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Bra purchasing experiences at various stores

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Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
« on: December 07, 2018, 01:25:18 PM »
Scattered and somewhat buried throughout this forum, folks have described their experience shopping for bras in various locations.  I'd like to see this collected in a single place.  Here's some of my experiences...


Kohl's:  If you live in the mid-west here in the states, and you are wanting to shop on your own with minimal interaction with sales staff, and have some ideas as to what you may want, Kohl's is the place.  Grab a mesh shopping bag as you enter and head to lingerie.  It's easy to make discrete selections, then try on in the men's dressing rooms.  They busier they are the more you will be ignored.  They stock the "standard American" brands like Bali, Playtex, Vanity Fair.  Always look for on-line coupons at their web site.


Torrid:  I've always had kind and understanding help at the three Torrid stores in my area.  They tend to carry larger band sizes difficult to find elsewhere (44B for example).  Consider a visit when they are not so busy as there's one dressing area with private rooms.  They only stock their own brand.  While it looks like on their web site they carry hundreds of styles, reality is about 1/2 dozen or so in many different colors and finishes.


Lane Bryant:  Also I have had nothing but positive sympathetic experiences here as several stores.  They will measure you (over a t-shirt if desired) and help you work through an array of choices.  They also carry large band B cup bras, but not a huge selection as most of their focus is on C cup and larger.  Everything is their own brand.  Check their clearance rack.


Soma:  A boutique chain where I've hadh good professional service.  I've only had one snarky comment along the lines of "this is too frilly for you" but it was said with a smile.  They do not have may selections in band sizes > 42, but worth a visit or at least check their web site.  Everything is their own brand.


Bras Galore:  A boutique shop in Chicago where you can expect to be measured along with receiving sympathetic and professional help with you in the dressing room.  (Other places will join you only on request.)  This "hands on" help is probably characteristic of the small boutiques, so if this is too much personal interaction, look elsewhere.  I found it educational, however and helped to eliminate some fits that were uncomfortable, and help getting straps tuned was appreciated.  Curiously, they display their stock by size - not by brand - so all the 42B's will be on one rack, etc.  They stocked a variety of brands tending toward "high end" and in many, many sizes - no Hanes, Bali here!


Von Maur:  An upscale department store in the mid-west.  However, men are not allowed in the women's dressing area in the lingerie department.  While I received professional help, I was taken across the store to the men's dressing area to try on my selections - which was just a little too much for me.


Dillards:  Another regional department store.  I've received sympathetic professional help here, but plus sizes are limited.  They stocked a variety of brands, but none of the "standards" like Hanes, Bali, Playtex.

When approaching a sales associate, I have found this introduction line seems to work well, gathering a sympathetic response and defuse the creepiness, "Hello, my doctor's have left me bustier than I really care to be, and so over the last year have started wearing a bra to manage friction and sensitivity. Can you help?  The last time I was measured at 42B."  Obviously tune to your situation.
Jan1



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Offline chaos_agent

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Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2018, 07:16:00 PM »
if you have an idea what you want... amazon has prime wardrobe. you select at least 3 garments. they ship’em to you. you only keep what you like. garment must be listed as prime wardrobe. must be prime member.

you can order order online e.g. kohl’s, and pickup at customer service. don’t know what the return policies would be.

haven’t done either of the above. it’s an option if your like me and not ready to go get measured and try on bras at the store.

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Offline [email protected]

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Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2018, 11:32:57 PM »
Kohls is a great place to try on bras if you can find your size and I have visited them many times but have only bought a few bras there.  The band sizes d=seem to be all wrong. The Maiden Form bras I tried on (because the said the were a 38 B had a band the might fir a 34 or 36 band size). 
Dillard was nice but the staff seems to turn over very quickly.  I would make friend with them and then they were gone.  Not a good feeling.  I used to like going there but not so much anymore,  I can't even find the department manager any more.  which make me nervous about approaching people I don't even know.  Also it is very hard to find any bra as small as a 38B there.  They only seem to carry the larger sizes, all starting at a C/D cup and up.
If you got them flaunt them.  We all wear bras so wear what you like and to hell with the rest.

Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2018, 12:22:43 PM »
I have found Soma to be welcoming and customer-service oriented.  They always come into the fitting room to check how a bra is working and make any adjustments.  They bring bras to try and make such suggestions as what to look for, including support, uplift, shaping, modesty, as in nipple coverage, back smoothing, side boob, what goes best with certain breast types, what to wear with what tops, what they like and why, and what bra they have on right then.

They have been very professional, appropriate, and respectful, but also matter-of fact, as they have made statements about my breasts as being wider set and bottom heavy, my breast tissue as more fatty than glandular, my areolae as being a bit bigger than a half dollar, and my nipples as being a little puffy and easily saluted, and what types of bras would work best for me as a result.

One sales associate told me her husband also had breasts.  She showed me panties and shapewear that she said go well with the bra I picked out.  I said another time, and she said when I do, I will never want men's underwear again because these are so much softer, fit my shape better, and will look better under my clothing.  She said no offense a bra and men's boxers or briefs is a silly looking combination.

They also have taught me about the proper care of my bras.  Never in a dryer or washing machine with an agitator.  Front load wash is OK, but hand wash preferable.  Always air dry. The sales associate with the husband who had breasts joked hand wash your bras and hang to dry on the bathtub shower curtain rod next to your pantyhose. She gave me tips for how to avoid runs in pantyhose.

They have said that at my size, DD/DDD, I should not go out braless, preferably underwire, molded cup, which it seems I prefer to other styles.  And for lounging and sleeping, they have suggested I need soft support for both comfort and modesty, such as a cami or sleep shirt with a built-in shelf bra, which I have now found are just what I like at home.

They have told me about what types of bras to include as I build my bra collection and gave me and also kept a card of the bra types and sizes I have bought and have suggestions of what they want me to try when I come in next time.

They have even pointed out Soma has tops and leggings and such which should fit me better than men's, but I have not tried.  Yet.

They have my cell phone number on file and have called or texted me when there are sales of items they think I would like and would work for me.

They say I need a fitting every 6 months at least, as the shape and size of our breasts change over time.  One asked if I was still developing, because it should then be more frequent than 6 months.  I replied I seemed to have plateaued at DD and she reminded me I have a DDD or two, also, and gave me a card like at the dentist office for when I should get my next bra fitting and said they will also remind me, like the dentist does.

It seems as if the sales associates who have helped me have communicated with the others because associates whom I have never had before will tend to refer to what a prior associate had said.

They have suggested I come in when the boutique first opens or an hour before closing because they will have more time for me then.  And they seem to enjoy their time helping me, even saying I can stay after closing because they are there for an hour after the store closes and it does not take them all that time to get things wrapped up, so happy to help me, too.

In short, they make me feel more than accepted, but instead special, and they seem to be more than open-minded, but even urging me to embrace my shape.

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Offline [email protected]

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Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2018, 01:53:18 PM »
SideSet you have a great thing going on there.  I wish I could find a place as nice as yours.

Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2018, 04:44:31 PM »
Athena,
How close is your nearest Soma?

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Offline [email protected]

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Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2018, 12:43:15 AM »
I don't know of one around here in SE Virginia.

Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2018, 01:36:58 AM »
I think Williamsburg

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Offline [email protected]

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Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2018, 03:15:25 PM »
I think you are right.  I believe there is one at the outlet mall.

Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2018, 08:48:06 PM »
You might like it. Call ahead.

Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2018, 08:06:49 AM »
I haven't been to Soma yet but I can also say that Torrid is Awesome. They also are very welcoming.  I like my Torrid bras better than anything else I've worn. I also happen to be very impressed with their service. 
Bras aren't for women, they're for breasts.

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Offline mgr

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Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2018, 08:44:03 AM »
I have done my primary bra shopping at Soma much like Side Set witht similar results except for the cell phone interaction.  They have always treated me perfectly, bring me bras to try on in the fitting room, make suggestions, adjust the bra straps. The nicest and most comforting thing was said to me during one of my visits about a month ago.  When the SA and I walked out of the fitting room and were looking at a couple different colors prior to my purchase, I thank her for being so kind to me and said I hope it was not too akward. Her response was “You have the same right to be here as anyone else so don’t worry about it.  It was a pleasure helping you.”  That mad my day. 

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Offline [email protected]

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Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2018, 04:29:36 PM »
mgr;  When you find a place like that KEEP IT!  I had that at Dillard's but all the staff has changed so my friends are gone.  Last time I went in I was Waist Chencer that I had seen several times and they were on sale but I was afraid the new staff would not let me try it on.  So I left it and went to the SA first and asked if I could try it on and she said yes.  I went back and got it and she directed me to a room to try it on.  NO luck, it would not fit around my belly.  So I took it back and started a conversation with her and it turned out she was now the manger.  We introduced our self and had a nice chat.  I think I will go back now.

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Offline mgr

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Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2018, 06:09:36 PM »
Athena12, I agree and I know as soon as she said it I would be a loyal customer of hers. Glad you found someone at Dillard’s as well.

Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2018, 10:19:10 AM »
I've also had positive experiences at a couple Hanes Brand outlets although don't expect too many bras there with large band sizes (say > 44).  The staff has helped with selection but have left me alone during try-on.

For the most part, I believe everyone I've encountered was sympathetic and simply wanted to make a sale.  In one encounter at Soma I was asked if I might be interested in trying the matching panties.  The suggestion was subtle, perhaps touching on the subject of cross dressing.  I just said, "no thank you" and went on trying on the couple of bras selected.

In my experience, Kohl's has been entirely hands-off.  Nearly zero interaction with the sales staff.  Everyone else offered varying degrees of help which was easy to manage, up to and including measurement and presence in the dressing room.  If the store or department is not busy, expect more help.  In a boutique, expect the most.


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