Do you feel like your hunt for the perfect bra is a perpetual one? Have you yet to find that spot-on, holy grail of fit? The truth is that buying off-the-rack bras is a hit and miss experience for everyone. Pre-made bras, by design, only fit average measurements. There’s more chance of you being between a cup or band size than spot-on in both of them.
If you want a bra that fits like it was made just for you, you could try on a lot of bras until you find one. Or, you can buy one that is made just for you! You’ll particularly benefit from made-to-measure bras if you have uneven breasts. Or maybe you wear an unusual size and don’t find many choices when off-the-rack bra shopping.
However, I wouldn’t recommend the made-to-measure bras if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to lose weight, or still recovering from recent breast surgery. Mainly, that's anytime when your breasts are in the midst of a size or shape change. For one thing, custom bras typically take a good few weeks to make. You can’t expect a perfect fit if your measurements have changed by the time it arrives.
In many cases, custom-made bras are also more expensive than regular ones. You want your investment to result in a bra you can wear and love long-term! You’ll be paying a premium for someone to draft a sewing pattern personalized for your body. Plus they may need to order one-off components, such as underwires outside the brand’s usual size range.
So where can you go to buy made-to-measure bras? Many boutiques worldwide offer this service. Rigby & Peller in London, Uplift, and Rubies Bras in Ontario, Louise Feuillere in Paris and Linda’s Lingerie in Melbourne are just a few examples. The catch, of course, is that you have to live near one or be willing to travel.
But as with anything nowadays, the custom bra experience has moved online. Below are eight brands offering fully bespoke or made-to-measure bras over the internet. Of course, getting the measurements right is key here. So when doing it yourself, be sure to enlist a partner or friend if you need some help.
Elma Shop specializes in soft bralettes in AA to D cup sizes. Their bespoke service includes both design customization and a made-to-measure fit.
MariLupa and Buttress & Snatch may be separate brands, but they’re run by the same woman. From her studio in London, designer Rachel Kenyon offers bras in 28-46 bands and AAA-K cups. And you can contact her for size or style adjustments.
Très Caché has a range of bra designs to choose from which can be made-to-measure, although their focus is on large cup sizes. Just fill in the five measurements requested on the product page to order.
All of Toru & Naoko’s handmade bralettes can be custom-sized for a small additional fee. Simply select ‘made to measurement’ from their size options to see the final price.
ColieCo is another handmade brand, primarily offering wireless bras and bralettes. For a small fee, designer Nicole Neaber can make the bra to order based on your underbust and overbust measurements. Design changes are also available on request.
Jane Woolrich is a luxury lingerie brand offering bras and bralettes in 30AA-38E as standard. However, you can contact them for a quote and list of required measurements if you prefer a custom fit.
Independent Spanish designer Sofía Luzón is another option for those looking for a luxury bra. You can take advantage of her bespoke design service, which includes made-to-measure, online for those unable to visit her Barcelona studio.
Ellicelydia is a handmade bra that focusses on wire-free bralettes, available as standard from 22-42 bands and AA-GG cups. However, they positively urge customers to choose ‘custom’ in a size drop-down menu instead, which comes at no extra charge!
This is not an exhaustive list of made-to-measure bra designers. Small, independent brands, in particular, are frequently happy to offer custom sizing since they sew garments to order anyway. Uye Surana, Lucky Sew and Sew, Origami Customs, Mojo Lingerie, Econica and Angela Friedman are a few more such labels.
Have you ever ordered made-to-measure bras? If not, would you consider it?