During the holidays, my family loved to blend practical gifts along with fun ones to ensure my brother and I had what we needed but also something special we wanted. In fact, clothes and video games are still totally acceptable gifts for me even at thirty, and some of my favorite presents were practical with long term value, like a converter which allowed me to broadcast my mp3 player through the radio of my car (this was before cars got all fancy). Today’s buying guide is perfect for the person needing or wanting affordable basics or utility pieces to wear and enjoy all winter!
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!
While bra fitting is my primary field of expertise, I frequently field questions from customers about which everyday panties I personally recommend, and I realized I have enough opinions on the subject for an entire blog post. Ages ago on the blog, I referenced the Great Underwear Quest of 2009. At the time, I recently finished losing weight and had purchased some lovely dresses and pencil skirts which showcased every seam, elasticized waist, and all manner of decorative feature adorning my current underwear. Whenever I tried on new clothes on in the fitting room, I mistakenly believed I had underwear at home which would disappear with nary a visible line in sight. Nothing worked. Ultimately, I began scooping up miscellaneous knickers from retailers ranging from Walmart to Nordstrom, but if I could find a discreet pair, they would roll, move, or creep upward—to say nothing of scratchy materials or fraying edges. Eventually, I wondered if my only choice was to buy thongs or simply go commando, but I did not want to risk flashing cheek (more more) when I moved or sat. Just as my frustration peaked, a friendly sales rep in the Nordstrom lingerie department recommended On Gossamer. They were perfect! They did not show under even my least forgiving bottoms, were fairly comfortable, and reasonably durable. And so the Greay Panty Quest ended.
We have finally arrived at my favorite post to compile in the series: our best-sellers. While knowing which cup sizes, band sizes, and bra sizes sell the best is an extremely important element to maintaining inventory, it’s also smart to keep track of what products perform well and in what sizes. My strategy with purchasing new inventory is to create a well-rounded set of options per size cluster, which includes carrying multiple styles, colors, and brands designed to suit a variety of customer breast shapes and preferences. Analyzing our best-sellers can be a key way to select future core styles, determine the best colors to choose, and even analyze the optimum size configuration per style.
Since we have discussed the band sizes and cup sizes separately now, it’s time to combine them and analyze the breakdown of sales by bra size. To best accomplish this, I have created graphs of sales within each band size, and I also determined our best-selling sizes. Remember to read through our demographics post as well. (Note: All sizes are in UK sizing.)
July 17th is always an emotional day for us because it marks our anniversary for opening the shop, and with four years of operation and experience under the proverbial belt, we feel the store has truly grown and improved—a trend we plan to continue by expanding our inventory and improving our services. Because our boutique would not exist without the support of our wonderful customers, we are happy to celebrate again this year with our August Anniversary Sale and Giveaway! Words will never express how much you mean to us, but a few free prizes certainly won’t hurt.
On more than one occasion, I have mentioned my ongoing goal to create a shop people visit for more than just bras, and while progress is slow due to budget and space constraints, I feel like our giveaway this year truly reflects how diverse the shop is becoming. We have prizes ranging from traditional lingerie sets to bust-friendly clothing to hosiery, and I have to give a standing ovation to our vendors for being so generous.
Today I am concluding unofficial “Curvy Couture Week” on the blog with a review of the Sensation Strapless. For more information on the brand, be sure to read through my reviews of the Lace Shine T-Shirt Bra and the Luxe Wireless Bra too. Confession time: I do not own nor have I ever owned a strapless bra. When I had the inclination to wear something strapless, my boobage was smaller, firmer, and naturally perkier, so I just skipped wearing a bra at all. Now that I am approaching 30 this year, I am not a fan of anything strapless, and so the desire to own a convertible bra never surfaced. However, my customers requested more strapless bra options, especially for the 38+ band size range.
After reviewing the Lace Shine T-Shirt bra from Curvy Couture, I want to switch topics and discuss t-shirt bras for wireless customers. Finding a well-fitting, supportive bra for a customer without an underwire can be challenging, particularly because underwire provides better lift and shaping; however, the marketplace itself is also shamefully under-served, especially in the fuller-bust segment. Often the bras with the best lift, shape, and support utilize seaming and lace to compensate for the lack of a wire—a technique with a good success rate, but in the land of the almighty t-shirt, the indiscreet seaming or patterned cup sinks the entire design. Lately, we have been exploring t-shirt friendly wireless bras for customers, including the fantastic Wacoal How Perfect, but the size ranges are more limited. When I saw the Luxe Wireless was available in 34-44 bands and UK C-G cups, I crossed fingers and toes it would be a viable alternative to traditional cut-and-sew wireless pieces if nothing else for days when customers wear something thinner.
TweetHello Everyone, When I review a product, “short” is not a word I would use to describe the post. My goal with reviews is to provide the kind of detailed information I prefer to read when doing my own research,