Saturday, June 11, 2011

Deal: $5 off bras at Victoria's Secret

Good god, La Senza, NOOOOO!
Victoria's Secret finally expanded into Canada, which is fabulous because up until that point the main two chains up here for bras were either neon (La Senza... seriously, their store is currently a visual assault on my eyes) or fussy/boring (La Vie En Rose). Also (possibly-too-much-sharing-moment), neither store has ever had much that fit me properly. I lived in the US for a number of years, though, so I had already been spoiled by Victoria's Secret's massive options for styles/fits, making shopping at my two lamer Canadian options a bit of a let down.

But anyway, we now have VS locations in Toronto so hooray and cheers and whatever. I popped by one yesterday and, lo and behold, if you go and get assistance with picking out bra styles (this tends to mean a quick bra fitting and then going in to the very pink change rooms to try things on) you get $5 off each bra you pick up. Not a half bad discount, and a good way to get people to try on a number of different styles. I don't know how long the promotion is going on, so if you're interested you might want to check it out sooner rather than later.

While I'm at it, I may as well give out some other bra-related advice (readers who don't wear bras can consider themselves excused):

Get yourself fitted... and get fitted again again every so often
You've probably heard that most women are wearing the wrong bra size. Well, it's one of the few things you've heard repeatedly that isn't garbage advice. I worked at a VS briefly while in university (well, until being paid $5.15 US an hour and having to say "Hello, have you tried our new Very Sexy Victoria's Secret bra?" over and over finally drove me to quit) and I was amazed at how off most people were with their sizes.

There are a number of ways to get fitted including fitting yourself with a tape measure and some guidelines or getting fitted at a store. VS does fittings that are usually reasonably accurate thanks to the cheat sheet on the VS measuring tape (although be prepared to have to try a few close sizes there, just in case the measurement was slightly off... you really only get minimal training on measuring if you work there).

Also, be aware that "the girls" will change sizes over the years. That's right... you'll need you get measured more than once. Suck it up... it'll make sure you're always comfy. Especially be sure to get refitted if you've gained or lost weight/inches.

Not all bras fit the same... try on a bunch of styles to find your best fit
Much like sizing in clothes and shoes, bra sizes aren't perfectly the same across all styles and brands. If you're looking for your most flattering (yet not uncomfy... who wants to be uncomfy?!) fit, spend the time to try things on. VS is actually pretty fabulous for this. You just go to the change room and then ask for the bra box in your size. The aforementioned box has one of nearly every style in the store, all in that size. This means you don't have to run around trying to find one of everything you might possibly be interested in. Also, it means you'll try on stuff you might not have otherwise, which can lead to unexpected finds. For instance, did I buy two bra styles yesterday that I might never have normally picked out? Perhaps yes (okay, let's be honest, most definitely yes).

If the size/style you're trying is close but not quite a perfect fit, try a sister size
I don't know if this is just a VC thing, but when I was working there there was a lot of talk about using sister sizes when trying to find someone the perfect bra. A sister size is a bra size where you take one aspect of the bra (cup or band) and increase it, and then decrease the other aspect. For example, if you've been quickly measured as a 36D, but when you're trying on bras in that size the band is a smidge tight and the cups are a tiny bit too big, then the sister size of 38C (up the band size, decrease the cup size) might fit substantially better.

Know your favourite styles before big sales
If you've already determined your best styles before a sale (presumably at a point where the store is calm and you can take your time), then you can just pop in and pop out of a sale without having to try things on. This is particularly good at VS, where the sales are like pretty pink prison riots sometimes.

Victoria's Secret will try and lure you back with more coupons
Announcement to people who like coupons: VS gives them out like candy. After my purchase yesterday I walked out with 4 coupons that can be used over the next few months. They REALLY want you to come back, so, much like Michaels and Bath and Body Works, this can be one of those situations where it pays to stretch out your purchases so you continue to get more coupons and discounts. String your coupons together!

Example: say you need a few new bras/panties/pjs/whatever... you know you need multiple things, but you're not in desperate need to have them this very minute. You don't have any coupons yet though. Start by going in and buying the very cheapest thing you need. You'll likely get a bunch of coupons with your purchase, usually only usable in a succession of small windows of time. Now you can plan your purchase around the coupons you have and their use dates. These purchase will likely get you even more coupons. The whole thing will keep rolling over until eventually you'll have gotten almost everything you need for a decent discount.

Just be careful not to let the coupons tempt you into making purchase you wouldn't make normally. You're not saving money if you're just buying for buying's sake.

Be honest about your size if you're larger
Yeah, it completely sucks that after you get out of the Ds most chain stores stop offering your size, department stores tend to only have grandma-like bras beyond D, and anything beyond that point costs substantially more. These truths can't be ignored.  However, if you need higher than a D and are wearing something smaller for convenience/cost, then you're giving up comfort and a flattering fit. The obnoxious truth is you'll look and feel better in the right size.

For attractive bras, my D+ friends have recommended Secrets From Your Sister if you're in the GTA (they carry a broad range of sizes and do detailed fittings). Online, I've heard great things about Bravissimo too (their stuff is ridiculously cute!).

Who cares if anyone else sees it... wear attractive underwear just for you
Don't just break out the nice stuff for when someone else is going to see it... wear it for you too. Awesomely cute undergarments (as long as they're comfortable) can be a nice confidence booster for some people.

If you want a Joan from Mad Men kind of chest, but need some help...
...try the Miraculous Push Up bra from VC. A good friend of mine and I have both tried this style on. Our reaction was laughter and instant recognition that it was completely work-inappropriate for either of us, but at the end of the day (once we stopped hyperventilating from the laughter), we both admitted that it was kind of awesome in a vintage pin-up sort of way.