Where Do I Even Begin?
I don’t know about everyone else, but I hate trying on bras! Unless you know exactly what you’re going for, walking into a lingerie store is overwhelming, scary, and most likely discouraging.
There are SO many different colours, types of lace, and things that I wouldn’t even wear if you paid me. So if you’d rather not put yourself through a couple of hours of grunts and groans in the changing room while you struggle with the itchy lace, where do you shop for lingerie? What about somewhere you can shop in your sweats, curl up in a nice blanket, AND have a glass of wine in your hand? Sounds great right? That place is right at home! Online shopping has grown in popularity in the past couple of years but I bet you never thought about buying your bras and panties online. So that begs the question: Where is the best place to buy bras online?
Well, I could give you a list of website links to some cute panties and bras that will only work for half the women reading this, or I could tell you about my experiences and give you some tips and tricks that worked for me when it comes to finding the best place to buy bras online.
Practical VS Impractical Lingerie
First, let's talk about what your definition of lingerie is.
When you think of lingerie what do you think of? Is it lacey, impractical, and uncomfortable? Or is it soft, comfortable, and practical?
For myself, I always thought of “lingerie” as something that they sell in the back part of Victoria’s Secret that you would only buy if you had a special weekend coming up. Something that was only for the extra small people of the world. Something that was purposefully uncomfortable and made to make you look a certain way but it’s okay because realistically you’d only have it on for a couple of minutes. Basically, lingerie was for your partner to see you in.
Things like bras and panties weren’t considered lingerie in my eyes. They were just necessities. I bought them for comfort and practicality. Sure I had some that were fun colours and maybe had a bit of lace on the side, but I never bought them with any other intention than “Yup, those won’t roll when I bend over” and “I can continue to wear my tights and they won’t show through.”. And even though I did buy them from a “lingerie store” and not in a box pack from The Bay (no shade for The Bay, and white cotton box panties definitely have their place, just not in my closet!), it never crossed my mind to think of them as lingerie.
The Ah-Ha Moment When Lingerie Shopping
Shopping for anything clothes-related can range from amazing and empowering to pretty much the worst day of your life. I know I can speak for many when I say that the idea of bra shopping makes me want to run. So when I decided to go shopping for “real” lingerie, I was sweating, to say the least. After trying on what I can only imagine was the entire store twice over, I finally narrowed it down to two; a salmon-coloured lace romper with a deep-v front, and a pair of high-waisted lace panties with a matching bra.
Have you ever stood in the changing room staring at the mirror and thought “Wow, I did not expect to like this, but I look great!”? Well, that very rarely happens for me in regular clothes never mind lingerie (body self-image is a whole other topic!). So there I was, having that exact experience wearing pretty much nothing. I ended up going with the romper which if you’d have asked me at the beginning, I would’ve put that as my last pick!
I did wear it later that day for a boudoir photoshoot and felt more confident than I had in a while. And no, I haven’t worn it since but I know it’s there. Honestly, if I never wear it again the experience in the changing room was what mattered. At that moment, I realized that I felt sexy, confident and comfortable in lingerie! I was alone in that room in front of the mirror and not dressed up for someone else.
Why shop online at all?
So at this point, you’re probably thinking “ Well that’s great but what does it have
to do with finding the best place to buy bras online? Don’t you wish you could have that “wow” moment without the sweating and stress at the beginning of the story? Well, let us go back to that image of you curled up in a cozy blanket with a glass of wine, laptop open, shopping for the perfect bra. You are in a safe environment so hopefully, you can feel comfortable adding things to your cart that you wouldn’t normally. Online shopping gives you a no-pressure experience to explore all of the options. And having items shipped to your house where you can try them on in the comfort of your own house without sales people asking “How are you doing in there?” is way less stress-inducing.
Now the idea that you would buy something nice for just yourself with no thought of others is something I think many women struggle with. Concepts like “fast-fashion” and stores that only cater to young high school girls are not helping either. Many of the larger companies are more worried about making the “big-bucks” rather than actually providing a quality product. As with everything nowadays, sure it’s cheap, but it’ll only last for a couple of months and then you’ll need another one. A lot of the time, you can find smaller retailers online and they will cater to more body types than traditional stores and carry a higher quality product. Shopping for lingerie even online can sometimes be a trial and error process but once you find something that works, you might as well have won the lottery!
Things to look for from an online retailer
If you type in “bras online” into Google, there are about 227,000,000 results. Well, that’s it, right? Too many options, too overwhelming, can’t do it. Don’t panic! Here are some things to look for when searching for an online retailer to buy from.
Make sure the website is credible
This may seem like common sense but sometimes it’s hard to tell, but it goes a long way when you’re searching for the best place to buy bras online. Always make sure the site has some type of mailing address or location at the bottom. Check to see if the company is in your country or at least ships to your country. There’s nothing worse than finding a great product and going all the way to the checkout just to find that they won’t ship to your country.
Does the website showcase models of various sizes?
This is one thing I always look for! If the models look nothing like me, how can I imagine what the product will look like on me? Also, if their models are only size 32A, do they even understand how to make bras for larger women? Maybe they do but it always feels nice to see yourself portrayed in something you’re investing in. And bras are often an investment!
What’s their price point?
Sometimes (not always), more expensive equals better quality. Small businesses generally have to charge more for their products because they aren’t mass-produced and are made of higher-quality materials. Wouldn’t you rather spend more money upfront and not have to endure the experience of bra shopping every couple of months? Quality costs money but if you can get cute and comfortable in the same sentence, why not!
Take your values into consideration when online shopping
Maybe supporting local businesses is important. Or maybe it’s women-run businesses you want to support. Usually, on a website, you can find a section about the company. I like to read this portion to find out if the company shares similar values to my own. I’m more likely to support someone who has similar views to mine. If they do, down they go on my list of best places to shop for lingerie online.
General lingerie shopping tips
Whether I’ve convinced you to try online shopping or you’re going to continue with the traditional in-store route, it can seem overwhelming. Here are some tips that I always keep in mind when shopping for lingerie in-store or online:
Do NOT shop for lingerie online on an empty stomach
You may think that not eating beforehand will make the clothes fit better, but your body needs fuel to run. You wouldn’t start a road trip with a quarter tank of gas, would you? The same goes for online shopping. If you are trying to navigate a website to determine if it’s a contender for your list of best places to shop for lingerie online, and let’s say the size you want is out of stock plus you’re hungry, you’ll probably just get frustrated and shut the computer off. So always have a snack nearby! (That’s just good life advice!)
Get a trusted friend to shop online with you!
It’s so easy to get discouraged when you’re all alone with just your thoughts. Bring your hypeman (or women!). If you’re shopping online and you’re not sure about something, send the link to a trusted friend! Often our perceptions of ourselves are skewed and we can't see what's right in front of us. That second opinion will either confirm or deny what you probably already knew.
Before you shop online for lingerie, check in with yourself
If you wake up that morning and it just doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. You’ll only be frustrated and discouraged with the things that don’t work you won’t make it to the hidden gems! Also, try not to shop just out of boredom!
Shopping for lingerie isn’t easy, be kind with yourself
Not everything is going to work for your body. That’s okay! Even though it’s hard, try to keep your negative self-talk out of the picture. If you order something online and when it arrives you just don’t feel your best, leave the package till you are feeling better! No point in making yourself feel potentially worse if it doesn't work.
So why buy lingerie online?
First, know that it’s okay to buy that lingerie just for you. Because you deserve it! Buying yourself the quality, comfortable, and cute lingerie that makes you feel like a queen is a form of self-care! We need to get off this idea that lingerie is for others.
Buy that silk nightgown, not for the special weekend, but instead so that you can feel confident when you slip into bed. Buy those silk lace panties for their comfort, but also so that you can feel like a babe both dressed and undressed. Feel confident in yourself no matter what you’re wearing and it’ll show through in everything you do! You should never rely on someone else to tell you you look hot, that’s why lingerie is first and foremost, for you.
Second, whether you are the person in the sweatpants with a glass of wine in your hand or not, shopping online takes much of the stress out of buying lingerie. Maybe you can even support a small local business that makes quality products and won’t that make you feel even better about your purchase? And in a world where stress is all around us, shouldn’t buying your bras and panties be easy? I hope this helps you in your search to find the best place to shop for lingerie online for you!
By Hailey Pruden - Hailey is a makeup artist and small business owner. Her mission is to help women be the best version of themselves. Whether that is with words, makeup, or clothes. Hailey is recently married and hopes to start a family soon. She loves theatre, dance, her family, and dogs! You can find Hailey on Instagram or get in touch with her via her website.