A Sophisticated Pair had a wonderful 2014. Not only did we upgrade retail spaces and host our biggest giveaway yet, but we also worked to improve our inventory mix and selection, bringing in shapewear brands like Yummie Tummie and Rago and expanding into lingerie from iCollection, stockings from Kix’ies, bust-friendly dresses from Bolero, and amazing bra and panty sets from Comexim and Anna Pardal. Now, with the new year officially started, I want to continue offering customers more options, colors, and styles. Once we survived two years of business, I decided to focus my efforts on creating a well-rounded shop that women could visit for more than just bras, a goal I am still pursuing. Since expansion for small businesses is typically slower, we are still balancing the buying plan for the year, but I wanted to give everyone an early sneak peak at some of the brands and styles we hope to carry this year.
- Sculptresse from Panache: As successful as Elomi and Goddess are for the shop, I am desperate to have another plus-size option, particularly for women who need deeper cups and narrower underwires than what Eveden brands can offer. Originally, I hoped to carry the charming plaid print bra appropriately named Dixie, but it was discontinued prior to release. Now, I contemplating the feisty animal print Chi Chi.
- Cleo Marcie in Basic Colors: Over the last two years, I have been asked with incredible frequency whether the Cleo Marcie is available in something other than (insert bright color of the season), and I am always the bearer of bad news. However, in February, we will have both the new beige and black Marcies in stock for our customers! *collective applause*
- More Wacoal: Okay, so Wacoal doesn’t seem to receive much attention in the blogosphere, and a lot of women build up animosity toward the brand because it’s usually the only thing available in DD-G cups in mainstream shops. However, Wacoal makes some of the best quality bras on the market, and contrary to popular belief, many of them are downright adorable. On the buying agenda for the new year are the Halo Lace Spacer bra, the Retro Chic, How Perfect Wire Free Bra, and the Embrace Lace non-contour bra. We also want to bring in additional styles from Wacoal’s sister brand, like b.tempt’d like Sheer Delight and b.Delight’d.
- More Natori: Natori fares slightly better on the web in part because of the ever popular Feathers bra and their amazing pajamas, but like Wacoal, this is another quality lingerie brand with a lot to offer. For 2015, I am particularly interested in two new expansions. The first is Skarlet Blue, a moderately priced line between Josie and the original Natori, which will have a mix of youthful style bras and sleep sets. Skarlet Blue offers adorable matching PJs for as low as $49 as well as cute sleep shirts and lingerie. While I have admired the Natori sleepwear brands since we opened, the price point even on the cheapest line (Josie) is above what I thought would do well for the shop. However, the new Skarlet Blue line proves to be a lovely bridge line for customers wanting a Natori sleep set at a great price. In addition to Skarlet Blue, Natori will also expand to fuller-figure sizes with the incorporation of more 40-44 bands. These will be bras on the same price and quality level as the original Natori line with a wider size range.
- Tutti Rouge: We carried Tutti Rouge when the line first released, and I think the brands fun aesthetic and commitment to improving season after season is wonderful. As a result, I want to at least bring in the sugary Liliana cream set for spring/summer.