Friday’s Fab Find: PrimaDonna Bras

PrimaDonna Bras Okay, I have a confession that is a little embarrassing to admit as a style expert who dresses women for a living: I’m really bad at fitting women for bras.  It’s just not my area of expertise and I usually source this task out to other experts.   Therefore, it will probably come of no surprise to you that I have been wearing the wrong bra size for years now.

A recent trip to Lee Lee’s Valise, the world renowned Brooklyn boutique that exclusively caters to women sizes 10-28 and sells lingerie in bra sizes all the way up to the letter i, taught me that I’m not the 34D/DD, the bra size I’d been wearing for years, I’m actually a 34G!  Owner of Lee Lee’s Valise, my friend Lisa Dolan, should be called the bra whisperer.  One look at me and she nailed my size and threw me into the dressing room to try on a PrimaDonna bra, the only brand she sells in her store because she believes in in them so strongly.  The second I tried on the PrimaDonna bra, in the size she hand selected for me on sight alone,  it fit like a glove.   Amazed by how well it fit and felt, I actually came out of the dressing room to show it off.  Lisa looked at me and just said, “Once you go PrimaDonna, you never go back.”  She’s right, and it’s why I am featuring PrimaDonna bras for Friday’s Fab find.

If you’re unfamiliar with PrimaDonna bras, there are a few reasons why they are superior to all other bras out there.  PrimaDonna’s undisputed expertise in luxury lingerie for larger cup sizes, that go all the way up to a size i, began in Germany in 1865, came to Belgium in 1990 and was transmitted from one generation to the next.

PrimaDonna Bras
Photos courtesy of Primadonna

All PrimaDonna bras are handmade in Belgium (everything good always comes from Belgium, doesn’t it?), and requires a far greater proportion of manual work than their competitors.  Each PrimaDonna bra requires between 40 and 50 different stages of assembly and they have rigorous testing on all components of their bras.  Before a bra is dispatched, it goes through two rounds of testing by hand and there are components to the bra that other bra companies don’t do, like encasing underwiring in rubber for added comfort.  Lastly, the bras aren’t fit on models or dummies, but a panel of customers, all who represent a variety of sizes that PrimaDonna caters to.   Currently, PrimaDonna ships to 4,000 specialty lingerie retailers all over the world and choose to only sell to these types of stores because they believe in the importance of individualized and personal advice when shopping for a bra.

Now, I’m not going to lie, PrimaDonna bras will set you back a bit as the average price for their styles are around $130 but, as a recent convert, I will tell you the price tag is more than worth it.  For me, especially as a larger busted woman, I’d rather have fewer well made, better fitting bras than a bunch of junky, ill-fitting bras that feel like I’m wearing a hammock or a slingshot.  Plus, if you care for a bra like this the investment will pay for itself over time.  Sure, $130 may be expensive for a bra, but if it lasts five times longer than a bra you pay a fraction of the price for the PrimaDonna bra will actually be the better bargain.

PrimaDonna Bras
Left: PrimaDonna’s Deauville Bra, their most popular style. They sell one every two minutes! Middle: The Couture Bra, the style I currently am wearing. Right: The Happiness Bra from PrimaDonna’s retro Twist Collection.

I should also point out that I have been sized in the past, other fitters have been the ones to put me into a 34DD or a 36C, however, as I learned from my friend Lisa over at Lee Lee’s Valise, often a bra fitter at a less reputable lingerie shop or department store will try to work you into a bra that they have stock of on hand.  Due to the fact that few stores offer much above a size DD, they will often just increase the band size instead of the cup to accomodate.

For more bra fitting advice, watch this video featuring PrimaDonna bras my friend Lisa Dolan.  I will warn you, the first two minutes of the video isn’t worth watching, so watch from two minutes on to see Lisa share her bra knowledge.

If you’re in the NYC area, I highly recommend you have the Bra Whisperer, Lisa Dolan fit you for a PrimaDonna bra at her store Lee Lee’s Valise, however, if you are not in the area, you can also check out PrimaDonna for retailers near you.