I freely admit that Wallet Pop is one of the most-common websites that I read. I don't watch the Dolans, but I do sort of wonder and marvel at what seems to be going on with them (not that they don't have good advice - if you're a financial novice, they're a good resource).
So the ever-popular customer service horror stories caught my eye today. They recycle these puppies, and I think most were drawn from contests or promotions on AOL. No matter. It's like "Dear Abby" for getting screwed while attempting to be a consumer. One person was confronted with a teenaged clerk at FYE wearing a hat that said "F-You" and when they asked for "Hootie and the Blowfish," the clerk asked, "Are you a fag or something?" Amid the many "bests" (from Nordstrom employees contributing $500 worth of basics to a family whose home had burned down to a Sears employee tracking down and getting hold of a Land's End coat for a traveler) were the usual nastygrams that probably drive middle and upper management at these companies out of their minds.
I was particularly taken by the Victoria's Secret tale, because a similar incident occurred when I was shopping with my best friend. When I was younger and Victoria's Secret had just started to become popular, I found that their undergarments weren't the best-fitting or flattering for me. Early Victoria's Secret seemed designed for the typical "pear shape" figure - now there are options for all figure types. They have changed their lines and their offerings over the years, and now, my favorites are pretty much all that I wear. This does not make me feel better to know that it's the same damn company that is dressing all of us from head to toe - "The Limited." And to think I used to like their jeans. I will purposely buy Levis so I don't have to be dressed 100% by this megalopalyptic clothing Leviathan.
Anyway, you know where I'm going with this, right? I get daily websearch hits from people asking, I kid you not, if "only good-looking people can wear Abercrombie & Fitch" (also part of the octopod monolithic "I Dress You, Zombi American' conglomerate).
That's right, Virginia. Victoria's Secret does NOT have a line for larger customers. I naively dragged my friend into one of their stores in the blithely mistaken knowledge that they would have her size. They did not - and in our case, the manager was courteous enough to simply state the sizes they did have without making any type of negative weight statements. The true customer service horror story arose from a customer who stated she was overweight going to a different Victoria's Secret, where the manager informed her, "if you'd lose some weight, you might be able to fit our sizes." Considering the number of years this company has been shutting larger consumers out, I don't think they'd have much success if they did decide - in today's economy - that they could no longer afford to only dress a certain portion of the population.
This is coming from the perspective - everyone pretty much needs to wear underwear, and they need to buy it. Shoes, socks, undergarments. These are the - not to put too fine a point on it - FOUNDATION of fashion. I'm sure Victoria's Secret has its rationale for only offering a narrow range of sizes plus thong floss. But my recommendation in today's economic times, for females and males? Land's End. Your best money will always be spent on quality products that will last. It is better to pay a few dollars more on a product that will last two to three years (or longer, in the case of good shoes, coats, etc.) than it is to get those 99 cent floss panties out of the Victoria's Secret (or worse - discount store) bin. Anyway, I haven't shopped there since before Christmas. So, they started the new year out with awesome swimwear items like this:
Referred to by Sarah at "In the Trenches of Mommyhood" as the "attacked by a shark" swimsuit. One of the others, with a minimal boob strip and chain thong bottom, Sarah said would be a "perfect pregnancy suit." Yeah - for any of those naked, barefoot, pregnant moms-to-be out there to wear while hubby whacks them with his club and drags them by their hair back to their PETA/GEICO caveman cave (see yesterday's post).
At least online, Victoria's Secret DOES seem to carry sizes up to 40 DD.
Check this out - these stories are everywhere! "Go to a Lane Bryant store!" Another customer was told her underwire popped out because her bra was too small! Now, this has happened to me before, but not with a Victoria's Secret bra, which is why I have tended to buy my favorites there. This post is bizarrely suspect (as the writer seems to be indicating an anatomically impossible size if she's positing she's not a "large" person) - but it describes the size situation in more detail. And this post is a "booster" recommending different alternatives. And here, from the ladies in Glendale, is a pretty accurate description of most of the mall Victoria's Secret outlets - not very helpful, some condescending clerks, and "ferret through the drawers" until you find your size. I also know the exact bras this blogger was looking at when she had her disturbing IQ test conversation with the VS clerk. And honey - a hint - if you wear a "30" B - you don't need a bra, you need a camisole and probably a depilatory for the peach fuzz on your chin because you're probably a boy - the smallest size they and most other adult manufacturers carry on their official size chart is "32."
Anyway, it's not super-sexy, but it is well-made, well-priced, and it won't fall apart after one washing (in or out of a lingerie net bag). Land's End underwear. Because only mentally-ill people should want floss that falls apart in their . . . er . . . Now, that's uncomfortable.