At the recommendation of a friend, Francesca recently went for a professional bra fitting at Intimacy, a wonderful bra boutique with locations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, and New York. It was a wonderful experience which resulted in a wonderful purchase. The woman helping Francesca did not use a measuring tape. She looked her over, did a little patting and looking and weighing hear and there, and came back with several bras for her to try on. She showed Francesca how to recognize a good fit from a bad, so that Francesca could shop elsewhere and find what she needs on her own, which was good because the cup sizes at Intimacy run a little small, so while there Francesca needed a 42D, elsewhere, it turns out, she is a 42C. Anyhow, it was a fine experience and Francesca recommends them. The only problem was that they only had one 42D in stock — not because they do not carry large sizes, but because so many 42D women shop there, that they were sold out. It was alright, though. That is why God created Cacique sales at Lane Bryant.
All this is an introduction to Francesca’s next tale, which has a less happy ending. While visiting one of the aforementioned cities, she decided to stop by the shop of a plus-size clothing designer of whom she had heard, and whom Francesca wanted to vett, while she had a chance to do so in person, before discussing the clothes on this website.
The clothes at this little boutique looked beautiful on the rack. The materials were luscious and the colors were amazing. Everything was presented in a tasteful and eye-pleasing manner. They were off to a good start.
But all of the designs had empire waists. Every. Single. One. And though some Apple-shaped women can get away with empire waists, Francesca is not one. They also were all sleeveless, and Francesca does not “do” sleeveless, though she appreciates it on others. Still, for several reasons she decided to try on a few styles. Since many of our readers are Pears or have hourglass figures, and wear sleeveless dresses, I wanted a chance alone with the clothes in the fitting room, to see if the clothes were well-made (they were not). And, also, I was there anyway, and one never knows! One must be adventurous! And even with sleeveless dresses, one can work wonders with a shrug! So Francesca took about 4-5 dresses into the fitting room, and wore them out into the store where the mirror was.
Francesca understands that salespeople need to make sales. She understands when they say something like “if you wear Spanx, this will look fantastic” — which the saleswoman here said — because not everyone shares Francesca’s opinion that “if an outfit needs Spanx to look good, it is not a good outfit for you.” It’s OK. She gets it.
But it is another thing entirely for Francesca to stand in the middle of the boutique floor, looking like a stuffed sausage whose elephantine pregnancy is emphasized by a turniquet below her breasts –not that there is anything wrong with that, she supposes — and for the saleswoman to say “I think it looks wonderful. It looks much better than you believe it does. It looks terrific.”
Francesca looked the woman right in the eye and said “it is a beautiful dress for someone else.”
It is also something else for the saleswoman to say “the problem is your bra. You do not have enough support. If you buy a better bra, this dress will look amazing on you,” when Francesca was wearing a snug, brand-new, professionally-fitted bra which was probably the best fit she’d ever had, and if her breasts had been any better “supported,” they would have been up over her head. And when the rest of the dress was making Francesca look like she had a set of triplets stuffed into her (new lace) underwear.
Francesca will not speak of this particular establishment again.
Meanwhile, remember, ladies: The last word on whether you look good in a dress is your own.
And shop at Intimacy. Francesca approves of them.