Saturday, May 1, 2010

What Are You Wearing Under There?

If you asked women what they dread shopping for the most, I assume answers to tie for first place would be either jeans or bathing suits. As for 3rd place, I’m going to go out on a limb and say under garments, specifically bras. It’s never been one of my favourite things to buy. It’s gotten better over the years, but it is still something I dread. When you think about it, a bra has a pretty important job to do. It isn’t really something you can skimp on. The fit has to be right or some pretty awful things and looks can happen. As with jeans and bathing suits, when I find one that fits properly, helps make me look skinny, and doesn’t break the bank, I usually end up buying the same style in more than one colour. Then I thank my lucky stars that it will be a considerable amount of time before I have to undergo this torture again.

Through the years, I have tended to stick to the same styles. I have my go to stores where I know I’m bound to find something. Even if it is going to take hours, I will leave with something which is the ultimate goal. The last time I was at my go to store in the US, I was told the most devastating news, they don’t make that style anymore. What? Are they out of their minds? What the heck am I supposed to do now? They have no idea the stress and anxiety this news has caused. I have to replace the go to style but with what?

Below are my top 3 choices for places to shop at for the dreaded under garment. A visit to either of these stores is likely to end with the purchase of some type of under garment that does the job it’s supposed to and doesn't make me burst into tears during the process.


By chance I happened to wander into Oakville Place a few weeks ago and discovered Change has a store here. I’ve read about Change for years in my fashion magazines. It is Europe’s answer to fashionable affordable lingerie. Known for stylish items and reasonable prices, I knew I had to pay them a visit. Plus I was in need of said undergarment. There are some things you should be aware of if you have never been to a Change store before. First of all, their sizes are European. If you think it is hard to convert your Canada shoe size or shirt size to European sizes, think how difficult it is for lingerie where sizes tend to be all over the place anyway. A staff member was very helpful in this respect. Be prepared to be measured. Not the most pleasant thing but necessary to determine the right size. From there, it is still a guessing game for cup size. A fun game of trial and error now starts and hopefully you can get it right before trying on everything in the store. I did like a lot of their styles and the prices were really good. I saw several that were $28 and $38, certainly much better than some of those other places out there. I bought one item and am pretty sure I would go back for more. Lounge and swim wear round out their collection.

For a list of Canadian locations visit the Change website.

Gap Body

This seems to be a store that women don’t really think about when they need to buy new lingerie. Locations are more limited. The only full stores I know about are Square One and Bloor Street. Other Gap stores usually have a small collection of Gap Body, mainly lounge wear and underwear. Bras can be a slim offering or nonexistent at those locations. I have visited the Square One location frequently. I like it because it is at the back of the store, away from all the other merchandise. Last thing I need is some group of guys watching me pick out my under things. Usually this part of the store is quiet so you can browse in peace. The sizes are normal lingerie sizes and I find sizes to be pretty consistent across styles. The one downfall is there usually isn’t staff in this section. If you have questions or need help you’ll have to venture out into the regular store and hunt someone down.

There is a really good selection of styles and colours. The best thing is any promo that runs is usually valid on Gap Body items which gives you potential to save quite a bit of money. Get on their Canadian email list if you’re not already. I also happen to be a fan of Gap Body pyjamas. It is possible that I could buy more from Gap Body than their regular stores if only they would make Gap Body more readily available. Gap Canada is promising we will have a live shopping site of our own sometime this year; oh happy day! I hope we will see the full Gap Body assortment on that website. We will be able to shop for our underwear in our underwear from home. I don’t do this but have heard of others who do.

You can visit the Gap Canada website here. Stay tuned for a launch date on that long awaited Canada shopping site.

Victoria’s Secret

For the longest time this was where I bought all undergarments. It was my go to store until they stopped making my favourite, forcing me to branch out to other chains. This store was always a bit harder to get to since I had to get myself to the US to be able to buy anything. You can order online and I believe they ship to Canada, just beware of extra taxes and duties on your order.

Later this year, Victoria Secret will be opening up locations in Canada. This will allow for more spontaneous purchases. When I get fed up from lack of fit and styles, I will be able to frequent other locations to try my luck again, there by keeping the torture to a minimum. Personally I think this will be a great addition to the Canadian retail landscape. They bring a ton of styles and many different product categories from make up, reshaping garments, pyjamas, and lounge wear.

You can get a list of existing Canada Victoria's Secret Pink locations by visiting the website. Looks like the stores are only in Ontario right now.

If you have a favourite place to shop for lingerie, leave a comment to tell us about it.

Change image from blogTO
Victoria’s secret image from their website.

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