Sunday, January 24, 2010

Down To Bra Stacks

They’re right up there on my “Yech! Hate it” list along with lizards, queue cutters and people who say “I am looking forward FOR”……


The salesgirls in lingerie shops. Indian lingerie shops at least.

I’ll tell you this: we Indian women are a disadvantaged lot when it comes to undergarments. The number of brands available - limited. The sizes, colours and styles - limited. Sales personnel knowledge on the subject - limited.

After an SOS from KO, who needed just the right kind of bra to go with some newly acquired dresses, I accompanied her to just about every lingerie store on Bangalore’s Commercial Street. While the search was quite fruitless for the most part, the attitude - or more pertinently, ineptitude - of the sales personnel really got our goat.

At the end of the ordeal, I had a thing or ten to tell lingerie sales women:

1. Do not judge your customer and throw her holier-than-thou looks; as if she is morally less upright than yourself for not having asked to see your cloth-bag-cum-emergency-parachute range of brassieres that would put her rosary-counting great grandma to shame, opting instead for racier numbers

2. You will never be an expert judge of size. Period.

3. If you don’t have it, don’t put posters of it up on the wall and then nod forlornly when asked for it

4. Do not assume that everyone needs a white bra; not all women like to shroud what nature gave them in Indian mourning attire

5. Not every customer is Winona Ryder; if you are convinced that all lingerie tryouts are guaranteed shoplifts, put those bar code thingies on the undergarments instead of shouting across the floor, “Madam, where is your bra?”

6. Finally, “Multiplay” is a line of multi-way bras (from Enamor), new on the market; do not act like we’re nincompoops who walked into a lingerie store asking for contraception

Interestingly, we found exactly what we were looking for in a little section of Arihant Plaza… ably guided by… a man.


  1. Yes, no? Verrry annoying salesgirls in lingerie shops. Who titter and make not-so-subtle gestures at their equally insipid colleagues when asked for non-white fun undies, like say a strawberry patterned bikini brief. Or whatever.
    On the other hand, I don't like buying bras from men either. Best is to head to a mega-mall and DIY.
    Also, was very shocked that in India we can try out undies before buying. Yecks. Thumbs down.
    You asked for 'Multiplay'?? Ujjjhu. Loose characters girls. :)

  2. Ironic really!!! Must add that the 'able' man was not in the least judgemental.:-)

    Haha, I think the 'white sati savitri'/'hide behind the curtain' looks are what they're trying to sell from the looks of it.

  3. @LBV: Yes, that's another most horribl-est practice! Even the mega-malls wouldn't have what we finally chanced on (no details on a public forum)*wink*

    @KO: Ah, freedom! *wink* *wink*

  4. Oh this was a much needed post. These women are a veritable nightmare particularly if you are well-endowed. And that knowledgeable man at Arihant plaza leers. But he has what we need, so I guess the name of the game is to put up. Sigh.

  5. @Boom: If you're referring to that more creepy fella at the very end of the passage at AP - not him. This was a more genial, objective, oldish fella at another shop...

  6. Okay - this is really funny in a sad, sad way. And with my generous bosom, I'm forewarned to take the requisite unmentionables with me if and when I venture to India.

  7. @Meri: What! And miss the joys of lingerie shopping here?! Tsk ;)

    The big stores and malls are not as bad though...

  8. GOSH! this strikes a cord! half the times the lingerie girls fail to understand what one is asking for!

    one sales girl called called and took help of a man when i asked for a halter. the only help that man could provide was a hard and strong stare at my chest!

  9. @SEPO: It's like the prerequisite for being a lingerie salesgirl is zilch comprehension skills, right? Urrrgh!

    As for the men, they don't even need half a reason to stare at a woman's chest ;) Thoo!

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  11. LOL!!Blah.....this is hilarious!!I think u found ur self an opportunity....  Maybe you should look into start a Biz and open a the perfect Lingerie store :)


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