Friday, January 11, 2008

Too much information

I told you I'd be replacing some lingerie with my Macy's gift card. I spoke too soon.

Apparently, I have never before bought underwear that did not come bundled 6 to a pack and wrapped in plastic. (Cue Beverly Hillbillies music, if you dare.)

$21 barely made a dent in the bra department. I scoured the sales, asked the saleswoman for advice, and briefly contemplated novelty prints with hot pink lace.

The clearance rack stretched my credit farthest, despite its slim pickings.

That's why I am the unlikely owner of pale blue knickers. Oh, and that $2 strand of beads I needed to use up the gift card.

At least they match.

Do you think department store lingerie is truly better quality? Or is it just that we take better care of underwear that cost $7 a pair?

53 comments:

byrumnews said...

Ha, ha. I think people take better care of the $7 undies. I know that would buy me a pack of 6 at Walmart. I have real issues spending alot of money on clothes. Although I really need to spend some good money on some bras!!!

Nice beads though!!!

Anonymous said...

So, did you get one pair of panties (or knickers - how European!), the necklace AND a bra? You know we were all rooting for a new bra! I would not buy used undergarments, but I have found brand new bras at Goodwill, one still had the $60 price tag on it - in my size, no less, so don't forget to check them out occasionally.

bonnie: said...

definately better quality. I got that free pair from Macy's (last summer?), and fell in love with that styule/brand. They are still going strong, whereas the packages from target usually start losing strands (of elastic) by now.

Jen said...

I personally LOVE Victoria's Secret underwear (not the bras so much). I get several coupons for free pairs each year (and I have a friend who passes them on to me) so that's how I replenish my stock. I have worn Hanes and FOL for years and I definitely think the VS are better/sturdier/etc. Bras aren't much a of "need" for me (wink, wink) so I just get those on GOOD sale at Kohls. I LOVE the beads!

Jen said...

Just reread my comment and wanted to clarify: my friend passes on her COUPONS to me NOT her VS underwear! LOL!! :-) eewwww

Anonymous said...

I wear Hanes Her Way...undies...Not Bras..those cost a dear penny. I have a large size...DD or E cup...so I spend a little more on better bras. I usually have 3 bras. I try to take good care of them to make them last...My under panties are always the same...white or black Hanes Her Way....Roxie

Misti said...

I truly do think that department store undergarments last longer.

In fact, I even tested it once. I bought a bra from Wal-Mart and a bra from Dillards. I wore both in fairly equal amounts (though the WM bra was much more uncomfortable), washed both the same, etc.

The Wal-Mart bra literally fell apart in my hands after about 6 months. The Dillards bra? It's still kicking...2 years later.

Jenny's Vegcafe said...

Love the matching necklace and panties. That's better than a matching handbag and shoes! ; )

I personally like the Lane Bryant panties (same as Victoria Secret I think) but all the same I can't pass up the before school sales on bulk panties. Oh, two words that should never be together- bulk and panties.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I do think that dept. store undies hold up a little better. However, I do recall one exception. I can't remember the names of these though! Was it "Wunderalls?" Hmmm... It was a very smooth, form-fitting panty that came in a 3-pack. I bought several packs about 15 years ago, and would you believe I still have a couple in great shape? I always line dry my underwear, and I think that helps the longevity.

Nicole said...

I think the better bra brands last much better and give better support. TJMaxx or Marshalls gets the high end stuff. My favorites are Wacoal ($60- at macys) and Felina (a little less). I am always looking for them at TJMaxx. But on Macy's clearance & after christmas coupons I got a Wacoal for $15- it was great and I'll have it for years.

Sarcastic Mom (aka Lotus) said...

Those beads are awesome!

You know, I used to buy really cheap bras all the time. I always ended up in pain from one thing or another, most often an underwire that poked me after almost no time of owning them... I tried Victoria's Secret once and got hooked. And OH YES, I cringe at the tag EVERY time... but I buy bras MUCH less often than I used to, so I have to say they really are better quality (and they FEEL so much better - that alone is worth it!).

Jenni said...

I definitely think they're better quality. I have 3 different types of underwear in my drawer - Delicates brand from JC Penney, bought in 2003, Victoria's Secret Pink, bought in 2004, and Hanes briefs, bought in 2006. Guess which ones are in the best condition? That's right - the Delicates. And I wash them all the same way.

hsgbdmama said...

I used to get VS underwear, and should probably look at doing so again since they do wear like iron. The FOTL and Hanes have not held up nearly as well. :-/

mama k said...

I have to agree that VS cotton undies wear incredibly well. The cheaper ones seem to get holes and stretch out sooner.
And when you are not a "normal" bra size, you don't even want to know how much you have to pay for a decent bra. Ugh. I could probably pay for plasitic surgery with all the dough I've spend on mail ordered bras. (TMI, I know. ha!) I am hoping that I have lost enough weight to be able to order bras from VS again once my DS weans. Again, the quaily is awesome and I'd rather buy less often but spend more for something that makes ALL of my clothes look better.

Anonymous said...

Well, I got a free coupon for Victoria's Secret, so I thought I'd scrounge the clearance rack for a nice T-shirt for my daughter (she's still young, but I thought I could at least just find her a plain colored t-shirt in the clearance for $10, which is what my coupon was for). Nope, I ended up buying her a pair of $10.50 underwear! Admittedly, I only had to pay 50 cents out of pocket, but I thought that was crazy and informed her not to start liking them too much!

Rebekah

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

Budget Fashionista recently blogged about inexpensive bras (the best of.)

Hmmm...I do tend to buy the cheapo "six packs" of cotton undies but I like to splurge occasionally at Victoria's Secret.

I've also been known to buy some bras at TJ Maxx. The Hanes Outlet online has great buys, too.

Jenny R said...

I've worn all the options, and I've found that the nicer department store brands are hands down the best ones. There's no question that they offer better support and hold up better in the long run.

My suggestion would be to check places like Nordstrom Rack where you can find the good quality brands for hanes prices.

ashley @ twentysixcats said...

I agree with most of your other commenters! Whenever I've given into impulse buying and gotten a bra at Walmart or Target, it lasts just a few months before it starts coming apart. My favorite place to get bras is at the outlet stores in Orlando (I visit there fairly often due to family in the area). There is a Bali store that usually has good prices, and their bras are SOO comfortable and last so long! (I'm talking years and years...)

It's a Mom Thing said...

I agree...undies from Target and bras from a department store.

A.D. said...

Underpants ("knickers", I love it!): yes, definitely worth it. Bras: no. Discount multi-packs last only a few washes before the elastic stretches out and then it hikes north. Don't you HATE having to pull your underwear back down all day long? But I moved to "expensive" underpants some years ago, although not by choice. I developed an allergy to the elastic so I need covered elastic which I could only find in Jockey brand. Sounds like industrial strength briefs, doesn't it? But they last me years; this batch I bought 6 years ago. I only buy on sale.

Walmart/Target bras seem to last (for me) almost as long as Olga, Vanity Fair, etc from dept stores. Maybe those aren't the expensive ones you're talking about, but that's all I know. I've never seen $60 bras. Ouch! I'd be afraid to touch it. Then again, I'm not "bosom-y" like some ladies. I certainly don't need underwire!

Anonymous said...

Victoria's Secret is worth the money. They make a great bra (IPEX) that is worth buying. It has no underwire, so it's comfortable. But it has great support. If you buy it on sale, so much the better. Don't put it in the dryer, and it will last for years.

NeedANap2 said...

I'm not sure about dept store underwear but I prefer Jockey brand which can usually be bought in packs of 3 at JCP, Macy's, etc. After my 3rd child (so it's been a while!), I found a sale pack at Macy's and was ecstatic!! I bought some a few weeks ago with my $10 certificate for JCP so I paid about $4 for 3 pairs.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that no one has mentioned EBay for name-brand delicates! That's where my last few VS bras came from - it works if you know which style and size you need, hence a trip to the store for a fitting is in order.
My most recent bra/panty purchase, though, was made at Marshall's. I really did end up with department store quality at about 30% of the price. $7.00 for skivvies is really too much - my limit is closer to $2.00 (the price of a pair of Calvin Klein bikinis at Marshall's.)

Susan in San Antonio

Anonymous said...

For bras, try ... strangely ... ebay. I bought nwt VS bras there for about 3/4 the price of the VS store.

Jora

Anonymous said...

Hey! Susan, did lightening strike us both at once?

Jora

Andrea said...

Yay! New undie day was always fun for me before I became a mommy! (Come to think of it, I think that's HOW I became a mommy....*wink wink*.) In all seriousness though...I used to work at VS in high school and college. I LOVE their bras - there are enough coupons floating around on Slickdeals.net all the time that once my DS is weaned, Momma's getting new skivvies! I never want to wear another pair of Hanes Her Way again unless I'm pregnant!

Amy said...

I am less..um, endowed, so I have difficulty finding bras that give me the illusion I am looking for. I finally scored some from Wal-Mart that seems to do the job well, but they were only $12 each versus $40 at the department stores.

I think people who are more endowed have to really pay a little more to get a better quality bra to keep their girls up. When you have no girls..well, you can be less choosy :)

Oh my goodness! Can't believe I said that :)

Anonymous said...

I recently tried LandsEnd and I loved their knickers...I bought two pairs on half-price and wish like crazy I had bought more...they fit brilliantly and never shift or creep up;) Gill.

Jackie said...

The sticker shock is enormous but I have a couple of bra's that I spent a fortune (for me)on. I have had them for about 4 years now, and while I do look after them very well, carefully hand washing them they seem to be better than any I have bought in Walmart.

Kelly said...

A local department store that I have been a customer of for 30 years sends me Birthday and Christmas cards with $10.00 or $20.00 checks in them . They do not require a minimum purchase. They also send me 25% off coupons which I combine with the checks and one day sales. This is how I was able to purchase three Jockey's bras that are usually about $27 a piece for $29 including tax !!! I shop with them during the year but, I am a bargain shopper and really do not spend a lot, so I guess my checks are for customer loyalty . I appreciate them and stay loyal . To answer your initial question, yes I have worn Haines He Way for years and the dept. store bras are better.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Meredith, I do am wondering what exactly you did purchase with your gift card. I do hope a bra was involved!

Meredith said...

I did not buy a bra. They didn't have any within my gift certificate amount that were right for my style and size.

Instead, I bought 4 pairs of clearance underwear and the necklace.

I needed both top and bottom, so I went with the one I don't have any hope for finding at Goodwill!

I can make my bras last a little longer, but not the other : )

Angela said...

You made me laugh with this one! "At least they match." :) I went to Macy's once. A second time when I was desperate. My husband says someone needs to tell them that our store is not actually IN New York and that should be reflected in the prices. ;)

I love the Buy one Get one Free or even Buy 2 Get 1 free bra deals. Playtex has them a lot. There is usually one going on at some department store when I happen to go bra shopping. This just made me realize I should do online sale searches on my favorite one and just order them when the price is right!

For briefs, I like Hanes Her Way from Wal Mart. :)

The Chatty Housewife- said...

I think Victoria's secret underwear hold up the best. I buy it 5 for $25.

Anonymous said...

I agree and disagree. I do love VS undies but try to get them with the free coupons. Otherwise, it's Hanes or FOTL. Mom gave me some Olgas (5pk) from Sam's that are similar to VS. I currently have 3 2-yr-old Hanes bras (lacy, seamed, underwire) from Dollar General--still going strong. Two expensive seamless ones from QVC stretched out in about 6 mos. (still wear them because I can't find the right size/fit--no spillage or jiggle--in a seamless bra). And, I always handwash/dry bras, no matter the price.

Sara J. said...

Oh it so depends on your bra needs. For the larger twins, def VS! If you watch their website, they do have good clearance.

Gena said...

Personally I've had really expensive bras and panties and really inexpensive ones and I think Hanes Her Way panties are the best and I LOVE Target bras. My girls and I all wear those and they're comfortable, cute and last forever - just don't put them in the dryer.

SAHMmy Says said...

Ha! I haven't bought department store underwear since I was 17 and nobody but my sister ever saw it :) Recently I discovered a great-for-me panty at Target--they were under $3 each so I got myself one in each color plus 4 in black. They're stretch lace and still doing the job a year later. I do have many Victoria's Secret bras that are over 15 years old that look good as new. Tough to say on the quality/price question.

Anonymous said...

I just happened to come back from Penney's, where I was scouring the sales racks and counters for sales panties. It's timely I saw this entry! I found 3 pretty pair of panties in my size that were normally $7.50 each. After the final markdown, two pair were 88 cents each and one pair was $1.17! You can't beat that with a stick!

Anonymous said...

I'm from Manila, Philippines. I tried the cheaper bras, but they tended to sag in no time, the Spandex parts not staying stretchy long enough. I went back to Wacoal and Hanes. But I buy them only on sale, as much as 50% cheaper, or about 12 to 15 US dollars each. For panties, I buy Marks and Spencer knicker sets, at about $6 each. I don't know if that's considered expensive in America, but here in the Philippines that's a lot of money to pay for a single panty, but they do last a longggg time. I have a set of Marks and Spencer knickers that lasted me through 9 months of pregnancy (that's how good the elastic is!) without getting misshapen. My son is now about to enter elementary school and I still wear that set. I'm resisting the urge to tell my husband, "Hey, my panties are older than our son!" LOL

Vicky said...

Hahahaha! Amy's comment (from MomAdvice) was priceless!

I'm an average size and have purchased bras from JCP (used to work there), Target, Wally-World and VS. The best ones? VS, by far. I hand wash all my delicates (not my cotton skivvies, though) so they are subjected to the same conditions. ;) It's too bad they are so pricey, but they are well worth it.

I can't wait 'til DD weans so I can buy a few new ones! Nursing bras are built for comfort not for style. ;)

Margo said...

I only expect my bras to last a few years, and I'm including a few VS bras I've had from TJMaxx or Marshalls. Even though I handwash and line dry, they just lose their supportiveness. However, I never invest lots of money in bras and panties - under $10 for name brand bras at TJMaxx and Marshalls and a few dollars for cotton panties, hipsters preferably. I am very picky about support and almost always buy underwire, even occasionally push-up bras because they get the boobs up where they belong (um, I hope - after nursing, everything goes south. . .)
After reading the comments, though, I'm going to check out Ebay and VS clearance online.

Anonymous said...

I find that the department store bras are the best.
JcPenney
Sears
and Macys
have held up the longest.

Underwear, well for comfort, I like the plastic 6 packs but its true they die after a year of washing.

Jane said...

My best bra advice is Target, I have two nearly identical bras. In fact now that the tags are faded I can not tell which is Victorias Secret and which is Target. If you keep an eye out for sales a nice Target t-shirt bra (lined and slightly padded for t- shirt wear) is about $12. Some of the other styles are a bit less, but this is one area where uhem...my cup indeed doth run over, so I need to buy the better quality. Still, I think that they are all made at the same sweat shop in China so I'll go to Target rather than Mac's most of the time.

Arden said...

Vanity Fair panties. They last forever and go on sale for $3.50 a pair.

American Eagle has good bras clearanced at $10 - a good deal for teen girls.

I buy bras at Kohls. Great brands and something is always on sale. I like Olga underwire and Maidenform sports bras. I pay as much at $20 if I'm desperate but no more than that.

Sara said...

I get most of my delicates at Marshalls or TJ Maxx - fancy brand names - bras ALWAYS under $10 and I love it when I find them on clearance for $5. Panties usually $2 or $3 and they last a LONG time.

The Stepford Wife said...

I always buy Victoria's Secret bras and panties. They're more expensive, but they last forever, and they're much more comfortable.

When I had cysts, I had to cut out the underwire and switch to sports bras. They cost like $7 a pack for 3 or 4 bras, and last maybe 3 weeks before they were stretched out. I was getting so frustrated, because Victoria's Secret bras I've had for years still fit and look like new. I still have the first bra and thong set I bought at Victoria's Secret way back in 2000.

Yes, they're expensive, but I budget out one new set of undies and matching bra every 6 months or so. When I still have a bra and panty set that's in circulation that's lasted 7 years and still going strong, it's hard to deny that they're worth the money in the long run.

I buy online at their website to save a little extra cash. :)

Anonymous said...

Maybe TMI, but:

Lane Bryant Microfiber Balconette bra! IT PROVIDES FABULOUS SHAPING and takes abuse (meaning, dryer heat). I have never had a wire pop out of this bra. Trinny and Susannah (my favorite gurus) preach balconette for us well-endowed girls. And a sale right now, buy 2 get 2 (4/$60 and money well spent for daily confidence).

deb meyers

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for a while and I like you, am quite frugal. However, I draw the line at underwear and bras. Over the last few years I've come to realize that splurging on bras and knickers is definitely worth it... if you don't feel 'pretty and put together' underneath everything, you won't feel great on the outside.

It is a great investment in your self-esteem and your wardrobe. I have a larger chest and believe me, my clothes look so much better when I'm wearing good quality undergarments! (It's also much nicer for your husband...)

Check out Victoria's Secret semi-annual sales and TJMaxx :) Happy shopping!

Indie said...

My VS bras have held up better and been more comfortable than any others. I second what someone else said about the VS IPEX. One of mine is starting to stretch out after two years, but have been breastfeeding the whole time and pregnant part of the time. I've put a lot more wear and tear into them than your average person.

Frugal Homemaker said...

You just gave me a blog idea! Thanks- I'll be writing on bras sometime this week!

chiara said...

Hi Meredith,

I know this post was written a while back but in case you're reading, I thought I'd leave a comment :) I buy my bras at Victoria Secret (the prices can be heart-wrenching at anywhere between $30-$60 a pair) but they last a very long time (some have lasted me 5 years now). I wash them with a mesh lingerie bag and against the rules, I do dry them in the dryer. Underwear I get at VS too, but during their 5 for $20 sales, and they last me about 4-5 years too. Again, washer dryer to clean them.

I like their quality and even though the pricing kills, I seek out sales and try to only buy one new bra a year, once every 2 years I'll get a new set of undies (slowly get rid of the old ones). They don't really "rip" or get loose threads, in my case they just get kind of baggier (probably from the elastic wearing out).

Hope this helps! Love your blog :)

pinkexplosion said...

I know this is an old post but I had to comment ;).

My husband encourages me to buy the pretty lingerie from fancy stores. I purchased "bulk" undergarments once, and it did not go over well. His said he married a woman with nice pretty undergarments and he wants to keep that woman, even if that woman is buying clothes off clearance racks and thrift stores, some things are worth splurging for. When I am need of a new undergarment he KNOWS I get sick spending the money, so he often gets it for me as a gift. We have a mutual understanding that I love!

FYI if you are on the mailing list for Tiffany's you get a coupon for VS once a year for a free panty and $10.00 off, if you are fortunate to have a hubby who gets you something from there even once every other year, you will get 3-4 a year. My neighbor gets about 8 a year, she is more fortunate than I. ;)