I used to be an avid lingerie shopper. I had a whole dresser just devoted to it. It wasn’t necessarily for sharing with my boyfriend at the time (although he welcomed the plethora of options) but I spent quite a few years as a model doing lingerie shoots primarily (considering I’m not a size 0 and have boobs bigger than even Victoria’s Secret models) lingerie/glamour and nudes where my thing since I have the curves and figure for it. So I spent ALOT of money on lingerie. And I had some weird stuff too given to me by clients…which at some point I was like…w.t.f. am I going to do with this and just tossed it.
So buying lingerie used to be my thing, I knew of great places to get it, in a variety of sizes and on the cheap. When you’re doing a few shoots a month you dont want repeat offenders so having a wide selection is important. And goodness knows I was not about to go and drop $100 everytime I needed a new garter belt at Victoria’s Secret.
I don’t buy so much any more (especially since I live alone and my boyfriend is far far away) but I do always browse the lingerie section when I have the chance to and have a few favorite spots to get some sexy underthings when the need calls!
Now one thing about me, is I really do HATE online shopping. Unless its from a store that I absolutely know the size I wear and can ensure that it will fit the same everytime (or if its shoes) I won’t buy online. The hassle of returning things because they don’t fit annoys me. Ain’t nobody got time to return shit.
But here’s some (In Person!) places I’ve had some luck at!
Check out TJMaxx, Marshalls and other similar stores. You can find some really nice bras/panties (think Calvin Klein, DKNY, Betsey Johnson) and if you’re really into digging and checking frequently (like I am!) they will occassionally have some super cute nighties or lingerie, I’ve even seen some Teddies and corset-esque styles! Especially around V-day. Prices are usually even cheaper here then they are at department stores (I’ve found DKNY and Calvin Klein bras for only $7!!)
This is my go-to. I keep it separate from TJMaxx and Marshalls because the Rack is a little bit pricier and they carry more expensive bras like Natori and even some La Perla. The reason I usually opt for Nordstrom Rack is because the more expensive brands like Natori, carry a 32DDD/32F. A hard size to come by. And although I could go to the regular Nordstrom spending $70-100 on a bra just isn’t my favorite thing. So when I find my size at the Rack, I buy it up! You usually can find matching panties, but they don’t really carry much lingerie.
Fredericks of Hollywood
Lucky me there’s a Frederick’s somewhat nearby (only a 40 min drive) but if you’re looking for bras in a ton of different sizes and lots of lingerie here is your place. They always have good sales (buy two bras for $40 kinda sales) and they’re clearance rack is always a good place to go for corsets. Before I got sized at Nordstrom, I went here all the time. They’re sizes (to me!) Remained pretty consistent, so I wasn’t buying a 32DD in one bra and a 34D in another. So I was cool with ordering online.
Eventhough they don’t carry my size at all, H&M is my first place to check when I’m looking for lingerie. Because A. Its cheap (and if that baby is just going to get ripped off why spend a bunch of money) C. they usually have a pretty wide variety. Lots of lacey underthings, including corsets, bras, panties…they used to have garter belts but I haven’t seen them in awhile. H&M is a good place if you’re looking for things without spending a ton!
Burlington Coat Factory
Yep, totally found cute stuff here! Cheap too. This is a great place to just pick up some throw away lingerie (maybe for a weekend trip or for a naughty date night!) You gotta dig through the isles but you can find some cute corset style items. Now Although I’ve found stuff at Burlington, the quality isn’t always the best. These are definitely the wear once or twice kinda lingerie pieces. I wouldn’t recommend perhaps buying something you’d wear often from here, like bras or if you wear corsets often. But if you want something cute for a night, its worth a gander.
If you’re in Illinois, Indiana, Florida or Wisconsin. Discovery is a sure fire place to stop in for some dirt cheap lingerie. This is another wear once or twice kinda place. But for me it was always a great place to pick up some variety for photoshoots without spending a ton of money. Not to mention, I bought TONS of underwear here (my dog has a little thing about eating my undies…so I am constantly buying new ones). Now its not so convienently located for me, but if the need strikes for a new piece of lingerie that I don’t plan on wearing a ton, this is where I’ll go.
Different F21 offer different things, but you can find some really cute things here in their intimates section! Its Forever 21 so its really reasonably priced and usually on trend. Sizes can be limited as they typically shoot for the young, thin 20-something with average boobs, so if you’re on the curvy side or chesty side, I’d look elsewhere.
Charlotte Russe/Wet Seal/Rainbow/5-7-9
I’ve found things here on occasion. Best time to check it out? Around Valentine’s Day or New Years. And don’t just look in the intimates section. Charlotte Russe often carries bustiers right on the racks next to the t-shirts! Its worth a peek in the other stores, even if its just a quick walk through to see what they’ve got!
Bras, Undies and a really great photoshop-free campaign. Vowing to not photoshop their models and show a wide(r) variety of different sized girls. Aerie is a good place to check out if you’re on the hunt for some great basics. Plus they’re underwear is awesome…and sometimes they do a 10 for $20 deal on underwear…best. deal. ever.
If you’re lucky enough to have a topshop near you, definitely check out their lingerie section! I’m not a big fan of their clothing but after browsing their website, they’re lingerie is pretty cute! They have some bigger cup sizes listed which is nice and unusual for stores like Topshop. Not too much in the way of teddies/corsets/babydolls, but definitely lots of matching sets, bralets and color!
Not a whole lot about American Apparel says…well American…to me, besides it being made in the USA. But its also a good place to look for something basic or something unique. If you need a bandeau bra or a body suit…go here first. I needed a body suit for my halloween costume, after searching 10+ places…I finally went here. Boom, walked in, two minutes found exactly what I needed. Could have saved myself about 6 hours of shopping…
Another place worth a check if you’re looking for something a little more casual! Relaxed and comfy is the style of most of their lingerie. Some of the bra sets have a really cool geometric graphic style to them! Could be great for a weekend away! And while you’re at Urban Outfitters wander over to the books section and pick up some fun books to fill out together! I’ve even seen 365 days of positions hidden in the stacks at UO!
A little on the higher priced end of the list, but nice none the less. Anthropologie (and Urban Outfitters) isn’t my usual go to place for clothes as Anthro is usually pretty pricey for a bohemian style and Urban is just too bohemian for me (I’m more of a Kate Spade kinda girl). But lingerie is a different story, it can be flowy, pretty, lacy and dreamy which will make it totally sexy! Anthropologie has a few high end items (some body suits over $150) but everything ranges around $70.
The obvious option. Now if you’ve been reading along with me for awhile…you’ll get the vibe that I don’t like Victoria’s Secret. They have some gorgeous lingerie. They really do. But overall, I can never find anything, A. that comes in my size, B. its expensive to buy things that dont fit. The ONLY time I shop at Victoria’s Secret is the semi-annual sale and thats only if I happen to pass by. I like the underwear (but when my dog chews it up before its a week old…spending $8 on a pair of panties…not so good). I’ve found wuth bras they don’t last very long, especially for spending $50 on one. But you will be sure to find something for your special occasion at VS.
Target is hit or miss when it comes to lingerie. They used to carry lots of pretty little nighties and baby dolls, but now the selection is limited and the teen options are much larger. But sometimes in their bridal endcap they’ll have something cute or around Valentine’s day. Its always a good place to check out for a cute matching set of bra/panties. And Target is my FAVORITE, and I’m talking FAVORITE place to buy underwear. Everytime I go I buy at least 5 pair. The clearance section always has tons of panties for anywhere from $1.75-3.50. I stock up!
Yes, I said Walmart. Now I’ve been a few times to a Walmart that carries clothing (there aren’t any in my close proximity) but I have on occasion checked out other locations and they do sometimes have cute things. Their selection online is slim, but I’m sure (like with any place) the options around Valentine’s day get boosted up a bit. Plus for $12-20 its not bad to have that as an option if you’re in a pinch or can’t afford much. Plus you can always count on Walmart when you’re out of town…you know there will be one somewhere nearby.
Thank you Sophia Vergara! I was not only surprised but impressed with their online offerings…I may just have to venture on up to the nearest Kmart! Kmart teamed up with Sophia Vergara but also Adore Me (Remember my enthusiasm for Subscription boxes!!! Adore Me is the Lingerie Subscription Service!) So there are TONS of cute lingerie pieces online (and at the stores I’m sure). Between regular lingerie and shapewear (totally gorgeous if you ask me!) Kmart is a really reasonable option and way better than Walmart and Target. Still the wear a few times kinda lingerie but now that I know they have such a great selection I’ll be heading that way to check it out when I need something new!
Sears and Kmart are kiiiiinda the same, but Sears does have some different things than Kmart. They do carry the same Adore Me line so you’ll see some repeats on their website. But they have their own items as well! And Sears has a whole category just for Corsets! ❤ The nice thing about places like Sears and Kmart is they often have plus size lingerie too. So no one has to feel left out! It looks like some of their more specialty stuff (like the Adore Me, Corsets, fancier lingerie) is only available online, but its still worth a trip to see what they’ve got! You can always ship to store now, try it on and return right there if it doesn’t fit…Well crap, I never thought of that before now! Hello!
Another suprising little place to check out. Their online selection is pretty decent as well. A pretty good mix of reasonably priced corsets, chemises and baby dolls and cute matching sets of panties and bras, in a variety of sizes and colors. Now part of the issue I have with places like Sears/Walmart/JCP and their lingerie selection is the size selection is pretty generic. Think you get a 32A, 32B, 32C…34A, 34B, 34C…etc. Pretty limited considering most people don’t fit into that slim little sizing category. But trial and error you can find a size that “kinda” fits and its coming off at the end of the night anways so why not.
Those are my little go to (and some new finds! Hey Hey Kmart!) places when I’m looking for inexpensive lingerie that isn’t VS. If I do shop online, I tend to go to Yandy.com because of the absolutely MASSIVE selection of lingerie, cheap prices and once I kinda figured out my generic sizing equivalent its ok to shop for cheap lingerie.
One last piece of advice…particularly about sizing. I can’t stress enough about how important it is to get a REAL bra fitting that is not done at Victoria’s Secret. It seriously can change your life having a correct size. But it can cost you a fortune. But if you get fitted, know your true size (not your VS bullshit size) you can kinda try on a few things in a few different sizes to see what could work. Here’s some things that work for me…and my 32F chest…
- I stay away from cheap lingerie that has underwire/cup specific sizes. Since most cheap lingerie goes up to a C its hard to find something that I’m not oozing out of. I stick to lacy, no-cup size, baby doll style pieces or slim fitting chemises.
- When you get fitted, as the fit specialist for some suggestions! Just tell her you want to buy some sexy lingerie, but you can only find pieces you like that don’t go up to your size, what do you suggest?? A girlfriend of mine, got some of her favorite bras tailored when she lost some weight!
- Try on different sizes, if you can absolutely not avoid a wired cup, try different sizes. If you’re normally a 34D, but they only go up to a C, try a 36C. It doesn’t always work, but I’ve managed to find some 34D pieces that was able to smoosh into comfortably.
- Know the return policy, try on and if don’t take the tags off if you’re not sure. I learned my lesson, I bought a bra (when I see 32DDD/F, I just buy without trying now) and when I got home I ripped the tag off, tossed it and tried it on…well the bra didn’t quite fit like I’d like to so now I’m stuck with a bra that fits but not super comfortable…when I could have returned it.
- Know your favorite brands. Oh.My.Gosh. This is KEY. I have two favorite brands of bra…DKNY and Josie. Everytime I see one at the Rack in my size I buy, because I know they fit, I know I love them and they’re oh so comfortable. I love my DKNY bra so much that I emailed them told them how much I loved it because it came in my size and no one ever carries that size…it is now falling apart because I wear it so much. Knowing which brands you love and fit well…help when you go to places like the Rack or TJMaxx. You can zone in on those.
I hope this CRAZY long post helps you find some awesome lingerie! My next lingerie adventure is to try some online shopping…
Where do you like to buy lingerie!?
***All opinions are my own, I have not been compensated by any of the above companies for this post***