Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Don't Bother Putting on Your Red Light

A few days ago, for reasons that are unfathomable, I found myself at a TO bra boutique at which I no longer shop. (Trust me peeps, you don't want me on your lingerie Do Not Fly list. There's sufficient loss of income impact...)

Anyhow, while I did not buy - I couldn't stop my eyes from bugging out at this amazing confection (the colour of which is much more jewel tone in real life):

Empreinte is a high-end French brand for "full-busted women" - though French lingerie and "full-busted" are generally oxymoronic. In this instance, the term fits - as do the goods.

In case you're interested, it costs $216.00 at this boutique, which is in line with other retail establishments in TO. That's before you spend a hundred bucks on the undies. And I know you always get the matching set.

No doubt, even by my crazy-lingerie lady standards, that's rich.

It was particularly easy to walk on by because I knew I would surf until I found it at a reasonable price online. And - very quickly - I did, at my go-to, Figleaves. It's 78 pounds there - not cheap but much less expensive. I even found a promo, which cut the price down to 70 pounds.

Alas, if you read the small print (and I did, though I refused to believe it):

Due to licensing restrictions, we regret that we are unable to ship UK Empreinte ranges to countries outside the European Union.

It's true. Customer Service confirmed by email after I (seemingly successfully) purchased.

Alas, aligned with the general cursedness of online shopping in Canada (and everywhere other than Europe - this time), my affordable hopes were dashed.

I don't seem to be able to find this for less than $200 bucks before shipping and I am very pissed off. Why do the Europeans get to benefit from this? Don't they have enough already, like, being European and living in Europe and having good rail transport??

Needless to say, life is not fair.


  1. It's gorgeous. And I do always get the matching set, that is, the one time I did buy similar gorgeousness :-).

    That sucks about not shipping outside the EU. I'm guessing it's got to do with inadequate accounting systems, i.e., that deal with foreign currencies.

  2. Guess we'll have to go to Europe and get it!

  3. *Gulp* I've never paid more than $80 USD for a bra, and I cringed the whole time. Partly because it's a lot of money for so little, and partly because I knew that my husband was next to me quietly being furious at such an expense. And I've very seldom ever purchased the matching panties.

    Sorry that you couldn't order it from Europe, I can't imagine why, except for maybe not wanting to deal with the exchange rate, especially if it's been volatile lately. (That's just a guess, I don't know whether it has been or not.) Or maybe something funky is going on with trade agreements.

  4. Sorry about the shipping issue. That is really one nice looking bra!!!

  5. D'Oh!

    Hmm d'you think one could make a case that lingerie (at least for the well-endowed) is a medical expense and should be covered by your employee benefits plan, like prescriptions? ;)

  6. I'm in Australia so I can't help, but I have in the past had enablers in the US who have received and forwarded on mail to me (when direct shipping was not available). Know anyone in the EU?

  7. I'm in the UK. It gets equally annoying when we want things from the US or Canada. Prehaps we should set up a system whereby euro stuff could be delivered to me in the UK and I could ship it and vice versa.
    I can sometimes get stuff when my dad goes to the US for work but a week is a very short time to get a delivery and to a hotel too!

  8. I've found this happens a lot with US companies not shipping to Europe, it's quite common and I've used 'MyUS' to get around it. I think companies that sell in different countries at different prices often stop retailers exporting items.
    There are international mail forwarding companies that, for a fee, provide you with a European address and then send packages on anywhere in the world.
    Worth thinking about?

  9. Also I had to laugh at your comments about 'Europeans'. English rail services are pretty much medieval.

  10. Did you know there are companies that will act as go-betweens and forward goods to any country? Though I have tried googling various things and can't find any damn links.. so now I'm thinking did I imagine it?!

  11. Ah-ha! Found one:

    I'm sure there are others...

  12. I have used US mail forwarders to get shoes from Zappos to me in Germany :) Try that as an UK option :).

    I know you don´t know me but as a long time reader of your blog, I could offer to help out re-sending to you from Germany- I think a small package like that registered mail to Canada might be about 12 euros (I would have to check). Plus cost to Germany from UK, so you could compare that to what the mail forwarders are charging!

  13. " being European and living in Europe " -- LOL!

  14. What fantastic comments, everyone! And I'd like to thank all of you who have graciously offered to assist me with this dilemma!

    Susan: You're on board! :-)

    Nic: I tend to concur.

    CGC: I'm inclined to believe it has to do with trying to retain the value in different currencies. I wouldn't be so concerned about spending money on such a small piece of fabric. I know from experience that it's perhaps the most consequential garment configuration you'll come across. Having tried to make my own - and having failed at producing the right support, even as I produced bras that "fit"- I can tell you that a good bra is worth every penny above 80 bucks you might have to spend.

    Vic: Ain't it??!

    T: OMG - I've been thinking about how to make that a law!

    Mel: Now that you mention it... :-)

    Stevie: I can't believe this works both ways. How ridiculous. Of course, you still have the bonus of being European :-)

    Lauren: Thank you for this info. I considered this but I really don't want to raise the price by brokering. But it's a great idea under certain circumstances.

    Claire: Despite my comment to Lauren, I'm totally going to check out your link.

    Doriana: You are such a sweetie and I SO appreciate your generosity. My concern is that, if it doesn't fit, it's going to be tricky to return (at the best of times). I don't want to implicate you in that potential process. But I will consider it. xoxo

    Wendy: What can I say?

  15. I've sent you an e-mail about a friend in Paris who's willing to expedite, but I see you have an option from Doriana. . . hope you work something out.

  16. I hate it when businesses produce and distribute globally and then leave the dumbo consumer to take or leave local prices. So I had a bit of a google and found this French boutique. The send to Canada and they have the bra. The bra costs 89.90 which may is just a tiny bit more than the UK price (gosh the Euro is strong again...), but it may be less complicated than having it sent on.

  17. Ah Kristin, I can just hear you in this post, almost if you are sitting across from me at the table drinking another one of those fabulous, what were they called, "leatherneck" marys. Anyway. I always buy the set and that is so yummy I want me one right now, as well as living in Europe and having good rail transport.

  18. Mater: Thank you. Did I get that email? I'm so scatterbrained right now I have no memory of it. Thank you though...

    Nommh: OK, gonna check this out. Thanks so much! (Better late than never...)

    Mardel: Those drinks were fine. I only regret that I was starting to feel the early inklings of sick at that point - so I couldn't enjoy it for all it was worth. We "set" girls, know the benefits :-)