Online bra fitting


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May 24, 2005
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Online bra fitting

Buying underwear is difficult on the internet, but webcams might help

Flashing your boobs at a stranger over a webcam has generally been regarded as something that prostitutes do to mucky men in some of the dodgier corners of the internet. However, an enterprising North Yorkshire company has turned the webcam into a hi-tech aid to achieving the perfect bra fit.

Bra fitting is a notoriously tricky art, relying partly on tape measures and partly on a well-trained eye. While companies such as Bravissimo and Rigby & Peller have strong online presences, you're still best going to a shop for a proper fitting.

However, realising that that's not always possible, Fishnets Lingerie in Whitby ( has come up with an idea that allows customers who can't make the trek to the fishing town to shop with confidence. All you need is broadband, a webcam and the latest version of Microsoft MSN Messenger.

It's not wholly interactive: you need to book an appointment either by email or by online chat via MSN. However, it's a surprisingly pleasant experience. Shop owner Olivia Wells and her assistant Rachel got me to measure under my bra and under my arms, and then - this was the pervy bit - take my top off in front of the webcam so they could assess how well my bra fitted. I'd been fitted fairly recently, and they showed me some of the bras they have in my size: Olivia waving them under the webcam and Rachel tapping away at the computer.

"We like to spend a lot of time with our customers," says Olivia. To that end appointments are usually scheduled outside regular opening hours, but even on a Thursday morning both had plenty of time to spend with me.

We narrowed my choice down to two bras - both by a brand I don't usually buy. Although the website is well designed, it doesn't have its own secure server, so payment is either by WorldPay or by ringing up with your credit card details, which are destroyed as soon as payment is approved.
So I'm waiting for my purchases to arrive. And if I don't like them, I can return them as long as they are in the original condition.

Kate Bevan
Thursday October 27, 2005
The Guardian