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alternatives to victoria's secret

With over 1,000 stores across the United States, Victoria’s Secret is the largest player in the US lingerie industry by far. So when it’s time to buy a new bra, it can seem like the obvious place to go.

However, I’m here today to hopefully convince you to take a trip to your local lingerie boutique instead. These are 5 things you can expect to find when you head to an independent lingerie retailer:

1.  Superior Service

Let’s face it, a lot of people working at a store like Victoria’s Secret won’t be particularly passionate about what they do – it’s the kind of high-turnover job that a person often takes to support themselves through college, until they’re qualified for whatever else it is that they want to do in life.

On the other hand, someone who’s launched their own lingerie boutique clearly loves what they do, and this difference affects everything when it comes to customer service. You may find that the staff in a smaller boutique to be friendlier or more approachable, and they will almost certainly be more knowledgeable about brands, styles, bra fit and so on.

You can also expect to receive more personalised customer service. If you’ve had a fitting for example, some lingerie boutiques will record your size and style preferences so that they remember them for the next time you’re in. Their goal is to build a long-term relationship with you, not just to hit this week’s sales quota, which means they’re less likely to try to sell you a bra that’s not quite what you need.

2.  Better Bra Fittings

Following on from the above, I’ve heard more than a handful of stories from people who went to Victoria’s Secret for a bra fitting and were measured as a size they’re not. Perhaps it was because the fitter was trying to sell them whatever bra they could (rather than admitting they’d be better off shopping elsewhere), or perhaps it was simply a lack of training.

Either way, you’re more likely to receive a ‘proper’ bra fitting if you do it at an independent boutique, where the owner most likely has years of experience and really knows what they are doing. It’s also, again, a more personal and one-on-one service – I know of at least one girl who was passed between three different sales associates for a single bra fitting at Victoria’s Secret!

3.  A Wider Size Range

Despite four decades of existence, Victoria’s Secret has never bothered trying to expand into full-bust sizes (beyond a DD and DDD/E anyway), and stops at an XL. So if you’re plus-sized, full-busted or particularly petite, lingerie shopping at Victoria’s Secret may not even be an option.

I’m not saying that lingerie boutiques that also focus on this core size range don’t exist, but there are also numerous specialty boutiques out there that offer something different. In fact, some independent retailers can special order a particular size for you, even if it’s not one that they normally carry. Now that’s a level of service you don’t get at a big chain store!

Related: Why Do So Many Women Wear The Wrong Bra Size?

best alternative to victoria's secret

Parfait Marion Unlined Wire Bra P5392 in Tango Red

4.  More Styles to Try

Victoria’s Secret may have a lot of bras on its shelves, but they’re all by one brand – Victoria’s Secret. It’s common knowledge that they favour a moulded, t-shirt bra kind of design, but there is so much more to lingerie than just that one look.

An independent lingerie boutique will carry numerous different brands, which inevitably means a variety of different styles – and that means a much higher chance of finding a set that’s right for you. And I’m not just talking about fit but aesthetic too; from minimalist or frou frou, a local boutique is the perfect place to pick up something unique.

5.  A Way to Support the Local Economy

Studies have shown that when you shop at a local business, more of your money stays within the local economy than when you spend the same with a bigger company.

If you love the independent boutiques that make your local area unique, then buy your bras from a small lingerie shop and help not only that store, but the local community in general to survive and thrive. You get a chic new lingerie set and a warm, fuzzy feeling inside – who doesn’t want that?

Choosing to shop at a local lingerie boutique instead of at Victoria’s Secret seems to me like a better experience all-round. When a business can’t compete with big chain stores on factors like price or accessibility, it finds ways to excel in other areas, and offers benefits that the big retailers can’t. And when it’s their own livelihood on the line, you know that independent boutique owners will go that extra mile to make sure you’re totally happy with your lingerie purchase.

Related: 10 Bra Fitting and Lingerie Store Secrets Professional Bra Fitters Want You To Know

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!

Featured image lingerie:
Parfait Marion Contour Padded Bra P5391 | Parfait Marion Hipster P5395 in Tango Red

Do you prefer to shop at local lingerie boutiques over Victoria’s Secret, and why or why not?

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Estelle Puleston

Estelle Puleston is the founder of, a blog dedicated to her love of lingerie. She works full-time as a copywriter and digital marketer for the lingerie and swimwear industry, and when she’s not doing that, she’s probably sewing or enjoying a good cup of tea.

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