Last Saturday, I went to La Petite Coquette.
La Petite Coquette is right on my block. It might be one of the best lingerie stores in New York but yet still has a very real vibe.
It doesn’t feel “branded*” at all, even with the color pink all over, and its little kinky corner (sexy toys, crotch-less panties**, garters, whips.)…
“Hello! My name is Chantelle. Can I help you find anything?”
“Yeah, I’m coming for bras.”
“Wait, Chantelle, is that your real name? Like the lingerie brand?”
“Exactly!!!” Chantelle tells me, the biggest smile across her face.
“Okay, the bra you’re looking for, something sexy or to go with a t-shirt?”
Hmmm! Good question!
A little of both, I explained.
“Do you know your size?
Ha! Great question.
It appears that most of us don’t know our actual size. Knowing your size doesn’t just magically come out of nowhere.
So I respond, “No.”
“Don’t worry! I’ll do a fitting for you. Follow me. Here’s your dressing room. Don’t you worry one bit.”
I relax and make myself at home in the fitting room.
And without even realizing, I start listening to the conversation in the fitting room right next to mine…
“You look amazing. Don’t cry!!!”
I get curious (I know. Bad, Garance, Bad).
“Do you need a little more support there? Okay.
How about now….? Mmmmm…
Wait, I’ll go get you a little pad. You’ll see, it’ll work out great. You just need a little extra hold so nobody can guess.”
I wonder what is it that people shouldn’t see.
“Darling listen, Angelina Jolie took out both and she still looks great! So don’t you worry.”
I start making theories about what’s happening to the woman next door. I become pretty emotional.
Chantelle comes back with her army of bras in her arms.
“So, according to what you showed me, these are the different bras I picked out for you. You want ot start with these?”
With a shy smile, I start trying on the bras. She discretely closed the curtain and tells me to let her know when I have one on, which I then do.
Chantelle comes into the room, takes a general look, very pro, and starts adjusting all the straps. And right there she says “Okay, just a warning, I’m gonna touch…”
I burst out laughing. I’m not shy at all and I think she got that.
She adjusts the fit around my breasts, literally pushing her hand right into my cup and then decides it’s not the right size.
“Okay… Do you mind waiting here a second? I’ll be back…”
Meanwhile, the conversation next door continues…
“Do you feel secure in this one?”
“Oh… Come here!!! Shhhh, don’t you worry sweetie. All you need is a little structure to keep the skin tissue in place. There, that better? You know how in life, when something is no working, you just fix it!!! That’s what you’ll do soon. Don’t’ you worry, sweetie.”
Chantelle’s back. We go through the same process as before. She makes her adjustments, I crack up, and then she seems satisfied. Now I just have to try on each and every one of them. I try on a whole bunch of them and Chantelle stays right there with me. Each time, she gives me her advice and encourages me to try it on with a tank top (there’s one in every fitting room so you can see how things look)(Super important). I find some good ones and am happy.
I leave the fitting room, super curious to see whomever was in the room next to me. I stall a little, counting my bras…
When suddenly, the owner of the store – I can tell right away she’s the owner. She has a certain confidence and benevolent authority that leaves no doubt – Rebecca, pokes her head out of the room and looks at me.
“Just look at this. She is sublime!” pointing at the cabin “She just lost 150 pounds. There’s no reason to be sad!!! We should celebrate!”
A second head pokes out from the room, a visibly emotional truly radiant young woman… 150 pounds, I can’t believe my eyes. I congratulate her and we get to talking. She shows us her driver’s license with her old photo. She’s so proud yet so nervous at the same time, not sure how to act in her new body.
She tells us about what clicked for her and how she found the motivation to lose the weight when she moved to New York to become a lawyer.
I could’ve spent hours there, the whole thing it was so great, this little fitting room rendezvous. But I don’t want to impose. I start to slip out, mentioning to Rebecca that I have a blog and that I’d love to ask her a few questions abount lingerie. She seems good.
She says to me, “We’ll talk about that later,” seemingly implying that there are more important things in life. And then she turns right back to the sublime young woman. “Okay, tell us all how you did it. How’d you lose the weight?”
It puts a smile on my face. She’s right. We could talk about it later. Me and my blog… Pffff.
“You should answer her questions,” a third head pokes out, “Her blog is awesome!”
A reader!!! So so cute! Right there in the room next door to me.
And we’re off again, talking Twitter, blogs, social media, all of it.
I spend another 10 minutes there.
The young woman tells me not to mention her name if I want to tell her story.
I tell her I’d never do something like that.
I left so happy and touched by this explosion of femininity and intimacy. Simple strangers, from totally different worlds, coming together in a safe place with the intense knowledge that the people around would understand, share and not judge.
I think that’s called a sisterhood, right? A little like this blog can be sometimes…
Well, it feels good.
* You know… That type of place that’s so common in New York where you have the impression that everything has so much thought behind it, even down to the color of the toilet paper and the length of the server’s beard. Well this isn’t like that.
** Ok, can we talk about crotch-less panties for a second. What’s up with them? Seriously, I’m asking.