Shopping for men’s clothes is a walk in the park compared to shopping for women’s lingerie (Is that redundant? Is there such a thing as men’s lingerie?)
While I don’t shop for lingerie on a regular basis (sorry about that, Luc) I have had two drastically different lingerie shopping experiences in recent years that I’d like to share. Not to name names, but both took place at a well-known lingerie store that starts with La and ends with Senza. And they illustrate how important the sales staff is when a woman embarks on such a nerve-wracking quest as buying some sexy lingerie.
Let’s start with How NOT to Shop for Women’s Lingerie…
- Book a trip to Mexico for your 15th wedding anniversary with couple-friends who will be celebrating their 10th anniversary.
- Realize that you have not shopped for sexy lingerie since well before the birth of your first child, 8 years (and 30 pounds) previous.
- Head to La Senza with the female half of the above-mentioned couple-friends to find a little something to spice things up on the trip.
- Enter the store.
- Be completely ignored by the 16-year-old size zero salesgirls comparing manicures at the cash.
- Wander around the store with your friend, looking at and commenting on the least intimidating items (bras, panties, robes) while trying to casually check out the super-sexy bustiers, babydolls and merrywidows that you really want to try on.
- Be completely ignored by the 16-year-old size zero salesgirls fixing each other’s hair at the cash.
- Get up the nerve to grab several items to try on.
- Interrupt the 16-year-old size zero salesgirls talking about their boyfriends at the cash to ask to be let into a change room.
- Be led with a sigh and an eye-roll into the change rooms.
- Stuff yourself into the first item.
- Stuff yourself into the second item.
- Laugh hysterically at the third item.
- Losing all sense of embarrassment and/or modesty, fling open the change room door and show your friend the fourth item, which you both agree for the price should cover WAY more than it’s currently covering.
- Press the pretty little buzzer to get the 16-year-old size zero salesgirl’s attention.
- Press it again.
- And again.
- When she grudgingly appears, ask her if she could bring you the same item in a larger size.
- Listen, shocked, insulted and humiliated as she answers “We don’t make them that big.”
- Shoot icy daggers into the 16-year-old size zero salesgirl’s back as she walks away.
- End up buying a bra, some panties and a robe.
- Go home and obsess for days on end about the witty, cutting come-backs you should have spouted to put that snarky little 16-year-old size zero salesgirl’s skinny little ass in its place.
And now, How to Shop for Women’s Lingerie…
- Gaze with horror into your dresser drawer as you realize that all of your once-white bras are now grey (as are all of your once-black bras) and that all of the elastic is shot on your comfy, faded, worn out 100% cotton Jockey undies.
- Decide that the time has come, as a mature, well-adjusted 40-something wife, mom and woman, to throw out everything in the drawer, start over and treat yourself to some sexy undergarments.
- Head, against your better judgment, to La Senza (not the same one as last time).
- Walk confidently up to the first salesgirl you see.
- Say a mental prayer of thanks that she appears to be over the age of majority and at least a size 6.
- Inform her that you are replenishing your supply of bras. Tell her that if she can find something that fits you and makes you feel good, you will buy one in every colour it comes in along with the matching panties in every style they come in, bikini, boy-cut, thong or otherwise. Let her know that you want her to wait on you hand and foot and in return you will spend extravagant amounts of money adding to both her commission and quotas.
- Nod approvingly as she gets on her little headset and rallies two other salesgirls, one of whom leads you to the change room and performs a quickie bra sizing while the other starts whipping an astonishing array of push-up, full coverage, demi-cup, lace, gel and microfiber bras over the door.
- Less than an hour later, leave the store with a bag full of new bras and panties in every colour of the rainbow, a shiny La Senza discount card in your wallet and a smile on your face.
Check out Luc’s thoughts on buying lingerie.