We’ve all been there; your bra is gasping its last breath and you need to go bra shopping. This task is rarely at the top of anyone’s to do list, but it need to happen on occasion. Shopping for a new bra doesn’t have to be such a daunting task if you go into it with a few key things in mind.
1. GO IN WITH AN OPEN MIND
While you may have been loyal to your trusty black, moulded, plunge bra for the past five years, there is an entire world of styles, colours and proper sizes waiting to make your girls look their very best. You may have preferred a certain style because that’s just what you’ve always worn, but just because it’s what you’ve always bought that doesn’t mean that it’s the best style for you now. Be willing to try styles and colours outside of your bra comfort zone and be open to options; you may just fall in love.
2. TRUST YOUR FITTER
Any good lingerie store will have highly qualified and considerate fitters to help you find your perfect bra. While you should always purchase a bra that makes you feel confident and comfortable, trust that your fitter is there to help you find the right style, shape and size to make you look and feel fabulous. She might be encouraging you towards something you never thought of wearing and that’s okay! If you are not comfortable with your fitter, ask to work with someone else (we won’t get offended, we promise! You NEED to be comfortable with the person that you’re working with).
3. DIFFERENT BRAS DO DIFFERENT JOBS
Not every bra will work for every situation. You wouldn’t wear a sports bra with your cocktail dress just as you wouldn’t wear your strapless bra to the gym. You need a few solid options at your everyday disposal.
Expand your horizons and treats your ‘girls’ to what they, and you, deserve; a proper fit that leaves you feeling fantastic.
A little over two years ago we had an influx of customers coming to us saying they had all these almost brand new bras that they didn’t wear; either because they bought new ones that season or because of the ever changing female form (need I say more, we’ve all experienced that!). What could they or should they do with them?
Not being entirely sure, I did some research – you could donate them to a charity thrift store, you could send them to some bra collection organizations in the US, or you could send them to an organization that sends them to Africa or Asia. All very worthy and important causes, but there was nothing local in our backyard. And there is so much need here. We all know how expensive good quality bras can be – and for someone deciding whether to buy food, pay rent or buy a bra, the choice is a pretty obvious one.
We started thinking, “what if we did something here?” But what? Then I saw a video about a men’s store that collected suits, then fitted and altered them for newly released convicts to wear to job interviews. Could we do something like that? Did we want to add that to our plate? Would it work? Yes, yes and yes. And just like that Supportive Start was born!
I had been looking for a volunteer opportunity that would service our community and then this idea fell in our laps. What better way than to serve other than with what we know best…bras!
We wanted to do something more than just collect bras and drop them off to a shelter or transition house. We wanted to give women who were in a difficult spot in their life an experience as close to what they would have in the store: one on one service, kind words and a fun, memorable experience that would take them out of their situation if only for an hour or two.
So with all that in mind, we were off! We launched a bra drive to collect gently used bras from our customers to build our stock. That was our first surprise…the generosity of people wanting to contribute was amazing! We had bras pouring in from all over, people even sending packages of bras from out of town. We organized staff who were willing to volunteer their time to go to fit clinics and create an amazing experience for women and girls who might not otherwise ever experience a bra fitting or have a properly fitting bra.
But surprisingly, our biggest initial roadblock was getting organizations to invite us in to do free fit clinics for their clients. The fact that we are a private business wanting to do a bra fit clinic and give away free bras and panties was a challenge for some people to understand. What was our ‘angle’ and what we wanted out of it? We just wanted to give back to our community! After the first few fit clinics, organizations from homeless shelters to transition houses started talking to each other and we were being sought out from Abbotsford to the Downtown East Side.
When we first started doing the fit clinics my biggest eye opener was… how amazingly generous and loving so many of the women at the fit clinics were. They were willing to share their spots with each other, helping each other pick out panties and sharing a fun shopping experience with each other – just like customers in a store might! We had created what we had originally dreamed of! They were genuinely thankful and appreciative that other women cared enough about them to come and share such an intimate and personal experience with them.
We are so grateful that we are able to share our skills and talents as bra fitters with women and girls who really need life to be a little more comfortable. The other night we did a fit clinic at a youth drop in center and I overheard one of the teenage girls saying to the facilitator as she left her fitting, with her new bras and panties, that she had never felt so special before. That brought tears to my eyes and solidified why we want to continue Supportive Start.
I am also so humbled that so many of our suppliers have totally gotten on board with donating brand new panties and bras so that we always have the sizes that we need in stock for our fit clinics. We even have sales reps that come out an volunteer to be fitters at our clinics!
Our future goal for Supportive start is to partner with other companies who can supply the necessities that a lot of these women need but don’t have access to, such as feminine hygiene products, personal care products, oral hygiene and so on, so that we can provide care packages full of these items along with the bras and panties.
From a light bulb moment idea to a tangible way to help women in our community, Support Start has become something greater than we ever could have hoped. With the continued generosity of you – our beloved customers – we are so fortunate to be able to make a difference in the lives of women who need it most. So for that we thank you and we cannot wait to see where Supportive Start will take us in the years to come.
Swimming, Track and Field, Gymnastics, Rugby, Soccer, Beach Volleyball… Rio 2016 was on a constant feed at our home over the summer and I was a little bit sad to see it come to a close. I was unsure of how I would feel watching the Olympics this summer after much of the controversy surrounding Brazil’s preparation (or lack there of) for this event that would host thousands. But controversy and politics aside, I’m glad that we took time out of our day to watch so many amazing athletes do what they have trained for years to do: compete.
The memories that I will take away from having watched these Olympic games are two fold, but both lead to the same place for me.
Number One: Heck yes WOMEN!!! Canadian female athletes came out in full force for these games and have racked up more Summer Olympic medals than I can ever remember witnessing. This is a true sign of the shift that is being made in the athletics in Canada. The support that athletes need at this level to train to compete at an international level is finally showing up and this is the result. Canadian athletes, both women and men, are taking up space on the podium because their talent and hard work has been honoured at home. But to see so many Canadian women taking their place in the history books is truly inspiring. Which leads me to…
Number Two: My daughter was enthralled with the Olympics. While I find them entertaining and it is fun to watch Canadians compete, my seven year old is completely obsessed with each and every sport featured, regardless of which countries make the finals. With every sport we watched, her little mind raced and she would ask a million and six questions. “Could I run that fast Mommy?”, “Why do they need to wear goggles if they are good swimmers?”, “Can you win a medal for trampoline?!?!”. Her curiosity was infectious and it made me think: “Who are the Olympians of her generation?” Now I am by no means a competitive person, nor would I wish that level of pressure upon my children; but if the passion and the skill is there how can you not explore their interests. For now, ballet and piano are her passions. But if she wanted to pursue athletics in a team sport or other individual discipline, I feel compelled to at least let her try. I owe it to her to support her dreams because who knows where they will take her. I’m all for education first and not overloading tiny bodies with too many activities, but I love her enthusiasm for sports and competition.
So what does this have to do with bras? Well, from the on set of puberty until about 2 years ago, I honestly felt as though I was not “built” to be athletic or to compete in any type of vigorous sports. Being large chested meant I was discouraged from and by running, jumping, bouncing and many of the other movements that go hand in hand with being regularly active. Sure, I would try my hand at elliptical machines or stationary bikes, but even those made the girls bounce. And my heart just wasn’t in it. But I knew that there had to be a solution out there… and there was!!
Good freaking sports bras!! Who knew? Well, the lovely ladies here at Forever Yours Lingerie did, but I was still in the dark until I made an exasperated visit. Enter the geniuses at Panache Sport.
I no longer have an excuse to not go after the active lifestyle that I’ve always wanted. With my breasts securely supported and locked (comfortably) down, I run, I lift weights, I kick box, I yoga. All the things I had steered away from because of my chest size.
I desire to be a role model for both of my girls. I want them to know that women can do all the things that are out there for them to do. Being a woman is awesome! Being a woman who is supported by her family, community and country to do her best is amazing! There is no reason that our bodies should hold us back from being able to accomplish any dream our hearts may hold and I’m so glad that proper fitting sports bras are helping me to attain some of mine.
I love that Panache is featuring talented and accomplished female athletes in their advertising. For the Panache Sports bra in Odyssey they have chosen Nicola Adams are their model. Nicola Adams is a British boxer. The first woman to win an Olympic boxing title, she is the 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold medalist in the women’s flyweight division. As of 27 May 2016 she is the reigning Olympic, World, Commonwealth Games and European Games champion at flyweight. That is literally badass.
Don’t let your boobs keep you from achieving your goals!! Get out there and get your sweat on. Heck, I’ll come join you. We got this!
“It must be so much fun owning your own business!”
If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that! Owning FYL is a lot of paper work, staffing, training, scheduling, dealing with issues that arise – none of that sounds particularly fun, but then there is getting to work with amazing ladies, fabulous customers and the buying, oh, the buying!
That is an extremely fun part of my job! Getting to go to buying shows and booking all the latest looks for the upcoming seasons! So how does it happen? How do we decide on what we are going to bring into the store?
There are so many booths, so many brands and so many choices that it can be quite overwhelming.The first place I start is narrowing down what we are looking for; do we need more basics, or fashion colors, what are the specific size ranges?
We are always looking for brands and styles with a wide range of sizes, as well as looking for different brands at various price points. Not everyone wants to buy a $50 bra and not everyone wants to buy a $200 bra. Therefore we try to bring in a variety of price points to suit our customers’ needs.
So how do these shows work, you ask? You make an appointment with a brand that you are interested in, then when you are at their booth they have models that will try on samples so that you can see the fit. It is really helpful to be able to see the style on a body rather than just in a catalog. It really allows you to appreciate the lace, fabric, quality workmanship and sizing. From there it is the decision of choosing what you want to book based on what we need or what customers are requesting.
One of the best parts of going to a buying show is to find new and different products to bring into the store! This time it’s the Girly Go Garters that we were excited to find and bring in for our customers. The Girly Go Garter is the smart, sexy garter with pockets that safely holds your phone, cash, credit card, ID, lip gloss, and more!
The other great find from this show is our new sunhat line that is coming in just in time for cruise season. They are all handmade from start to finish and are made by artisan women in their homes in Madagascar. They are perfect for vacations, as they are packable and uncrushable.
No matter how much paperwork I have to do, buying trips and buying season will always make it worth it. And I’m able to honestly answer when someone asks “It must be so much fun owning your own business?”
20 Years….How did that happen so quickly? Especially considering I’m still only 29! 😉
20 years for me equals 3 expansions, 2 kids, a husband/business partner that I haven’t killed (yet;), over 20 staff, a website division, in-house photo studio, more changes than I can count (the internet wasn’t even around when I started FYL… Wrap your head around that!), lots of mistakes made & lots of opportunities seized!
I hate my thighs, I hate my tummy, I hate my butt, I hate my….
For so many of us the list can go on and on and on. We so often spend so much time thinking, stressing and obsessing about what we don’t like about ourselves that we sometimes have a hard time seeing through that and recognizing what we actually like about ourselves or how others see us.
I used to have a condition called ‘Armatitis’…I am now officially cured! What is armatitis you ask? It’s an affliction that a lot of women have whether they are big or small. It is a ridiculous, and often unfounded distain for your upper arms. I used to live in cardigans and sleeves regardless of how hot it was outside, because I didn’t want anyone to see my fat, ugly, hangy arms (these were all my own descriptors, no one else’s…)