The Victoria’s Secret store in The Forum Mall at Caesar’s Palace earns high marks for its conscientious staff. “Most of the women in this mall,” one young clerk solemnly declared, “are wearing the wrong-size bra.”
Before I could summon enough moxy to shoo her away, she slipped a tape measure under my armpits. “34,” she noted on a guest card. Then she assured me that I would not, under any circumstances, leave this store in an ill-fitting bra. Her certitude threw me. I wasn’t even sure I needed a bra, let alone one in a different size (disclaimer: 34 is not my usual measurement).
In general, Victoria’s Secret is not my store of choice—I crossed its threshold maybe twice in the last year, and no Manhattan salesclerk ever went for my armpits. Maybe The Forum setting, with its busty Roman statuary, encourages body makeovers—or is it the unconscious effect of the mounds of cleavage that seem to pad the ethos, if not every nook and cranny, of the Strip itself? Or maybe the tourists who throng The Forum need a bra-fitting to complete the yearning for sensory adventure that brought them to Vegas in the first place? (Locals are said to shun the Strip, except, of course, locals like me who live on The Strip.)
The brightly-colored lingerie at Victoria’s Secret seems to thrust from the displays, and the temptation to upgrade my figure completely overrode my Feminist script. Had I not recently purchased a summer frock requiring flexible bra straps, I would never have crossed the threshold, let alone engage a salesclerk in conversation about whether the BioFit, Gorgeous, Incredible and/or Miraculous push-ups come in a demi.
The tape-measure girl’s sincerity had caught me off-guard. She led me to another girl who stared solemnly at my guest card. “Cup issues,” she frowned, and ushered me into the hands of an older woman with a tape measure dangling from her neck and a second one coiled around her hand.
Victoria’s Secret, I thought, is wise in confiding the end-all and be-all of bra fittings—the physical appraisal of the product in situ—to a trust-worthy Mom. I dutifully rang the “service” button in my room and awaited inspection. “The front of the bra and the back of the bra are worn on a parallel line,” she scolded.
Four rings later, I left with the first properly fitting bra I’ve had in years, and the numerous staff who assisted in this transformation were beaming. “It even happened to me,” one of the salesclerks whispered. “They gift you a bra when you start to work here, and I gave them the wrong size.”
At the Victoria’s Secret store at The Forum, fitting bras is more than a job: it’s a crusade.