I’ve been a Victoria’s Secret shopper for as long as I can remember. Back when I first needed to start shopping for bras it was my go-to spot. There’s a VS in every mall and it just seemed like that was “the place to go”. I also was a frequent Victoria’s Secret shopper because the bras were really pretty and I had trouble finding my size at other department stores. Plus, I was always getting those rewards in the mail for free underwear with purchase…haha. I don’t think I ever bought a pair of underwear – I just stocked up on those free panties!
I also grew up in a time before online shopping and Instagram were really a thing so my access to other lingerie brands was at a minimum. (Side note – can you remember a time before online shopping??) But since becoming a blogger, I’ve gotten to work with a lot of other lingerie brands and been exposed (no pun intended) to even more brands through Instagram marketing. With all of these choices it’s a lot easier to finally walk away from Victoria’s Secret!
Why I’ve Stopped Shopping at Victoria’s Secret
As I mentioned above, it’s a lot easier to find other options due to social media and the ease of online shopping. However, there’s other reasons why I’ve decided to consciously stop shopping at VS.
In November 2018, Ed Razek – the Chief Marketing Officer of Victoria’s Secret – did an interview with Vogue where he gave his thoughts on size inclusivity and diversity. Basically, he said that Victoria’s Secret was supposed to be a fantasy and that he wasn’t interested in expanding their size offering or diversifying their models.
But what is even more shocking are comments Ed Razek made to an employee at a company lunch. Casey Crowe Taylor recently shared on Instagram that while working in Public Relations for Victoria’s Secret brands she was singled out in a room full of people by Razek as she went up to the lunch buffet to get more food. He asked “Are you really going to eat more bread?” and “How do you look at yourself in the mirror everyday?”. She reported this encounter to human resources but nothing was done.
This isn’t the only reported instance of harassment leveled against Ed Razek or Victoria’s Secret in general. The New York Times reported on the toxic environment of Victoria’s Secret created by Ed Razek and the Chief Executive, Leslie Wexner. The good news is that Ed Razek resigned last year. However, Leslie Wexner still remains at the helm of L Brands (which runs Victoria’s Secret). *UPDATE – Leslie Wexner just recently stepped down!
Do I need to go on? With access to so many size-inclusive, women-run lingerie brands, there’s really no reason to shop at Victoria’s Secret anymore.
Lingerie Brands to Shop Instead of Victoria’s Secret
ThirdLove was launched in 2013 by Heidi Zaks and her husband, David Spector – both of whom come from big tech backgrounds. Zaks then teamed up with female bra designer Ra’el Cohen to create innovative designs based on breast size and shape. What’s really amazing is that ThirdLove offers over 80 bra sizes from a 30 to 48 band and AA to I cup size – including half sizes! You’ll also see models of different sizes and shapes modeling the underwear. Overall, the brand feels a lot more inclusive than other lingerie brands.
I reached out to them last year and they gifted me their popular 24/7 Classic T-Shirt Bra to try out. After breastfeeding, my boobs ended up being two different sizes (so annoying!) so I was looking for a bra that would fit my asymmetrical chest. I’m happy to report that the 24/7 bra fit perfectly!
ThirdLove is going to be one of my go-to bra brand from now on. I love that they have so many sizes to choose from (because who know what size I’ll be after breastfeeding my second baby!). They also have a lot of really pretty styles to choose from. I appreciate a functional bra but sometimes you want something feminine and lacy! Oh – and they also have nursing bras! I’ll definitely be picking up one of those soon.
Shop ThirdLove Bras
I just recently discovered Else Lingerie through Instagram and I’m OBSESSED. The designs are absolutely stunning! Else was launched in 2008 by Ela Onur who grew up in the lingerie accessories business in Turkey and wanted to create a feminine lingerie line. Else doesn’t offer a huge range of sizes (they go from 32A to 36E ) but I love what this company represents, which is lingerie “made by women, for women”.
Else Lingerie believes in transparency, sustainability, and ethical production. Their designs are handmade in Turkish ateliers and Else is committed to educating women in their community in the art of lingerie making, giving them skills to earn their own living. They also care about using waste-reduction and using sustainable materials. For example, they use sustainable lace from regenerated yarn using solar energy. You can read more about their #IMadeYourClothes movement here!
Else has a flagship store in Los Angeles and I was able to stop by and try on their pieces in person! I love the intimate experience of shopping a small, independent brand. I tried on four different bra styles and they all fit great. Their bras are sheer and lacy so if you need some padding, this is not the brand for you. I usually wear a lightly padded bra but I actually didn’t mind the sheer designs. I’m currently a 32 D and felt I was getting support. I went home with the Chloe Full Cup Bra but I also really loved the Arya Longline Bra. Honestly, I really want all the bras from this brand!
CUUP makes unlined bras in high performance fabrics to accentuate the female form. They have 40 sizes (and counting) in a variety of neutral and bold shades.
I shop at CUUP for a lot of my everyday bras because their Balconette Bra style works REALLY WELL for my asymmetrical chest. I also love the color selections that they have. So far I have 3 of their bras! CUUP does carry other bra styles and underwear but I haven’t gotten a chance to try them yet. FYI – I found that I had to size down a band size in the CUUP Balconette Bra because the band stretches out a lot. It starts out super tight but loosens up after a few wears. I originally bought my regular size 32 DD but had to switch to a 30 DDD in the CUUP bras.
True & Co
I was first introduced to True & Co a couple of years ago when they reached out to me and sent me a few styles to try out. And let me tell you, their underwear is sooo comfortable! This is a brand you want to check out if you are looking for great loungewear bras and basics.
True & Co was started in 2012 by Michelle Lam who was frustrated by trying to find a great fitting bra. True & Co was one of the first to offer an online Fit Quiz (which a lot of companies have imitated) to help women find the perfect fit. They also offer a wide range of sizes from a 32 to 44 band and A to F cup size. Like I said, they have a lot of comfy basics but they do also offer some pretty lingerie as well!
True & Co bras are also available at Target for under $23! I don’t think these styles are exactly the same as the ones on True & Co’s website but if you are looking for an affordable and comfortable bra you might want to pick one up the next time you are at Target.
Shop True & Co Bras
Lively was founded by Michelle Cordeiro Grant, a former Victoria’s Secret director, who wanted to offer affordable, high quality lingerie. The great thing about Lively bras is that they are all $35! They also have a wide range of sizes from a 32 to 38 band and an A to DDD cup in most styles and go up to 46 DD in some styles! You can also find these bras at Nordstrom.
I haven’t personally tried these bras yet but I am definitely interested in their nursing bras! They are affordable and cute. It’s actually hard to find cute nursing bras so any brand that sells them gets an A+ from me!
Shop Lively Bras
Of course, there are MANY MORE lingerie brands but these are just a few that I have experience with and are interested in aesthetically. Let me know in the comments if you have a favorite lingerie brand I should check out!
Also, make sure to check out my Ethical and Sustainable Underwear Review Post if you are looking to upgrade your underwear drawer as well!