Thursday, 23 June 2011

Why Claire won't shop at La Senza anymore

A short while ago Claire wanted to buy a new bra so she popped into La Senza, picked up her usual size, a 36C and went to try it on. It turned out to be too small, which she was wasn't surprised by as bra sizes tend to differ from shop to shop. Outside the dressing room 2 sales assistants were chatting, so Claire told her the bra was a bit small, that she usually wears a 36C and thought she'd need a bigger cup size. The assistant took one look at her, fully clothed and declared "there's no way you're a 36C in any shop. You're at least a 36F." Claire said that she'd never needed that size, that she'd been measured before and told she was a 36C and the vast majority of her bras are a 36C and fit her perfectly. But the assistant insisted she must be a 36F, that whoever had measured her before had managed to somehow be 3 cup sizes out and that she could now be measured 'correctly'. Claire said she'd rather not and left.

Now this may not sound that awful written down but the assistant was incredibly rude and patronising when she was talking to Claire. The assistants entire manner seemed to be trying to make Claire feel stupid and almost laughing at her for being so ignorant of her size. And insisting that all the 36C bras Claire owns from various brands must either be way off in size or not fit Claire properly when in fact they're fine.

Claire makes her own clothes, she knows her shape and size well and can measure herself. But she's been measured for a bra before because she deals more with dress sizes and trusts professional bra fitters, who have told her she's a 36C. She owns a lot of bras that are a 36C and fit fine. She's made her own bra before and, shock horror, turned out to be a 36C. And yet this person was insisting that she knew better when all she'd done is taken one look at Claire in a bulky jumper.

Claire is 5 foot nothing tall and pleasantly plump. On a 5 foot frame a 36C will look a lot bigger than on someone who is taller. For instance I'm about 5 foot 8 and have 36FF breasts and if you looked at both of us dressed I think my tits would only look a little bigger than Claire's because we have completely different frames. So it also upset Claire because it seemed like the assistant had made the assumption that because she's slightly overweight she must have a 'plus size' cup size.  (I.e. overweight people only wear plus sizes and 'normal' sized people only wear standard sizes which isn't true either way. And anything over a DD cup size is for fatties)

If Claire was a 36F that would make her basically the same size as me which is just laughable, I wish we were the same size so i could nick her clothes but unfortunately her dresses won't do the  whole way up on me as her full breast measurement is about 8 inches smaller than mine!

It's not that Claire really cares what her bra measurement is, if she really was a 36F she wouldn't care as long as the bra fitted. But you can't tell someone's wearing the wrong bra size by looking at them fully clothed (unless they're wearing something very close fitting and the bra is causing the breasts to look odd, neither of which was true in Claire's case). And it was the patronising, belittling way the assistant spoke to Claire, almost sneering at her.

The right way to handle the situation would be to say something like 'oh bra sizes do tend to differ, you may be a size or 2 bigger than usual in here, I could measure you to see or we could just try some different sizes to see what works on you' which would be polite and a lot more sensible than just saying 'you are wrong and whoever measured you is wrong and you're definately 2 sizes bigger than you think' which is really bad customer service!

And also La Senza do run small! Everyone I know who buys bras from there has to go up from their regular size. At one point I was actually a G in their sizes which I've neer been anywhere else.

I'm not saying I'm never going to shop there myself because I really like their bras (despite them being oddly sized) and swimwear. I find they give my boobs a nice shape and proper uplift. It's nice that they have a lot of really pretty 'fashion' bras that go up to a GG cup size. But it's definately left a sour taste in my mouth and I can absolutely understand why Claire is boycotting it.

What do you think? Would you be upset if you had a similar experience?


  1. I totally would be! Guess the assistant needs more practice in customer service... I really do not understand someone being that rude (especially in this business). (Sorry for my bad english).

  2. I've seen photos of Claire on here, she's NOT a 36F, wow! Also, when you go up so many cup sizes like that, you have to adjust the band size. 36C /= 36F, in terms of the band size, even though the number is the same. Every place is different because companies have different ways of measuring someone's bra size, and they make their bras according to how they size people.

    Bottom line, you CANNOT -look- at someone and tell their bra size. I can look and get a rough estimate, but nothing near accurate. I used to work in a shoe store and could usually tell someone's shoe size, but that was experience and a lot easier of a task ;-)

    I have a bra from La Senza and it fits a bit funny. It's my usual size (34C) but it gives me quadri-boob like woah. I'm not a D, no way. I went into Victoria's Secret one time (which is like the US' equivalent of La Senza, only more expensive lol) and they insisted upon measuring me and told me I was a 34B. Even my husband said 'no offense, I've seen my fair share of boobs and she's not a B'. I sort of agreed as I had tried on Bs before and my boobs wouldn't fit inside of the cups. But whatever, I put it on anyway and sure enough, quadri-boobs made their appearance! It looked ridiculous, even Rob started laughing. The girl looked confused and said "Maybe you're a 36B...". I gave up and just said "Thanks but I'm just buying fragrance at the moment", went and got my proper size and left lol.

    ANYWAY, point is, that was extremely rude on their part... I don't blame her.

  3. That particular individual sounds downright rude. Diplomacy is important in sales. If you want to get anywhere!

    Don't give up on the shop just yet if you like their stuff. But ask to be served by someone else is SHE were there...

  4. Yeah... I used to know a girl who worked at La Senza, she was a snotty cow herself.
    I was fitted as a 36B there when I was 14, and the cups were way too big for me, the band too tight! I was actually an A cup, always have been always will be.

    As for weight, I'm slimmer now than then and I am STILL an A cup. I don't think weight has much to do with it, and really, if you're in sales you'd think you'd be a NICE person or at least capable of acting that way. Rudeness is unacceptable in shop staff. I'm glad she walked out.

    Your cup measurement is in proportion to your back measurement, so yeah... maybe she would be an F if her ribcage was non-existant. Bloody La Senza. I say, stay away. Personally, I always buy M n S bras, they are my holy grail. Especially if it's a sale/at an outlet store :)

  5. I totally understand rude salespeople. It's not *quite* the same, but a couple of years ago, I was looking for a new pair of glasses and I had an assistant opening cabinets for me and everything, like she was supposed to. I have a hard time finding frames that fit my head because my hair is thick and I have a little extra bump on my skull where the stems on my glasses go. So, I've been looking for about ten minutes, and my mom comes over and asks how it's going and the assistant made a "frustrated noise" and said, "We've already looked at about thirty frames." AS IF THAT MATTERS.

    I also have a hard time finding bras. I have to use $40 Victorian torture devices with really strong underwires and straps and thick cups. Otherwise they break after only a few months.

  6. I'm sorry that happened to Claire. I once had a totally effed up experience with MAC Live Chat. I'll just post the transcript, since I had it emailed to me so that I'd be able to share this story for laughs repeatedly.

    Vijaya: I have a friend, lighter skinned than me, who was looking for a good purple blush, and I was wondering if MAC offered one?
    Dianna: Hi Vijaya. Not actually 'purple' as that wouldn't be flattering. Plum/rose tones are more flattering on the cheeks.
    Vijaya: Sorry, but she was looking specifically for purple.
    Vijaya: Thanks anyway!
    Dianna: You can use a purple eye shadow if you want that look. It will be very dramatic/very strong look.
    Dianna: You won't find many 'purple' blushes are it will just look like a bruise.
    Dianna: Only for theatrical use, and in that case just use an eye shadow.
    Vijaya: I don't see that working out too well. I was hoping for something like the ones that MAC sometimes releases with l/e collections. The one with last year's Spring Color forecast was really nice.
    Vijaya: Like I said, thanks anyway, but eyeshadow is really too pigmented for what she'd want.
    Dianna: It wasn't actually 'purple.'
    Dianna: Are you sure its actually 'purple' you are looking for?
    Vijaya: Yup.
    Dianna: Purple would be like Purple Haze Eye Shadow. The one from last year was not.
    Vijaya: It was a pretty grape color.
    Vijaya: In fact, I have it right now. It's called 'Vintage Grape'.
    Dianna: It was, like most blushes, more on the plum side as that is actually flattering on the cheeks. Take a look at Flirt & Tease Powder Blush.

    Firstly, Vintage Grape is straight up purple. Bruisy even. Secondly, it is not her goddamned business to tell my friend to only wear purple blush for theatrical use. Thirdly, I found her condescending and closed minded. That has never happened to me in a MAC Chat before. The online MUAs are usually helpful regardless of what I'm looking for.

    The cherry on top? The description of Flirt and Tease on the MAC website is literally 'Purple with Pearl'. Gee, thanks for setting me straight, super smart person. =.=

    Sometimes SAs just don't know where the line is. There's a difference between helping and being a total jerk.

  7. How rude! The assistant could have at least just suggested that their sizes run small and try try a larger one, but that does sound very rude. I think I would have felt very upset and embarrassed. Their sizes are definitely small though! I'm normally a 34D but in there a 34DD is tight on me :s

  8. I'd certainly be pissed, yep. People at these sorts of shops treat bras like they're an exact science! Unwavering! Uniform! Always the same, everywhere! But hell, sometimes I find B-Cups I could fill with water and swim in, and other times they're so tiny that I overfloweth. They definitely ain't exact.

  9. I find many sales assistants in lingerie stores to be rather rude... I have 30/32D and I can never find my size in those chain stores like La Senza or Victoria's Secret. In VS, SAs have been repeatedly patronizing, saying they don't have 32D in stock but 34C is 'exactly the same'. It is not, as even 32 tends to be a bit loose on me. It infuriates me that even though they produce 32D bras, they never have them in store!

  10. That's total crap. If she asked for the next size up, the SA should have brought her either the next size up or a selection of sizes, or offered her a fitting to find the right La Senza size. I used to work for Ann Summers and while I did parties and girls couldn't try on the sizes because I wouldn't have them all, you'd still have to be polite and discreet when measuring/helping. Just because a girl is buying a bra doesn't mean she wants to have a discussion about her tits. Poor Claire, I hope she weed in the changing room.

  11. Quote: "Rocaille said...
    I find many sales assistants in lingerie stores to be rather rude... I have 30/32D and I can never find my size in those chain stores like La Senza or Victoria's Secret. In VS, SAs have been repeatedly patronizing, saying they don't have 32D in stock but 34C is 'exactly the same'."

    Totally, 100% agree. I don't think 'sister sizes' exist for most people. It doesn't make sense, the larger band doesn't accomodate for too much boob in the cup or vice versa, lol. I've argued with many a bra specialist about it. Oh well, I just buy what I feel comfortable wearing.

  12. Ugh, as a plus size girl with ginormous boobs, I understand the horror of bra shopping. Even when I was skinny and weighed 125 pounds (I'm 5'7) I still wore a 34DDD.

    99% of stores do not carry bras in my size and the ones that do disagree as to what size I am. Currently I wear a 40G in the one style that actually fits me from a certain store.

    I have a similar bra shopping horror story. I went with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to Victoria's Secret while they were buying some bras. The sales lady asked about me. I told her that none of their bras would fit me. She didn't believe me. So I let her measure me to prove a point and she must have done it horribly wrong because she told me my cup size was only a D. I STILL knew was wrong, but decided to try on a few of the bras she offered me just to show her. I tried it on and... I was right and she was wrong. The band fit perfectly, but over half my boob was spilling out from each cup. Ahh, it was the best feeling when I showed the salesgirl and to see her smug, bitchy little eyes popping out of her head. I hate people who say "I told you so" but I just had to say it to her. She had nothing to say after that!

    I was actually sad that the bras didn't fit because my mother-in-law had offered to buy me a few!

  13. Ugh! I went through a similar experience recently. I got measured at the new Victoria's Secret and they told me that not only am I not a 34C... I am a 36G. G CUP. WTF. Like Claire, I'm 5' tall. I weigh under 100lbs, so my breasts look bigger in proportion, but a G CUP‽

    I know how to measure myself because I worked in a lingerie shop when I was younger. At most I'm probably a small D, but 34C in most shops fits me just fine. The woman glared at me in that "uh, I have a name tag and a lanyard so that makes me an expert and you a meek and humble layperson" sort of way when I balked at purchasing a G cup. Hell to the no!

    And Claire should just stop purchasing bras at La Senza full stop, because, they're shitty bras :). Seriously. I lovingly hand wash all of my lingerie and never put them in the dryer. If I do put them in the machine; they're put in a mesh bag and washed on the gentlest cycle. La Senza bras and panties all fall apart after 2-4 months, no matter how I care for them >:(.

  14. I'd be annoyed if I were Claire, there's no need for someone to be rude. If she was polite about it, it wouldn't be so bad. I find that most fitters in lingerie shops are rude, I try to avoid them. La Senza I found to be the worst, especially because there sizing differs not only to other shops, but between styles in the same shop. It's just a case of trying everything on in there, you can't be measured to fit in their bras, never mind guessing from sight! :P
    I used to love La Senza bras, like you said they seem to give a nice shape and uplift, but since I put on a bit of weight I can no longer find anything that fits in there, which is a shame, they have such pretty bras, even if the staff are meanies! xx

  15. Poor Claire! I fully support her boycott of La Senza and for good reason. Their bras are so shoddily made and the sizes are always so off. I'm a 38D and the D cups on most of their bras barely fit my boobs but the La Senza stores in my area don't seem to carry DD bras or any band sizes above 38. I'm also a seamstress and I've been professionally fitted so it's not like I'm always wearing the wrong bra.

    It was very rude for them to treat Claire like that and she should file a complaint with the store manager.

  16. I totally get why she would refuse to support a shop by giving them her money in return for crappy service. She should write a customer-review online for their unprofessional manner.

    I like to read and go inside book stores whenever I can, I went into a Borders book store once and I already knew before-hand that the employees tend to stare in a patronizing and uncomfortable way and generally act in a snooty manner which is why I had never before bothered to ask for help (I'm not the only one, a lot of people I've talked to tend to agree--and this is true about a lot of Borders stores). So the last time I was in, I was looking for a particular book for school and couldn't find it, so I asked an employee for help and he just flat-out said, "No. I'm helping someone else", first off, he was just stacking children's books, and he could've at least said "no" politely (and actually made eye contact), said he could've helped afterward, or gotten someone else to help. This was the final straw for me, I left and went to another chain the next day (Barnes & Noble) and the people there were a hell of a lot more friendly and actually helpful, I went in and came back out pretty quick. I'm a Barnes-and-Noble/online woman now!
    I know working all day with people can be stressful. Regardless, this isn't and shouldn't be an excuse for crappy service--especially since these employees are adults who should know better, if they don't like their jobs than they can quit, otherwise, they should just deal with it and act professionally.

  17. Ugh this is just one of the many reasons why I dislike sales assistants, and I avoid them like the plague especially in lingerie or clothing stores >__< I think I honestly would've sworn at that sales assistant like 'do you really fucking think EVERY bra I've ever worn and every bra fitter is wrong?! Way to pedal your products, asshole' and then called her a few names for good measure :P

  18. Terrible! I hate la senza anyway, the salespeople are rude and their bras run too small!

  19. Ugh, how awful! I've never been to La Senza, but I always get nervous whenever I go bra shopping, especially when I had to back in Singapore since the sizes were just so limited. You were lucky if you would find D or DD cups, and even then they would be outrageously expensive.

  20. I'd be pissed as shit. I don't care how awesome a fitter that woman thinks she is - the rudeness alone is blecccch. And then the sizist issues on top? Hell to the no. And sizing is so inconsistent in any womens' clothing, obviously the thing to do is just be like, "Oh, huh, well, let's re-measure and see what fits you *here*," rather than insist your store's sizing is the only correct one and be rude about it. Ugh. Booooo, La Senza.

  21. I hate la senza I have had a similar experience in the Woking branch, the sales assistant's are soo rude, I asked 3 times for help finding a bra when there were 3 assistant's just standing there chatting. Disgusting service. Wouldnt go in there again even if they offered free bra's/

  22. maybe you should have given her a chance to measure you and prove her wrong if you think you were right instead of stomping out, as you said in your post yourself, different stores products fit differently on everyone, the boutique where you go could have had a 36C but that 36C could of been equivelent to that 36 F she said you were........i would have been more inclinde to believe you if you gave the girl a chance.....

  23. La Senza and Victoria Secret are the same Company.
    Owned by the same people from the same manufacturer who makes the products. I work at a La Senza and if I was to give someone attitude like that i would be fired. She should have been sized and given different options instead of being treated like that. Sounds like you have a crappy store in your area. Maybe try a different La Senza.

  24. I have another twist on the marvelous company called Le Senza.

    Le Senza fires employees who are too "fat".

    I will avoid that chain like the black plague.

  25. I had a similar experience at La Senza Westfield - the sales assistant was adamant that I am definitely not a 38C and would not let me try anything other than 36D she picked out. Ok, so I tried the 36D and it was so tight, it was sorta poking my rib and hurting it (sides below my chest). She still thinks she is right and of course I walked out without buying anything. Their sizes run on the smaller side too.

  26. The way the LaSenza employee handled that situation is definitely not ok! But that aside, she might be a 36F. All brands are different and they don't compare to each other. Unfortunately I don't have very large breasts, and I don't think I've ever worn anything above a B my entire life! I went in and got measured today and the LaSenza employee (whom was very kind and helpful) told me that I was a 30 D. I couldn't believe it! At first she told me I could where a 32 B or a 30 C and she brought me a 30 C bra to try on for her. It was an ok fit, but both me and her could tell that the cup wasn't.. wide enough for me I guess. It was a perfect fit around my body, but a little side breast was popping out. So she brought me a 30 D instead and it fit like a glove! See, the common misconception is that the cup size is how large your breast is. This is not true. The cup size refers to how wide your breast is I guess you can say. For example, a 30 C wouldn't cover a wider breast as well as well as a 30 D would. I trusted the employee, and I went ahead and picked out some bras that I liked from LaSenza. I was a little worried that different types of bras might not fit the same but when I got home and tried it on every single 30 D that I had bought was perfect! So definitely give LaSenza another try and you may be surprised! Not every employee is the same so please don't judge the entire brand by one rude employee. Go get measured and give it a shot because LaSenza has wonderful bras!

    1. Oh! And the number in front refers to the width of you body in case you didn't know! So for a 30 D.. The width of my body is 30, and the wideness of my breast is a D cup. :)

  27. The same thing happened to me, but the women looked at me and told me that my bra size was 3 sizes smaller than my size than she gave me the size she guessed it was and they were way to small. i walked out of the store. Stopped shopping there too. just pathetic.

  28. Yeah. I went there as a 14 year old, and they were all 'your boobs are too small for a real bra.' in a rude manner, and then tried to sell me $50 weird bralette things (?) that looked like a Victorian pedophile's dream mini-bra.
    I have never bothered to wear a non-sports bra since.


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