Sunday, 12 January 2014

Leia: The Hunt For A Big Sports Bra

As a somewhat busty woman I have often struggled to find a decent bra on the high street and getting a good fitting was close to impossible for me until I discovered Leia. The small but perfectly formed shop in Bluewater offers a fitting service and expert advice on bras and other lingerie.

I am quite religious about my fittings and make sure to get one every 6 months or so just in case, so last week my mother and I paid Leia a visit. I've been to other places for fittings before, from M&S who got it completely wrong, to Rigby & Peller who made me feel uncomfortable and pressured into making a purchase. But the staff at Leia seem happy just to be helping women work out what's good for them. The atmosphere in the shop is always friendly and chatty, everyone is genuinely happy to be there and, most importantly for plus size ladies like myself, you are never made to feel like you are anything other than normal. If you go to Leia you will not feel judged or looked down upon for something as trivial as the size of your back.

Mum and I wasted no time and arrived at Leia not long after the doors opened. I was greeted by a lovely lady named Ama and I explained to her that I'd seen the Freya Active on special offer so I wanted to give it a try and double check my size while I was there. I was directed to the dressing room to try on the bra. A few moments later, Ama knocked on the door and I welcomed her in to help me fit the bra properly. She explained that despite the Freya Active being the correct size for me, the straps did not shorten enough to offer the tops of my breasts any extra support so I'd still have an uncomfortable amount of bounce.

As disappointed as I was at not being able to get "the cheap option" I was very happy with the explanation as to why the bra wasn't a good fit. It seems Freya bras in general don't fit my breast shape particularly well.
I told Ama how I'd previously owned an Elomi Energise sports bra and that maybe I should try that one again. With none in store but some available online, Ama happily went back and forth getting different sized Elomi bras and fitting them to me, making sure I knew exactly what size I would need to order in the sports variety.

After we were happy and agreed that I was a 38JJ in the full cup Elomi (Caitlyn) bras, Ama wrote down all the details of my fitting and found the Elomi Energise in the catalogue for me. But of course that particular sports bra doesn't come in a 38JJ. The 38 back only goes to a J cup and the 40 back only goes up to an H! After a discussion with Ama and another fitter Gemma, we all agreed that the 38J would be the better fit as the 40 band would offer less support.

I was given the option to have it ordered to store so I could try it on when I collected it. However the timing isn't great for me as I'm moving 45 miles away so I will wait to order it online as the website offers free returns.

All in all I simply cannot fault any of the fitters at Leia. They are friendly, professional and the shop itself is well presented and sells a fantastic range of goodies at great prices. They have regular sales and offers and an outlet for reduced lines on the website. Be sure to take a look!

Do you have a favourite place for fittings? What sports bra do you use?

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