I’ve been in the market for a new denim shirt for a while now and on Jen’s advice, decided to try Bravissimo’s. This is a staple item, offered in a western-style in a medium wash ($90 US) and a light wash (on sale for $56 US), and a dressier, collarless style (on sale for $40 US with limited sizes).

Bravissimo is a British lingerie and clothing company. If you order from the US site, the sizes are shown as US, but all the shirts I received were the British equivalents. Their clothing comes in 3 bust sizes per number size: Curvy (CV), Really Curvy (RC), and Super Curvy (SC). I ordered a size US 12 shirt in curvy and really curvy, and a US 14 in curvy. Typically, I wear a US 14 in regular blouses, but Bravissimo’s sizing conversion recommended a 12CV. Their fit guidelines are a little complex and they recommend talking to their fitting agents until you’re familiar with your size. I, unfortunately, did not do that. I just winged it, and paid for shipping twice. Bravissimo also has free returns, which is helpful.

Usually, a denim shirt is made from chambray, not denim. Both fabrics are made using indigo and white threads, but chambray is a plain weave and denim is a twill, with double the threads and woven in a diagonal pattern. If you look on the back of the fabric, denim will have prominent diagonal lines and the chambray will look the same as on the front. Denim usually doesn’t make a good or comfortable casual shirt, so 9.99 times out of 10, the shirt is made of chambray, no matter what the store’s description says. Bravissimo’s “Denim” shirt is a chambray, but it’s the closest I’ve seen to the weight of denim. But unlike denim, this fabric is soft and drapes well. It’s a comfortable and heavy-duty shirt.

Since I ordered, tried, and photographed multiple sizes, I thought it would be interesting to show the different fit areas of the shirts together. I’ve included my shirt for comparison.

Of the shirts I tried, the 12RC fit me best through the shoulders and bust, but there’s still some pulling at the bust when buttoned to the top. A 12SC, the curviest bust size, might have been a better fit. I’d also prefer it to have more variation in the coloring. The solid dark indigo is a little overwhelming.

My biggest problem with the shirt is that I’m long-waisted and this shirt seems to be almost short-waisted, so there’s some odd roomy-ness around my waist and high hip. You can see below how much extra room the shirt has.

I think this was a fun experiment to compare a shirt designed for a large bust with a standard sized shirt. In the end, I sent back all the Bravissimo shirts. I could have lived with the fit across the bust of the 12VC or exchanged it for the 12SC. But I didn’t like how the shirt fit me at my waist, and I prefer a lighter-weight shirt in a lighter color. Truthfully, the experience has made me appreciate my shirt more.