Am I finally too old to shop at Victoria Secret?

1940s-Fashion-How-to-get-Christian-Diors-New-Look-4Here I stand, searching through bins of lingerie looking for my size. This store, which used to be a place I enjoyed, has turned into a (insert sputtering here) nightclub. Store associates with names like Amber and Autumn wearing skimpy tops and lace, flit by, arms overflowing with bras. Fifteen-year-old girls wearing outfits I would never let a daughter of mine leave the house in, shuffle through, with the requisite sleazy boyfriend in tow, pants dragging, seeming a little stunned from being  surrounded  by so much  underwear. I don’t want him here – this is supposed to be MY store.

Long ago, it was my store. Matronly women in black smocks with tape measures around their necks, tut-tutted around, making sure that everyone left with the right-sized bra. They still had pretty (and over-priced) lingerie, but in a more moderate, sensible  way. I would leave clutching my pink-striped bag, scented with a light whiff of perfume, feeling special and satisfied, as if I’d just had a pedicure or a night out.

But now, fast-forward to 2015, where clothing, and women’s underthings are a multi-billion dollar industry, fueled by a big corporations and an insatiable appetite for anything sex, and VS is now a lingerie superstore. But, even though I may be the only old fuddy-duddy in the store, I still need a new bra. I stand in line for a fitting room with girls half, no three-quarters my age. “Where is the rest of her outfit?” I wonder. “And how does she walk in those shoes?” The two store clerks are decked out as if for some kind of bedroom espionage: black lacy tops under an array of equipment strapped upon them: big phones, bags of clips, note pads, and tote bags filled with bras slung over their shoulders. At least they still have the tape measures. Sigh.

Finally I stand in the crowded check-out line. I’m wedged in between a girl with purple hair and a bin of orange lip gloss. Orange? Who would wear that? Every single person in the store except me, that’s who. At last I leave with my pink striped bag feeling heavy in my hand, head pounding from the club-beat music and the heavily perfumed air. I don’t think I’m too old. But my values feel that way.

© Huffygirl 2015


10 thoughts on “Am I finally too old to shop at Victoria Secret?

  1. I dunno, I got sneered out of Victoria’s Secret back when I was in my twenties for having the gall to ask for bras in a cup size bigger than B. They’ve never been remotely welcoming. Maybe it’s a question of what part of the country you live in?

    • Could be. I have seen a change in their sizes, but not necessarily for the better. They have bras now in C and DD, maybe because so many women now are artificially enhanced? But all their other clothing has gotten smaller and smaller over the years. They don’t have anything larger than “large” and often their large fits like everyone elses medium. Definitely sending a message that they only want to serve a certain kind of customer. Reminds me of the brouhaha over another well known store, that I won’t mention here as Abercrombie and Fitch to avoid any bias, who only want thin people to wear their clothes.

  2. Kudos to you for shopping there; I’ve always been too embarrassed, but have been dragged in occasionally with a daughter. I don’t remember any matronly women in black smocks, so I must have come in the newer times. Sad social commentary.

    • Thanks. I used to “fit” there, which I why I feel the disconnect so strongly now. I never had good luck at our department stores, which is how I ended up at VS in the first place.

  3. We don’t have Victoria’s Secret stores here in Canada that I’m aware of . But yea, I go to the mall lingerie shops out of curiosity.

    I’m just amazed by the frippery…which won’t last ..the elastics will get stretched after 2-3 washings, overpadded bras.. Fastrack backwards 30 yrs. ago, stuffed bras were often in Chinatown…and not really anywhere else.

    Now one has spend more money with thin strap bras that aren’t overpadded .. Sorry I can’t wear sports bras underneath that’s shocking lime, pink, etc.

    • It does seem true that lingerie is often over-priced and skimpy – I guess if we were talented at sewing we could sew some scraps together and make our own.

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