad sign and meant the wire was digging in, and I should not wear an underwired bra until my skin had recovered. I said that I felt that my breasts were too big to wear a non-wired bra and so she agreed I could try underwired.

She then measured me. She measured around my ribs, but clearly didn’t pull the tape measure tight as she declared me a 38” band. 38”! I measure 31 inches around my ribs. Apparently M&S don’t add five, they add seven!

The bra fitter went on to do the cup by eye. She advised me to try a 38DD or E. She then went off to measure the other customer leaving me to get dressed and find my own bras. I asked if she would come and look at the fit when I found one and she agreed.

I found a very pretty bra from the Limited Collection in both sizes and took it to the fitting room. The bra fitter was still there and she advised me to start with the E. I put it on and let’s start with the positive, the cup was not a bad fit. The band was completely hopeless and I could have put a friend in it with me. However, the front view was initially not bad.

The assistant came in and had a good look. She checked along the top of the cups where there was a small bit of gaping and said this was down to the shoulder straps. She paid a lot of attention to these and explained that I should grab each one with the opposite thumb, and that my thumb should move freely under the strap but not be able to pull it away. She adjusted the straps just so and told me that they should sit just inside my shoulder bone as if they did not, the top of the cup would rub.

All of this took a good five minutes and not once did she check the band size. Given that I had told her I needed to be fitted because I had lost weight, and I had gone in wearing a 32, 38 was insane. I asked if the band was ok and she said it was ‘a good fit’. I asked if it mattered what hook it was fastened on (I had put it on the tightest) and she said it should be the middle one, but didn’t really matter. She then waffled about the wires and how they should not be close to your skin (??). I asked where the bulk of the support came from in a bra and she said the wires, and again confirmed that 38E was the size for me.

I also heard her fitting the poor girl who came in after me (about a size 12, and noticeable breasts) in a 36B. Wrong again!

This was really the worst kind of fitting because the bra didn’t look tooooo bad, and if I didn’t know what kind of support you can get from a properly fitting back I would have thought it must be the right size. The fitter talked a lot about technical sounding things to do with the shoulder straps but didn’t do the basics like check the band fit or make sure the wires sat flat (which of course they did not), or even ask if it was comfortable. It was also pretty disappointing to have to dress and fetch my own bras, and to wait a while with no apology. And this adding inches business is nonsense!

Another isolated incident?


  1. I visited an M&S branch today (Paisley, Scotland) and took in a 36DD and a 36E, around the size I would normally wear, although I have been told in some places I should be wearing a 34 band size. This is the second time I've been in M&S recently to be fitted, and both times I've been disappointed with the customer service (kept waiting, abruptness etc) and recommended bras which I know don't fit! The lady this afternoon practically measured round my waist the tape measure was so low! Then she pronounced (rather severely) that "this is measuring 38" and suggested a 38D/DD. I really don't feel like I'm a 38 band size! A friend of mine (of a very similar frame) was measured in Bravissimo at at 30 band, so it does seem that M&S are way out of sync...

  2. I visited M&S Trafford Centre. I needed a new bra as my 28G is too loose round the band and cups are a bit gapey. I asked whether they sold any 26F bras, and the assistant looked at me and said I should try a 32D instead. WTF?

    1. Love to say I'm surprised...but I'm not! M&S are bra fitting muppets who never, ever, listen to feedback.

      26s are very very rare (the bras that is, not the people who need them!) MadeinPreston have started doing 26s although I haven't tried them. The Debenhams Gorgeous range also tends to be quite tight in the back so might be worth trying their 28s. The other options are using a Rixie clip, or taking the band of a 28 in which is relatively easy to do.