Whose cup floweth over?

// 11 July 2008

These aren't just any boobies, these are Helen's boobiesMarks & Spencer has defended its policy of charging typically £2 extra on some of its bras that are bigger than a size DD.

The retailer said that the additional cost is "standard industry practice".

The policy has drawn protests from 300 people, who have joined the Busts 4 Justice group on Facebook.

It’s argued that it is unfair to charge less for smaller bras, when the same logic doesn’t apply to other clothes.

The full story is on the BBC News website – link here.

…Way to boost consumer confidence when your sales and share prices are falling anyway…

Comments From You

Eleanor T // Posted 11 July 2008 at 3:13 pm

That picture accompanying your post is hilarious, Helen! Boobies indeed…

Sian // Posted 11 July 2008 at 4:35 pm

The other flaw in M&S’s arguement is that their 30E, for example, is more expensive than the 38A. Which takes up the same/more material surely? I certainly don’t want to give them ideas of course, but it does show another reason why it’s not as logical as they say it is.

Sian // Posted 11 July 2008 at 4:35 pm

Oh, and hilarious title Helen!

Lynne Miles // Posted 11 July 2008 at 4:46 pm

….and, anyway, surely they should just price to the average like all firms do?

Sue Gilbert // Posted 11 July 2008 at 5:12 pm

I love the boobies too, although mine aren’t blue footed…!

The real point about M&S, and all the other firms who do the same, isn’t whether they’re sexist, or sizeist but that they’re capitalist. They will make money by any method they can get away with – this is what capitalism does.

I won’t say if you don’t like it don’t buy their stuff, because if like me you have to wear a bra and therefore have to pay the extra two quid, you too will know they don’t grow on trees!

Torygirl // Posted 11 July 2008 at 5:24 pm

When my mum was going to have a mastectomy (and we’re busty women in my family) the M&S bra fitting lady sat with her for forty five minutes while she cried in the changing rooms and then sent flowers to my lovely mummy in hospital.

If just for that I don’t care that bras I might buy from M&S are £2 more expensive than those designed for less bosomically weighted ladies.

Jess // Posted 11 July 2008 at 7:02 pm

M&S bras are quite cheap, though, no? In the scheme of things? Perhaps that’s the average-sized bra buyer in me, but I always find them worryingly so.

Becky // Posted 12 July 2008 at 11:17 am

Thank you for posting this. We really appreciate any support from anyone and the fact that this has appeared on a feminist website is very, VERY important to us.

Torygirl, I’m glad you had such a nice experience with M&S. The problem however is normally their staff can be very friendly (in my local one, there are a few who are fantastic) but at the end of the day, they are overlooked in the grand scheme of things. I am disappointed in M&S as a company because I do genuinely like the shop and their underwear.

Thanks again for all the support :)

Anne Onne // Posted 13 July 2008 at 12:53 pm

I always thought shops priced to the average, anyway. Though I do find it interesting: why bras in particular? Clothes and shoes aren’t priced by size normally, and even if they were, knowing how much clothes and shoes are marked up, the difference in material would not be worth £2.00. Not to mention that clearly a DD isn’t that much bigger than a D, but would apparently be worth £2.00 more, which looks unfair, really. I do think it’s sizeist in that it’s finding a way to add an additional charge which doesn’t really reflect in what’s being added. I highly doubt that a bigger bra costs them a whole £2 more to make, in which case it seems unfair to tack on that charge…

Not to mention that women often wear bras that aren’t accomodating enough for them, and I wonder whether women will be less likely to try bras of bigger sizes, that might fit better, because they’re more expensive?

Also, non-padded versions of the same bra are not cheaper than padded versions, which clearly have more material. It doesn’t seem to make sense to add this sort of charge, being very uneven and clearly not really taking in the amount of material in different bra back sizes and padding amounts. And since most clothes aren’t priced by size, it’s unfair.

Lara // Posted 14 July 2008 at 10:38 am

I agree with the comments above about the fact that M&S are still really good value for bras and that it is really good that they do cater for larger bust sizes which other retailers don’t so I’m loathe to join in the criticism. For example, M&S bras are still loads cheaper (even with the extra £2!) than Bravissimo bras or John Lewis so it seems a little grumpy to be complaining too much. However I think it is interesting that they are doing this on bras but not other items of clothing so I can see that the using more fabric reasoning that they gave isn’t very sound! Maybe it was an experiment? Do other retailers do this?

I think it is also really interesting that now when retailers reply to complaints in a less than satisfactory way they are open to having groups set up on facebook and so it becomes a lot more newsworthy than it would have been before.

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