Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Victoria’s Secret Is Like Walking Into an Acid Trip

Until yesterday, I haven’t gone into a Victoria’s Secret store in quite awhile. I still buy their products, but I do it online, and I don’t browse around online very much. So it wasn’t until yesterday that I realized how far they have fallen. I remember going to Victoria’s Secret twenty years ago, when I was in high school. Back then, the store had a hushed atmosphere, subdued lighting, paint, and carpet, and an upscale ambience. Even the salespeople were classy. Buying lingerie was an experience. It was relaxing, easy, and seemed appropriate to spend $40 on a bra.

At some point, that all changed. At the Victoria’s Secret on Michigan Avenue, you enter a room with black and white tile, hot pink walls, and flashing neon signs. The underwear and pajamas lining the walls and on the tables are in bright fluorescent shades of pink, yellow, and blue. Dance music blares from the speakers. The sale tables near the door are covered with bras and underwear from “Pink” line, which is supposed to draw in the younger crowd. Brightly colored panties with “take a bite” and other crass sayings on the butt are in piles. The pajamas , rather than being subdued and cute, have huge lettering down the legs, on the butt, and across the chest. The other rooms aren’t much better, especially the perfume/body lotion room, which is also excruciatingly bright and tacky. The décor is like the Rave clothing stores from the 1990s, bright lighting, bright floors, neon lights, and everything indicative of a cheap store. You might as well be at Kmart.

It honestly made me dizzy. There was just so much going on. My 2 ½ year old nephew loved all the colors and action, but I couldn’t wait to leave, which should be the opposite reaction of what they want. Could it be that I’m just getting old? Do I just not “get it” anymore? Am I not cool? True, I’m probably not their target audience anymore. (Which never makes sense to me anyway, since when I was in my late teens and early twenties, maybe if I saved up for weeks I could afford to buy a bra or two, whereas now I have plenty of money to buy $40 bras.) The schizophrenic atmosphere in the store isn’t one that makes me want to pay full price for anything. Maybe I’ll spend $10 or $20 on a few pairs of underwear (minus the sayings in the rear end), but any exclusivity or classiness is completely gone. I mean, when I’m dying to get out of the store, chances are slim that I’m going to drop any serious money.

Obviously people are still spending money there, though, since Victoria’s Secret seems to be doing better than ever, and even I will probably continue to buy online occasionally. But the stores themselves – ugh. I will not be going into a store again anytime soon.


  1. Yeah, and then there are the huge blown-up photos of models looking like strippers that adorn the front windows. I'm 27, so I'm likely their exact target audience and I'm appalled to go in there. When I was in high school & my mom was buying my bras, we would go in there. The lighting was soft, the walls were a light pink, everything felt kind of luxurious (although a little run down, this is Aurora, Illinois I'm talking about after all). Now it's just cheap. Cheap & tacky & slutty. I only go in if I get a free panty coupon or they're running one of their "panty raid" sales where the Pink panties are 7 for $25, which is about what I'd pay for undies at Target and the quality is 5 times better.

  2. They're the only place that has bras that fit me, are attractive and within my price range but yeah, I get sick when I go in there. Music is too loud, the fragrances are too strong and the sales people have gotten a little pushy.
    The one I go to still has a super nice older lady who fitted me a few years back so, I always go straight to her when I can't find something.