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Gynecomastia Acceptance => Acceptance Garments => Topic started by: jan1north on December 07, 2018, 01:25:18 PM

Title: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: jan1north 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

Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: chaos_agent 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.
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: Athena12@ 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.
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: SideSet 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.
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: Athena12@ 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.
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: SideSet on December 18, 2018, 04:44:31 PM
Athena,
How close is your nearest Soma?
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: Athena12@ on December 19, 2018, 12:43:15 AM
I don't know of one around here in SE Virginia.
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: SideSet on December 20, 2018, 01:36:58 AM
I think Williamsburg
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: Athena12@ on December 20, 2018, 03:15:25 PM
I think you are right.  I believe there is one at the outlet mall.
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: SideSet on December 20, 2018, 08:48:06 PM
You might like it. Call ahead.
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: aboywithgirls 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. 
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: mgr 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. 
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: Athena12@ 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.
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: mgr 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.
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: jan1north 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.
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: SideSet on December 28, 2018, 04:33:45 PM
One of my SAs at Soma just called saying she hoped to see me during their Semiannual Panty Sale. I assured her I would be coming in soon.
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: Athena12@ on December 28, 2018, 05:16:22 PM
janinorth;  I agree with you about KOHL's, they are totally hands off.  I don't even think the have any SAs assigned to the lingerie section.  But that is the beauty of it.  AS ABWG (I believe)  that you can walk into the store grab a shopping bag and load it up with all the bras you want and take them to the changing room and have a ball.  And no one will care one hoot.
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: aboywithgirls on January 01, 2019, 10:14:50 AM
That is the case.
All in all, I've had my BEST  bra shopping at Torrid. I think that they are Awesome. When you go there they are always welcoming. They work with you to get you not only the bra you want but also the bra you NEED!
I was fine with a regular t shirt bra that I purchased there (and was fitted for). They didn't have my size in a couple other bras that I was interested in. Without me even asking, they ordered those bras in my size and asked me to come in to try them to see if I liked them and if they even fit. They were perfect and I bought 2 of them and wore one home. 
My other bras that I have, don't get alot of use anymore since I discovered Torrid bras. 
If any are interested, you have to try the 360 Smooth T-shirt bra. The strap adjustments are in front and almost perfectly smooth in back. Whether you care about a visible bra line or not, this is as smooth as you can get in front and back in a regular underwire bra. 
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: TheDane on January 02, 2019, 07:09:07 PM
This is confidence inspiring to hear that Soma is well received.  I am considering making a fitting appointment.  I have a few too many under garments that don't fit very well. 
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: Athena12@ on January 03, 2019, 04:56:26 PM
Thedane by all means go for it!  Most stores like Soma are very nice to men and treat them like they would any woman.
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: SideSet on January 04, 2019, 08:32:14 AM
TheDane,
Easiest if you call ahead.  Tell them, even though you are a man, you have breasts like a woman and need to wear a bra just like a woman does.  Tell them you would like them to give you a fitting, help you try on and buy some bras, and what time is best for them. 
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: TheDane on January 11, 2019, 09:03:32 PM
I called they said just come in, of course when I got there on the 4th of Jan they were busy, no matter just keep cool and be patient.
Much better experience with Soma than I got at Victoria secret.  Soma's fitter was way more knowledgeable she didn't try putting me in something that was too small or a push up. :-/

I've been wearing a 36C/D and the fitter put me in a 40B & 38C because 40B isn't common. The fit was much different and more positive. Full coverage and balconette styles as well as wireless. I suspect this is why the claim that many women are wearing the wrong size bra and the people who say it state it frequently.  I wouldn't want to take a guess at how many men are in that same boat. I cant believe the cup size differences between what I was wearing and what I've got now.


In case anyone is reading this and questioning whether there is a difference between box store and quality bras and whether you need to be fitted, just consider doing it because you will spend less in the long run in trying on and returning stuff. Quality matters if you want life and are seeking support and comfort invest in quality garments.


I stopped at Lane Bryant and found a sister size garment that I asked if I could try on, it wasn't a problem.  Torrid was packed with people.
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: SideSet on January 11, 2019, 09:56:28 PM
 Thank you for the report. It was good that you went into those stores. I’m not surprised you had a very good, and the best, experience at Soma.  Your bra size tells me you need to wear a bra 
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: Johndoe1 on January 12, 2019, 01:10:02 PM

In case anyone is reading this and questioning whether there is a difference between box store and quality bras and whether you need to be fitted, just consider doing it because you will spend less in the long run in trying on and returning stuff. Quality matters if you want life and are seeking support and comfort invest in quality garments.

I can't agree more. Do I want to pay $50-$100 for a single bra? No. But the comfort and fit difference along with the serviceable life span between a $20 bra and a $50 bra to me is worth the price difference. I can pay for a two $20 bras and they won't last as long as one $40 or $50 bra. To me that is wasting money. And there is a no question that going to a knowledgeable fitter is well worth the time. I looked around for a smaller local shop that would discreetly serve men. It took a little time but it was well worth it. My fitter knows me. She knows what styles I like, what works for me and I can get in and out without spending a lot of time trying bras that don't work for me. Before I went to my fitter, I really had no idea what size I was. I measured and got close, but then knowing what styles work was a whole 'nutter issue. While I found bras that "fit", the style was wrong and in the end, the comfort wasn't there and if it wasn't comfortable, then I didn't wear them and again, wasted money. The fitter could look at me and see what shape I  am and what would work and concentrated on those bras and not show me bras that would not work for my shape. And finding bras that work for my shape makes drawing unwanted attention much easier to avoid. That one thing made it worth going to her. Why buy something that doesn't work for me and isn't comfortable to wear? That is where the real peace of mind comes from.
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: hammer on January 12, 2019, 05:52:14 PM
The expensive bras also outlast the other bras as well, so unless you are changing in size they will last you for a long time compared to the, shall I say less expensive bras!
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: TheDane on January 25, 2019, 03:10:18 AM
I tried a balconette style in 38C, nope nope not for me. I like support, last thing I want is enhancement. Maybe I will try another brand later.


Onehanesplace has a solid collection of bras mostly playtex softcup in lots of sizes, Bali as well. I can't get along with softcups.

Underwire only unless it's a sports attire top I love Lululemon then those are squishing me down.


I picked up 2 Minimizer bras which are quite nice, wasn't sure if they would be all that.  If the picture shows up, this is a minimizer, yes it's squishing me a little bit, a little less projection is a good thing within reason anyway.


I would prefer lace edges on the top of the cups, so there isn't any lines thru my shirts, or a T-shirt style bra.  I wouldnt be afraid to try on lace trimmed articles if it doesnt irritate you while wearing it or if it serves a purpose like blending/hiding edges. Only mentioning this because not everyone can fork out the dough for vanishing back styles. Try wide straps they make a huge world of difference, no longer am I dying to get home to rip this off and put it away.
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: hammer on January 25, 2019, 07:02:13 AM
Looks comfortable 
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: Johndoe1 on January 25, 2019, 07:31:46 AM
Nice looking bra TheDane. Looks comfortable and seems to fit you well. I have a couple of minimizer t-shirt bras. They do seem to take about an inch or so of projection down. In a polo shirt, that is a huge difference. I have found that the minimizers give me a more lifted, rounded shape while it spreads the tissue out more. At my size, more lifted and round is kinda like more drunk. Once you re drunk, your dunk!
Lace bras don't bother me. The most comfortable and coolest wearing bra I have is an all lace bra. In the summer months, lace has been the best material to keep boob sweat manageable and it is light weight and hides easily under clothes and provides some of the best support for mass. The most uncomfortable feeling to me is sweating in a molded cup bra. It is like wearing two bowls of water strapped tightly to your chest and the telltale sweat line under the boobs on tops. I will take breathable lace over that any day.
I too prefer underwire. The amount of support you get with underwire takes less bulk than a soft cup of the same support. Of course the only drawback is the underwire will definitely shape the tissue and depending on the style, it can get pretty shapely but that doesn't bother me either as long as the comfort is there.
I love a good balconette bra. I love the support it gives. But in return for that support it will stand the girls right up. I wear it with caution.
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: Jason13820 on January 28, 2019, 06:38:47 PM
A lot of these stores mentioned aren't in my area, but there is a Lane Bryant/Cacique near me, and the staff there was very helpful and professional. Quality bras, too. I usually shop online but I've gone back to Lane Bryant several times.
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: jan1north on July 18, 2019, 03:10:40 PM
Another good experience at a local Soma (Dayton, OH area)... the manager greeted me, recognized from a previous visit several months ago (they probably don't get a lot of men seeking breast support).  Recent weight loss puts me at about a 40B.  I was treated with dignity, respect, and helped - and like another customer - I left with a well fitting and comfortable "vanishing back wireless" bra.

Contrast this with a recent experience at Von Mauer (Polaris/Columbus, OH) where I was well greeted by a young clerk who apologized for her inexperience in the department.  She listened to my story and sincerely tried to help, selecting a couple of possibilities.  She turned me over to the senior SA who fluttered about as if she was confused and didn't understand what a 40B bra was even though she was holding the selections!  She obviously never discussed the subject with a male customer, in spite of her obvious senior age.  Holding the selections, she then sent me to the men's department for help!?!#@!  Suffice it to say I just headed to the door. 

To date positive purchasing experiences and SA interaction (in no particular order):  Soma, Torrid, Lane Bryant, Dillards, Bra's Galore, Hanes Outlet
Neutral experiences (no SA involved):  Kohl's, Macy's
Negative experience:  Von Mauer
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: jan1north on September 23, 2019, 12:08:35 AM
Anyone have experience purchasing a bra at Victoria's Secret?  From their web site, it looks like the size 40 bands are only available via mail order and are not stocked in the stores.  The one time I browsed without help I saw the largest band size as 38.  But for those that have found fits, were you able to try on in the dressing room?  How 'involved' where the sales staff with you in the dressing room?  Were they sympathetic and supportive, or point you to the door?
Title: Re: Bra purchasing experiences at various stores
Post by: SideSet on September 23, 2019, 07:25:07 AM
I have shopped many times at Victoria’s Secret at a number of different locations, and the only door that I’ve been pointed to is for the fitting room.  

You are correct that the in-store stock only goes up to 38, but that’s fine for me, as I wear a 38.  My experiences have also been generally hands-on, with the SA coming into the fitting room, to check fit, make adjustments, give opinions, and offer suggestions,  bringing additional bras she feels I might work for me.   I also have gotten a number of bra fittings,  and found them to be generally accurate.  

 My experience is that Victoria’s Secret emphasizes underwire, molded cup, with a lean towards push-up.

 I have a number of anecdotes about interaction with SA’s  at Victoria’s Secret, if anybody’s interested sometime