No matter what you wear, a bra is an essential that makes or breaks your look. Apart from shaping, it helps with posture, and it’s all about your walk and the way you carry yourself. Mona Daoud discovers Victoria's Secret's latest collection...
In 2003 I was in California. I walked into a Victoria’s Secret and asked if they had plus sizes. The two salespeople looked at me with sympathy and said "no."
I was used to that. So I just walked out, and ever since then Victoria’s Secret was stuck in my head as a place for women with model-like bodies, or at least who are not too overweight. I associated the brand with that false stigma for years, along with a love for their ‘Endless Love’ body splash and lotion, and kept Victoria’s Secret as a dream until I lose weight eventually, some day, maybe.
Then one day this week, my birthday to be specific, I was casually strolling down an aisle in Cairo Festival City, when I came across the stunning, enigmatic, exciting looking store. I thought I’d walk in and buy myself a lotion, while pretending not to look at the beautiful designs longingly. However, a charming young salesperson saw my yearning glances and came over to me. “This is our latest collection Body by Victoria…” she said before proceeding to explain the wonders of the soft new fabrics that give the perfect shape without straining the body.
I knew what she meant, and I could see how real her words were just by touching one of the bras from the Lounge collection, and looking around at the rest of the Body collection made up of 12 designs that range from Push ups (my favourite), to Multi-ways, to Wireless, and more.
“I don’t think you have my size.” I told her. She looked at my quizzically and said “Says who?”
I challenged her by saying I’m 40 D, she retorted by saying that they have sizes from 32A to 38 DDD, and their sizes are different from other stores. So a 40 elsewhere is 38 at Victoria’s Secret. I pushed my luck with a raised eyebrow, and told her sometimes I’m 42. She met the challenge by saying they have subtle strap extensions in various sizes and colours.
“We have a fitting specialist. She’ll find your perfect bras for you," She said, and passed me on to the specialist, and told her “this woman will not walk out of this store today without her perfect dream bra. Find it for her.” I had been fitted for bras before. Usually someone takes my measurements with a measuring tape and blurts out my size, leaving me to fend for myself amongst the vast collections after that. Not Victoria’s Secret. The specialist took my measurements before she looked at me quickly, evaluated my curves, height, posture and breast shape and listed four types of bras that would provide the perfect lift and shape, each type depending on what my priorities were from comfort to exposure and coverage.
I said I like push ups with plunging lines, and strapless bras. She told me to hang on a minute while she gets me a range of options. Not more than a minute later she was back with a collection.
Angelina Jolie once said in an interview where she was asked about the secret behind her stunning looks after filming The Tourist, that it was all about a well-fitted bra and posture.
I understood what she meant when I tried the first bra my Fairy God Fitting Specialist handed me. However, she wasn’t satisfied, and went out to get a 38DD instead of 38D. When I tried that on, it was even more perfect! I looked different, and my back felt better, and my posture automatically shifted. She then told me to put on my top and see how it looks. Although I put on the very same tank top I had on that morning, I looked significantly different. I looked taller, straighter, and way sexier. The bra had given me a rounded lifted shape and held me up straight. It didn’t even choke me as other bras that give that effect tend to and so I would only wear on occasions.
Three out of the four bras she got me were perfect! And I haven’t even tried on others. The bras were sexy, beautiful, comfortable, perfectly fitting, and could be worn all day, every day making me look fantastic. I was like a child in a huge candy shop who suddenly got permission to indulge in candy.
Where was Victoria’s Secret all my life? Why did I not know about their amazing talented fitting specialists, warm and welcoming salespeople who are as in love with Victoria’s Secret as we are?
On the way to the cashier, I inevitably stumbled upon their huge sensual perfume collection, of which I knew nothing. Strong, sexy lingering perfumes, not the rapidly vaporising kind. The kind that sinks into the skin and lingers all day.
I didn’t know where to look, left or right or up or down, the store is heaven! Then I saw it. Of course, I had to see it; it was their new product set pending patenting and they displayed it well. A collection of a scrub, a body wash, body moisturizer and oil with a unique ingredient; cotton. The Cotton Moisture Complex line with Acai, Shea, Verbena and Coconut Milk, did not sound like the typical commercial thing. I tend to go for deeply moisturizing dermatologist recommended products for dry sensitive skin, and one look at the ingredients and description gave me the hunch that this just might be what my skin needs.
Surely enough, I went home, and as soon as I scrubbed, I felt the smoothness of my skin, which was complimented by the moisturiser which made my skin glow and feel silky and fresh.
Yes, I am in love with Victoria’s Secret and I am not ashamed. Because I love brands that use science and practicality to cater to consumers; brands that evolve with time and deliver what they promise; brands that have excellent staff who are good at their job and take what they do seriously no matter what it is; and finally, brands that make the consumer happy and satisfied by allowing them to feel indulged in a good old fashioned personal service experience.