Much like going on a first date, I often feel an intense mix of excitement and dread when looking for a bra. It's not just the way maneuvering through a crowded Manhattan boutique always feels a bit like herding sheep (Prada merino sheep, but still...). There's also the knowledge that by the end of the experience, you could find your sex appeal drastically heightened, or totally crushed.
It was with this high-low mix of OMG and FML that I approached the design studio of Victoria's Secret Pink, a bright suite of rooms covered in fabric swatches, sequin options, and lingerie silhouettes. Polaroids of VS muse Behati Prinsloo lined one of the walls; in the photo, she was standing on the beach with a birthday-party grin. (For the record, if I were a Victoria's Secret Angel, I'm sure I'd be smiling all the time, too.)
The VS Pink design team actually calmed my anxiety. They were cool, funny, and their personal style inspirations ranged from Vivienne Westwood's punk days to Gwyneth Paltrow's red carpet highlights. Besides being easygoing and diverse, the team really knew their bras, which is why they steered me towards the new Heartbreaker push-up. Instead of smooshing your boobs together to create cleavage, the bra has a firm bottom lining that literally boosts your frame - a great feeling for shorter girls like me. You can wear it as a cross-back or classic, and you can buy a solid color or a leopard print. By October, you can get it in lace. By November, you can get it blinged-out.
Which leads to the next part of this story, where the VS Pink team sits me down at their studio table, lays out a cascade of sequins and crystals, and tells me to pick my favorite pack. (It might seem silly, but to me, this is a big deal. Seriously, next to starring on Glee
, being told I can choose any sparkles I want is like my own personal heaven.)
The options continue: What color do I want the bra to be? What kind of strap? What pattern? Should the sides be lace or opaque? Should it have my name somewhere?
We get the details down - "Purple," I decide, "With black Swarovski crystals in the shape of zebra stripes." To be honest, I said it half-kidding, like, "Okay VS Pink, I dare you to make a zebra-stripe bra out of purple fabric with luxury trimmings. Let's see it!"
The thing is, they did it perfectly - and sent a very cool photo of my customized Heartbreaker Bra after it was "born" in Hong Kong. When it arrived on my desk, I was afraid it might be too Kardashian for my very boho style, but after playing with some Fall staples like gray jeans and flannels, I realized it's got many possibilities beyond my Lolita bedroom dreams. It also fits inconspicuously underneath my go-to summer sweater, which means I can wear a sexy little secret even on casual Fridays... and Saturdays, and Sundays, and Mondays...
--FARAN KRENTCILVS Pink Heartbreaker bra, available now for $36.50
Bedazzled versions available this November.