Do I Let My Daughter Shop at Victoria’s Secret?

Updated on January 22, 2018
M.K. asks from Palo Alto, CA
17 answers

My daughter is almost, ALMOST, a teenager, (the years go by too fast ;-) and she is growing up fast. She is in middle school, and says that she has seen many people changing in the locker room wearing Victoria’s Secret. She said about a year ago (when she needed a new bra) that she felt a little uncomfortable going there, because everyone is modeling in there underwear, and I don’t blame her. I had offered to take her there to get a bra fitting, but only if the bra was appropriate. She considered this though, but said not yet. My daughter is very responsible, considering she’s only a teenager, and she is so understanding on how people feel. I know that if she went, she would be responsible, and only buy appropriate things. But lately she seems to be more comfortable going there, and actually might want to go the VS Pink. I know that the Pink line is made for teenagers like my daughter, and they have cute things (not just lingerie, but actual clothes) and if she picks out the right things, even I might want to go there, which really shows you something! You might think that I sound certain about letting her go, but I am a little skeptical, but I think this is a good opportunity (in a way) to see if she can make reasonable decisions. I know I offered to take her earlier, but I just don’t know what to do. How should I take her but keep everything in a reasonable manner? I don’t want to start a big “fight” in the comments on this, I’m just a M. who just needs a little advice on this. Thank you so much for your time!

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D..

answers from Miami on

Please don't take her there. For heavens sake, let her have something for when she is a older. There are SO many things she can show you good decision making other than this.

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J.B.

answers from Boston on

I think you should take her with the understanding that she is to choose from the Pink line only, and nothing that looks like lingerie. Set a budget and look at the prices. She may be able to get a few things on sale now leading up to Valentine's day. I'd also have her compare the selection and prices there to Target and Aerie, which is the underwear line for American Eagle. My SD found that the prices were better there than at VS, and Target has some really cute, colorful stuff too. Aerie and Target both have their share of trashy/sexy stuff too so put the same limit there...cute and colorful is fine, sexy and impractical is not. She may find that getting more for her money at another store that sells similar items is a better decision than VS, or that she's rather have a few selections from VS and fit in. Either decision is fine.

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R.K.

answers from Appleton on

I was a bra fitter at Penney's for 3 years, Penney's no longer offers this service. I am also the M. of 2 daughters. Middle school girls who want the cute bra and panty sets are NOT wanting to impress the boys at school. They want them because the other girls have them and everyone sees everyone else's in the locker room during gym class. These girls do not want some loud mouthed diva telling everyone in the lunchroom at school 'hey, she wears grandma panties and bras'.
As far as going to Victoria Secret, their bras are not any higher quality then Penney's but usually twice the price. Penney's still carries cute bra panty sets. And every woman or girl who came to me for help had been fitted incorrectly at VS. One woman was told she needed a 36 DDD and I fitted her into a 40 B and for the first time in 10 years she was comfortable.
The procedure for doing a bra fitting: measure above the breast at the base of the armpit to get the band size ( 34 - 36 - 38) measure at the fullest part of the breast with a bra on to get the cup size a one inch difference is an A cup two inches is B 3 inches is C etc. If she measures an odd number (35) she could wear a 34 or 36 band size if the bra slides up the band is too big. A 34C and a 36B are the same cup size. She should try on all bras before she buys them not all bras are made the same as all shoes are not made the same, not every pair of shoes in your size fit the same way.
All bras should be hand washed especially underwire, lay them flat to dry. Your bras will last much longer if you hand wash.

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S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

depends on the kid, really. before letting my daughter into any super-sexualized fetishized retail outlet like VS i'd be sure that we had a good solid lifelong foundation in positive body imaging, boundaries, appropriateness (ie not wearing lacy wisps when doing sports, making sure that 'sexy' isn't the most important aspect of selection) and how to be a strong confident body-positive young woman.

why not go with her?

i myself don't give VS my business, but if you think their Pink line fits in with the parameters in which you're raising your daughter, by all means shop there. but it's not like there aren't a gazillion choices. i would find 'all the other girls have VS bras' to be an unconvincing argument. very common for girls this age, but i myself would not find it acceptable if i were raising a daughter today.

but i just don't get why you can't shop with her and talk through her selections on the spot.
khairete
S.

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E.B.

answers from Honolulu on

I think that no matter where you shop in this day and age, you'll find something nice, something appropriate, and something objectionable. I've seen clothing in ordinary department stores that I find much more objectionable than stuff I've seen in Victoria's Secret (like bras for the girl who's wearing her first bra that advertises that it is padded, and "push up", and shirts with sayings on them that no 5 year old should be wearing, and shirts and shorts for juniors that say "hottie" etc).

So my suggestion for you is, don't focus on a particular brand, or a particular store. Instead, teach your daughter to be modest and appropriate, to appreciate whatever body type/height/bone structure she was born with, to take good care of her health (eating well, getting rest and exercise, etc), and to wear things that she feels good in regardless of the brand that everyone else has on. Sometimes it's ok to kind of blend in. If everyone's wearing a brand of underwear that's popular but that brand is age-appropriate and modest, then ok, go with that brand. But sometimes it's NOT ok to just blindly follow along.

The difference is: did you think this through, or did you just buy those shoes, that bra, that shirt just because "everyone else has it". If you teach your daughter to consider cost, quality of the item, value of the item for the price (I once saw a t shirt in a very very upscale store that I thought was quite poorly constructed - the seams weren't neat - but because it was part of a "collection" this thin poorly sewn plain old undecorated shirt was nearly $100), size, fit, budget, whether it suits her and her own sense of style, then you'll have a smart savvy girl to go shopping with!

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A.D.

answers from Minneapolis on

While she is shopping WITH you, and YOU are paying, I see no harm. I agree it's not good to be totally closed and start a big fight or a power struggle or this. Listen and hear her out if this is really important to her. You are going to be there with her and you can veto anything too sexy or inappropriate for her age. It's a good opportunity for discussion about prices, and limits, and that maybe it's ok if you can afford it to splurge on one or two items, but there are limits. You can give her the choice, it's 3 panties here, or 10 pair at Target, your choice. And take her to Target too, so she gets a good chance to compare prices, etc. If she wants the expensive products that much, tell she needs to start thinking about ways she can earn more money to afford the clothes she so wants. She's young for a part time job, but maybe babysitting or pet care, or other things young people do to earn exam money will now start to appeal to her. Keep in mind it's probably less about the "sexy" and more about the brand name and trying to be cool and admired and fit in among her peers, which is the same thing important to teens in all other generations.

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M.G.

answers from Portland on

My friends and sisters have been through this with their girls - and I would say they had similar experiences to JB (below). So long as you stay away from the trashy/lingerie-type stuff and stick to the younger styles, I think it's ok in general. They do offer more conservative lines. Just guide her - or hold off until you think you're both ready for this. I find both M. and kid have to be ready to take the plunge.

My friends and sisters found other stores to be better than VS - such as the Aerie line (American Eagle) however a lot of this is labels and brands - so if she wants the Pink line (very popular here with grade 7 for example) I get it.

I would just chose wisely and go with her. Good luck :)

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M.C.

answers from New York on

Hi!

I would take my 11 year old daughter to VS if I could.
All girls deserve to feel pretty!
I wouldn't let my Lil one wear lingerie yet,but the PINK collection is 100% appropriate.
We live in Sa, so we don't have the option to shop there, but my daughter did recently buy herself a lacey sportsbra (which is the only cut of bra she wears) and a matching pantie...
O don't see anything wrong with that.

Updated

Hi!

I would take my 11 year old daughter to VS if I could.
All girls deserve to feel pretty!
I wouldn't let my Lil one wear lingerie yet,but the PINK collection is 100% appropriate.
We live in Sa, so we don't have the option to shop there, but my daughter did recently buy herself a lacey sportsbra (which is the only cut of bra she wears) and a matching pantie...
O don't see anything wrong with that.

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D.B.

answers from Boston on

I guess I'd have a discussion with her about how she knows the others have VS bras - can she really tell by looking, or are they all just claiming this is what they have? And I'd also talk about the importance (to the kids) of brand name goods, and whether that's a value you share and want her to adopt. For example, what does it say about kids who brag about VS clothing in front of kids who may barely have enough money for lunch? How does that make her feel to participate in the flaunting? Everyone likes nice things, of course, but at what price?

I'd also look at their ads (and those of other stores) - what do they say about women? For example, there was a big backlash a few years ago with Abercrombie and Fitch - they had a display in at least one mall that had female mannequins dismembered and stuffed into containers. A clergy friend started a campaign to protest this in light of the violence against women. Then there are companies like Dove (I know they don't make bras! And I know they're interested in profits too!). They feature women of many shapes and sizes and ethnicities in their ads. So, do our values determine where we spend money?

If she needs a fitting, you can consider a store like Lady Grace, which only deals in women's undergarments and not necessarily trends - they are good with teens, with plus size women, with mastectomy patients, and more. They'll measure her, help her get fitted (respecting her privacy) and they'll run back and forth to get new sizes if something is close but not quite right. That saves a ton of time in the fitting room because she doesn't have to keep getting dressed again. You may be able to find some brands that are good for her, and then you can always search at Marshall's and similar off-price places for additional inventory.

I'd also consider a clothing allowance for basic clothes (not special things should a dance come up) to help her start learning to budget and make choices. Does she really want to shoot the wad for the month to look awesome in the locker room, or does she want to allot some dollars for the stuff everyone is going to see? It's good to start practicing with her now so she can develop this skill over the rest of her high school career and have a head start on adulthood!

Otherwise, I'd be more concerned with whether the kids are taking pictures of themselves in their bras and sending them around (a no-no ... and I hope you are checking her computer and phone). I'd be concerned with the attitude they are expressing when they wear their expensive bras, and also what they are saying about who is well endowed and who is less so. Overall, I'd be less concerned with what they're wearing underneath their clothes than with how they're acting about it.

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N.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

If you can afford to shop there I guess it would be up to you and her agreement to shop in the younger department for items. Some of their items are very cute.

But there's no way I would pay that much for clothing. I don't spend that sort of money on myself and I certainly wouldn't buy things that cost that much for our girl. If she wanted to shop there with her own money I'd probably take her to another store to look and make sure we found some cute items then go to VS and let her see she could buy a pair of panties there or go back to the other store and get several items.

I don't think she'd want to do that more than once or twice. Then she'd want to spend her money on more rather than just one thing.

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

While some people swear by their products I've found them to be very expensive stuff that falls apart after washing it a few times.
I'd teach her about how to get the most out of your money.
That eliminates this brand for me.

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K.C.

answers from Toledo on

Next time your at the mall, take her in with you. Tell she can pick out either a shirt or sweatshirt and get her a new bra or two. I've just taken my daughter a few weeks ago there before and some of the bras are actually really cute. She pick some with minimum padding, they had a floral pattern and said PINK on them. Most things are acceptable with me, but make sure to approve of each item before buying them! I hoped this helped!

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J.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

My youngest daughter (14yo) and I only buy VS bras. I don’t mind paying for the shopping experience there. I used to hate bra shopping but they make it a pain free experience and I love the way they fit.

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C.N.

answers from Baton Rouge on

It's underwear. With something as personal as underwear, I allowed my daughter to choose what she preferred, as long as I could fit it into the budget.

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P.K.

answers from New York on

Pink is OK. Go together. Make an afternoon out of it.

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C.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Try Pink. Same company, still overpriced, but aimed at teens.

Updated

Try Pink. Same company, still overpriced, but aimed at teens.

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S.B.

answers from Houston on

Take her and let her pick out something. VS Pink is cute.

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