Bosom Galore is a brand that’s been on our radar since early summer of last year – we spotted via social media that they were just starting up their luxury brand that caters for the small banded, large busted lady. As we all know, there are still massive gaps in the lingerie industry, whether that’s small bands and small cups not being produced by enough companies, or not enough diversity in large banded, small cup bras and everything in between. It’s not just sizing that causes problems for people though, it’s a number of things. For example, the lack of “nude” bras for every skin tone (although Nubian Skin are starting to fill that particular gap) and the fact that the standard beige bra is consistently called “nude” by consumers and brands alike, despite the fact that it is nude for only a particular set of customers.
As a 28GG/H, I’m in a size group that is slightly difficult to find, but not impossible – I can pick bras out of almost all the big full bust brands including Curvy Kate, Panache and Freya and know that they will more than likely work for me. I can’t however walk into any high street store and find my size, let alone one that will vaguely fit me, and I’m lucky to find a shop that will stock 28 bands in the North of the UK (they are out there, ie. Leia in York and the occasional Debenhams, just take a bit more hard work to find!). The bras that I can pick up though do have one thing in common: they’re all “standard” brands. There’s nothing wrong with them and they’re usually made to a good standard of quality with some thoughtful details. What I want sometimes though is to be able to find something more special, not just the usual standard. I want details, sumptuous fabrics, lace, intricate straps…Yes, these do exist to a certain extent out there, but I can’t grab something in standard sizing (S, M, L etc.) off an independent Etsy seller, no matter how much hard work has gone into it, and there’s only so much sister sizing I can do to squeeze into Agent Provocateur. Up until recently, I could just about get into Mimi Holliday’s 28G shoulder bras, however they’ve significantly squeezed their size range so the only ones that I have a chance at now are the Maxi bras, designed specifically for breasts like mine, but they’re a complete different style and look far “clunkier” to me than the rest of their gorgeous range. Smaller cups have the option at least of wearing the triangle bras etc. because they will at least keep them covered, even if they’re not providing support, but I’m at a size where even the generic larger sizes won’t fasten or keep my breasts covered, and in addition, I know of no other luxury brands that will do even a sister size or two up for me.
But anyway, this isn’t a rant at what I can and can’t get for me – this is a brand spotlight because it seems that there are people out there who are listening to the needs and wants of women like me and starting to produce what we’re really looking for.
Bosom Galore is UK brand started by a woman just like me. Katy is a 28 band who always longed for luxury in her lingerie, and I know how she feels. I could never pluck something off the shelves like others could. She also noticed the increasing numbers of women searching for 26 bands and failing to find any anywhere apart from Poland. And so Bosom Galore began.
It’s been a long journey for them from coming up with the idea behind the brand to it coming into being, but they are finally able to offer their two first styles, Classique and Amelia, at their online store at introductory prices in sizes 26-34 E-H (or GG in the 26 band) along with matching knickers, shorts and thongs for each style in sizes 6 to 16.
They’ve faced a lot of challenges on the way that I can only begin to imagine – I’ve recently just sewn my own bra and knickers set (over on my personal blog, Rebel Angel – will hopefully feature here soon!) – that was wireless and unlined and took enough work as it was, can you imagine doing that to fit a huge range of sizes, some sizes very rarely seen manufactured in the industry, so you’re one of the first delving into that, and then doing them on an industrial scale rather than just a single one at the sewing machine? Nope, I can’t imagine it either! So we asked Katy at Bosom Galore:
How long has it taken to get from start to finish of the process, designing, fitting etc. to have these two sets ready to sell?
The company was founded in 2010 whilst I was still working full-time as a web developer. Progress was very slow; I was working full-time, had no prior experience in lingerie development or even business. It wasn’t until New Year’s day 2014 that I decided to throw myself into Bosom Galore full-time. It took 6 months from this point to finalise the base size design for both the Classique and Amelia and then a further 6 months to grade them. Both processes had ups and downs. It has been through these processes that I have learned an incredible amount about the difficulties of establishing shape and support for larger bust sizes; the larger the breasts the greater variation in breast composition and therefore weight and shape. It is therefore incredibly difficult to create a bra that looks and supports the same on all breast types.
I haven’t personally tried any of the lingerie from Bosom Galore yet, but thus far I am impressed by their ambitions, ethics and commitment. They currently use and support UK manufacturers, which I am a big fan of, despite the fact that it ups their financial spend – did you know that there has been a 52% loss of textile manufacturing jobs in the UK in the past 20 years because companies have moved their manufacturing abroad to cut costs? I think that’s really sad – we should be proud of what we can do ourselves in the UK, and Bosom Galore are really leading the way with that.
I never actually considered manufacturing anywhere else. The primary reason was to support the UK textiles industry; to contribute to the jobs and communities that it supports. There is also the added bonus of being able to visit the factory by a simple car journey and communication is far more simple when working in the same time zone.
I’ve also been impressed by their website itself which has a lot of fitting information on it: they have a fitting guide, breast shapes guide, an explanation of fabrics and brands, a style guide with illustrated images of bras plus a description of what type of breasts they work best for, an explanation of how body composition can affect bra fit, and finally, my favourite, a size “estimator” (I like this term, rather than calculator!) which brings me out as a 26GG/28GG (I assume it would be 26H if they sold it), but also suggests that I could be anywhere from 26FF to 28HH. I’m really pleased to see that they’ve taken advice from bra fitting forums (such as A Bra That Fits) to find out what we want as customers, pricing scales we’re looking for in luxury lingerie, and what’s important to finding the best fit for you. It’s also helpful that there’s some advice on the product pages for how bras will fit certain breasts, ie. the Classique is recommended for firmer breasts.
But really, it’s all in the details, isn’t it? The Classique balconette set is my favourite that they currently offer – I love the red and black together; it really does look elegant and luxurious to me. It’s made from silk and delicate lace, has a nice rounded shape and appears to offer a good amount of lift with the seaming and contouring of the cup. The description also says it has silk lined straps (ooh, luxurious!) and 3 hooks and eyes for additional support (that’s what I like to see!).
The Amelia plunge set is pretty and understated, I think – more of an everyday luxury with vintage styled lace detailing. Again, it has the silk lined straps and 3 hook and eyes for support.
So what can we expect to see in the future from Bosom Galore? Their Spring Summer 2015 Lookbook gives us a bit of a hint (so who’s going to buy me that chemise/slip?!), here’s what Katy has to say:
We are very excited about what’s ahead. Our Spring/Summer collection will consist of our Classique in Teal and also our Classique in Ivory; an ideal bridal set. We are then going to introduce suspenders to complete the Classique look. We are also developing our new Elysa lingerie composed of Royal blue silk and black lace. This set is going to be quite different to our current ranges with a greater emphasis on lace than silk. We are very eager to expand our size range which we aim to start developing in Autumn 2015. And 2016 will see the introduction if our supportive nightwear range.
So what do you think of this first look at Bosom Galore? Unfortunately I’m not able to try them out just yet (buying a house and furniture for it kind of ruins of my lingerie hopes and dreams!), but as soon as I have the chance, I will be.
PS: This isn’t a sponsored post – we just really like Bosom Galore’s ideas and ethics, and want to support emerging lingerie brands. If you’re a similar brand you think we might like, get in touch!