"I can tell just by looking at you that you're in a band that's too big and a cup that's too small," says Sonya Perkins, owner of Forever Yours Lingerie as she leads me to the dressing room.
The experience of buying a bra at Forever Yours is more like shopping for a wedding dress than an undergarment. Even though the Burnaby store is a third of the size of its sister location in Langley, the stock room is full to the gills with bras in all styles and sizes. That's where the fitter disappears to pull options after I'm measured and we've discussed what I'm looking for.
"I wanted friends who are different sizes to be able to shop together and find something that they both like," Perkins explains of her expansive size-inclusive collection. They won't necessarily find the same thing because brands and bra styles fit so differently even within the same size but there is something for everybody.
Perkins is passionate about making sure women understand that there is nothing wrong with their bodies; clothes are meant to fit us, not the other way around.
From the dressing room, I can hear her speaking with another customer. It's her first time shopping here but she says she has known about the place for years and hasn't been able to muster up the courage to visit until now. The energy in the store is one of warmth and positivity with mirrors and neon signs offering words of encouragement and joy.
This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of this store and to celebrate those who visit the store on Saturday, June 11, will be met with champagne from Penticton’s Time Family of Wines and goodies from Cupcake Sensation and Punk Rock Pastries. There are also giveaways happening for people who make a purchase or post a photo on Instagram of the interactive display.
The store's inventory is mostly comprised of lesser-known European brands that Perkins selects from runways in Paris and New York. Going to the shows gives her a competitive edge because the pieces are high-quality and fashionable, but, more importantly, exclusive.
My fitter, Jenn, pulls bra after bra for me based on my feedback and as my enthusiasm mounts, the chair I am discarding them on is overflowing. The underwire should sit right at the root of the breast she explains, where the breast tissue meets the sternum and the density and shape of your breast will also affect how deep a bra needs to be. Working with a fitter each time you purchase a new bra will make a huge difference in the fit because they can see just by looking if you need to adjust in a certain area.
I ask about strapless bras and that's a whole other ballgame. A strapless bra should be more snug around the band than average and the ones with seams along the cups provide better body moulding, they won't make you feel like you need to keep pulling it up.
Bras are also like a new pair of shoes, says Jenn, you have to wear them in. Eighty per cent of the support should come from the band and 20 per cent should come from the straps and if you have been wearing the wrong-sized bra your whole life, that new ratio will take some getting used to.
@vancouverisawesome @Forever Yours Lingerie in Burnaby is having a one year anniversary event this weekend so @editorialallie went and checked it out! #vancouverisstyling #lingeriefashion #lingerie ♬ original sound - vancouverisawesome