I have only visited What Katie Did once before (shock horror!), and it was years and years ago. I didn't have a great experience there, and for some reason never headed back towards Portobello Road to see if the issues had been resolved. Which was why I was super excited to be invited by the store manager to have a bra fitting and to choose a set to take away. Although my selection was gifted to me, this is not a sponsored post, and I was in no obligation to blog favourably (boring disclosure over).
I arrived, had a natter, and then got started! Vicky explained that at What Katie Did they don't measure for bras, they start with a bra on, and then adjust and explore other options based on fit. This is exactly how bras should be fitted (I used to work for a lingerie company when I was younger). So we started with the size I think I am (turns out I was pretty accurate!).
We went straight for their best selling bullet bra, in my current size a 36DD. The bullet bras have no wire or padding, which can be a nice alternative for us larger busted ladies, as we always need wire to support us! Although no wire, they certainly do uplift!
I had never tried a bullet bra before, as I had never desired the shape, but I was curious to try one on! I was surprised at how comfortable they are. They hold your boobs up, so that you basically have a 90 degree angle underneath (does that make sense?). It is of course a very unusual shape, for us modern woman, and only for the more brave of us! Bullet bras are awesome, but not for me. They do make your boobs seem much smaller, which may be a positive for some of you!
Underneath my cardigan I am wearing the classic bullet bra which costs £29.50 and goes from size 30B to 40F). I am wearing my current size of 36DD.
So, we moved to a more modern cut of bra, a full cup balconette, in a leopard print. It was much better, but we decided the size wasn't quite right, and they didn't have that design in the next size up.
I only wear dark underwear, so the next option was much more like what I usually wear. The Glamour underwired bra. Again, we started with a 36DD, but we decided again to try the next size up, a 36E, which sat against my rib cage much better. Done!
You can see I have a much more modern shape here!
I tried on all of their black matching pants, from high waisted, to low rise, but I settled on french knickers (which cost £29.50 and are in sizes 10-18). They have no stretch to the fabric, so Vicky gave me a tip to get into them. You step into the legs, and then cross your legs to pull the knickers up. The act of crossing your legs makes your hips more narrow.
For fun, I also tried on some corsets. We started with an underbust corset - The Mae. I haven't worn my own corsets for a while, and I own an underbust and a full overbust. I bought them in a size 28inch, even though it was slightly bigger than I needed. However, I was surprised when Vicky measured me, and declared I needed a size 22inch! Whoops!
Here I am, in my Glamour bra, and the Mae corset in a 22 inch. Vicky explained how she laced it, and that What Katie Did have guides and a video to help people learn. I love underbust corsets, they are so verstile (can be worn over and under clothing). This underbust costs £139.50. I loved it, although walking in it was interesting! It completely changes your posture being in a well fitted corset!
Next, was an overbust full corset, and Vicky chose the new design - Storm, for me to try. I liked the sound of it, as I don't like to be too 'booby' when going out. I don't mind a hint, but I'm not comfortable with my bust being all over the place ;-)
A corset that comes up higher is best for me, so that my boobs don't spurge up towards my chin too much! I like to feel contained!
Again, this is in a 22 inch, and costs £179.50. It does cover my boobs well, but we could immediately see it wasn't for me. You can't tell in this photo, but the top bits of the cup pressed into my boobs, and it looked weird. It's a shame, as this corset is stunning. I loved the simple lines, and the satin bow.
As an alternative Vicky brought me the Antoinette overbust corset, which costs £169.50 in sizes from 18 inch - 30 inch.
This corset has ruffles along the top and bottom, which I prefer less than the clean lines of the Storm, but it fit beautifully. Sadly I would just never wear anything like this. I don't like to be so 'out there' with my chest!
You get your purchases wrapped up, and a fab cotton carrier (designed by the same designer who has done me a design for a Rockalily bag......watch this space!), so you feel like you have made a luxury purchase - which you have!
Would I return and make a purchase? Yes! The customer care was fabulous, and Vicky talked about how they had work hard to ensure this is always the case. They have extended the shop since my trip many years ago, so there are more changing rooms, and someone is always on hand to help you discover the awesomeness in your own body shape.
I'm saving up for the Mae underbust I think now..... ;-)
As a quick extra - Cheap corsets are fine, but proper steel boned corsets are worth the extra cash if you want a quality piece, that gives a fabulous shape and lasts.
Have you ever tried a 'proper' steel boned corset? Have you bought anything from What Katie Did?