More than Just a Bra Peddler
How introducing a new bra to a customer can offer a healthy dose of self-esteem.
by Jennifer Manuel Carroll
A life-long lover of lingerie, Jennifer Manuel Carroll has shopped for underpinnings during her travels in North America and Europe and is a savvy lingerie expert. After years of experience in the intimate apparel world, she was inspired to share her knowledge with others. Carroll is the author of Underneath It All, A Girl’s Guide to Buying, Wearing and Loving Lingerie (Harlequin 2009), a comprehensive resource for the lingerie lover and novice alike.
We sell more than undergarments at Bellefleur.
In addition to providing beautiful, well-fitting bras we offer a healthy dose of self-esteem. A proper bra fitting session will often include physical and emotional support. If you have ever experienced a customer crying in your fitting room, you know what I am speaking of.
If you haven’t, read on.
Last week, while ringing up a couple customers, I noticed a young, twenty-something girl lingering in the shop. After completing my sale, I offered her some assistance. This cute, hipster girl was a bit shy and seemed pained to ask me for help. She explained that she typically wears a 36B, that she was “odd-shaped” and nothing seemed to fit her properly.
The term “odd-shaped” usually tips me off. Women who describe themselves in this way are typically wearing the wrong bra size. Instead of placing the blame on the fit of the bra, they place the blame on themselves – as if they are flawed and should fit in to the size previously offered them. I gently led this sweet girl in to the dressing room, where I proceeded to fit her.
“Shirt off, bra on” I reminded her. After moments in the dressing room with her, it was obvious why she was so frustrated with her bras, her body, and herself. She was wearing the completely wrong size. She was a perfect 32D. Her 36Bs were sliding around, up her front, up her back, straps falling off. She had tried A cups, 38 bands, she had no idea what was wrong.
“As retailers, we are more than simply bra peddlers, we provide self-esteem and confidence wrapped in lace and underwire”
I brought her a 32D and asked her to try it on for size. She complied. When I returned to the dressing room to adjust her straps, she was simply staring at herself in the mirror. “You are a 32D” I said. “Perfect”. She began to cry, and then she smiled. She never understood why her current undergarments didn’t fit and were uncomfortable. She had been internalizing all of this – creating a negative body image.
After trying on several bras in her size, which fit easily, she began smiling, laughing, and enjoying the process. She picked a couple bras within her price range, and approached me at the check-out counter. Through her wide grin she gushed that she couldn’t wait to tell her sister her new size!
Mission accomplished: happy customer, wearing the proper size bra, departing with a skip in her step.
As retailers, we are more than simply bra peddlers, we provide self-esteem and confidence wrapped in lace and underwire.