Tuesday, November 4th, 2014
Buying bras can be a traumatic experience. They’re not cheap. There are five million different types with weird bells and whistles. How do you know if you’re in the right size? What is so wondrous about a Wonderbra? Does bra fitting involve a stranger looking at my melons?!
Take a deep breath and chill the f**k out. Today we’re bringing you 5 bra buying hacks from an ex-Victoria’s Secret employee.
I worked there for 3 years in college, so I’m pretty much a bra whisperer.
Let’s begin with the first step on your journey to bra zen.
1. Get sized by a professional.
Even if you don’t plan on buying a bra from VS, (because yes, I know, it’s ridonkulously expensive) next time you pass by a store, head to the dressing rooms and asked to get fitted. Victoria’s Secret trains specific employees to be Bra Specialists, who spend all day every day in the dressing rooms measuring ladies for boulder holders. Bra fitting is done over your shirt with a tape measure, so no… no strangers will be checking out your chest region.
Tell the bra specialists what you’re looking for (push up? unlined? full coverage?) and try on her suggestions.
Now you’re thinking, “BUT EMILY!!! I DON’T WANT TO BUY A VICTORIA’S SECRET BRA SO WHY AM I TRYING THEM ON?!” Because bra fitting isn’t a science. She may measure you as a 34C, but your baggy sweatshirt was covering up your 34D’s. Save time and effort by figuring out your exact size now and skipping on the guess work later. On that note…
2. Get what you need and get out.
Before you leave, ask for a fit card. The Bra Specialist will write down your size and which styles you liked the most. The cards include the VS brand style names, so if you really liked a lightly lined, full coverage bra, write these details down next to the brand name.
Then, you can take this information to your store of choice and buy the correct size and style at a lower price.
3. Shop online.
Victoria’s Secret stores only clearance out their merchandise twice a year: once in the early summer and once after the Holidays. If you try on a bra in-store but want to save some cash, check the VS website for discontinued colors and patterns. FYI, you won’t find neutral color bras (nude, white, black) on clearance, both in-store or online, unless the style has been discontinued. If you’re holding your breath for a “Very Sexy” brand bra in nude for $25, you’re going to be waiting a very, very long time.
Most department stores don’t carry the size selection of bras that VS does, or at least not in-store. If you’re a hard-to-find size, shop online. You’ll save gas money/bus fare/time if you avoid running from department store to department store looking for a size they probably don’t carry.
4. Don’t skimp.
Okay, here’s my brand loyalty plug. I wasn’t paid to say this, it’s just my honest opinion. Victoria’s Secret bras, or bras from any specialty retailer, will fit better and last longer than bras from discount stores like Target, Kohl’s, wherever. Shop at the semi-annual sale, shop online, make sure you’re in the right size, all those things. But remember that you get what you pay for. So if you’re having some serious bra problems, just invest in a good bra and treat yo’ self.
5. If you’re unhappy, bring it back.
Another plus of shopping at bra-specific stores is excellent customer service. Always keep your receipts! Even if you wear a Victoria’s Secret bra every day for 2 weeks, if you think you’ve been incorrectly fitted, they’ll refund you or let you exchange it for the right bra, with you receipt. If you don’t keep your receipt, they’ll still give you $15.99 towards a new bra. Lose a detachable strap? Go back, ask for a new one, and they’ll give it to you.
6. Brand loyalty is key.
Whether your bra cost $50 from VS, $200 from Bloomingdales, or $10 from Target, find a bra you like and stick with it. Write down where you bought it, write down the brand name, and go back to ol’ faithful every time you need a new boob wardrobe.