Panty Raid

Once upon a time I had a pair of lucky green panties. They were dark green, size small, purchased from Victoria’s Secret while I was in college. They were my “lucky” green panties because for some reason, they just wouldn’t die. I had those damn things for over ten years — during which time my weight fluctuated up and down by about 35 pounds. AND THEY STILL FIT. ALWAYS. These were magical panties. No two ways about it.

I liked Victoria’s Secret underthings. They were well-made and comfortable, and they came in a variety of styles — most of which I had no intention of trying, ever. I’ve generally shied away from both of the spectrum’s extremities; I don’t go for the high-leg briefs (full belly-button and tramp stamp coverage) nor the string thongs (cooter-floss). I’ve always preferred the bikinis and the briefs. All I ask of a panty is full cheek-coverage and a disinclination to creep up my crannies.

Check, and check.

My underwear drawer is loosely organized in tiers. I have three tiers of underwear: (1). Nice, new underpants to delight any emergency first-responders, (2). middling underpants which are maybe a little old or faded, but are structurally sound, and (3). the old beaters for wearing once a month, or on the absolute last day before laundry hits critical mass.

Historically speaking, these tiers cycle through once every few years (except for that lucky green pair) — and the cycling occurs when I’d wander into VS and hit the table with the “Five pairs for $25!” sign.

Because I’ve been such a regular, faithful customer, VS sends me intermittent coupon cards redeemable for one free panty. I have acquired many a pair in this fashion, and I’ll admit, the marketing tactic has worked on me more than once. I mean, if I get one FREE panty, and the panties are already 5 for $25, then REALLY I can get SIX pairs for $25 — which is a perfectly respectable price for almost a week’s worth of something I intend to keep and wear for awhile.

So. To make a long story short, for most of my paycheck-earning adult life — approximately 20 years — I’ve owned virtually nothing but Victoria’s Secret underpants.

But I think this is going to change. The reasons are primarily two-fold.


    (1). The older I get, the less respect — nay, simple civility — I receive from their sales staff. It’s as if anyone over 22 is invisible, and utterly unworth their time. I’m thirty-four, and they act like I’m teetering around the sales floor with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. But I’m not. I’m a civilized adult customer with credit cards and decades of brand loyalty in my britches — and I don’t deserve the nasty attitude and eye-rolling. On the rare occasions when I see a girl trying to offer good customer service, she’s usually shouted down by other employees. (No shit. I saw this today, actually. That’s why I didn’t pick up a free panty, and threw the coupon away.)

    (2). The panties are no longer any good. I don’t know if the quality dropped off a cliff all of a sudden, or if it happened gradually — over the year or two wherein I didn’t buy any, shortly after moving to Seattle and being so broke I was rolling pennies for tampon money. But the quality has definitely gone to hell.

It’s not as if I didn’t give them the benefit of a doubt. I didn’t do a spot-check via free panty acquisition; I’m talking about a total of twelve pairs of underpants that are virtually unwearable, acquired at different stores (in different STATES), for pretty much the same reasons across the board.


    PROBLEM THE FIRST: THE FIT. Something about the cut of the briefs/bikinis changed – and now I can’t get them to successfully cover my right ass-cheek to save my life. Now, as those of you who’ve met me can attest, my ass is not particularly uneven. I mean, one cheek might be a little fuller than the other — people are a little asymmetrical sometimes, okay, fine. But I’m not such a lopsided butt-freak that people stop me on the street to point and laugh. For that matter, all my older (second- and third-tier panties) fit just fine. They cup both booty halves without comment, complaint, or incident. No crack-ward creep occurs. It’s only the new ones that fail me.

    PROBLEM THE SECOND: THE INTRODUCTION OF A SECRET POCKET. Yeah. If that sounds weird to you regular panty-wearing types, it ought to. I don’t want a secret pocket in my panties. I don’t ever intend to carry anything in my panties — least of all, cradled halfway up my hoo-hah. But as far as I could tell, all the styles now have this handicap.

Here. It’s time for pictures.

(Though first, I’m going to put in a page-cut because this is running long. Click the link below in order to get a gander at the visuals — unless you’ve followed a link directly to this entry, in which case, just keep scrolling.)

Below you shall see a perfectly ordinary (though hideously flawed) pair of Victoria’s Secret panties, size medium. Lime green with white polka-dots. Kicky, non?

pantyraid 001

Well, I rather liked them. That’s why I bought them — that, and an eternal sense of optimism. Hey, maybe these panties wouldn’t suck! Maybe they’d cover both cheeks, instead of cruelly leaving one to hang, and galloping merrily toward my southern tropics. Yeah, and maybe monkeys will fly out of my ass.

(They’d better not, unless they want to get clothes-lined in a peculiarly literal fashion.)

Anyway, these undies don’t just suffer from the poor cut. They suffer from the SECRET POCKET.

pantyraid 003

What has basically happened here is that Victoria’s Secret has decided that stitching the cotton crotch all the way to the main body of the underpant is entirely too much trouble. So they’ve left the top edge open. Note, if you will, how that top seam has curled inward. That’s from one washing. ONE WASHING and the damn thing feels like sitting on a jump rope if I’m wearing anything more form-fitting than a sleeping bag.

No, it isn’t a HUGE SEAM, though my experience with other pairs over several washings proves that the seam begins to roll even tighter, and become even more uncomfortable. And the point is, it’s a significant seam in a VERY SENSITIVE PLACE, which is to say, it DOES NOT BELONG THERE.

I assume this is some kind of cost-cutting measure on Victoria’s Secret’s part. I bet they save a whopping three cents on every panty they fail to stitch up to completion. Way to screw up a perfectly good pair of panties, Victoria. I hope your three cents per pair keeps you warm at night.

But then again, maybe I’m misunderstanding the situation! Maybe it’s not a bug, it’s a feature. Here are just a few of the things I had hanging around the apartment — things which easily fit in the secret pocket.

My favorite lipstick – left hanging half out of the pocket lest you think it’s some kind of toy.

pantyraid 004

My Nano. One day I’ll be able to control the shuffle mode while practicing my Kegels.

pantyraid 006

A flash drive. GET IT? I’D HAVE TO TAKE OFF MY UNDERPANTS TO SHOW IT TO YOU! SO IT’S A LITERAL FLASH DRIVE! Get it? [:: cough cough ::] [:: initiates shuffle mode ::] [:: oops ::]

pantyraid 007

So. Yes. Anyway.
That’s basically why I’m taking my business elsewhere.

Oh, there are a few other reasons, don’t get me wrong. For example — to add a footnote to the problem with the Secret Pocket seam, it’s very difficult to get a pad to stick to the crotch surface when the seam is coiling around all over the place. And I kind of hate the direction that the store’s decor has been going in the last few years.

Back in my day [:: rattles cane ::] Victoria’s Secret was a fairly classy, low-key place for grown-up women-shaped people of taste — not a storefront that looked like the interior of a pedophile’s favorite van. I don’t know what’s up with that PINK line, but it makes my eyes bleed. No thanks.

* * *

Well, I’m sure I’ll find a suitable replacement eventually. Jockeys have come quite highly recommended, and the Gap has nice underwear for about the same price. And for now, I still have enough of a stash of the old VS styles to last me a bit longer.

It’s a shame, though. I’m going to miss those polka-dots.

Last Modified on April 18, 2010
this article Panty Raid

125 thoughts on “Panty Raid

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-43395">

    Well, seeing as we Canadians don’t have a Victoria Secret (our equivalent is either La Senza or La Vie En Rose), I can’t REALLY relate. But, I must say, I loved every word. Those damn secret pockets are freaky and WEIRD. Perhaps their use is more sinister/useful? A la, sex toy? HAH! Let that bake your noodle.

    Great post. Love love loved it.

    li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-43396">

    I kinda missed the transition when Victoria’s Secret turned into Victoria’s of Hollywood, but it sure did happen. Also, I’ve wondered what that pocket was supposed to be good for. Thanks for showing me.

    Also also, I’m not sure you get to complain about what search phrases send people to your site anymore…

    [*]

    li class="comment byuser comment-author-cherie bypostauthor even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-43397">

    Thanks guys – and point taken, Laszlo ;)

    li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-43398">
    Jenny Tait

    I’m so glad it’s not just me! I thought my sister was crazy when she mentioned the panties kept riding, er, in on her–that’s one thing I never had happen. But that secret pocket bit? So annoying and worse yet, so annoying in such a sensitive area. No more panties from them. However, their bras do tend to hold up a bit longer than most I’ve run across.

    I do remember when VS was the classy place to go. The past 5 to 10 years, it’s seemed more on par with Frederick’s of Hollywood (which actually had a storefront in the Staten Island mall when I lived there).

    li class="comment byuser comment-author-cherie bypostauthor even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-43399">

    Jenny, I’m glad to know it’s not just me, too.

    I’ve heard people complaining about the bras, but I’ve actually had pretty good luck with theirs – but not so good that I routinely brave the place to get one. Unless they’re WAY on sale, I don’t bother.

    li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-43400">

    Also as a Canadian, I can attest to not having VS in Canada, but rather La Senza. Though, as a guy, I have limited experience with such stores for underthings outside of long-term relationships that I’ve been in, and I must say that the responses I’ve received by simply being there shopping with my girlfriend have been less than welcome. It’s probably not relevant to the experiences that you speak of, but I do sympathize with the indifference that you have experienced as of late.

    pfft, that guy isn’t attractive enough to be with a girl who wears our product is the general vibe I tend to get. As accurate as that statement ought or not ought to be, retailers who are patronising in general greatly disappoint me.

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-43401">
    WaywardScooterGirl

    Bravo, Bravo…well said.

    li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-43403">

    You are not the first person I have heard complain about rude VS sales clerks. I’ve heard of one informing a plus-sized individual that “we don’t carry your size here.” The woman was there to buy a present for her granddaughter. She took her business elsewhere and told them why.

    I have two pair of VS u-wear that I have had for *years*. I think the crotches are finally wearing out, and the silken surfaces are slightly pilled. I’d call them second-tier, easy, but the damned things must be 10 years old. I bought them online. I never had any desire to go into an actual VS store, in part because of stories I heard about the rude clerks.

    This post cracked me up no end.

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-43404">
    Ali

    I stopped shopping at VS when a salesperson outright laughed in my face and suggested I go across the hall to Lane Bryant. I haven’t set foot in VS since.

    li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-43405">

    Well, I get the points about Fredricks, but I have to say this: as a long time Fredrick buyer (online at least) they have always been willing to offer some great sexy clothes for plus size women, where as the one time I attempted to get VS’s 2 bra deal they practically got the pitchforks out when I walked into the store. I’ve always had a big problem with their customer service and their attitude about D cups.

    li class="comment byuser comment-author-cherie bypostauthor even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-43406">

    I’m not crapping on Fredricks, and won’t do so in the future. I STILL own a couple of perfectly nice garter belts and pairs of stockings from Fredricks, and I haven’t been inside one in probably six or seven years. They’ve held up great.

    li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-43408">
    Waffle

    Of all the reviews of Victoria’s secret merchandise, this is by far and away the only one I’ve read. Now I’m going to stare a footstool for a half hour, or rub grape jelly in a strangers hair. Something to clear my head.

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-43409">
    JonelB

    Layne Bryant has suffered from a dramatic dip in quality.
    I have some underwear that, like your magic green pair, has been with me for years and years, and still fits wonderfully!
    But I have some recent pairs from LB that are just…unacceptable. I’ve worn them once, and then instantly they fell apart, or began to fall apart, or the waistband fell apart. Since I’m a plus-size girl, it’s not really possible to migrate somewhere else that still has fashionable and well-fitting undies.
    A similar issue is with the Victoria’s secret bra construction lately. I had one that I put on once, and the entire right seam of the underwire came out. They wouldn’t let me exchange or return it, because it was apparently my fault that it made it past their inspections. So that was $36 for something that I cannot wear, and is still in my closet for when I have the time to sew it up one day.
    Another bra had the same issue after I wore it for only a week, luckily this one just had one end come undone so I had the time to fix it.
    Either way….I’m not happy to spend money on things that are supposed to be quality but fall apart after a single use–neither LB’s undies or VS’s bras have been satisfactory lately.

    li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-43410">
    Kat

    I loved your post. I too stopped shopping at VS but did so years ago when their bras started to look like they used Madonna’s tour costumes as a model. The Jockey bikini briefs are great. They don’t ride up and I’ve never noticed a secret pocket. You can also find them regularly on sale at Macy’s.

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-43411">
    Domini

    3rded on Jockey. I like the synthetic-fabric ones because if you get the right pair, they last a long time and still look decent. (Cotton wears too fast.)

    Also…you should post at least one of the pics outside the cut. Just to bring some laughs to everyone who’s friended you. Those pics are great XD

    li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-43412">

    You have no fucking idea how much I hate that “secret pocket”. It’s one of the many reasons why I refuse to buy anything at VS anymore (the other main reason being that some leering security guard always seems to mosey over, lick his lips, and stare at me as I’m going through the panty bins, which makes me feel a little, oh, I don’t know…WHORISH). I now buy all my panties at the drug store – big ugly three-packs of Hanes, that fit fine and have nary a secret pocket in sight.

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-43413">

    I, too, have sworn off of VS for the same reasons, my last panty trek was about 2 or 3 years ago now. I have been much pleased with what I get from Christmas from Macy;s these days (yes, at my family holidays, Santa brings panties. From Macy’s. Mine was strange upbringing. But entertaining.)
    The charter club stuff has been cute (I have navy with pale blue polka dots and very narrow picot lace edging, very burlesque-esque and kicky), I am less a fan of the Hilfiger stuff they carry. I recommend giving those Charter Club cuties a look-see. I’ve also got plain black, white, grey. And pale lime green with itty bitty dots and plaid! Lots with the cute.

    I can’t believe I am comparing underwear notes with you. Somewhere a fanboy is a-sploding.

    li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-43414">
    Melissa Teppo

    Word sister. Word.

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-43415">

    I shall add my voice to the pro-Jockey crowd. Comfortable, reasonable, and haven’t changed shape in ages. They also make some cute colors and remarkably nice camisole/tank top things that are soft and stretchy. Sadly, they don’t make bras my size, but what the hell… can’t have everything.

    I too gave up on VS long ago. Not only do they no longer carry the panties I liked, or the larger size bras they used to (some are still available catalog only, but quality is in the toilet on those) they treat everyone over 30 or more than 10# overweight like untouchables. Quality is lousy and attitude is worse. Apparently VS is only for women who don’t really NEED undergarments, they just want to be seen buying them.

    li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-43419">
    Heather

    I once went into a VS in Las Vegas to get new bras.
    One of the women working there (with the requisite tape-measure around her neck) came up and asked if I needed help. I had a few things in my hands, but mentioned that one of the bras I was interested in, I couldn’t find in my size. She said, “And what is your size?” When I told her 38DD, she rolled her eyes, “tsk”-ed me and said (quite loudly) “You are NOT a 38 DD!” She whipped the tape-measure off her neck, rudely pushed my arms aside, and began to measure me through my clothes. She said “You’re a 34.” (Keep in mind that she in no way did an accurate measurement, because the tape was never tight around my body.) I said, “No, I’m not.” She dragged me over to the display and shoved a 34C into my hands. “Trust me,” she said. “This is your size.” I calmly (well…relatively calmly) explained to her that if I tried to fasten a 34C bra around my rib cage, I would then cease to breathe comfortably.
    She made one of those faces at me…you know the ones…the “how dare you tell me that I’m wrong! I’m the trained professional here!” looks, and said “Look, MISS, I just measured you, and I’m TELLING you you’re a 34C!” I looked around the store, saw a woman behind the counter on the telephone, and turned to the woman who had ben “helping” me. “Is that the manager?” I asked through clenched teeth. She said “Yeah!” Again with one of those looks everyone knows. The slightly curled upper lip, making her look like she smells something bad. (I’m guessing it was her career crashing and burning.) I shoved the items I had been carrying into her hands and walked to the manager.
    She took one look at my face and hung up the phone. (I guess I was looking pretty scary.) She said, “How may I help you?”
    I said, “Well, for starters, you can re-train HER (and I pointed at my “helper”) in customer service. And then…YOU will help me find the sizes I need, and YOU will ring me up, and YOU will handle the customeer service fiasco that SHE (again I pointed) has created. Or YOU will be explaining to YOUR corporate office why YOUR STORE has lost a customer, and quite possibly a lot of customers, because I know nearly every freaking stripper in this city! How’s that sound…(I looked at her name tag) Stephanie??”
    I got THE BEST customer service that day. And I never saw the original woman in that store again. I guess threatening them with losing that much in sales works. Strippers live in VS. Its like the smell of the store is their elixir of life. *shaking my head*

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-43420">

    I’m so glad it’s not just me. The last handful I bought all have the riding-up problem and the secret pocket from hell, plus they don’t fit right around the hips anymore and they’re falling apart just a few weeks later. I just don’t get it. The older ones were great, and mostly still are after several years.

    Jockey, check. Good to know.

    li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-43421">
    evelyn johnson

    Gilligan and O’Malley at Target. Inexpensive, durable and sensible for women in their 30s who would rather spend there money on books than fabric to protect their junk.

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-43422">
    Jennifer

    OMG. Pointed in this direction by a friend (who has listened to me bitch about their undies lately), and I have to say, You. Are. Not. Alone. And I am so, so disappointed by this.

    I’m Canadian, and we don’t have Victoria’s Secret up here, but I was shopping with my sister-in-law a couple of years back, and bought a few pairs of briefs just for “kicks”. They were the best panties I have ever worn. Ever. So comfortable. No riding up (or in).

    Imagine my disappointment when I “stocked up” on my last trip to the US, got home, and found them all riding up (and in), and the secret pocket. OY. Most uncomfortable panties ever.

    So. So. disappointed.

    I am so glad you posted this — its good to know my ass isn’t lop-sided either!! ;)

    li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-43423">

    Damn it I came here under the impression that their would be some sexy victorian bloomers on display :)

    I will note that my jocks come in two designs one with a sewn panel and one with the panel open at both sides (wtf am i supposed to use it to warm my hands?).

    Don’t get me started on customer service. I trained customer service operators for 7 years in a multinational company, its an attitude problem hard to overcome without the use of violence and water boarding.

    You did leave out a solution -that of jury-rigging. Taking spare parts from different undies – steampunkish?

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-43428">

    “there” not “their” damn it

    li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-43429">
    Kizayaen

    @Sean:

    Steampunk skivvies?

    I guess it’s true that brass and leather would never, ever, EVER wear out… at least not employed in that manner. I’m not certain it’d solve the comfort issue, though. And you damn sure wouldn’t be getting 6 for $25.

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-43430">

    I’ve noticed this “secret pocket” problem too–and its not just VS. It IS painful to sit on, you cannot get a pad/pantyliner to stick to it, and its just down right odd. I stopped buying VS underwear about 2 years ago when they stopped fitting (I too have the one-cheek creap problem, and my tuckas is JUST FINE). I still buy they’re bras tho as they’re the only ones I can find that are sized correctly and fit right (others seem to shrink, and if you have anything larger than an A cup, this is problematic). UGH.

    Please share the locale if you find the perfect panty!

    li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-43431">

    @Kizayaen,

    I was going along with the recycling strand in steampunk. A “panties of many colours” approach, lots of seems may cause problems though.

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-43442">
    Jen

    Bwahahahahaha! I LOVE this post — I totally agree, and I’m so glad it’s not just me! I’m 33 and — after stocking up on dozens of panties a couple of years ago — I hadn’t been in a VS store in quite a while. But my favorite pairs are beginning to look a bit careworn so I thought I’d pop in for some new spring underthings the other day. The girls in the store were terribly rude, snickered at my small chest, and one even whispered, “Doesn’t she know she can get a boob job?”

    Um, excuse me?

    So I was angry and uncomfortable to begin with, but when I looked at the panties I was really disappointed. Poor quality, itchy seams, and awkward fits. I’ve noticed the right cheek problem, too, and these new pairs look like the cheek covers are cut even smaller. I won’t be buying anything from that store again.

    I’ve found some cute, super comfy panties at American Eagle’s Aerie and they even tie the package with pretty ribbon. :P ::is girlie::

    li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-43444">

    Great article…..

    My oldest used to work at VS, and I agree customer service is an issue…. but only because management is causing it. I worked 20 years in a grocery store and made damn sure she knew how to take good care of a customer. But she would come home almost daily and tell me about how she was getting chewed out, not for sales or service (she was making her quota fine), but because she wasn’t getting enough people to sign up for the credit card. — Thats why you get so many of them ignoring the older customers for the younger ones… the young ones probably don’t have cards and can be convinced to get one (with the discount on this purchase).

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-43445">
    Misty Marshall

    Now that I have finished rolling in laughter,I say I totally agree with the post. For years I have been a staunch VS shopper. I loved their very sexy line and would spend a small fortune on their bras as I have small shoulders and they were the only ones that would not slide down and I have tried many many lines. I was also a big fan of their bikinis. I am not the smallest woman, I am quite curvy and certainly not one to wear their extreme fashions. But 5 for 25 for a great pair of panties I would pay out quite happily. Often I would even buy their other sexy panties if something appealed because I was in their store and damn they were so cute. I once even paid 80 dollars for a bra because it was drop dead sexy and it fit amazingly well. I have been lucky enough to never experience their evil customer service but lately every time I buy something it fits horridly or it falls apart of like one or two wears/washes. Also they totally changed their cuts of most of their bras and panties so I have been highly disappointed as bra shopping is never easy for ANYONE no matter your size. So sorry VS but I am now going to have to find another place to buy my panties too ( not to mention the secret pocket). It just sucks that a company will lose so many highly loyal customers because they want to cater to the teenage? crowd. I concur that I used to think of them as a classy place and would often oggle over the more expensive stuff I could not afford or wouldn’t wear. But now…realy that ink line WTF Vicky C’s..what are you thinking?

    li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-43447">
    Madeleine Robins

    The “secret pocket” feature bug is not, alas, only a VS problem. I finally gave up and bought a package of Jockey For Her panties at Target and they were okay–but if I spend $5 for a pair of underwear I do not expect to have to do alterations in the form of running a quick seam across the liner.

    And the ‘tude doesn’t just extend to elderly fossils like me. I went in with my older daughter–19, lusciously cute, but seriously boob-tastic, as she puts it–looking for a bra (I was there as the bearer of the credit card; I know better than to try to buy anything at VS for myself). One salesgirl hauled out all the large-cup bras they had; when the daughter asked about a particular style the girl sniffed and informed her “the cute stuff really doesn’t come in your size.” Okay, then. Turned around, went to Nordstrom, which costs the earth but had cute bras for DD girls and salesgirls who don’t sneer at you…

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-43449">

    I don’t get VS here, but it seems to me nearly all panties that are not thongs have the secret pocket.

    It doesn’t bother me.

    Except that now whenever I see the secret pocket, I’m going to laugh my head off.

    li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-43451">

    Hi Cherie,

    I caught this off a link on twitter and can totally relate as I’m a seriously round lady. I’ve also spent long periods of time so skint, moths have died in my wallet. For panty brands that offer coverage and comfort, I choose Just My Size and the Haines for her lines. The average pair seems to wear for a good 2.5 years before being retired to third tier status. JMS has some really comfy bras in larger band sizes as well. For fancier or frillier bits I used to frequent Fashion Bug, I’ve been out of the country for a couple years now so I’m not sure if the franchise has weathered the recession. They cater to the rubenesque and always went out of their way to deliver cheerfully discreet and polite customer service.

    Good luck!

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-43452">

    I’m a Hanes girl all the way. Not the fanciest, not the sexiest, but damned if the comfort soft waistband ones don’t do the job.

    I feel your pain. I gave up on Victoria’s Secret a long time ago. (Don’t get me started on their bras.)

    li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-43453">

    I’m not so young, but I only started shopping at malls and such a few years ago, and have only ever known the “new” Victoria Secret, and not the one of yore.

    I buy Hanes as I always have done—no secret pockets. Hah.

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-43455">

    This made a perfectly fine read a loud to my wife this morning. I am glad we were not drinking anything, I hate snorting liquid through my nose. Sorry we laughed at your pain. R.I.P. polka-dots.

    li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-43456">

    Oh. My. God. I think I just died from laughter!

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-43457">
    Thena

    Disclaimer: I used to work in the industry, not in VS itself but in a new start-up that competed head-on with VS, and I left when they decided to start copying VS.

    That secret pocket is really called a “floating gusset” and it’s a feature designed so that you don’t have that seam in the front of the panty. Though, to be honest, if your pants are so tight that you’re worried about the seam showing through, you might as well switch to seamless panties.

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    That secret pocket is perfect for a button vibrator!

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    Janelle

    I’m going to show this post to my husband so that he will know why I’m going through an awkward phase of panty obsession. Every time my panties bunch at the base of my butt while exposing my crack, he says, “Time for new undies! Let’s go to Victoria’s Secret!” With your help, maybe he’ll begin to understand that V.S. is the problem, not the solution.

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    beth meacham

    I used to shop at VS. They used to have wonderful quality underwear that looked great. I think they still have some of it, if you can beat your way through the fetish-wear.

    But if you think walking in there is difficult when you’re 30, just wait till you’re over 50. It’s amazing how the phrase “can I help you?” can be said so that it clearly means “what are you doing here and how can I make you leave?”

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    When I saw your tweet yesterday I had to laugh. I’d also sworn by vicki Secret’s undies until recently took advantage of a 5 for $25 deal and also ended up with a pile of wedgie-giving, crotch curling pairs of polkadoted mess.

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    Emily

    I’ve been wearing men’s underwear for ages (Hanes and Jockey). It’s *lots* more sturdy than women’s underwear . Not pretty or feminine, obviously, but they last for ages. My husband thinks they’re sexy.

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    Emma Bull

    Clear a spot on the coffee table; you just won a big shiny Internet. I nearly died of hilarity.

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    Grey Walker

    The secret pocket (Floating Gussie?) isn’t such a pain when you wear your panties inside-out. I started wearing them that way when the seams of too many brands dug in to my skin. Sure, the seams are more visible that way, but I rarely wear outer clothing so tight that panty seams are a problem.

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    I do a lot of glamor and fashion photography (only once from the back of my Free Candy Van, I swear) and I’ve been hearing about how terrible VS has gotten for a couple of years now. Even emaciated 20-somthings who enjoy having words splayed across their flat bony back-sides complain about the fit, the creep, and of course, the secret pocket.

    I think there may be a greater force at work here though. Most of the girls I’ve worked with who’ve complained also added that the fabric creep experience made them switch to thongs. After-all, if fabric is going to nuzzle, you may as well choose the undies with the least possible amount of nuzzling fabric.

    Being that most thongs sold at VS are about 50 microns across at the widest, they save a lot on production costs. Its a conspiracy I tells ya. TELLS YA!

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    Amanda S

    I’ve always gotten my bras from V.S. it was too funny when I was pregnant and went in there for a bra and they looked at me like I was a loon~ beyond that though I don’t go in for fits I know what bra I want and what size so I order them online same ones everytime and NO undies they do creep up your ass and other places I quit those a loooong time ago.
    Thank you for making me laugh my ass of though this was an awesome post!
    Manda

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    Nancie

    I wear a 38 DD. I can never, ever get a bra to fit from Vicky’s. I don’t like shopping at a store that doesn’t bother to carry my size as standard. lol I go to Fredericks. They always have my size, the customer service is exquisite and the prices are actually a bit less. The panties I’ve purchased there also do not have the secret pocket!! My fav line is that VS is for women with no boobs. Fredericks is for the ladies who got em!

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    Jen

    I, too, am a Hanes girl. They’re great quality for $1-2 per pair, they’re available at nearly every discount store (Wal-Mart, Target, etc.) and I generally only have to restock once a year. Their new “no ride-up guarantee” says it all.

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