Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It's Not Me It's You

In the past, on this blog, I've talked up a TO institution - a lingerie shop that broke the mold, shall we say, by importing gorgeous, flirty, well-constructed, sexy bras and undies for women of all breast sizes from the entirely mini to the outrageously endowed. Let me start by saying that this store has the undying appreciation of many a woman for doing this - and for doing it knowledgeably - but for many, the bloom is off the rose.

See, this shop now takes itself so seriously - and sports such impracticable customer policies - that many are going elsewhere. Eventually, you aren't the only game in town.

Secrets from Your Sister - which I will no longer link to as I'm not giving it any traffic - is the place in question. You know I love lingerie. Well, I've spent thousands of dollars over the last decade - thousands - and I've directed dozens of women (who've also spent money) to this boutique but, last week, I experienced the straw that broke the camel's back.

I'm not going to get into it. It's a totally boring story that raises my blood pressure but, I'm intrigued to note that (subconsciously) I expected it to go badly, I realized afterward. I mean, every time I've gone there in the past 2 years I've been irritated by the place. Not the product, mind you. But by the culture of officious management that filters down to the ranks. The SAs are amongst the most informed anywhere. In truth, I blame the owner of the store - a woman I've never enjoyed dealing with - for instituting the kind of regulations that make regular clients (like me) want to go elsewhere. Note: I hadn't been there in a year, when I walked in last week. If you know me, you know that is shocking.

The great thing about modern commerce is that there's always a next best thing.

As I walked out of the store the last time, I knew it was likely, really, the last time. So I got home, got online, and decided to see how I might make that system work.

I know you're thinking: Kristin, you rarely online shop and yet you choose to make things like skinny jeans and bras your main items of purchase?? I realize it seems crazy but I've always been a bit bold with the shopping. I figure, I have lots of experience buying those items. There are brands whose fit I know well. I've hit a point where I can look at something on someone else (a fit model) and know if it will not work. I like to think it's only a matter of time before I'll be able to figure out with some efficiency when things will work. And, if the return policy is good, what's the harm?

Please stay tuned for more on this topic...


  1. `Well I would say that bras are definitely a good thing to purchase online and I have been doing that a long time because frankly, I have no luxe lingerie store in my area that sells my size, and the staff at most department stores look at me cross-eyed when I tell them what size I am looking for.

    So based on my experience I'd say go for it.

  2. As a fellow T.O. girl, I've checked out a lot of the specialty lingerie boutiques and I'd recommend Melmira (on Yonge St north of Lawrence). I bought at SFYS once many years ago and wasn't impressed with them enough to go back. I've also been to Linea Intima on Avenue Rd and was so disappointed with the bras they convinced me to buy that I never went back there either. I have ordered online but still very afraid of it. I'm just not comfortable buying a bra without trying it on.

  3. Wow, what a bummer that your standby store has finally, truly failed you! But I'm sure you can find a way to make online ordering work. Good body knowledge + a bit of patience = successful online shopping.

  4. Wow, what a drag! I'm intrigued by this "(subconsciously) I expected it to go badly." I've had a lot of experiences like that lately. I guess you know when you've hit the tipping point of negativity and you're just giving it one more shot to convince yourself that you're right.

  5. I'm standing by Kline! I hate the holier-than-thou entitlement they don.. esp when I'm in casuals at a not-so-casual-shop.. how do they know I don't have 3 grand to blow...

  6. Hahaha... that's funny that you mention that store, my friend gave up on it too. It's amazing how a crappy atmosphere can turn away customers.

  7. look forward to see what you end up with!

  8. Will definitely check out the shop!


  9. Boo on the store! I think that there should be a write-in from all your blogger friends . . .

  10. Send us your look, and be part of Look 10.

  11. I find myself feeling sympathetic after reading this, but still curious to know where the shop went wrong.

    I'm really glad you can find good lingerie in other places. I have a difficult time finding good pieces, but for the opposite (:)) reason. I hope to read more about this in the next two posts, as I catch up.

  12. Mardel: What is it with North American dept. stores and their ridiculous lingerie mediocrity??

    Anon: I have heard many good things about Melmira. It's just too far away from me given that I don't have a car and I rarely go north of Bloor :-) Seriously though, I have been meaning to give it a try. Linea Intima is awful, IMO. My experience with Figleaves (see next posts) was very positive in terms of fit and price. But I have ordered brands I already know...

    Sal: I'm all for that equation.

    Wendy: I'm glad you got me here. Because I didn't want people to think I was going in there with a bad attitude. I really tried to make it work. Just wasn't meant to be.

    April: My point exactly!

    Marta: Intriguing. The SFYS-haters are coming out in force since I wrote this post...

    Pink and CC: Stay tuned...

    Miss C: Let's harass them with email! :-)

    E: Online shopping could work for you too! And where they went wrong - long story I can take offline - but they didn't pay attention to what I was asking them about and implied that a discount I was entitled to was not allowed / got the manager involved. It's complicated. Let's just say their haughty "I'll need to talk to the manager about that" threw me over the edge.

  13. I've put a hex on them for you. I hate bad retail the way that all good sales people should.


  14. Hammie: Why thank you. I like to think if I were an SA, I'd be a good one. :-)