Victoria’s Secret is the prom queen of mall lingerie, with a store in nearly every American city (and many abroad). It’s time for women to get over this overpriced and inferior lingerie chain. Victoria’s Secret is mostly smoke and mirrors, marketing meant to deceive us into purchases that continue their business empire without actually providing women strong and pretty foundations for their wardrobes.
Bras aren’t meant to gape or sag, and they shouldn’t be riding up and choking you, either. If underwires are poking you despite a careful and fastidious wash routine, it might not be you. It’s Victoria’s Secret, and it’s time to break up with the VS BS.
There’s a whole lot of fish in the lingerie fashion sea, and some of them are more equal than others. If you’re still running to the mall for bras, there’s a better and more flattering way, no matter what age or shape you are. Here’s why you need to tell Victoria to take a hike, and where to shop for bras instead.
1. Victoria’s Secret Is Way Too Expensive for Its Quality
Victoria’s real secret is that she’s selling tissue paper pretending that it’s quality lingerie. Sure, that $60 VS bra looks okay in that saccharine pink dressing room, but within a week it’ll be stretched-out and floppy—two words you want nowhere near your lady lumps. I know it’s true. You know it’s true. Every woman who has ever bought a bra from Victoria’s Secret knows it’s true, so why do we go back for more?
2. Their ‘Fitting Specialists’ Sit on a Throne of Lies
Victoria’s Secret fittings measure your band size over your breasts instead of under them, sometimes even while you’re fully clothed, resulting in a band size measurement at least two inches too large. Does your band sit between your shoulder blades? When you buy your bras at a place that isn’t Victoria’s Secret, the answer to that question will be no. Go get properly fitted at a decent lingerie establishment, or use this handy online tool.
Furthermore, once you have gotten yourself fitted (elsewhere), Victoria’s Secret will argue with you about what size you should be. Victoria, these boobs are mine. There may be many like them, but these are mine. I know what fits them better than you do. I understand what feels good, and when wires are stabbing me. But if Victoria’s Secret likes to argue with us about our own breasts, it’s probably because…
3. Victoria’s Secret Has an Extremely Limited Size Range
We’re convinced Victoria’s Secret created such terrible fitting practices so they could convince a sizeable portion of their customers that they fit into the company’s ridiculously limited size range. It’s doubtful that any of their famously slim and well-endowed models fit into their off-the-rack bras.
Allegedly, the store carries 32A through 40DDD, but for any given bra you are actually interested in purchasing, it’s usually 34B through 36D, at best. For comparison, Wacoal caries 30A through 46I. Victoria’s Secret is just lazy about manufacturing a wide range of sizes.
4. Their Styling Sucks
Can we just admit that the dyes they use on their cheap lingerie fabrics (see point 1) look like they come from demented versions of Andy Warhol paintings? It’s like Victoria’s Secret took normal colors and put them through ten heavy Instagram filters.
And although their annual “fashion show” draws a lot of viewers, approximately zero of those viewers are watching for the lingerie or putting it on their Christmas lists. You couldn’t pay us to wear IRL most of the getups on that runway. We just like watching the amazingly beautiful women Victoria’s Secret parades in a state of almost-total undress. Too bad about the bras though.
5. They Forget about Moms Of Littles
Every mother and mother-to-be is familiar with the trickiness of finding a good, supportive nursing bra that doesn’t disintegrate the first time you wash it. Even more frustrating and disheartening is the knowledge that Victoria’s Secret, the most popular bra brand, doesn’t even sell nursing bras.
Why is it that a store all about women and breasts can’t be bothered to actually make undergarments for women using breasts for their main biological purpose? Inquiring minds would like to know. Since Victoria’s Secret has abandoned the nursing mother, we have your back. Or front.
Gone are the days nursing and maternity bras meant matronly and depressing. Brands like Hotmilk have revolutionized the category with cute and practical options, and that’s cause for celebration.
6. They Forget about Women with Cancer and Other Ailments
Victoria’s Secret also fails women with cancer or other ailments that change what they need in a bra. The store’s whole brand philosophy is basically to ignore that women are more than just sexy. Sometimes, women need a bra when life gets hard, like after a mastectomy. Fortunately, other companies have compassionately stepped into the gap and created post-surgical options for women recovering from devastating illnesses.
7. Much Better Options Are Available
Fortunately, the free market has provided lots of lingerie stores that suck much less than Victoria’s Secret. The number of brands out there once you red pill your way out of the PINK Matrix can be a little overwhelming, but don’t despair. There’s a perfect bra out there for you.
Some traditional clothing retailers have in-house brands that are solid options to try—think Gap and Calvin Klein. Wacoal is widely known for being comfortable, durable, and stylish, and you can pick up their products either online or at a department store like Macy’s. Besides a wide range of sizes, Wacoal also has a strapless option that actually stays up without squeezing you in unspeakable ways.
High-end designer brands like La Perla and Agent Provocateur make beautiful garments with grade-A fabrics and craftsmanship, for those with both the cash and inclination.
Another good place to look are best-seller lists of bras, because seeing what similar women are buying and reviewing can help you narrow down what will and won’t work for you. Or, if you’d rather, sites like Linda’s will let you shop by size, with a truly size-inclusive set of offerings from 28AA to 56K.
If you’re not familiar with Third Love, the heavily advertised Internet retailer, you’re probably not on social media a ton. They’re everywhere. They sell themselves as a try-before-you-buy option, and they have a pretty in-depth online quiz to help you select your size online. It’s still not quite as perfect as going into a store and trying on a few dozen styles and sizes, but it does save you a trip out in public and the indignity of being measured by someone else, like a Victoria’s Secret employee who has no idea what she’s doing.
As a bonus, they also offer nursing bras! Third Love can run pricey, though, and if you’re not sure on your size be prepared to send things back and forth. If the dollar signs don’t dissuade you, though, Third Love has found a combination of cute and comfortable bras, and have become a solid choice for women, especially the hard-to-fit.
Whatever bra retailer ends up being right fit for you, it’s time to branch out and explore all of the options beyond your local mall’s Victoria’s Secret. It’s been too long, ladies. If Victoria had a secret, we would have found it by now. It’s time to try something new. Victoria’s Secret is never going to make you look like their models. Try another retailer. Your wallet and your figure will thank you.