Feb. 23 2011 10:25 AM

Finding a fitter in San Diego

Intimacy's wall o' undies
I hate Victoria's Secret. The proliferation of the emblazoned PINK ass across college campuses is enough to make me shun the business. But the bras feel like crap and fit worse.

Last year, I hit up a handful of local lingerie shops that specialize in great bras. Most are still in business and worth checking out, but, lately, everyone is screaming-mad for a mall store—a faux-florally smelling one at that. And my cha chas, like the times, they are a- changin'. So, I decided to venture into the Valley and see what all the talk was about.

At Intimacy (Fashion Valley Mall, myintimacy.com), they shun the tape measure. I actually think this is brilliant marketing on their part—dispose of as much of the “number” as possible. Of course, bras still come 32, 34, 36 and various letters all the way to K, but ditching the bright-yellow tape measure is genius.

Of course, they have to figure out your size somehow, and, so, for the uninitiated, I present you their routine. It starts in a small room with the fitter. You show her how your current bra fits. She pokes and prods with all the sober-mindedness of a doctor. And then you let them hang.

They do give you a thin robe to drape on after the appraisal, and then the fitter leaves and returns with an armful of frilly, fanciful, lacy, frou-frou bras. And this is the part I don't understand about Intimacy. They don't really have much in the utilitarian, pragmatic or sensible vein. Nothing here is subtle. Everything has hot-pink flowers and turquoise frippery. Eggplant is considered a neutral here. Maybe it's because most of their bras were made in Europe. Or perhaps it's because they originated in Atlanta. I've seen those Housewives.

Anyone who's gone to Intimacy and has a sense of humor will tell you about the “bend over.” That's how the fitter puts the bra on you. You stand there exposed and naked. And this woman, whom you've just met mere moments ago, stands behind you and asks you to bend over. And then she swings the bra around the front of you. The fabric cups your boobs, she fastens it in back and you're free to stand upright.

The Fitter explains that it's the horizontal strap across the back that's giving the real support. I never complained of straps digging into my shoulders, but I've several friends who do, often, and swear by the fit of an Intimacy bra.

This is all very different from a fitting at Nordstrom or other bra stores I've written about. I've never had a fitter hang with me through the whole experience. But here, the fitter pushes the fleshy part down, tugs the side straps over the traditional back-fat area, squeezes and pats and—voila!—the boobs stand at attention, the bulging back smoothes. I stand taller, prouder.

And then I took that one off and did it all over again.

Naked. Bend over. Flip up. Poke, prod, push. Voila! I do this 10 or 15 times—honestly, I lost count—but I do recall that each new bra was fussier than the last.

There was no denying that several of the bras fit me better than anything I'd ever put on my body. And, suddenly, hot pink was looking mighty fine. At $135 apiece (they range from around $75 to well over $200), I wasn't going to buy an armful, but I did get a couple and, for the first time ever, I excitedly wore a bra out of the store.

Here's the rub: Without my trusted fitter by my side, it took me 10 minutes at home to get the bra to fit about 80 percent as well as it did in the store. I poked, I prodded and I pushed. I even bent over. It puckered where there was no pucker before. Now, three days later, it no longer has the new-bra glow. I'm left thinking it's not the bras that are so awesome at Intimacy. It's the fitter. And I miss her.

Looking for something? Write to clea@sdcitybeat.com.

Intimacy's wall o' undies


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