Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Welcome to the boux-doir - A 'Boux Avenue' review!


   With a background in property finance, investments in Ryman's stationery and a permanent seat on hit TV series, "Dragon's Den", it may come as no surprise that Theo Paphitis is estimated to have a net worth in excess of £170 million! (The Sunday Times, May 2011) Paphitis, however, is no ordinary 'dragon' and certainly knows a thing or two about ladies' undies!

  Perhaps one of the most interesting and lucrative of all of Paphitis' projects, is his contribution to the lingerie market. Having sold La Senza in 2006 for around £100 million, Paphitis embarked on a new mission to bring a new lingerie experience to the UK – one with a strong online presence, in addition to having 'luxe', french boutique-feel stores. The official 'Boux Avenue' site claims to be a brand that is “for everybody, no matter what your age, size or style”, and has clearly been engineered towards inclusivity, whilst being diverse enough to appeal to a wide range of clientele. Paphitis states:

  “Boux Avenue is about appealing to your moods – one day it may be sophisticated, another seductive. Boux Avenue will offer a fantastic lingerie and nightwear shopping experience for women who want to feel special.”

   With these prophetic words, it is no wonder that 'Boux Avenue' has garnered such attention right from its launch in early 2011. What I really wanted to know, however, was how 'Boux Avenue' measured up for a real life customer...

   I decided to go online to the 'Boux Avenue' site to investigate and I was met with a very well-developed web page (with easy to navigate sections) and a plethora of different products on offer; from lingerie to swimwear to nightwear to beauty products. Although 'Boux' does not stock 28 backs, I was impressed to see that the size range went from a 30A up to a 40G. After losing myself for an hour, captivated by the beautiful array of boudoir-inspired lacies and vintage-print babydolls, I decided to check out what was on sale. What better way to justify a lingerie purchase, than to snap up a pretty bargain?

   Whilst I was generally very impressed with the way that the bras were displayed on the 'Boux' site, I was slightly worried by the fitting guide, which resorted to the out-dated 'adding inches' method. For example, the model in their fitting video had a 69cm (27 inch) underbust and was advised to wear a 32 back. Similarly, in the pictures below, the models are said to be wearing a 34B and a 34DD, which would definitely be too big in the band for such small frames. Having around a 27 inch underbust myself, I know only too well that 34's and 32's are not supportive enough for my frame, let alone for the models in the photographs!

  That said, with no 28 backs available, I decided to chance a 30 back, in the hope that it might come up tight. I, therefore, purchased the 'Chloe Lace Plunge bra' in coral in a 30FF and the same bra in violet in a 30F and a 30FF, to try for size. There was a “3 for 2” offer on all sale items and free postage - 3 bras for £18 including postage – a cracking deal! I opted for a free gift wrap as well..because every girl loves a bit of luxury in her life!

   Although I opted for standard delivery, my parcel arrived within about a day or two of placing my order! Not only did I receive my purchases quickly, but on opening my parcel, I was met with a very glossy-looking box with 'Boux Avenue”' embossed on the front. Inside, was lace-print pink tissue paper wrapping, my three lace bras, a scattering of scented petals and a free lily, jasmine and elderflower scented hand cream sample! In terms of delivery and presentation, 'Boux' certainly scored 10/10!

  I really liked the colours of the 'Chloe' lace plunge bras. The coral and violet make for very girly and eye-catching tones - a welcome change from standard black, white and nude coloured everyday bras. The bras are very lightly padded in the DD+ style and the cups are overlaid with lace. The little bow in the centre of the bras and the lace scalloping also add some detail, stopping the bras from looking too 'basic'. I definitely drew a design parallel almost immediately to La Senza's 'Lullaby lace' bras that I used to wear. What I was desperate to know, above all, was the answer to the all important: "How does it fit?"

  I bought both a 30F and a 30FF in the lilac bra to compare the fit and was interested to find (similar again to La Senza), that 'Boux Avenue' bras come up a bit small in the cups. The 30FF was a slightly better fit than the 30F (which I would have assumed would be my size, given that I usually wear a 28FF!) One very marked difference as well, was the width of the straps on the 30F and 30FF bra. As you can see from the picture below, the straps are much wider on the 30FF and it is also a slightly more 'fuller cupped' bra style...

  Sadly, the 30 backs were too loose on me and even on the tightest hooks, the band was riding up. I was also a bit disappointed that the straps could not be tightened very much, leaving me feeling frustrated with the fit and lack of va va voom that I would normally associate with a plunge bra. Unfortunately, I have decided to return all three bras.

  To sum up, I would say that 'Boux Avenue' has quite a lot of similarities to highstreet giant, La Senza. 'Boux Avenue' is rather like a more 'boutique-y' rebranding of La Senza, driven towards a slightly wider age range with more varied lingerie preferences. In terms of improvement, I do think that 'Boux Avenue' could benefit from developing a more accurate fitting guide and  ensure that they provide consistent and standardised bra sizing. I am also hoping that 'Boux Avenue' will continue to update and expand their DD+ range to include their promised K cup! All in all, 'Boux Avenue' scores very highly in terms of its company ethic, user-friendly site, pretty designs, customer service and exceptional presentation!

  Despite not having much success on this occasion, I am keen to try out some 'Boux Avenue' nightwear and swimwear in future, to get a feel for some more of the 'Boux Avenue' range. There are a few things that I will definitely be buying though, and that is some of their beauty products. Both me and my mum loved the free sample of "White Chiffon" handcream so much, that I am going to purchase an array of their lotions and body butters! Boux-tiful!

Kitty xo


  1. Thx for your review!

    I hope they will provide international postage soon, I totally am in love with the polkadot bra <3

    greets from austria,


  2. Hi Denocte,

    Thanks for your comment - glad you enjoyed the review! From the looks of things, Boux are set to offer international delivery in the future, but the website doesn't seem to specify a date. Do you mean the 'Greta mini spot balconette bra'? It looks very chic indeed!

    Kitty xo

  3. Hey, I recently got my first order from bouxavenue. Postage to other countries already works if you order via mail oder phone.

    I have to say, in the smaller section I think this brand will be a real winner. I tried some bras with a friend and I'm really in love with mine.
    yes, the greta ;) and the antoinette.

    i did review them in my blog (but it's in german).

    What I noticed: all the bras are extremely tight considering there underbands. I normally wear 28 or 30 backs, and I could hardly close my 30 greta, the 32 antoinette indeed is perfect.

    so: thats one good news for the 28 backs out there, they CAN order from bouxavenue ;) just try a 30.

    Oh, and all the balconette bras with this "wing" on the side (sorry, really don't know the term), like greta, serena or antoinette, seem to be extremely nice on rather small boobs. You don't have the typical plunge problem (continental Plunges always make you look rather flat), but make a really nice round shape.

    Big thumbs up from Austria!



  4. Hi Denocte,

    Great to hear about your first experience of Boux Avenue and I am happy to hear that they post to other countries!

    I really like the blog post you have done - the pictures are lovely. I am very keen on the 'Greta', personally - such a pretty colour and design!

    I'm also glad to hear that it was such a positive experience for you in terms of the fit. It's also interesting that you found the bands came up quite tight. Perhaps this is something that varies depending on the bra style/model?

    Although I didn't have so much luck with the 'Chloe' plunge bras (which were too loose for me as a 28 band), I am keen to try some other bras and bikinis from their brand..maybe a trip to one of their official stores is in order!

    Kitty xo

  5. Thank you :)

    well, that's always a bit hard to tell because it's very subjective.

    Compared to my Panache or Lepel Bras, they are REALLY tight. I could never wear a 32 Cleo or a 32 Lepel, they would be far too loose.
    (I'm about 27inches/68cm wide, if I measure tightly).
    The Greta in 30D is 56cm wide when just lying on the table and 68cm when pulling really hard. So it really hardly fits.

    The 32C Antoinette is 62cm-73cm long, which is perfect for me.

    My Cleo George in 30D is 60cm-78cm long, again perfect, but after some time it's a bit loose, so I do wear a lot of 28 Cleos too.

    And oooh, yeah, you can just go to the store... UK people are so lucky ;)
    Situation in continental Europe is quite different. It's very hard to find nice bras in sizes other than 32-38 A-D.

    bye :)

  6. Hi Denocte,

    That is very true about the tightness being subjective. Your comparisons between brands are also interesting. I generally find Panache bras to be much more snug than other brands that I own, e.g. Freya (and definitely the Boux Avenue bras that I tried!)

    I'll let you know how I get on when I can get to a Boux Avenue store - I'm also keen to find out how the fitting service is!

    Thanks again for your comments.

    Kitty xo

  7. Thanks for this review. I was wondering that about the models as well. Most appear to be well-fitted (as opposed to many other sites which have models clearly wearing the wrong bra size). The center gores sit flat & the bands stay even on most of the models and I don't see much breast tissue spilling out on the sides (aka "armpit fat"). Maybe they edit the "armpit fat" out or pin the backs for the photos?

    Yet, they have women a similar size to me wearing 32C, and 32 bands are way too big on me also. I am 26.5" in the back & need a 28 band, and the models definitely don't look larger than me in the ribcage. The 32C girl looks like a 28DD would be her correct size, just eyeballing it.

    1. Hi delicate_bra,

      Thanks for your comment - I'm glad you liked the review.

      I definitely think that the models are wearing the wrong sizes and Photoshop does have a lot to answer for with product shots.

      The problem is that most highstreet stores don't cater to sub 30 inch backs, so the models just have to vaguely fit the products for the photos.

      Kitty xo

  8. @delicate_bra did you try on the 32bands of Boux Avenue? They run really tight, as I mentioned above I'm wearing 28 and 30 bands and I need 32 bands with boux avenue. I couldn't even close the 30 band at first.

    1. Hi Denocte,

      That's interesting - I found the 30's that I tried were too loose. It might be worth me trying some other bra styles as perhaps the bands vary in tightness depending on the style.

      Kitty xo

    2. @denocte No, I have not tried them because I was unsure of their sizes. You mention that a 30 band pulled tight is about 68cm, so a 30 may fit me (as I'm 67cm at the ribcage).

      Some 30s in M+S fit me on the 2nd tightest hook fit me also, because they run small (depending on the style). I always prefer a bra that is snug on the largest hook though, since they tend to stretch over time.

      Anyhow, I may try one of their 30 band bras in the future then, if they do indeed run that small.

      Thanks for info!


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