An Open Letter to Linda Heasley, the CEO of Lane Bryant, Inc. (with some helpful tips)

Dear Ms. Heasley:

(I have no idea if you’re a Ms. or a Mrs. The internet isn’t being helpful and also it seems creepy to search “is Linda Heasley, the CEO of Lane Bryant, married?” because I don’t want to marry you or stalk you, even. So I’m giving you a Ms. Hope you don’t mind.)

I have been a customer of your store since college. I actually worked, briefly, at your store, while I was a graduate student. (“Briefly” because I was not much of a fan of telling customers they looked good in clothes they clearly did NOT look good in for commissions. Lying for money seemed a little too close to being a whore for me, so I got a job at a pet store instead, where they let me play with animals for a living. Sorry.)

See, I’m a plus-sized woman. That phrase should give you a thrill, ma’am. I’m your bread and butter. If it weren’t for women like me (and I suppose men who purchase plus-sized women’s clothing; I worked at one of your competitors through college, and we had a number of transgender and crossdressing clients who shopped with us; I don’t want to be discriminatory) you wouldn’t have a client base. There actually wouldn’t be any need for your store. And then you’d be out of a job! And you have a lovely smile. I wouldn’t want you to be out of a job. I bear you no ill will.

However, we need to have a talk.

As you are no-doubt aware, there are a number of plus-sized women here in the States. (And possibly overseas. Do you do much business overseas? I’m sure I could research this, but it, again, seems like an odd thing to type into Google.) Lane Bryant is often our closest store for professional plus-sized clothing. Now, not to hurt your feelings, but I do most of my clothes shopping at Peter Harris Plus, because they have your clothes but half to seventy-five percent off, along with a lot of other brand-names. Also, very few people shop there, and they never care if I bring a gajillion clothes into the dressing room even though there’s a sign that says I’m not allowed to. I like when I’m allowed to be rule-flaunty. HOWEVER! Peter Harris Plus doesn’t carry lingerie. Well, it carries long t-shirts you can sleep in. I mean undergarment-lingerie. Bras, in particular.

So, whenever I need bras, I am forced to make the trek to (shudder) the mall, and enter Lane Bryant.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. I have many options for bra shopping! Well, no. Because I’m…um…well-endowed, ma’am. I need to try them on before I purchase them, because it’s not often I find one that not only fits, but supports. It’s a gift that was passed down to me from both sides of my family. We’re all boobilicious. Aren’t I just a lucky woman?

Now. You used to carry a very basic t-shirt material bra with a tough as nails underwire. They lasted forever, they fit and supported beautifully, and they were smooth-fitting underneath clothing. In other words, they were perfect.  Well, they could have come in a few different colors or patterns, but otherwise, fantastic. And it’s not like anyone saw them but me, Ms. Heasley. The parade of suitors into the Lucy’s Football bedroom is…well, less a “parade” and more a “ghost town.” With scary noises and also maybe tumbleweeds.

So what did you do? Well! Of course, you discontinued them.

I can only assume this is because they lasted forever, so people didn’t come back and purchase them as often as you’d like.

So now the only style that works and fits for me is this lacy/satiny thing. Which could be worse, I suppose. But they don’t last. Because of the frou-frou lacy shit which is flimsy as hell. And did I mention no one sees the damn things? So I don’t need lace. Who the hell’s seeing the lace, the cat? He doesn’t care about lace, unless the lace has cat treats all over it or something. Also, they only come in the boring blah colors. Black, cream, tan. Because why the hell would we want to have FUN COLORS OR PATTERNS.

So this past weekend, ma’am, I went to Lane Bryant. And you had a whole rack of sale bras. A WHOLE RACK! No pun intended with the boob/rack comparison. So I took one of each style of each in my size and thought, dammit, I WILL GET SOMETHING OTHER THAN THE FROU-FROU LACY THING.

Ms. Heasley, who designs your undergarments? No, sincerely. I have to assume it’s not you. You’re the President and CEO, per the internet. You must have a team of designers or something.

What size, exactly, are these designers? And, followup question, do they wear their own product?

I am not a clothing designer. I am artistically challenged. I’ll admit that. I watch Project Runway and I never pick the winners. I actually pick the losers AS the winners, to be honest. I am, however, as I mentioned, a plus-sized woman, who has lived in this body for her entire life. And as such, I know what works on a plus-sized body and what doesn’t.

Here’s what doesn’t work:

  • Skinny straps on your bras. I’m talking skinny. Shoestring skinny. Listen, this is not going to hold me in position for the entire day. Not only that, it’s going to cut into my shoulders. HARDCORE cut into my shoulders. Nothing sexier than straps cut so deeply into my shoulders that I have deep red welts, right?
  • Padding. Now, maybe for smaller cup sizes, padding would work. And maybe even be welcome. However, how about once you get into the larger bra sizes, you discontinue the padding? See, here’s the thing – I come with my own padding. I know, right? Hard to wrap your mind around. I do not need an extra quarter-to-half-inch of padding in my cups, ma’am. I’m going to start looking like a caricature. Something painted on the side of a plane, perhaps.
  • “Balconettes”. If you have smaller breasts, you probably want to push ’em up and out. Mine are already there. I don’t want to push ’em anywhere. I just want to keep them in place and not have a sore back at the end of the day. Balconettes are a demi-cup. They only cover half the breast. THIS IS NOT SOMETHING YOU NEED IF YOU ARE BUSTY. You might as well not be wearing a bra, sincerely. You look like you’re spilling out all over the place, and not in a sexy way. In an ill-fitting bra way.
  • Underwire made of twist-ties. Again, much like the skinny straps, this is not going to work. You need underwire that could double as bulletproofing, that you could use to break into armored cars, that you could put someone’s eye out with. Not underwire that bends when you’re trying the bra ON. How is that supposed to last if it can’t even withstand being TRIED ON?
  • Patterns that wouldn’t be out of place on a lawnchair. You are aware, right, that even though we’re plus-sized, we’d also like to be sexy? OK, just checking. Sexy doesn’t equal patterns like BRIGHT FLUORESCENT PAINT SPLASHES or HOT PINK HOUNDSTOOTH. Especially on the aforementioned bras that are ill-fitting and terrible.
  • Whatever the hell this is. I don’t even know.  Even the model looks confused and/or pissed.

Guess what I ended up with after trying on all these terrible, ill-fitting bras, Ms. Heasley?

THE SAME SILLY LACEY SATINY BORING-COLORED BRAS I ALWAYS HAVE TO GET BECAUSE THEY ARE THE ONLY PRACTICAL THINGS IN YOUR STORE.

Also, I should probably apologize for being snippy to your overly-cheerful salesperson. However, when she asked, “Any luck?” in a voice as chipper as can be with a HUGE-ASS GRIN while I lumbered out of the changing room all crabby with your poorly-made bras, I couldn’t think of any response other than “No, much like Vegas, the odds are always on the house here at Lane Bryant.” This confused her and allowed me to make my escape.

I also tried on a top that LOOKED cute, but randomly had a large band of elastic that cut across the waistband, and puffed out above the elastic, making me look like a weird mushroom person. WHY WOULD A PLUS-SIZED PERSON WANT THIS?

Kind of like this, only more form-fitting and more mushroom-shape-making. So perplexing.

Kind of like this, only more form-fitting and more mushroom-shape-making. So perplexing.

AND, the last time I went to buy jeans at your store, you no longer had sizes. You had colors and numbers and shapes. As if we were in pre-school. A size 2 red square! A size 3 yellow triangle!

RED TRIANGLE!

RED TRIANGLE!

“Which of these is a size 18?” I asked the salesperson. She looked like I had taken a shit on the floor of the store.

“We don’t have size 18. We have sizes 1-6.”

“Yes. I see that you’ve changed your sizing in a confusing way. Which of these new strange sizes is comparable to a size 18?”

“We have sizes 1-6. Also we have colored shapes that coordinate to the fit. Isn’t that innovative? No other store is doing this.”

“Yes. I would imagine no other store is doing this, as it makes it utterly impossible to shop and I’m sure is losing you business. So…in order to find out what size I am, I would have to…”

“Try on some of our new jeans!”

“Do you have a hint as to which size MIGHT be a size 18? I see you’re not allowed to tell me. You’ve had a long swallow of the new-size Koolaid. Maybe you could kind of nod when I get close to the right pair? Or wink? Blink, maybe? No? Great. Thank you. You’ve been very helpful.”

(I was a red triangle. I don’t remember what number. 2, maybe? I’ve never again purchased jeans from Lane Bryant. I think they broke my brain.)

So, to sum up:

  • Your bras are terrible, ill-fitting, and impractical.
  • Your clothes are strangely cut and unflattering.
  • Your sizing for your jeans was created by someone on acid.
  • You make your salespeople be crazy up-with-people all the time and one day, one of them will snap and start hurling hangers at the clientele.
  • Your clothes are psychotically overpriced for what you’re getting.

These are all fixable things.

  • Make bras that fit, support, and if you could, make them ADORABLE, dammit.
  • Talk to actual plus-sized women before making your clothes. We will tell you what’s flattering on us and what’s not.
  • Put your normal jean-sizing back. I know you think it’ll make us feel smaller if we’re in a size 2, but we’re also not stupid. We know it’s really 2×9. We’re not Math is Hard Barbies.
  • Let your salespeople drop the psychosmiles. They’re offputting and make us want to buy LESS, not MORE.
  • Make your prices commensurate with what we’re getting. It’s a tough economy. If I can buy three times as much at Peter Harris Plus, you can be sure I’m going to Peter Harris Plus. Again, I am not Math is Hard Barbie.

In conclusion, Ms. Heasley, I’m sorry to say, after this trip to Lane Bryant, I will be looking for alternate venues for my underwear needs. I’m sure there are places online that would be happy for my business, that have a good return policy in case they don’t fit, and actually understand how a plus-sized person’s body works.

However, if you decide to actually design clothes FOR plus-sized women (and/or men, again, not to be exclusionary), you let me know. I might be back.

However, I cannot guarantee I will not snark at your chipper salespeople. Sorry. I try very hard to be nice, but they’re just showing SO MANY TEETH. It terrifies me. I react poorly.

AAAHHH TOO MANY TEETH!

AAAHHH TOO MANY TEETH!

Most sincerely, yours in plus-sized shopping disappointment,

Amy.

(And bring on the perv-searchers looking for busty women and bra-shots right…about…NOW. It’s the risk you run, talking about the risqué topics in life, I suppose. Sigh, pervs. Just, sigh.)

Advertisements

About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

115 responses to “An Open Letter to Linda Heasley, the CEO of Lane Bryant, Inc. (with some helpful tips)

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    I was just going to mention something about all the nice pictures, but then I got to the last paragraph and thought better of it. Instead I’ll say something safe like “very informative” and “that sure is an oddly patterned material for a piece of undergarment”.

    *ahem*

    Like

  • Samantha

    HAHA I love that you said Lane Bryant was like Vegas to the customer-service lady. I would have busted out laughing at that.

    Secondly, what the hell is wrong with businesses lately? They just come up with the weirdest ideas and don’t stop to think how they’d feel if they were the customer. Red squares, yellow triangles? Come on. :( I just get frustrated if I go to a store that has European sizing.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I just don’t understand why they won’t tell people “a 2 is an 18” or whatever. I don’t have 15 years to be trying on jeans in their tiny dressing rooms while they keep asking me, “need any help in there?” Any help? Yes. I NEED TO KNOW IF A 2 IS AN 18.

      Like

  • sj

    ZOMG, I can not stop laughing at

    “Which of these is a size 18?” I asked the salesperson. She looked like I had taken a shit on the floor of the store.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Like

  • sortaginger

    Now everyone can be a size one or a six!

    Ack. This post makes me very grateful I can fit still into the non-age-appropriate styles at Old Navy. 18 is the largest size they usually have in stores.

    Like

  • poetlandia

    We are not math is hard Barbie! NOT!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I made it to Advanced Calc in high school. One of the only girls that did. Math is difficult, but also ultimately rewarding. Also, I’d look ridiculous in Barbie shoes.

      Like

      • poetlandia

        I loved math. But I had a teacher in 9th grade who believed girls shouldn’t know math. (I know. I know!) And he basically sabotaged me. The irony was that I had already taken his class in AP (they didn’t call it that then) in 8th grade. So I shouldn’t have been there at all.

        In the end, it mattered, but it didn’t matter as much as it could have because of other things. But grrrr.

        Barbie looks ridiculous without her shoes! Which is ridiciulous!

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          I had a physics teacher like that. He told me physics was too hard for silly girl brains, and I should concentrate on things like being pretty.

          One day, I threw my calculator at his head and made him bleed. I was more upset about the loss of the expensive calculator than I was about the bodily injury I’d inflicted. I gladly went to the principal’s office for it. I mean, seriously, did you just tell me to concentrate on being pretty? You’re lucky I didn’t impale your liver on a fireplace poker, you doucheknuckle.

          Like

          • poetlandia

            I wish I’d thrown my calculator at him. Except we weren’t allowed calculators. He was the assistant football coach and the class was loaded with football players who he gave lots and lots of help to. I would get the answers immediately (I mean, I hope so, I’d already taken this class the year before) and he would give me withering looks and send me to the VP for disrupting the class. Mark things wrong that were right.

            I had other fish to fry back then, as life at home was in a state of major collapse. But if I hadn’t … well, I like to think I’d have smuggled a calculator in to class and thrown it at him.

            Like

  • Corvidae in the Fields

    “I’m going to start looking like a caricature. Something painted on the side of a plane, perhaps.”

    So, does this mean the next B-52 I purchase can’t be the “Lucy’s Football”? It would surely have you yanking a pigskin away from Charlie Brown, in a Baron von Lind sort of way.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Ha! Yes, a Lucy’s Football plane would be fine. An Amy-plane, not so fine.

      Your NEXT B-52? Whoa. I like that you apparently have MULTIPLE PLANES. You’re like this evil man of mystery.

      Like

      • Corvidae in the Fields

        Either that, or I’m a big, fat liar. ;) BUT that’s just down right boring, isn’t it? So, yes, I have multiple planes!

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          MULTIPLE PLANES! Well, you’ve got to respect a person with multiple planes.

          I totally thought of sharks with friggin’ LASER BEAMS the other day while driving and then snort-laughed WHILE DRIVING and I’m pretty sure the other drivers thought I was insane but I’m cool with that.

          Like

          • Corvidae in the Fields

            That’s the best way to make them leave you alone. Otherwise they feel at liberty to go on about tailgating or proper passing distance or left of center and all that garbage a “respectful” driver is supposed to do. Pfffbt.

            Like

            • lucysfootball

              I had a driving adventure last night. Went to a whole new state. So there was MUCH room for road rage. Tailgating. High beams where there shouldn’t have been. Passing inappropriately. All good times. Thanks, other drivers, for reinforcing my hatred of you!

              Like

  • DogsDontPurr

    Amen, sistah!! High five’s to Amy! I am so with you on this. Seriously, like you said, do the designers ever actually wear this stuff?No! That absolutely drives me crazy. And the padding….wtf?! Argh. And little elastic waist lines…??!!! Oy!

    Yes, you have definitely hit a nerve here. Thank you for writing about this! This is definitely a hot button topic for me. Someday, when I win the lottery, I am going to design my own clothes and have things tailored to perfection. And when I come up with the perfect designs, I will have hundreds of copies made of each item so I no longer have to live in fear of the word “Discontinued!”

    Thank you for helping me get that off my chest….ha!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      The padding is what’s the most perplexing to me. I get it for the smaller sizes. I have friends/family who are small, and they love the padding. So, awesome for them. You get above a D cup, you DO NOT NEED PADDING, for the love of Pete! Who the hell thinks you do?

      You’re so welcome! I’m glad I could help! :)

      Like

      • meANXIETYme

        I can totally explain the padding. I used to wonder the same damn thing as a double D girl…didn’t need any padding help, but one day I started having high beam problems. Trust me, you learn to love a little extra padding in your bras. I even have removable pads for the bras I like that don’t already have padding. Just thought I’d share this TMI about my plus sized self!
        Loved your post, by the way! :)

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          Oh, see, that never crossed my mind! Huh! (It’s not TMI. If it is, this whole POST is TMI!) I still can’t do padding. I would look so cartoonish. It’d be laughable.

          Thank you! I’m glad you liked it! :)

          Like

      • Nagzilla

        This made me laugh because I remember Victoria’s Secret once having the Wonderbra in DD sized. I remember thinking “why does a DD need a Wonderbra? What’s the point?” I did try it on, but that’s a story for another blog post.

        Like

  • lynnettedobberpuhl

    Shopping is awful. Stores often seem evil, from the shadowy corporate understructure to the front line help who either treat you like a moron or an inconvenience. Bras are the worst; jeans are a close second.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Agreed. The only thing I enjoy shopping for is jewelry. I could shop for that all day long. Oh, also nail polish. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can go out in public only wearing those two things.

      Like

  • catpenfold

    I buy my 38JJ’s (you read that right) at herroom.com. So far, I’ve been very happy with my over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders.

    Like

  • franhunne4u

    Same here in Europe – they just don’t sell, what the customers need. We should unite and have our own clothes made. We know a big woman needs some PROPER clothing – no polka dots for H* sake , no horizontal stripes, that reduce our length optically. For bras I only buy Glamorise. THEY fit, are not lacey, have no thin strings, do not even need wire under the breast, cos the cloth they use is sturdy enough.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I was hoping in Europe they’d be better. Dammit, Europe, you’re supposed to be more civilized than we are! *shakes fist*

      I will look into Glamorise. Thank you! I’m making a list for future purchasing reference!

      Like

      • franhunne4u

        I have to admit though, they are not pricey .. You don’t get those bras in bundles – well, not here. I pay approx. 60 $ per bra. (Don’t know what they are sold for in the US, where the company is situated). But a good bra lasts and is worth that money. Even my sister whose money is tighter than mine thinks them worth the price.

        Like

  • grrgoyl

    I’m with you, sister. Even when I lost 60 pounds a few years ago, not a single one was lost in my boobs. I hate my boobs. I would have them removed if insurance would pay for it, but it’s more of an emotional than a medical condition. I can’t wear T-shirts because, in order to be big enough to accommodate the boobs, they have to be too big everywhere else. My best friend from high school had an elective double mastectomy because she tested positive for a breast cancer gene, and I was INSANELY JEALOUS.

    I used to be a strictly $10 eBay Champion sports bra gal, until my partner convinced me to try an actual bra. I know you aren’t soliciting advice, but this is what I found: http://www.amazon.com/Moving-Comfort-Womens-Maia-Bra/dp/B001B1RQ8G/ref=cm_cr-mr-title They’re amazing. It actually “lifts and separates,” but controls excessive movement without being painful. And I look feminine but sporty. I bought a second one immediately after receiving the first. /end product pimpage

    (Oh, guess this isn’t all about me. LOVE your interaction with the salesgirl. Bet you’re a hoot to go shopping with!)

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I am favoriting this recommendation for later investigation. Thank you! Seriously, the next time I need lingerie, it’s not going to be purchased from Lane Bryant. Enough’s enough.

      (And yes, if I had my druthers, I’d be smaller, too. But I suppose no one’s ever happy with what they have. Smaller women want to be bigger; we want to be smaller…I guess we’re all victims of the genetic lottery.)

      Like

  • longviewhill

    So very true. I shopped at Lane Bryant for years, and I always wondered why they felt we needed rhinestone shirts, weird paisley patterns that flatter no one, and the bras… Oh the bras. Here’s one more thing on bras for plus sized gals – No Skinny Elastic Straps!! Why, why does elastic seem like a good idea?? Have they never taken a physics class??

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      OMG YES! The elastic straps! Seriously, what the hell are they THINKING? I’d take Kevlar straps if they were offered. Heh.

      Lane Bryant needs to pop on over here, we’re like our own focus group. GET OVER HERE, LANE BRYANT!

      Like

  • Juliette

    Bravo! Busty women everywhere thank you for this post. I don’t want to wear gift wrap all day. I want to wear a REAL BRA.

    Like

  • javaj240

    This was great! I was highly amused and sympathetic! (That’s. hard combo to pull off!)

    These rules really do apply everywhere!

    I don’t want to be one of those, “I’m not plus-sized, but I feel your pain” people — they’re annoying! I have struggled with weight issues for years, but find myself NOT CURRENTLY plus-sized. I could NEVER shop at LB — and not JUST due to their exorbitant prices — but mainly because of the size of their armholes. Yes. Armholes. No. I’m not crazy. A little wacky, perhaps, but not certifiable.

    The armholes on ALL of their exorbitantly priced tops, but particularly their SLEEVELESS tops — where armhole size is of utmost importance — seemed to be designed for women with inordinately large arms. Ridiculous!

    Bra shopping is just terrible — I hate when my favorite bras are discontinued. I can recommend trying Olga — they make a decent supportive, yet comfortable, product. They are available online. (What I do is go to a “better” department store, try on, select and take note of the model that I like — THEN I go home and surf the ‘net for it at the best price. It usually works for me (I’m a DD, by the way). :)

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      YES. The armholes are SO BIG! I have one of their shirts that I have to wear a tank top underneath because if I don’t, my entire bra shows. Why is this a thing? My arms would have to be the circumference of my thighs for this to work!

      Second vote for Olga. They’re on my list! Thank you!

      Like

  • Stephanie

    Its the same all over the world I’m afraid my friend. And don’t think that you big boobed girls have issoos. Try being the other end of the spectrum – no boobs.

    Manufacturers seem to think that because you are biggish, you have tits. I am pretty much a negative cup size (concaved even). They just don’t make bras in this combination.

    Again with the “perfect” world we are all suppose to live in.. get with the programme and look around people, it ain’t hard to see that we are not your size.

    stephanie

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I have a close family member who has that very problem. She’s in her sixties and the best fit she finds? Training bras. She thinks it’s funny now, but it used to bother her for the longest time.

      Clothing designers don’t understand diversity. If we’re big, we have one bra size (per Lane Bryant and what they stock, it seems to be 38 C. They have a BILLION 38 Cs. Why is that the default?) We also all have huge butts (I have NO BUTT, so pants all are baggy in the ass-area) and huge upper arms (mine aren’t.)

      Life isn’t one-size-fits-all. And I don’t think clothing designers are ever going to get that.

      Like

      • Stephanie

        too true.. Funny thing – my husband was helping me draw up a pattern piece last night aasI was having problems with the instructions for doing up a dart on the front. After explaining how pattern pieces and darts etc work, he asked how do you get clothes from the shop to fit you……

        we don’t Dear….

        steff

        Like

  • becomingcliche

    Oh, good grief! A whole new sizing system? That is ridiculous.

    I was a plus-sized kid, so I know how difficult it can be to find stuff that looks good and fits. And makes the shopper feel like a human being in the process. My worst shopping memories involve the year I had to buy my Easter dress in a special shop because I was too fat for JC Penney. That year, my dress came from Catherine’s Stout Shop. Because every twelve year old wants to know they are “stout.” My mother found one dress that fit, and she bought it in two colors so her shopping could be done. It was a tent dress. You know, maternity dress? I felt like I was pregnant. It was humiliating. Thinking about it even now makes me ashamed.

    And what is with bra shopping in general? I tried to find a couple of easy-fit sports bras. The only ones I could find were t-shirt material and over $20 each. I used to be able to buy a three-pack for less than that. And what is up with the fluorescent colors? No one else is going to see it, so I’d like it to NOT be visible under a white shirt!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      WHO THE HELL CALLS A STORE A “STOUT SHOP.”

      Ugh, sorry, that made me shouty. Seriously? “Stout?” The only time that needs to be used is in describing beer.

      I like the plain colors for bras, so I can wear them under things – but I also want just one fun bra. Just for my own sake. Because sometimes, even though no one but me is going to see it, I want to feel pretty. And it’s not an option for me, because the bras I get only come in boring colors, because why would you want to be pretty? Thanks, Lane Bryant, for making sure I know just how utilitarian I am.

      Like

      • becomingcliche

        How sad that small-boobie bras don’t come in “plain,” and bigger sizes don’t come in “pretty.” Aren’t we all women?

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          I have decided we should create a bra shop for real women and we would make a million billion dollars. I also think we should make a hotline for lonely old people so they can connect with someone for reasonable prices (because, based on callers at my part-time job, that’s all that old people seem to want) and a hotline where people can tell their whole life stories for reasonable prices, because that’s the OTHER thing people want to do all day long.

          Man, we’re going to be ROLLING in the moolah soon.

          Like

  • sunraeny

    I’m also not sure why they have so many horizontally striped options as every woman knows those striped only make you look wider!!!!! I am a pretty loyal customer to them but not everything fits right which is annoying. But I will admit once I figured out what size & color I was I do like the new jean system since they fit pretty good

    My tip for bras is target. They have a small section of “fuller figured” bras and one is a tshirt material. What I do is buy a 44DD and then use one of those bra extender things to give it a little more room initially. After a few times wearing it that material stretches to be perfect on me. They are comfortable and hold my girls up pretty good :)

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I haven’t shopped for clothes (of any kind) at Target for years. I need to do that again. (I had no idea they had full-figured bras!)

      I will “see” you in 45 minutes, lady! Hope work’s going well today! :)

      Like

  • Madame Weebles

    Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes YES. I’m ululating in hearty approval of this post right now. As another plus-sized, well-endowed woman, I cannot agree enough. You’d THINK Lane Bryant would want to be at the forefront of bras/lingerie for plus-sized women that DOESN’T look like grandma underwear AND has the engineering required to hold up big jugs. It ain’t rocket science.

    And I saw that bizarre color/shape coding the last time I went into the store, and I promptly ran out, scared and confused. And annoyed as hell.

    Like

  • Ashley Austrew

    A size 2 red square!!!

    Bahahaha! This post had me crying laughing. I’m rockin’a 14 these days–whichever shape and color that is–and I went into Lane Bryant a few weeks ago looking for a dress for my Listen to Your Mother show. I was so frustrated and confused I just gave up and ordered online.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Hee! I’m glad you liked it!

      Lane Bryant’s sizing is ok for everything but slacks and jeans, but those are terrible. (Also, they have very few of the lower sizes – those go quickly – and they seem to have a BILLION size 26-28s. Which is awesome – you go, size 26-28s! – but you’d think they’d learn that there’s more of a demand for sizes 14-18 and stock more of them.)

      I think I should run Lane Bryant. I think I would be very good at it.

      Like

  • b.h.quinn

    We… don’t have plus-sized women’s stores in Hawaii, at least none that I know of. I tend to hover between a 10-16, depending on brand and how often I’ve been exercising, so I can usually shop at the average store, but my mom is bigger and has a hard time finding clothes.

    However, I have big boobs. Yes, I’ve said it. When I shop for bathing suits I can wear a medium bottom, but I need an extra-large top. Shopping for bras is very difficult, especially since I have a smaller band-size. I usually put it off as long as possible. Once I was left braless after I used the underwire from my last one to break into a car.

    Have you ever had to shop for a sports bra? *That’s* an even bigger nightmare. They just don’t work for us girls with bigger “assets.” I’m usually left wearing a minimizer under a “high-impact” jogging bra. Shopping for something that’ll work under my dance leotards is just ridiculous.

    Luckily, I sew, which means I can tailor my clothes after my mum fits them. I can also sew decent bras into an “under” leotard that I can wear, well, under my practice or performance clothes. I can see why others have stopped exercising and dancing because of bust-size.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Can I just say I love that you know how to break into a car using an underwire? Those are SKILLS!

      I haven’t had a sports bra since high school. Mostly because I do nothing more strenuous than climb a couple flights of stairs or lift heavy boxes onto a cabinet a couple times a week, but I remember them being TERRIBLE when I was on the track team many moons ago. And they did nothing for me. I was still just as bouncing-all-around as ever.

      Seriously, we all need to gang up and start our own plus-sized clothing (and lingerie) line. We have a million dollar idea here, and the talent pool in my comments is really awe-inspiring. And with all of our internet contacts, we already have people to sell to!

      Like

      • b.h.quinn

        I’m on-board with that idea.

        I live in an area with a high percentage of military residents. While most of them are very nice and polite I also get the ones who get distracted when I go jogging. Very annoying. It’s uncomfortably sweaty, too.

        (It’s not too difficult if you know how to use a hanger to open a car lock. My parents are both trained in law enforcement, so I was taught how the first time my dad locked his keys in the car.)

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          I know a number of people who have entire conversations with my chestal region. Not quick peeks; entire conversations. Because that’s where my eyes are? No. Stop that. You are gross.

          I do NOT know how to use a hanger OR an underwire, but am fairly sure you might be an urban superhero, and am really quite impressed with you. You’re the kind of person I would call if I was in a jam and you’d know exactly what to do, aren’t you? I totally need more of those people in my life.

          Like

          • b.h.quinn

            I worked at the USS Missouri for a while (where the Japanese surrendered after WWII) right after high school. I went from my all-girls’ school to a male-dominated area. I was in an awful light-blue polo shirt, but men *in uniform* would still stare at my chest while I was giving the tour. Every once in a while I’d snap my fingers in front of that and watch them turn red.

            Probably. I don’t like asking for help, so I’ve had to find my own way around things. My parents are pretty paranoid about me being out on my own, so I can do basic car fixes and first aid. It’s come up surprisingly often.

            Like

            • lucysfootball

              I’ve got a reputation as a hard-ass bitch, so people are often too scared now to do the chest-stare thing. (Psst, secret, I’m not as much of a bitch as I play in real life. I just like that it makes people that annoy me leave me alone.)

              I don’t like asking for help, either. I fix everything I can on my own, usually – toilets, lights, etc. (Which drives the maintenance guys nuts. “YOU PAY US TO HELP YOU!” they say. “Yeah, but you probably have other people to help, so…I’m saving you time,” I tell them.)

              Like

              • b.h.quinn

                I can be that way, too. It alternately drives my dad and boyfriend crazy, and makes them proud. Sometimes I don’t understand why some of my friends can’t do things because I just Google it. Maybe I’m more mechanically minded?

                My entire family tends to be on the intimidating side, but they really aren’t. It takes a lot for people to intimidate or frighten me. I’m a bit more oblivious, so things sometimes go farther than others would allow. It’s probably why my family and friends get so protective.

                Like

                • lucysfootball

                  Our families sound very similar. People are PETRIFIED of my dad’s side of the family, but once you’re in with them, they’re kittens. (But don’t cross ’em. WHOO!) And my family and friends are super-protective, too. Sometimes it bothers me; mostly it makes me feel very loved.

                  Like

                  • b.h.quinn

                    Quite possibly. My dad’s family is made up of big Polynesian/Spanish folk, and my mum’s family is made up of huge Irishmen. My brother’s five years younger than me, but his friends’ parents were asking me when I was graduating from high school at his graduation. *sigh*

                    Like

  • elaine4queen

    I, too, have more boobage than I’d like, and also with the fibro, if at all uncomfortable then it’s like OW! PAIN! So I prefer bras not to be made of cheese wire.

    I had a horrible experience in Marks and Spencer’s. This is almost an impossibility since their whole reputation is about dependability. Hence, though I don’t often buy clothes there, it’s a go-to place for bras and knickers. Or was. For some reason they seem to have this new policy of putting formed foam in all their bras so not only do they not fit, there is actually dead space in the top. Then an even worse thing happened, the assistant basically blamed me!

    I did buy the bra, because I had been so expecting to, but when I got it home and tried it on again I realized the epic wrongness. Bras should be getting BETTER not WORSE.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      YES. That foam is here, too! It’s the padding I was referring to! It isn’t form-fitting! It leaves weird gaps as well as adds bulk! WHAT IS HAPPENING!

      Like

      • elaine4queen

        It’s not nice. It’s not even *just* foam, either, it’s moulded in a most unsettling 1950’s kind of a way. It’s ridiculous that someone who is arguably over-boobed should be given bras to try on that strangle everywhere yet still have space in the top of the cup!

        Like

  • Sinkwriter

    The day Lane Bryant (or anyone else) comes out with bras that are pretty AND sensible and well-fitting, while considering what a woman’s needs actually are… I will fall over on the floor and need one of those life alert thingies so someone can come put me upright again. I cannot believe that they don’t consider their own ‘audience.’ It’s ridiculous. You’d think they’d want to, I don’t know, make money?! *headdesk headdesk*

    I’m forever tugging on my bras, the back or the straps. By the end of the day I’m ecstatic to just yank the damn thing off and be without it, because they never fit right. And I hate how they think we only want black, white or tan/mocha. Or ugly stripes and polka-dots, sometimes inexplicably all on the same bra! I don’t think I’ve left Lane Bryant without muttering, ‘I want something cute too, you know! I’m allowed to wear pretty things!’

    And don’t even get me started with those bands at the base of a shirt. Yes, let’s over-emphasize the very area of my body that needs no extra emphasis. Let’s let elastic s-t-r-e-t-c-h across my ass. I sure feel sexy now. Thanks, Lane Bryant.

    ARGH! *shakes fist*

    See what you’ve stirred up? You’ve got me hopping up on my soap box! :D

    In other words, thank you for your well-written letter. I wish someone in charge over there would actually listen to it now!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      It’s crazy, isn’t it? I don’t know who’s designing these things, but I’d be willing to bet they’re not plus-sized. Because if they were, they wouldn’t be designing them this way.

      (And wouldn’t it be awesome if someone over there read this? And the comments from people who are frustrated with not being able to find something well-fitting and, well, dammit, CUTE? But it’s doubtful. I’m sure they have their hands full designing ill-fitting, poorly-designed clothes – at a crazy markup.)

      Like

  • Danger

    If you need thick bra straps it indicates you aren’t wearing a properly fitting bra. I’m going to estimate that as an 18, you should be in about a 40. I’ll bet you’re wearing a 44DDD. Drop the number and add some letters. Look into Elomi.
    Elome(?). Order from an online site that has free shipping over a certain $ amount. Buy 4 in different sizes on a credit card, return 3. Don’t even go to the mall.

    Also, the whole jeans thing, yes!!!! It’s nice to know what shape they’re cut for, but we don’t need a whole new imaginary numbering system.

    Like

  • April

    Omg! You are the best! I shop at LB way too often – I like color – and clothes. A lot. I pay lots of money to support this habit. I am sick to death of being bisected by elastic smack in the middle of my gut. I can not find jeans to fit me that are not skinny jeans, high enough not to flash my crack (not becoming for a mother of four), but also not so high waisted and ungutly-unflattering. I am a size 18. I know I am full figured but I do not believe I have turned into a potato! The bras don’t fit well- and I have tried them all- they hurt! Since when did WIDE become a size? If you go up a size, tanks and shirts don’t get a measure longer, just wider! Word to the wise, best layering tanks are at Target and they are Liz Lange Maternity tanks….so sad, I know, but I buy them by the heaps. I also love Eloquii – plus sized clothing by the Limited. However, their selection is bare and what I like sells out in my size overnight! They tried the line once and then jumped ship and just came back. Why is it that the numbers of curvy ladies are so vast but we accept this as our only options? Don’t even get me started on skinny stores…

    Rant for the day. Signing off…April

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Ooh, I am totally going to check out those tanks! I’ve honestly had the best luck lately at this one outlet store near me (Peter Harris Plus – I think it’s just in New York, though) and the Salvation Army/Goodwill. (Especially the Goodwill near me – they get all of the Target clothes that don’t sell!) I have a list of bra places to check out the next time I need new bras – I think I’ll be shopping online and returning what doesn’t work the next time around. I’m hoping Lane Bryant’s gotten the last of my business. For a store that makes their money from plus-sized customers, they don’t understand their clientele at all!

      Thanks for reading – rant away anytime!

      Like

  • Karla O'Neal

    Hello , I problem is that I have a few Bras that the Under Wires have Broke in half !! And at almost $50 a pop and not Even a year old is Crazy!! Soo my Question is Can I send them to your Company to be fixed?
    Of course I don’t have the Receipt !
    I’ve been buying these Bras for several years and my poor daughter kinda looks Bigger than me Because They are up ware they Should Be , Hahaha
    So she buys her Bras there too.
    I would rather Recieve a phone call then a Email . Thank you for your time.

    Sincerely
    Karla

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I’m sorry, Karla…I’m not Lane Bryant, or affiliated with Lane Bryant. I just wrote a blog about them. You’d have to contact them directly if you have issues with the product.

      Like

  • Barbara

    I’m not alone! I am also mourning the loss off the t-shirt bra with underwire and no padding. I need bras bad. Did you find any somewhere else?

    Like

  • Kristina

    Hi lucysfootball,

    Have you been in a Lane Bryant store lately?

    Loved your letter. Made me laugh hysterically.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      No, not lately. Not since I wrote this, actually. I think they might be a little bit dead to me right now. (I’ve had luck both online and in thrift stores, so I haven’t needed to go there, thank goodness!)

      Thank you! I’m glad you liked it!

      Like

  • Anne Herold Skurnick

    OMG, you took the words out of my mouth! I bought bras at Lane Bryant recently (less than a month ago), spent over 2 hours trying them on and then returned all 6 of them a week later because they were so damn uncomfortable. The prices in that store are horrible, the styles are hideous, and the anxiety of trying on clothing that just doesn’t fit is disheartening. Like you, I’m a plus-sized busty woman who HATES to go shopping. I happened to go shopping today and stopped by the store in hopes of finding some tops and walked out with nothing. I miss Fashion Bug. That was a store that really had a nice line of clothing at reasonable prices. I could order things online because I knew they fit and they fit right. When the store went out of business (they were under the Lane Bryant umbrella), I was devastated. We don’t have Peter Harris Plus here in Florida, but I’m sure going to look them up online and see if they have a website. Maybe I’ll get lucky.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I don’t think Peter Harris Plus is anywhere but New York, and last I checked, they don’t have a site (well, I think they do, but not one you can order from.) I’m moving to a new town with no Peter Harris Plus (and no Lane Bryant, it seems), but there seemed to be a few plus sized stores when I was driving around the other day, so I’m hoping I’ll find something I love. (And there are a TON of thrift stores – I have great luck at thrift stores!)

      Good luck! (As for online shopping, I’ve had luck at Old Navy and Zulily – have you tried either of them? Don’t let it get you down. It’s not you. It’s them.)

      Like

  • Darci Ratliff

    I have been looking for the exact same bras and mad since LB discontinued them. Were you able to find any? I saw some super cute “unlined” bras at Victoria Secret (albeit nowhere near my size) and it reminded me that I need to find a new place to bra shop.

    Cotton bra-Underwire-No “molded cups”-and-no effing padding: Where are you??!!!!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      No, I’ve had no luck. I need to do some shopping soon, though. I’m going to do my shopping online, somewhere with a very lenient return policy so I can try them at home and return them if they don’t work.

      Like

  • Darci Ratliff

    Sorry if this is a repeat: I didn’t read ALL the comments because there are so many!

    But I did just see an ad for these on my FB wall and looks like a good possibility! Has anyone tried True & Co?
    https://trueandco.com/bras/she-walks-in-beauty-light/made-of-stars/1985?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=10-01-feed-madeofstarsprod-lookalikes

    If I try I will comment and let you know. Good luck, ladies!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Yep, 40D won’t work…but I DID find, that if you shop at Lane Bryant online, they have the cotton underwires as an online only exclusive! Only a few colors, and most of the colors are sold out in the upper sizes (easy to see they’re popular) but I was able to grab a couple of them on the buy one get one half off sale recently – and if they have more I’ll get more of them soon, just in case they decide to get rid of them!

      I’m going to pretend they listened to my rant and brought them back. Hooray!

      Like

  • Darci Ratliff

    Oh I just noticed the sizes stop at 40D. Grrrr.

    Like

  • Anonymous

    So….I actually liked the color shape sizing thing…you see I have a very big bum and a very small waist….there is a full 20 inch difference, so I knew when I went in that anything with a blue circle was going to fit….now everything is once again sized for red …..unless you buy super stretchy jeans…you know, the ones that show every fold and crease…also, why is the butt size of a 16 short not the same as a 16 regular? I don’t buy bras there EVER…which means I can only order them on line….and even at half off the prices are outrageous! I can’t wait until I am no longer forced to buy clothes there….sorry for being snarky gals, but it is really frustrating to go into a store knowing exactly what you want only to find they no longer make it, or the silly sales girls don’t know how to help you find the right size…what I learned today…if my legs were 5 inches longer I would wear a size 16, but get the exact same pant in a short….had to buy an 18….and the LB 18s I have at home are falling off my body…..some consistency would be nice….just pick a system and stick to it….by the way….sexy bras on the rack don’t make us feel sexy….something sexy, sensible and supportive would be nice.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Old Navy has plus sizes online (online only, but it’s better than nothing, and free returns!) and Lane Bryant has the wonderful cotton bras available online only as well (and I totally stocked up recently)…I just moved to a town with NO Lane Bryant, and I have to say, already not at all missing it!

      Like

  • gaye gorczakowsky

    I loved your article! I used to love Lane Bryant but not anymore. I also questioned just who is designing these clothes with a band around the roundest part of your body? These ugly patterns that scream for others to look at you and laugh. As a plus size woman, its hard enough trying to find clothes but trying to find clothes that fit and not look like a hooker are almost impossible at this store. The undergarments do not fit! I just purchased $120 of panties and half of them don’t fit. I couldn’t try them even OVER my pants and the salesperson assured me it was the same as your jean size. Way wrong. I guess I am stuck with them. Took a chance on two bras. Got a B cup and I am a C/D. B cup too big at $40 a pop??? All other clothes too small or way too long. Their sizing is not true. I don’t know how this store stays open and who is able to find a correct fit.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I think they make their money because they’re one of the only business/casual nationwide plus-sized stores out there. Our options are really limited, especially because it’s so much easier to try things on – buying online is fine, but I really like to see the clothes on before buying them. I’m pretty much buying online and shopping thrift stores now, with the now-and-then stop at TJ Maxx/Burlington Coat Factory where you can find some good things on the cheap. It’s a lot of hunt and pecking, but I end up with some decent pieces now and then!

      Like

  • Jennifer

    I had to laugh throb most of this, as I felt as if you were stalking me! Everything, and I mean everything, is how I feel! I think they have since discontinued the size issues and shapes and colors finally, but they fit me for a bra with a band so big that two months later the strap broke under the pressure of the girls! I have NEVER had that happen before, and it startled me. Thank you for making me realize I am not alone in this frustrating endeavor of clothing shopping. I hate shopping because at 5’10 and being plus-size makes the world difficult. Where did designers get the idea that all big girls are short?! I mean really? And what’s with arm holes the size of Texas? Okay I’m going to stop before this turns into a novel!

    I came across this while searching, and I had to comment.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      HUGE ARM HOLES! Those are the worst! If I wanted to show the world my whole side, I guess I’d go topless!

      Also, I got one of my most beloved cotton bras from their site (they’re only available online) and the underwire came out after I’d worn it probably 4x. So they’re really shoddily made now. IT’S A TRICK, EVERYONE! DON’T BUY THEM!

      I get the opposite problem – I’m average height, and everything’s WAY too long on me. My jeans puddle around my feet. Why do they assume that since I am wide, I am also tall? ARGH!

      So glad we’re not alone! :)

      Like

  • Sandy Warner

    Loved the article. Loved how you used humor to cope with the inability of clothing manufacturers to understand the larger women. No – I don’t want a jean skirt that shows my underwear when I walk. No – I don’t want a skirt with pleats. PLEATS!!! Imagine that. No – I don’t want jeans slung so low that my public hair has to be trimmed to wear them.

    Like

  • tfhurst

    Reblogged this on Always Random, Never Boring and commented:

    As a woman of some considerable size in the breast area, this is a piece of literary genius. Thank you Lucy’s Football! (Just hate that it took me nearly two years from the original posting to come across it!)

    Like

  • Darci Ratliff

    I FOUND THE BRA! I have looked over the years at LB just to see if they brought the bras back. Last week I looked again online and thought I found them. I ordered one and voila! Cotton underwire bra with no foam padded cups or padding or lace! It’s the same bra–and right on time because the last old one I had finally gave out a week ago. I ordered 8 more! On lanebryant.com search for “cotton demi bra” (or see if this link works: http://www.lanebryant.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=20296&form_state=searchForm&keyword=cotton%20demi%20bra&searchType=Typed&totalItem=1&mboxSiteCd=LB&redirect=Y)

    I hope that’s the one you were looking for!

    Like

  • R. Mckown

    I just resentley saw your advertisement on I’m no angel. I feel this is a two way street, some women are just on the smaller side no matter what, I think your saying should be I’M MY OWN ANGEL

    Like

  • Kathy Wiley

    In one of your stores I love the white knit skirt that you have but it is entirely too heavy, the skirt and the white dress should have been made out of the same material light and airy I couldn’t purchase this Skirt because I couldn’t hold that skirt up, no matter how hard I tried should be lite and airy for summer maybe next time you make clothes for your 50 plus women, we like style also

    Like

  • dawn

    Awww shucks – I hardly know you but I think I love you too. Yes YOU.
    Why? Because I too do not need any padding, and I too want to know WTF they are discontinuing the only thing that makes having these things tolerable.

    WTF meaning WHY the F?? I want to know why. I have been buying this exact bra for my entire adult life. It fits, doesn’t add unnecessary inchage and its comfortable. Well as comfortable as something strangling you in the chest could feel. And when they came out with cute colors/patterns that was nice too.

    I too come with my own built in padding. You should see me shopping for swimsuits – I look like some kind of perv as I walk from rack to rack, feeling the breastal area of each style for a padding free option… and no shelf bra please – there is never enough room on that “shelf”- so I wind up popping up and out like I’m some kind of medeival peasant woman.

    Back to the lovely cotton padding free bra – Lane Bryant should be ashamed of themselves. I will not shop there anymore for any of my “full figured” needs, ever.

    BTW – Lane Bryant does not sell designer plus fashions, they sell some kind of no name cheap crap. For less than half of the price of one piece of LB crap I can get two Marshalls, Macy’s, Nordstrom Rack or TJ MAXX designer pieces – Calvin Klein, Ann Taylor, and yes even Micheal Kohrs. And they fit “real women” (pun intended) not women in the image of a Lane Bryant woman who apparently has a small waist, HUGE hips and is less than 4′ tall. Seriously.

    IF I find a bra that compares (and I bet I find something better) Lane Bryant will be no great loss.

    OH and one more thing… would someone please make me an underwire padding free tankini – please???

    Like

  • Constance major

    Hi my name is Constance major I am a single parent of two I Love Lane Bryant clothing but the very last time I purchase and I am on the strict budget they were defect the zipper broke and I was wondering what do I do I have been a loyal customer for over 20 years this is the first time something ever happened like that thank you have a wonderful day

    Like

  • SteveD

    Your Funny as Heck. Being a Guy I understand about the jeans. That was confusing, 5 Yellow same as 4 Red. Glad they switched back. I found CJ Banks fit better in Jeans for me.

    Like

  • Tammie

    WHY!!!! WHY!!!! did you discontinue the yellow tag right fit jeans. These where the ONLY jeans i could find any where that i did not have to get altered. These jeans fit me perfect and are the only ones that ever have. I have a belly and smaller butt and legs. I could buy a pair and wear with no adjustments at ALL. I thought you were a store to meet the needs for plus size women. All pus size women don’t have large legs. You have jeans for women with big legs and butts! How about something for those of us who don’t have big butts and legs! The apple shape figure. Please bring those pants back. Is there anywhere who still may have some in stock????

    Like

%d bloggers like this: