Why I Started a Lingerie Subscription Service
I love bras, but hate bra shopping. As a 42 DDD wearing plus size woman, the process of finding a bra I like that supports the girls sucks. I walk in a department store and either can’t find my size, or I do find my size and the bras are ugly and grannyish. Honestly, my grandmother (rest her soul) wouldn’t wear these bras, that’s how bad they are. If it hadn’t been for Lane Bryant and their Cacique line, I wouldn’t know that bras came in fun colors and patterns.
I fell in love with bras over a decade ago. I walked into my local Lane Bryant store and headed to the lingerie section in the back. Facing me were bras in various colors from the usual black, beige, and white, to pinks of different hues, purples, neon greens, and floral patterns. The styles ranged from full coverage to t-shirt, demi cut, balconette, and plunge. For the first time in my life I had choices. I didn’t have to be stuck with the same ol’ same ol’. I could buy the most inappropriate bras imaginable, and I did. If the bra was colorful and had lace and ribbons, I bought it. Didn’t matter if it went with my work clothes or not. The wilder the bra, the better.
Bras allowed me to express myself, even if I was the only one who saw it. Whatever mood I was in was reflected in the bra I chose that day. If I was feeling flirty, I chose a bra that had more embellishment and brighter colors. In a more serious mood I chose dark and neutral colors. Besides helping me express myself, bras also helped me form a different relationship with my body- a body that never conformed to what society and the media said it should look like. My breasts went from being a burden to being something to love and cherish.
Growing up, I hated my large breasts. They brought attention to me that I didn’t like and I spent a considerable amount of time hiding them. I wore baggy t-shirts and oversize sweatshirts to hide them. I hated when people, -especially men, would look at them before looking at me. I felt uncomfortable and vulnerable. I didn’t feel safe in my body and that bothered me. I was a big, black girl in a world that looked at me as either a whore or a mammy. My body wasn’t my own and I hated that.
That first Cacique bra (and the many that followed) allowed me to reclaim myself. I felt powerful and like I had a place in the world. It sounds crazy that a bra-something designed to keep your breasts from jiggling around too much- could make me feel that way, but it did. I could stand out, but on my own terms.
At Plush, it’s more than bras and panties. We know what it’s like to be told that you’re too big, too loud, too much. That what makes you unique is wrong. Sharon, Shanna, and myself (and our CTO Bryan), realized that what you wear underneath is as important as what you wear on the outside. That something as simple as a bra and panty can change how you see yourself. You can feel powerful, sexy, vulnerable, or sweet. Plush may not set the world on fire, but we’re helping to change how women view themselves one bra and panty set at a time.