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3 Strategies for Shopping Online at Victoria’s Secret


Shopping at Victorias Secret

Ahh… Victoria’s Secret. What was once a small lingerie store in San Francisco is now a mall staple and a haven for college girls. We love it because of its cute decor, sexy bras and comfy loungewear. Also, if you’re lucky enough or go to a big enough school, PINK’s Collegiate Collection has some awesome school-spirited merchandise that’s much cuter than your average bookstore fare!

However, shopping in a VS store can sometimes be a pain- dressing rooms are often packed and sizes are missing everywhere. Want to avoid those problems? Shopping at is your solution! Here are three tips to keep in mind when shopping online at Victoria’s Secret:

Try it On In-Store- Then Buy Online:

Victoria's Secret Store Front

While this may not be a tip for Victoria’s Secret online store, this has definitely made my shopping experience at VS more fruitful. Every time I go into VS, I try on at least half a dozen bras, but I can never seem to find any in the color I want!

A few years ago, I’d just buy the last clementine-colored tee-shirt bra and try to ignore how visible it was under a white tee, simply because the store I went to was out-of-stock in the colors I wanted. Now I know to try whatever bra on in the store first, then actually purchase it online! They’ll most likely be in stock in your size and color, so you won’t have to regret your in-store purchase later. Plus, if they are out-of-stock, you’ll be first to know when that particular bra is available to ship!

Wait for Steals and Offers:

Victorias Secret Specials

I literally get about five emails a week from VS about their latest deals and steals. For the week of the 25th of January, I saw they offered $15 off orders of $100, an offer better than free shipping, as bras at Victoria’s Secret can run $50 each! Also, they often offer deals like 2/$40 bras and 5/$25 panties, so definitely check out the sales+specials page. Basically, if you’re thinking of buying a new bra, sign up for their mailing list and wait for these ‘steals,’ as you’ll end up saving lots of money.

Pay Attention to Sizing:

Victorias Secret sizing

I, perhaps naively, thought that if I was a 34B at Victoria’s Secret then I would fit into all of their 34B bras. Imagine my surprise when I received two bras of the same size that fit me completely differently!

VS bras have different levels of padding: from “lightly lined,” which has no padding, to Level 5- Ultimate Lift. Different levels of padding definitely affect how a bra fits. If you have the opportunity, figure out what size you are in each of their padding levels- so next time, when you shop for bras online, you’ll be able to order each in the correct size!

What other tips do you have for shopping at Victoria’s Secret online?

What have your experiences been? Tell me everything in the comments!

Posted on on February 2, 2010 / Filed Under: Shopping / Tags: , , , ,

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38 Responses to “3 Strategies for Shopping Online at Victoria’s Secret”

  1. 1
    February 2nd, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Nice article, but dont forget, victorias secrets also has great clothing and shoes on their website…their shoes are affordable and their clothing always comes in tons of great colors! they run small though, so i would go up a size..

  2. 2
    February 2nd, 2010 at 9:06 am

    What a great post! I have been ordering from the VS catalogue since I was 13 because VS stores in Canada are few and far between. They also have a great return policy, and include all the stuff you need to send it back (although I’d double check what you can send and what you can’t: I imagine they won’t allow returns on bathing suits or panties). Thanks for all the tips, Elizabeth!

  3. 3
    February 2nd, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Don’t forget to mention the clothes! Literally almost half of my wardrobe is from VS. Most of the time the clothes are fairly affordable, but they have a good selection between trendy and classic. It does run a little small, but not too badly. The pants also run long. VS is a great way to try out a new trend without investing too much money into it (just in case you hate it).

  4. 4
    February 2nd, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    I buy most of my lingerie online, but since VS sizing is extremely poor, I never shopped there. They make girls think the smallest band size is 32, while it is actually 28 (and there are some skinny girls that need even the 26 band size which noone produces at the moment). I’m a perfectly ordinary college girl of a size 30F, but at VS they would probably fit me 34C, which would be too small in the cup and too big in the band, riding at my back with every move (how can you fit a girl with 26.4 underbust mesurement a band that is 8 inches wider than her chest and hope that it will hold her breasts in place?!). Duh.

  5. 5
    February 2nd, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    this is such a great post! i never thought that you would have to buy different sizes from the same brand. i was just about to buy the convertible bra online, even though i’ve never tried it on. i figured if i was 32b in the regular bras, i could buy that one with no problem. thanks for catching me before i did!!

  6. 6
    February 2nd, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    oh i forgot: another great tip for shopping online is to buy gift cards or store credit cards on ebay. you can sometimes buy them for half of what they’re worth. once you get them in the mail, you can punch in the code online.

  7. 7
    February 2nd, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Nice article, I’d love to see one on LuLus or FredFlare!

  8. 8
    February 2nd, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    VS has some issues, namely with putting the wrong sized bras on women. And being pretty pricey, but hit up their semi-annual sell for $20 bras that are regular $50.

  9. 9
    February 2nd, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Last year I bought a swimsuit from VS online, bad idea. The top was cut really weird and I had ordered the right size and everything. Since most of their swimsuits are only available online I would be very very careful about what cut/type of swimsuit you order.

  10. 10
    February 2nd, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Great post! It’s true that VS can be tricky with sizing. A lot of stores have the bathing suits in stock now, so I always go to try on different sizes and then buy online!

  11. 11
    February 2nd, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    i agree! i’m surprised that no one has mentioned the weird sizing of vs sweats…I consider myself very curvy and a small can sometimes be too loose!

  12. 12
    February 2nd, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Hey all! I am actually a VS employee. First about the sizing, it is very true that you can be two different sizes depending on what bra you are buying. The material the bra is made out of can effects the fit.

    Breanna- I am not sure what country you are from seeing as you wear a 30F, but I would go into a store to get a fitting. We don’t just use the measurement under your bust for the band size. So even if there are some girls that measure a 26 around there rib cage, very rare because I have worked with VS all throughout college and never encountered someone with that measurement that needed a bra, some bras run small and can accommodate them.

    Sherry- Trying on a convertible or strapless bra in the store is a MUST because the cups are different in those types of bras.

    As for the bathing suits, please check your local store to see if they have them. I tried on one in a similar style to check the sizing before I purchased mine online.

    Sorry this is so long, but one last thing. You can not return online merchandise in the stores. The stores, online, and the catalog are actually different companies. If anyone has any questions about VS stuff do not hesitate to ask!

  13. 13
    February 3rd, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    To anyone who has had a bad experience with sizing at VS, request to be fitted by the Bra Specialist. While every associate is taught how to size, not everyone is good at it. The Bra Specialist has her position because she has been with the company for a long time and has an extensive knowledge of fittings and our products. We never want anyone to have a bad experience at our store and if you have let us know so we can make sure you leave happy!

  14. 14
    February 3rd, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    To everyone that mentioned VS’s clothes- I’ve never bought them, therefore didn’t mention them as I’d never endorse anything I hadn’t tried, but I’m so happy that they worked out well for you guys! I’ll definitely give them a try!

    @ Paula- FredFlare is definitely in the works, although I’ve never actually bought anything from LuLu’s… yet :) Also, if any of you guys want to request stores, mention them in the comments like Paula did!

    @ Lalalina- Thanks for all of your advice!
    And definitely get your bra size checked and re-checked… I grew two cup sizes in my junior year- four years after I’d ‘stared’ puberty!

    Thanks to everyone else for the great feedback!

  15. 15
    February 3rd, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Wanted to put a word in about VS bra sizing versus real bra sizing. (And yes, I’m American.) I wore a 36D or a 34DD for a long time. When I got bras from VS and Gap and other places like that, those sizes were the most well-fitting (i.e. came the closest to containing my boobage). However, after a while, the bands would stretch out, and I would notice that the girls were hanging a little low. Finally, I went to a specialty bra shop (Intimacy in Boston–they have stores all over) where I got a REAL bra fitting. I sized out at a 32F. Basically, the cup on a 32F, a 34DD, and a 36D are the same size (by volume, basically), but the band on a 36D or 34DD is just way too loose on me, which you can tell because I was riding low.

    With a 32 band, the band does most of the legwork and my boobs are up where they should be (halfway between shoulder and elbow). Looking back on my old bras, the bands were too loose and they fit funny as a result (little wings where the cup met the band) and were less than flattering.

    The problem is that VS does not make sizes above DD, and certainly not with small band-sizes. Most women are wearing too large a band size and too small a cup size, because we think that cup sizes run from A-DD and band sizes from 32-38, which they don’t.

    So when you go to VS to get sized, they would never size you at a size they don’t make. lalalina, for instance, is trained to fit women in order to sell VS bras, not to fit them correctly. (If she were, she would know that 30F is a real size, even in America. No disrespect intended, but that’s a fact.) So the VS sales associates try to guess what’s closest, and you end up with an ill-fitting bra because hey, after all, you were fitted, right?

    I would suggest that everyone who thinks this might be an issue get fitted at a specialty bra shop or Nordstrom (who also carries higher cup sizes and smaller band sizes, and whose associates are trained about the possibility of small band sizes with larger cup sizes). You probably wear a larger cup size and smaller band size than you think you do.

    Try this:
    And see what you get, for a general idea of what your actual size might be.

    And no, I’m not paid by Intimacy or Nordstrom or any of that. I’m just sick of VS dictating that my size doesn’t exist or should be crammed into a too-small-but-too-loose bra.

    That said, I’ve been pleased with the quality of VS clothes–but size up!

  16. 16
    February 3rd, 2010 at 6:51 pm


    Does anyone know of a good source where I can measure my cup and band size at home?

    I’m a bit squeamish about asking a VS sales rep to do it, although I’m sure they would love to!

  17. 17
    February 4th, 2010 at 12:06 am

    Sarah- I was not offended by your comments at all because you are right, I was never taught about sizes above or below what we carry. I was unsure about the 30F because that is a typical letter used for foreign sizes. That being said, while it may not be true of every VS, though is should be, I would never force a women into a bra at our store just to sell a product. VS employees do not work on commission and are, therefore, not faced with the pressure of making personal sales goals. I have no issue telling a client that we do not carry a bra that will accommodate her. Yes, I will try her in what we have but if we do not have something that will suit her I will not pretend what she is wearing looks good.

    An important thing to realize about retail, like sororities, is that every store by that name is not alike. Yes, the company tries to maintain a universal conformity, but with different markets and employees that is never going to be absolute. I am not saying go to multiple VS’s until you have a good experience, but as with any store, if that store doesn’t assist you, whether or not there products work for you, it is always good to give feedback on your experience. That is just something I have learned from being in retail. I will not stand to have a bad experience where ever I go, and if I do, I politely inform the management that my experience left more to be desired.

  18. 18
    May 28th, 2010 at 6:11 am

    Hi.. Just want some advice from you girls.. I’m a Malaysian who will be going on a holiday to Orlando, Florida next month and I’m especially interested in the dresses from the clothing line that has. I was just wondering if any of their stores do sell the clothing line or is it purely online? It will be lots of help for me to plan my trip there. Thanks in advance for your help! :)

  19. 19
    May 28th, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Clothes are only sold online

  20. 20
    May 28th, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    You may have better luck shopping for dresses on Victoria’s Secret website. I haven’t seen any day or evening dresses in the shops!

  21. 21
    May 29th, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Thanks! I’ll buy them online then.. :)

  22. 22
    July 4th, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Lalalina- I actually measure 26 under my bust and do need a bra so it does exist… All the bras I’ve gotten from vs never fit me properly and I never understood why until I measured myself. It is very annoying that I can’t find a bra my size (26dd) is there a different size vs carries that would fit me? I’ve tried 32b 34b 34a 32a they were all too small in cup size and too big in band size.
    I really wish they’d just make smaller band sizes I’m sure a lot of ppl are smallelr than a 32

  23. 23
    July 5th, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Sarah, I am sorry you wear such a small size. It is unfortunate that VS cannot fit more people, I feel like there are a lot of women that could benefit from smaller sizes that we do not carry. I know there are specialty store that carry smaller sizes, but I know they tend to be pricey.

  24. 24
    July 17th, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Hey there! I have a question that I’m hoping lalalina or perhaps anyone else can answer – I’m looking to buy a few dresses off of the VS website, and I’ve never purchased anything from VS before, and am unsure of what size to get.

    I usually wear a medium, and I’m 5″9, 145 pounds, which usually puts me at a size 8 (in pants), although I have 6s and 10s because sizing is, I find, very irregular from store to store (along the same lines, while I usually wear a medium, I can and have also worn smalls and larges, sometimes from the same store). If it helps at all, my measurements are 39B/C – 29 – 39 (I know those sound big, but remember I am tall!).

    Sorry for such a long post, I would just really like to get it right the first try, and not have to return products!

    Thank you so much!

  25. 25
    January 4th, 2011 at 11:41 am

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who can’t wear VS bras. Just because they have 1000’s to choose from, everyone looks at you like you have two heads if you say VS doesn’t fit !!! I’ve NEVER had an easy time with VS bras, and it’s even worse now that I’ve had a baby.
    I’ve always had a big ribcage, and that seems to be harder for bra companies to accomodate that a big cup!! I can easily buy a 38 DD at most stores(not VS ones- normal stores), but because I commit the sin of having bones beneath my boobs that requires a 40 band size…I am screwed. If I can find a bra they are always those god-awful ‘full coverage’ ones that go up to your nostrils. I don’t know why they can make a demi cup in 32 DD, but not 40…doesn’t that seem structurally counter intuitive?!?
    Anyway- I have two tips for those who are a bit size challenged: First, re-MEASURE yourself occaisionally. You’d be surprised at how easily you can bump out of your previous bra size by weight changes. Second, check out the cheaper stores. I know they want us to think we need $60 bras…but Target expanded the sizes on their lines a few years ago and I have a much better time finding CUTE 40 D and DD bras there (for $15 max!!) than anywhere else. And for 10-15 a pop, I don’t feel wasteful buying the silly prints i enjoy. Everyone else wants you in a granny bra at these sizes.

  26. 26
    January 30th, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Hey, so I’ve been looking around on the VS website for a swimsuit. I’ve found one, but i’m scared to buy it because of all the rumors I’ve heard about shopping online, like return policies and getting the sizes messed up. The sizing chart is confusing to me, and I’m not really sure on how to use it. HELP!

  27. 27
    August 23rd, 2011 at 2:24 am

    Well, let me say, Victoria’s Secret bra’s are my FAVORITE, and I don’t think I’d go back to any cheaper brands after using VS bra’s. I feel like their cotton bra’s are so worth the $25 because they hold everything in place and provide good support. Plus the prints are really cute – though the downside is that those “cute” neon or bright bra’s will probably be visible thru certain clothing, so I try to get at least a few “boring” neutrals.

    FYI I’m a 34D. I do agree that some style/model bra’s fit different. For instance I bought a bra online, and the band squishes my slightly chubby waist. Definitely try them on in store if you can or you may end up with an uncomfortable bra.

    That being said… Victoria’s Secret bra’s are a life saver for anyone who wants extra curves and/or lift in the boob department. People won’t know if you’ve had work done or if the bra is just that good.

    One thing that irks me is that their swimsuits aren’t all available in store. I see so many cute ones but never order because I like trying them on first to see if they look right.

  28. 28
    April 7th, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    hey im really interested in buying a VS bathing suit online. however, im a bit confused regarding the sizing. according to the size chart im a 34B so i fit into S top. i want a bandeau top. im worried it might be too tight. i have a skinny frame but some good breast tissue (a C fits me comfortably well). shu i go for M? as for the bottoms i wear a size 25 for pants so an XS for swim bottoms, im also worried these would be too skinny and tight. i dont want them big but comfortably fitting. please help!

  29. 29
    April 7th, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Hi everyone,

    I know this thread was started forever ago, but I am back with more info. I am now a store manager with VS and there are a lot of new things going on with us and bras in general.

    Lamlam- we have hundreds of stores that carry our swimwear now. Going into the store to try things on is my best advice for determining your size.

    Other new things, you can now do online returns and exchanges in stores. We are still separate companies though.

    We have extended our sizes! Some stores now carry DDD’S. Now we still do not have products for those who wear smaller than a 30 band, larger than a 40 band, or fuller than a DDD.

    For non- traditional sizes, go to

    Like I said in my past posts, we are their to help. If you have a bad experience, let us know. We strive to give every client great service. Happy shopping ladies!

  30. 30
    May 5th, 2012 at 2:57 am

    Lalalina, thank you for taking time to give us an inside perspective! I’ve always been curious why Victoria’s Secret doesn’t carry clothing in their stores (with the exception of Pink-which is just too immature and product-placement heavy for me in my mid-twenties) ? Have you, as a manager, ever been given any insight into this?

    I’d sure as heck buy more if I could try them on in store, especially during sales!! I have ordered some very cute dresses and tops online, many on sale/clearance. Sometimes I see a great looking item that’s on the pricey side, and if I could try it on I’d probably end up buying it, but I’m dissuaded by not having that option. Even if I can return in store, I don’t like having to make that initial investment blind (also I’m a sucker for splurging once I’ve seen that something looks good on me…left over impulse from my awkward-ish preteen years when it was hard to find anything that fit right in my opinion).

  31. 31
    May 5th, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    I was shopping online and wanted some info. on sizing for clothes at VS and ran across this site. Just to add a comment….I was told by a fitter at my local VS that they did not have a bra that would fit me properly. I appreciated the honesty and continue to shop their stores/online for my other clothing needs.

  32. 32
    January 3rd, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    I have purchased the 32 ddd full coverage, it fit nicely but a little frumpy. I recently purchased the 32 dd Demi cup and am pleased with it although not as comfy and slightly too small in the cups. I’ve also been able to return my online purchases in the store easily.

  33. 33
    January 3rd, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    In the past I have been “educated” by VS employees about sizing that has always been wrong and discouraging…. I quit shopping there and got fitted at an upscale boutique. I would never buy from VS again if that place hadn’t closed.

    Most women wouldn’t know about alternative sizing such as 32G, 32F, etc…. America is the only country where women are led to believe the sizing goes 32A, 34B, 36C, 38D…. So NOT right! And if they didn’t have my size, VS employees would try to convince me that for example 36c is the same as 34 d…. I’m not an idiot, sheesh.

  34. 34
    July 26th, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    i ordered a lingerie online but Idk if XS will be my size im 23 years old and I weight 90 pounds and my height is 4 ft 8ins. if someone could guide me I would really appreciate it. I don’t want XS to be too small on me :/

  35. 35
    July 29th, 2013 at 11:25 am

    So i am shopping for dresses to wear to a wedding. This group of girls are very catty, also dressed to the nines (even to the hole in the wall bars) and are always trying to make me jealous. So for this wedding i am going to and my boyfriend is in, I want to look sexy, elegant and outshine them all. Except the bride of course. So then i though of VS which i honestly dont shop at because I’m a 34A soo.. Well i called my local store and they do not stock any clothing. I’m very worried about purchasing a dress online when 9 times out of ten, when i try on something in my size, it doesn’t fit. So does anyone have much experience with online dress purchases here. I really like the dresses but cant spend a lot so i dont want to have to buy 15 dresses in order to fine 1 or have to buy one and return it every other week because it doesn’t fit or look right. Thanks in advance! I appreciate any advice!

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