Help me look normal under my clothes.
July 9, 2008 9:42 AM   Subscribe

I need a variety of good undergarments for a variety of SFW occasions. Where do I get good underoos in Chicago?

I need a few different undergarments for some upcoming occasions and I'd like to buy better than Target or Victoria Secret underwear.

1. I need a proper bra fitting so I can get some well fitting bras. I have only one single style that I think works well, so I'd like someone who knows what they're talking about to suggest other options or sizes to make the best of my bust.

2. I have engagement photos coming up rather quickly, and I'd like to find some sort of something to make me look less bumpy and more smooth under regular clothing in the tummy area.

3. I will also be getting married and will need some sort of underthing for my dress to hold me in and secure my bustline.

Do you have any special places in Chicago that I can do this? I'm looking for real stores rather than virtual stores, though I'm not opposed to ordering online once I find something I like.

Also, I'm a fairly normalish size. I wear 18s in pants, and a 36D/38C in bra.
posted by santojulieta to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
One place I often walk by that always has gorgeous things in the window is Trousseau on Southport near Addison. I've never actually been in, but I know they do fittings.

And Nordstrom will also do professional bra fittings. I believe you have to make an appointment but I could be mistaken.
posted by awegz at 9:52 AM on July 9, 2008

I bookmarked this shop: Isabella Fine Lingerie on another mefi question, but haven't personally been there. It looks to be in Chicago but I don't see an address. Sounds like it would fit your requirements of fancy with a good bra fitting, although it looks expensive.
posted by Bunglegirl at 10:02 AM on July 9, 2008

(FYI, her site may be NSFW for some folks) Isabella's!!! (on Armitage) Has a variety of stuff with a wide price range. Lauren is the Boobologist and will fit you for free. She is outrageously nice and down-to-earth. You can check the blog in my profile if you want to read about my visit there (with photos). The entry is on June 10th.
posted by jeanmari at 10:19 AM on July 9, 2008

I can second Isabella Fine Lingerie, one of my (lingerie) writers has been there and absolutely loved them, they're very friendly and will definitely do a good fitting for you. They also stock a lot of the harder-to-find brands in the States, so you'll find a good selection there.

If you need any other advice re: underwear or hard to find items, feel free to MeMail me - i'm a lingerie blogger/expert and am always happy to help.
posted by ukdanae at 10:24 AM on July 9, 2008

Intimacy is a popular place for bra fittings -- they've been on various TV shows and such. I've been there a few times and haven't been all that impressed, but I'm a really abnormal size and have resigned myself to that fact that I can only shop for bras online. For a normal size they'd probably be much better. They've got good customer service, at least, and they do free alterations (and I believe they also do free maintenance/repairs). And they know what they're doing when it comes to fittings, unlike those hacks at VS.

Note that if you buy something and decide to return it, you can only get store credit.

Nordstrom is also excellent, and since it sounds like you're looking for something relatively simple, that might be the place to start. I've had good experiences at the Magnificent Mile one.
posted by pluckemin at 11:01 AM on July 9, 2008

La Perla is on Michigan Ave. Its a REAL store with staff thats trained in fitting. SO if you want better than V's Secret, thats where you go.

Good luck.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:35 AM on July 9, 2008

All of those should be great; I've had good luck at Nordstrom's, but haven't tried any others.

For wedding stuff, look for a longline bustier. I was about your size when I got married, and the Goddess brand worked very well for me. It was comfortable all day.

For a more regular thing like photos, good ol' Spanx will do it. I have a quasi-Spanx thing that I think is Hanes brand that I actually bought at a Boston Store (aka Carson Pirie Scott) or Macy's or something. It's basically a pair of the world's highest-waisted bike shorts that comes right up under my boobs. It's actually not too uncomfortable, and it's fairly unnoticeable, and even if the band is noticeable it's at the level where your bra is (e.g. the place where people would expect some sort of line to be).

Your best option, though, is to just buy an outfit that camousflages it. I have the most beautiful dress from IGIGI (the lace cocktail dress or some such -- I think it's on sale now!) that requires nothing special underneath except for a low bra and a few pins. The lace overlayer really skims my body without making it look maternity-ish like so much icky empire-waist stuff does these days.

Good luck, and congrats!
posted by Madamina at 3:20 PM on July 10, 2008

I went to Nordstrom's for a bra fitting after losing 50+ pounds, and had a GREAT experience getting the cutest most comfortable bra I've ever owned. The woman who did the fitting was very helpful; she measured, then went & picked a bunch of different style bras in my size. I tried them on, figured out what I liked & didn't like, and wrote down a few names (since I could only afford to buy one right then). It was awesome.
posted by epersonae at 10:04 AM on July 11, 2008

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