Busting Out

There are only a few situations that can be as awkward in your first language as in a foreign one. Getting fitted for a bra is one of them. Whether in English or in French, an open conversation about cup size, cleavage, sag, support, and sexiness can make even the most brazen feel just a tad uneasy. In Paris, with lingerie shops on nearly every block, the experience may seem just that much more intimidating. But, buying the right fitting bra or something for a special occasion doesn’t have to be an uncomfortable experience. Take a cue from les femmes françaises by reading our interview with lingerie expert Stéphanie Lherminier. The owner of Boutique Clair de Lune in the 18th arrondissement, she answered the barrage of bra related questions we sent her way. We hope you enjoy Stéphanie’s insights into the purchasing habits of her Parisian clientele and can benefit from her advice!

Do French women go for practicality or sexiness when shopping for bras and underwear?

Stéphanie: French women generally prefer comfort when choosing bras. They will always keep the more glamorous and sexy lingerie in their wardrobe for weekends and special nights or occasions, but for everyday, comfort and le bien aller are most important.

Do French women usually wear matching bras and panties?
Stéphanie: French women, for the most part, like wearing matching bras and panties. When they buy more classic colored bras–black, white, or nude–they rarely buy matching panties; but when it comes to fun colors, they go for the matching tops and bottoms.

What are your best-selling brands?
Stéphanie: I have two brands of bras that sell very well in my store. The first is Prima Donna, a very chic Belgian brand specializing in large cup sizes, and the other is the more glamorous, sexy French brand Lise Charmel. The Prima Donna woman is a woman seeking class, sophistication, and also comfort; Prima Donna is known among professionals in the lingerie world to be very comfortable. They offer 58 different sizes and cups ranging from B to I. The Lise Charmel woman is looking for a haute couture lingerie. She likes wearing bras adorned with the finest lace, guipures, and other materials. She is seductive and hyper feminine.

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