I have an incredibly non-shocking confession to make: I am a hardcore procrastinator. When I don’t want to do something, I can convince myself for weeks — sometimes months — that it’s okay to just skip out on it. For instance, I dislike bra shopping. No, I dread it. I find it exhausting, depressing, and frustrating all rolled into one lacy, crappy mess of a package. Being on a fairly low budget, particularly in New York City, I just assumed my experiences would be reserved to either online shopping, destined for disappointing returns or within the Pepto pink walls of a Victoria’s Secret. Fancy experiences were for fancy people with money, and lots of it. But then, dear friends, I found Journelle.
While walking through Union Square in the rain on Wednesday, I happened to pass a store with bras in the window. I’ve been putting off bra shopping for, oh, over a year, meaning all of mine are stretched out and gross, so I decided to just suck it up and try some bras on in the hopes that one under $100 would fit. I walked into Journelle and was instantly greeted by a friendly woman who found me a sales associate who was solely dedicated to me during my visit — something that never really happens at stores that aren’t super pricy in New York unless you’re at, say, a small vintage shop.
Journelle is a lovely little lingerie retailer that has both brick-and-mortar locations as well as a great online store. This particular store was small, but I liked that; I find department stores and places like Victoria’s Secret to be very overwhelming, so having a more carefully curated selection that came in a wide variety of sizes was great.
Note: I honestly was not planning on writing about a bra store anytime soon. This wasn’t a press event or a scheduled appointment, so I apologize for my not-so-great photos!
The saleswoman took me into the dressing room area and asked me if I wanted some water or chocolates. Obviously, I said yes, because who doesn’t love chocolates? I started wondering, though, if I had walked into a store wherein the pieces would cost way more than I could afford. She asked me what I typically wore, I told her my size is usually around 34DD, and she began measuring me.
“You’re actually more like a 34G.”
Great, I thought. Now WTF am I going to wear? After all, trying to find a supportive bra when I thought I was a size 34DD was bad enough; finding out I am actually a 34G felt like being resigned to boring, sad, sweatpants-gray bras forever. To my surprise, however, my helpful sales associate told me there were plenty available in my size! She offered me a robe to put on before I went out into the store to look at styles with her, which was wonderful because — as the little note on the robe even said — there’s nothing worse than getting dressed just to go back out into the store, then have to undress again. It’s odd, but this little amenity actually made a big difference.
I spent all day hunched over at a computer in an office. By the evening, my backaches, and I’m tired and I just plain do not feel like getting undressed and redressed and so on, so this was fantastic. Anyway, I went out to the store to look around with the sales associate, who showed me both standard, everyday bras as well as cuter, brighter ones, picking them up for me as we went and letting me know which came in my size, which to skip, etc. Once we had amassed a good mix, we headed back to the dressing room where I separated all the bras on the various hooks — something that I wish all dressing rooms featured in order to better show the products you’ve picked.
I wasn’t a big fan of the brighter bras I tried on, but rather than push them on me by saying “No, no, that looks great!” (one of my pet peeves, as I hate being pressured into buying things), the sales associate instantly understood and removed the ones I wasn’t down with. I wound up choosing just one everyday bra that fits like magic. Here’s a hint I snapped before leaving the dressing room:
The best part: it was just $80 including tax! Not unreasonable whatsoever, especially when I’m guilty of dropping $40 per bra on ones that just fall apart after a few months. Even though it wasn’t a gift, the sales associate wrapped my bra up in a pretty little paper package, tied a royal purple ribbon on it, and sent me on my way.
And here’s my bra! I love it. It’s so effing comfy.
Overall, I was super satisfied with the experience. If you’re in New York, you definitely need to check out Journelle. If you are not, you need to find a similar store near you that offers proper measuring, friendly associates, and a wide range of sizes. Your boobs (and your sanity) will thank you.