The steamy summer month of July holds a special place in my heart because our little bra shop celebrates its anniversary. A Sophisticated Pair stemmed from my personal desire to find a store which not only offered a range of bra sizes in a wide assortment of colors and styles, but that also offered the kind of quality customer service I found lacking in my own bra shopping experiences. When I was finally fitted properly, I realized the potential for transformation contained in a bra fitting and wanted everyone to feel the same way I did—to look at themselves through the lens of acceptance and confidence. The experience left such an imprint on me that despite being a computer programmer fresh out of grad school, I began researching not only bra fitting techniques but also the fundamentals of owning a small retail business. After two years, I felt comfortable contemplating the idea of a storefront, and I approached my aunt Debbie and my dad Jason with my ideas for improving the bra shopping experience. Together, we sacrificed, worked hard, persevered, and worked harder still so that we could open our doors on July 17, 2011. In a few short days, we will celebrate five years of operation. I have several posts planned about the anniversary (including our annual statistical series) and am looking forward to sharing some of the ups and downs we’ve had with all of our readers. For the meantime though, let’s discuss our annual sale and giveaway!
Ordinarily, our anniversary sale and giveaway occurs during the entire month of August, but after much consideration, I opted instead to focus on July. It felt right to celebrate five years in business on our actual anniversary, not a pseudo one chosen for convenience. I have also made some changes to the sale and giveaway. First, we implemented a successful customer loyalty program in 2016 to assist in purchasing bras all year, rather than conditioning customers to only purchase during sales. Sales and discounts, in general, have become a sticking point for me this year after working to refinance my home, and I wrote extensively on the real cost of bras as well as how sales and discounts easily put stores like mine out of business. As a result, the sale this year will be more modest, but the giveaway is an explosion of free goodies and gifts with purchases.
The second change to the anniversary celebration this year is how we distribute raffle tickets. Ladies and Gents, it was a nightmare giving out tickets for every $10 spent. Debbie nearly developed carpal tunnel syndrome from writing down everyone’s names (I jest, I jest), and the sheer amount of tickets in certain transactions added precious time onto checkout. This year, you will earn tickets for every $20 spent, and blog readers receive a bonus free one just for reading my ramblings. You can have these sent via email (see below) or request they be added to your in-store transaction.
The Deals & Steals
- 30% Off: Tutti Rouge Liliana (Retail $65; Sale: $45.50); Sculptresse DeeDee (Retail $70; Sale: $49); Le Mystere Safari Demi Bra (Retail: $68; Sale: $47.60)
- 20% Off: All Sleep & Lounge (Retail: $29 to $70; Sale: $23.20 to $56); Cleo Blake (Retail $55; Sale: $44); Anna Pardal Classic Cups in Hibiscus, Stiff Cappuccino, and Emmeline Print (Retail: $65; Sale: $52), All Kix’es and Glamory Hosiery (Retail: $22; Sale: $17.60)
- 10% Off: Everything Else with the exception of . . .
- Hodge Podge: In addition to the items listed above, we also have certain miscellaneous styles on sale. Some of these an be found on our Final Sale page while others are older fashion colors or discontinued items adorning our lovely sale rack in the store or on the website.
- The Website: Speaking of our super sleek online store, prices will be listed differently there for sale items. We are offering a blanket 10% off plus Free Shipping Code (TENFREESHIP). Since the 10% applies universally, the price on some sale items will be higher than quoted there until the code is activated . . . with some exceptions. Certain brands do not allow us to advertise sale prices online, and I will need to markup the bra to ensure the 10% discount does not drop the final price below MSRP. Yes, it is a pain. No, I am not looking forward to undoing this when the sale ends. If you are not a local customer and want to purchase something during the sale, you can always call or email me, and I will honor the prices listed above. I can take payment via Visa, Masterard, American Express, Discover, and Paypal . . . also cash and check in the shop only.
Since it’s our 5th anniversary, it seems only fair we should contribute some prizes. This year, we are offering four gift certificates—two for $50 and two for $25. However, our vendors who have consistently supported the shop, the blog, and myself were wonderful to partner with again this year and contributed some amazing goodies for the giveaway!
Tutti Rouge: One Free Lingerie Set
The delightful Tutti Rouge has been carefully listening to customer feedback dating back to their first collection, and with each new release, their designs continue to improve, both in fit and in quality. Known for their bright, optimistic colors in a range of beautiful styles, like the lightly padded Liliana, Tutti Rouge promises even more gorgeous additions for Spring 2017, including non-padded plunges, half-cups, and a faux-longline in the most delightful yellow!
Wacoal/b.tempt’d: One Free Lingerie Set*
A core brand for our store since we opened, Wacoal is not reviewed or showcased as often in the blogosphere as it deserves, particularly because the powerhouse produces exceptionally high quality, well-fitting basics in a variety of colors. Whether it’s the superb fit of the Basic Beauty Contour bra, the quiet sexiness of the Halo Lace series, or the gorgeous cleavage-enhancing La Femme, Wacoal offers customers a range of silhouettes, fabrics, and materials to meet their needs. They also sent us the b.tempt’d Fits Me, Fits You one-size bikini in a pretty plum as a gift with purchase.
Glamory: 12 Pairs of Hosiery
As someone who abhors regular pantyhose, Glamory hosiery’s hold-up stockings have been one of those rare finds that not only look gorgeous but also solve the very practical problem of keeping warmer in cooler temps. The wide lace band never digs, and the silicone gel stays put no matter how much I move. Anyone who spends the day on their feet (like yours truly) should consider the Vital collection because it improves circulation while still looking . . . well . . . glamorous. Available up to a size 5XL, Glamory is one of the best hosiery companies out there, and to any retailers reading this post: You need to stock this line!
Panache: One Free Lingerie Set*
Over the years we have carried Panache, the brand has blossomed into a favorite with our customers. By carefully listening to feedback and revamping styles from season to season as well as successfully transitioning fashion models like Jasmine, Marcie, and Chi Chi into core items in neutral colors (can we get a “Heck Yeah!”?), Panache consistently expands their brands and leaves fans wanting more. Their amazing sports bra deserves the praise heaped upon it, and the frequent use of stretch lace on multiple bras addresses asymmetry beautifully while also enabling a perfect fit.
Comexim: One Free Lingerie Set*
It’s no secret how much I love Comexim, and I am so excited they are contributing a free lingerie set. I just received a Snow longline from them which is perfect in every way and makes me want every bra to be a longline bra. I won’t rehash my affections again, but you can always click my reviews tab to read more.
Parfait and Affinitas
A wallet-friendly duo catering to UK A-K cup sizes, Parfait and Affinitas offer cute, quality bras, undies, and bra-sized lingerie in a slew of colors, prints, and sizes. The brand also eschews the industry standard to rush through fashion prints as quickly as possible, and often keeps some of their best-selling styles and colors available for months or years after release, meaning you never worry about missing out on a favorite piece. Parfait and Affinitas are offering a free large tote bag with purchase.
Yummie by Heather Thompson: Five Stephanie Tanks
Yummie makes some of the best, most comfortable shapewear on the market, and their Stephanie tanks are the crowning jewel. These reversible shaping tanks offer graduated control, focusing the most hold on the tummy and waist while also regulating body heat to keep you cool in summer or warm in winter. Five winners will each receive one free tank.
Bolero Beachwear: Free Tunic Top
Bolero is hands-down one of my favorite clothing companies of all time. Not just bust-friendly clothing. Of. All. Time. It’s not just because the genius designer Patricia knows how to dress a curvier figure and manages to do so using Made-in-America manufacturing on quality fabrics. Okay, that’s a big part. But, what really makes Bolero special is how Patricia evolves her brand to meet customer demand, offers customized pieces, and stands by her commitment to well-made products.
Eveden: $100 Eveden Credit*
Powerhouse Eveden is consistently our best-selling brand for the store in large part because it encompasses Goddess, Freya, Fantasie, and Elomi, each of which offers consumers a different size range, aesthetic, and price point. Known for producing high quality intimates, the Eveden brands evolve each season with new fashion prints and colors, improved fits, and a better selection of basic continuity items. One lucky winner will receive a $100 Eveden credit to be used however they prefer on whatever brand or brands they love.
Skarlett Blue: One Free Lingerie Set*
A relative newcomer in the lingerie scene, Skarlett Blue upholds the same commitment to lightweight, quality bras made from ultra-soft materials as fellow Dana-Co brand Natori. Rose gold hardware and brushed wings adorn most styles, and the size range spans 28-36 bands and US A-G cups. Two collection stand-outs include the Minx Unlined Bra, a delightful vertical seam half-cup, and the Divine Contour, a no-frills-wear-under-everything multi-way t-shirt bra.
Curvy Couture: One Free Lingerie Set*
Molded cup t-shirt bras are the lifeblood of our shop, but we were struggling to find affordable options for 38+ bands with nice materials and a superb fit . . . until Curvy Couture. Featuring inset straps on most designs to prevent slippage and ultra wide wings and bands, Curvy Couture specializes in comfort with a touch of style in US sizes 34-44 C-H. The Luxe T-Shirt bra, made from a cotton/bamboo blend, is ridiculously hard to keep in stock, and even their fashion styles like the Tulip Lace Push-Up are a hit!
Tia Lyn: Free Bliss Chemise
Tia Lyn’s lenzing modal collection, which includes both the Bliss series as well as the Euphoria, feels like wisps of clouds woven together to form a decadent confection of softness perfect for sleep, lounge, or lingerie. With beautiful lace details, center ruching, and a flattering empire waist, the Bliss chemise will become your go-to favorite!
Samanta: One Free Lingerie Set
A new brand for our store, Samanta is already finding a hearty fan club because of the lightweight fabrics, softer gauge underwires, and wallet-friendly price. The Intensa Fluo series injected a punchy pop of neon brightness to our shop this summer, and we’re looking forward to stocking the verdant Daisy this October. For more information on Samanta, read though this brand overview I wrote.
Le Mystere: One Free Linger Set
Le Mystere focuses on crafting quality bras using the best materials, such as the decadent Sophia Lace and the classic Safari Plunge, but also offers some excellent panty program deals in a range of fits like shorts, full briefs, and hipsters. For Fall, the brand will debut a bra brushed in modal fabric for the ultimate in comfort!
Hot Women Clothing: Free Dress or Tunic Top
Recent Saturday Spotlightee, Hot Women Clothing is probably the most seasonally appropriate prize on this list because it functions as a pool or beach cover-up as well as a lounging and sleeping piece. Superb for anyone living in a sweltering climate or who suffers from hot flashes, this Made in the USA business utilizes soft, 100% cotton fabrics to keep you cool while elegant design details ensure the garment is as lovely as it is practical.
Kix’ies: Free Pair of Kix’ies
Another revelation in the hold-up hosiery department, Kix’ies offers a modern take on leg wear with prints like argyle, polka dots, and stripes while still preserving the vintage essence of a classic stocking in their backseam, fishnet, or classic sheers. Furthermore, the A-D sizing means most people can enjoy them!
Cake Lingerie: One Free Cotton Candy Nursing Bra
The Cake Cotton Candy is a comfortable, stretchy starter nursing bra ideal during the last few weeks of pregnancy for sleeping, the trip to the hospital, and the post-delivery recovery. The high quality elastic enables the bra to keep its shape during nursing, and the soft, wirefree design makes it perfect for sleeping, lounge, and light exercise even after you buy more structured nursing bras. We have carried them for over two years, and everyone loves them.
Total Prizes: 36! This doesn’t even count the Gift with Purchases either. However, all prizes marked with an (*) indicate winners must purchase from the brand during the giveaway in order to be eligible for the prize.
- Raffle tickets are given for every $20 spent on purchases made between July 14th and July 31st. Blog readers can earn an additional ticket without needing to purchase. Only one free ticket per person.
- Raffle tickets can be sent via email. To take advantage, email sophisticatedpair[at]gmail[dot]com with “CONTEST” as the subject line. Please do not use ticket emails for anything other than garnering contest entries. I will not be answering these personally, and if you ask any other questions, I may not see them.
- Gift with Purchase (GWP) items are also only while supplies last on a first come, first serve basis for in-store customers only.
- All sale prices are good for in-stock merchandise only and while supplies last.
- Sale prices and discounts do not apply to any past purchases nor do they apply to special orders.
- Loyalty Rewards can be used and earned during the event.
- Because of the nature of the sale, I cannot reserve any items. No exceptions.
- Winners will be drawn after July 31st. We will do our best to alert everyone, but we will also post the winning numbers on our blog.
Good luck everyone!