Saturday, November 1, 2014Light Snow 1°C
Fashion Stores

Secrets From Your Sister

Posted by Catherine / Posted on December 16, 2008

Secrets From Your SisterSecrets From Your Sister, when it opened 10 years ago, simultaneously updated, expanded and dramatically improved the experience and selection when buying a bra in Toronto.

It's only getting better, and more accessible -- as they recently opened a sister location (chortle) at Yonge and Eglinton that complements their flagship store at Bloor and Bathurst.

I spoke with Jennifer Klein, owner of Secrets, about bras in general, and the Secrets From Your Sister approach specifically.

How is Secrets different from other Toronto bra boutiques?
We are different because we really focus on empowering women. All too often even when women are put in the right bra, they have no understanding of what to look for when shopping for their next one. Knowing the whys and hows of what makes a bra fit properly is knowledge that can be taken with you -- when you're shopping at another store, or when it's time to help a friend, or educate a daughter, or even a mother.

Our primary goal is to find the best bra for a woman's body, by adhering to the basics of bra fitting. In an industry run by manufacturers who like to only make bras to DD when they actually go to K cup, it is really important to show manufacturers what sizes sell!
Secrets From Your Sister
We like to educate on fit, washing, storage and wear, and how to adjust the bra over time so your investment lasts longer. Working one on one with someone is really a treat. Undivided attention until your needs are met. Those are some things that make us stand out.

How many bras do you recommend a woman have? Of which types and colours?
Minimum 3. One light, one dark and one FUN!!!!! I cannot tell you how great it is to have a red bra! No one has to know you have it on but you. It puts a smile on your face when you get a peek of that secret hidden underneath!
Secrets From Your Sister
How do Secrets employees learn about bras and bra fittings?
The ladies here go through an extensive training program that I designed. A 3-month minimum is required, sometimes more. We conduct additional special training to teach maternity fitting.
Secrets From Your Sister
What are your favourite lines (right now)?
My favourite bras are European, British, French and German. For fuller cups I'd choose Empreinte and Prima Donna, for smaller cups Betsey Johnson and Chantelle.

Do you carry any local or Canadian brands?
Canada does not make good bras yet! They do not recognize all the sizes at this point. They are a very young industry but I see great things coming in the future.

Secrets From Your Sister
Are there any styles or "bra technologies" you think are especially cutting-edge?
As far as new technology there are always going to be gimmicks to amuse the consumer. What I think is really important is to build on the memory foams, and the ability to have more convertible options in everyday t-shirt bras. I know this is boring but the cutting edge award will go to the company who can make a comfortable, seamless, convertible bra that is sexy!

I do have to say though that we have an amazing push up gel bra that feels like nothing when you have it on. It is convertible, seamless, low back and plunge. It's awesome!

What is the balance in your store between strictly bras, and general 'underthings'?
I like to have a bit of it all. Right now we carry about 80% bras, then panties, slips, sexy chemises and pjs, followed by hosiery and garter belts.
Secrets From Your Sister
Where do you stand on trade-offs between affordability and quality?
Quality is number one. Why invest several times over when one quality item can do the job? A bra is an investment but an important one -- it is the base of your outfit, a structural garment. Your clothes will look amazing with the right bra! Breasts up and in, torso lengthened, good round shape, excellent posture and best of all confidence. You don't feel the need to slouch when the 'ladies' are well fit.

We already spend on shoes and glasses, and bras fit in that category as well. They are a highly engineered garment with a serious function. Try your best to find a good quality bra. Take proper care of it and you will see why you paid more!

But p.s.: There are options for those on a tight budget, we work with you and your needs and just explain the differences.

What prompted opening a second store at Yonge and Eglinton, and how are you finding the neighbourhood?
I had a customer clientele there, and their needs weren't being met the way they wanted. Our flagship location was extremely busy and I thought a shift would be warranted. I love the new neighborhood. The women are wonderful, warm, welcoming and incredibly supportive.
Secrets From Your Sister
How do you know when a bra fits properly? When it doesn't? Any tips?
It's best to work with a fitter as every bra fits differently depending on style, cut, company, sizing etc. I cannot stress this enough. When there are over 100 sizes there is no room to mess around, no time, no money to waste!

If your wires rest flush against your breastbone when your breasts have been lifted into the cup and there is no spillage above or on the sides, that's first and second. The band needs to be snug, not tight, not loose -- snug to hold the bra to your body.

Your skin will appear above and below because you are wrapping elastic around your body. The snugness gives support, it relieves the shoulders from having to do all of the work. The band must rest parallel to the ground on the loosest set of hooks so you can ease the bra in as it stretches out.

Signs of a poor fit include if the bra rides up in the back; you always want to pull it down; the straps are digging in; there is a lot of looseness in the cup; or you feel back or neck pain.
Secrets From Your Sister
Is there anything else you'd like us to know about Secrets?
We host Bra Fitting Parties which are a riot! The host of the party organizes friends, food and beverages, and all the women receive a discount of 15% on their purchases. The host gets more of a discount with every new party she brings in. The women can shop in an after hours environment, privately and have a really fun time. We have bridal parties, bosses bringing their female staff out, friends and family. It's a great experience.

We also sell gift cards which is a really good gift to offer a woman or girl. Our 'wishlist' system makes gift giving easy because you can find all the bras you like and their size, we'll document it so someone can come and shop for you!
Secrets From Your Sister

All photographs of Secrets From Your Sister courtesy of Patrick Smith.

Discussion

76 Comments

/ November 1, 2008 at 01:47 am
user-pic
What a lovely looking store - wonder who the designer is?
Gloria / December 16, 2008 at 11:37 am
user-pic
Always had red underwear. Need it for optimal luck come Chinese New Year!

Cath / December 16, 2008 at 11:55 am
user-pic
I went for a fitting at Secrets From Your Sister a few weeks ago and it was an excellent experience! I will never go back to shopping at the Bay for bras(mainly because it turns out I'm not a DD but an F - another reason to pay SFYS a visit, you're almost certainly wearing the wrong size). The ones I picked up were costly but of incredible quality and easily the most beautiful things in my wardrobe. Service was excellent - friendly, comfortable, skilled and knowledgable. I am recommending them to all my girlfriends.
Evelyn / December 16, 2008 at 12:07 pm
user-pic
Looks really nice. Does anyone have a rough price range for bras at this shop?
Mark / December 16, 2008 at 01:34 pm
user-pic
My wife is a size E and recently purchased 2 bras from the store which cost her about $100.00 each. This may seem high but I must say seeing her fitted right and wearing such wonderful well crafted garments was worth every dollar spent. My wife also finds bra shopping to be a terrifying experience and found shopping at SFYS to be so easy. I was really impressed and thankful on her behalf. Ladies treat yourself right and get yourself a quality under garment, you'll thank yourself for it as will your spouse or significant other. Good luck!
Lindsay / December 16, 2008 at 06:48 pm
user-pic
I also recommend Melmira Bra Boutique which is also on Yonge Street, North of Lawrence. I haven't yet shopped at SFYS but Melmira was a wonderful experience. It may be aimed at more of the older crowd, as comparably the decor at SFYS seems hip & flashy - whereas Melmira was a pretty calm experience. Prices are also around $100 per bra, but WELL worth it.
Sherry / December 16, 2008 at 07:02 pm
user-pic
$100 for a bra (especially in a larger size) is not that expensive. I've paid $200 per bra at Sofia's on the Danforth. Even that was a good investment.
kl / December 16, 2008 at 08:29 pm
user-pic
I would also recommend beestung lingerie also on yonge north of eglinton. they have a smaller selection but always carry my size (which I can never find at another store) and know their products well. i go back to them regularly.
Lauren / December 16, 2008 at 09:39 pm
user-pic
I first got fitted at SFYS nearly five years ago, and it improved the quality of my life enormously. Wearing a bra that fits you properly makes your clothes look better and makes you feel better.
I've encouraged many friends to get fitted (all found they were in fact wearing the wrong sizes) and I'll never go back to buying one that "sortof" fits.
I myself have purchased bras at SFYS that have ranged from $50-$120.
I cannot emphasize enough to every woman -- get professionally fitted! You will not regret it.
NFL / December 22, 2008 at 07:54 am
user-pic
I have never shopping at SFYS but Melmira was a cool experience.
Bibi / December 25, 2008 at 01:20 pm
user-pic
When I go bra shopping in Toronto, SFYS is where I go. That being said, there are both positives and negatives to the experience.

Positive: Great fitters. I have an unusual size/proportion, and the people who work there have always done their best to figure out something that will work for me.

Negative: If I come back 2-4 weeks later with a specific bra and size in mind, they WILL NOT LET YOU BUY IT. Not without getting yet another fitting. For which there is generally a 10-20 minute wait, or has been any time I've been there. This is a pain in the neck.

Positive: Great selection in a range of sizes.

Negative: Great selection comes with a highly marked-up price tag. Be aware that you can get these bras online for half to one-third the price charged by SFYS. I tend to go to SFYS when I'm desperate, get fitted, buy 1-2 bras there and then stock up further by ordering online.

Honestly, I think that the marked-up price tag is what aggravates me the most. I understand that special size bras are a "premium" product. However, I don't understand why I should be paying so much more for the same item as I can by going online. It's not like wearing a bra is optional.

That being said ... SFYS is still a good, comfortable, well-stocked shop. If you are very large cup size (G, H or larger) then this is a good place to go to find something.
Marie replying to a comment from Bibi / January 9, 2009 at 02:14 am
user-pic
Bibi, I was just curious as to where you are buying your bras from online? The only place that I've found is barenecessities.com and once you add in the shipping and duty costs, the prices are pretty much the same. If you have any suggestions, they would be much appreciated!
Choppery / January 19, 2009 at 11:14 pm
user-pic
I tend to find "gourmet bra" stores intimidating because I'm quite small-breasted, and most of these stores seem to target women with larger breasts. The mannequins alone make me feel like an eleven-year-old again. The small-cup bras I find in bra shops are often push-up or padded bras; there seems to be a dearth of bras available designed with the assumption that the wearer might actually be content with her breast size. I suppose the folk wisdom is that smaller-breasted women don't really need a bra, so if they use one it must be for vanity or something. But man...I do need a bra, I just don't need it to come with fake breasts.

Anyway, if it weren't for Bare Necessities' selection of darting-free bralettes, I'd be trotting around with a sore chest.
parm replying to a comment from / February 22, 2009 at 11:52 pm
user-pic
This is to Bibi.. I love secrets, yes they do have an amazing selection and an amazing staff who work there but I find the prices a little to pricey as well.. Where do you find your great deals on line? Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
Annie / February 28, 2009 at 10:57 pm
user-pic
I recognize that the staff there are trained, but the bra that I bought from them is one of the worst fitted bras I've bought. The salesgirl insisted that particular bra's "snug" (even worn at the furthest clasp) is the proper thing, but it turns out that it was too tight after actually wearing it for a couple hours (so much that I'd be light-headed from the pain). It was actually poorly support - as most of the support was only from the underneath, and it makes me look much worst that I did before.
After wasting a $100 on a bra that I'll never wear again, I wouldn't buy anything from Secrets again, no matter what rest of you girls say.
Jamie / March 9, 2009 at 10:38 am
user-pic
I will never shop there again after being ignored, and treated the way I was.
/ March 16, 2009 at 10:22 am
user-pic
It is a beautiful store, so professional looking.
/ April 4, 2009 at 11:13 pm
user-pic
Wow it really is a beautifully layed out store...

Disappoint customer / May 1, 2009 at 06:31 pm
user-pic
It wasn’t until I went to SFYS that I got fit in the right size bra, it became my favorite bra store.

But over the last few years the stores "empowering women" mandate has changed. The store has gotten pushy with customers to buy the more expensive bras. Right now they have "Operation Empreinte" happening in the store, which is pushing customers to buy Empreinte bra. It's a high quality bra; as in made well. I bought one, but it hurts after an hour. They said that would go away but it hasn’t

Jen the owner also can be quiet rude to customers and to her staff. SFYS is now also discontinuing low costing bra complete for the store, such as change, fitfully yours and other. My Fitfully Yours T-skirt bra is one of my favorites. But I can no longer buy it there. Also I took my friend would couldn’t afford an expensive bra. She left with nothing and quite upset because the sales girl told her no other bra looked good on her, but an empreinte bra. How is that empowering?

SFYS went from being a beloved store, to a store when I felt pushed in to making purchases I didn’t want. I will no longer shop there.

Oh and for buying online figleaves is great!
Anne Miller / May 30, 2009 at 01:02 pm
user-pic
Last weekend I visited Secrets with my fiance. I was sorely disappointed. When I walked into the store not one of the sales person greeted me, or even made eye contact. I decided to look at the "selection" and asked my fiance's opinion on a few of the bra's; niether of us could tell whether they would look good on me, and of course, with no sales help I could not even try them on. Needless to say after a fruitless 15 minutes we left the store. I have never been treated so horribly and will not return.
anon / June 19, 2009 at 04:20 pm
user-pic
SFYS is a good bra store with well trained and really lovely staff and a good selection to choose from. The main problem I have is with the owner Jen. I've seen her be outright rude and really 'b*tchy' to customers and have encountered this myself with her on a # of occasions. I generally try to shop at Tryst now. Their staff are lovely and I much prefer the customer service there.

It's a shame about SFYS's owner's attitude and idea of 'customer service' b/c in every other way, it's a great specialty store. (It is definitely pricey though)
Denisha / July 31, 2009 at 03:05 pm
user-pic
This is a worse place to go to. The customer service is very poor and this is due to the attitude of the Manger of the store ( She has a British Accent).The sales people tend to fit people correctly, but if the bra that you like is not in the store, they try to give you a smaller fit to get there sales up. I was sold a number of bars that were not correctly fitted to my body. I had to go to my doctor. They refused even replace them with the right size of bra for me. I spent more than $400. So please be careful with what you buy here. It is a hit and a miss.
Denisha / July 31, 2009 at 03:06 pm
user-pic
This is a worse place to go to. The customer service is very poor and this is due to the attitude of the Manger of the store ( She has a British Accent).The sales people tend to fit people correctly, but if the bra that you like is not in the store, they try to give you a smaller fit to get there sales up. This was my case; I spent more than $400 & had to go to the doctor.
HappySisCustomer / August 18, 2009 at 03:10 pm
user-pic
A long time Secrets From Your Sister's customer I just wanted to address some of the negative misconceptions floating around here.
First, if you talk to your fitters you will learn that they do not work on commission, so they gain nothing from putting you 'into a smaller size to boost sales'. Yes I am paying more for a bra there than figleaves but I also know it fits everytime.
Disappointed Customer I was there last week, and they still carried Fitfully Yours Tee-shirt bras, at least in my size 32C, however they did inform me that this particular style was not the highest quality. I still love that bra though.
And finally I may be misinformed but I was told Operation Empriente was one time event, to make staff and customers more comfortable with that high end brand. It is not the best fit for me so I don't own one, but then again no one has ever pushed buying on me.
Anyways I love this store, I recommend spending more time talking with your fitter if you are confused about you particular fit, they are very knowledgeable and tend to be very patient, even with a picky shopper like me.
Sandra replying to a comment from Bibi / August 28, 2009 at 09:54 pm
user-pic
I am a big fan of SFYS and their service. I am a clothing boutique owner myself, and one thing to keep in mind in response to your comment is that the stores have to pay import costs on products brought in from other countries. Similarly, if you order online and ship home over a certain amount, you will be charged duty when it crosses the border. The stores are not making an astronomical profit but "marking up" the price tag; they are getting the same profit that any store gets from a standard retail markup after factoring in the import costs.

Furthermore, the service and expertise gained from SFYS staff comes free of charge. The staff have told me before that they don't work on commission, so if you are going to take an hour of their time and then buy online, you're contributing to those very long waits.

Just food for thought.
Megan / August 31, 2009 at 12:30 am
user-pic
I've been going to SFYS for years, and recently I took my mum there to be fitted. She was very anxious about how much she would be spending, and convinced she was already wearing something that was good enough. She found one great wireless bra for about $100 that gave her a waistline and a good lift. I have to say I feel a little smug when she tells me it's comfortable all day long.

Sandra is right, the staff don't make commission, so I think you can trust that the advice they give you is backed by good intentions. And some of their bras are definitely pricey, but I've never paid more than $130 there and I'm usually a 34F (I was wearing a 38D before). Plus, they're imported. And it costs money to employ the girls who have been really kind and patient with me every time. I've stayed there for hourstrying on bras and they don't mind. And Bibi, they don't want you to buy it without trying it on because they know that sometimes the bras are cut differently. I've made that mistake before and I had to make an exchange.

I've dabbled in other stores, which are fine, but I have never been as consistently happy as I am with SFYS.
aira / August 31, 2009 at 09:59 am
user-pic
I shopped at SFYS once at the recommendation of an acquaintance. Big mistake! I got a Chantelle bra & a Shockabsorber sports bra. The sports bra fell apart after about 1.5 months. The Chantelle bra is still in one piece, but turned out not to be very comfortable for wearing all day. I spent a lot of money on these bras & didn't see the worth of it. I was truly miffed when I went to the Bay a couple months later & saw the exact same Shockabsorber bra there for about half the price! Watch out ladies!
friend of staff / September 22, 2009 at 11:50 pm
user-pic
FYI the staff do make commission, after they sell a certain number of bra they get a free bra. So you can't alway trust them. The owner also has one of her staff place fake" happy customer" feedback on post like these.

I think bra fitting is very important and every woman should get it done. I just don't support a business like SFYS because the owner is rude and has the worst customer service. Some of the staff are great. But in the end only the owner is profiting and I'd rather it go to another store.
Leighanne - another friend of staff replying to a comment from friend of staff / October 6, 2009 at 12:36 am
user-pic
Two things:

1/ Getting a free bra and getting commission (ie a percentage of sales) is a pretty different thing. A free bra means that the staff continue to wear and promote properly fitting bras. At the end of the day, they are still retail employees most likely earning a normal hourly wage which is not necessarily conducive to buying a high end bra every few months.

2/ Since when does being rewarded for selling products make a person untrustworthy? It's a pretty pesimistic way of looking at the world. These girls don't get tips or a percentage of sales despite the fact that they are providing a wonderful service to women, sometimes spending upwards of an hour with an individual. You tip your waiter for giving a good service, why not think of this free bra system as a way of tipping the hard-working fitters... only at no additional cost to you!
JLA / October 16, 2009 at 01:55 pm
user-pic
I wanted to comment on the "putting you in smaller sizes to boost sales" comment. How does that make any sense? I am a customer of different bra shops in toronto, not only secrets. When I can't find what I want I move around. Nothing to do with the service, sometimes I just want a different bra from that season and being a hefty 38gg i cant be too picky.

It doesn't make any sense that they would put you into a smaller size to boost sales. Women aren't stupid, and they know that something is uncomfortable. And will not stand for it when it is as costly as a bra.

If they wanted to make more money and boost sales they would put you in the correct size, and kiss up to you so you would come back with friends... Putting someone in a smaller size does nothing but hurt the customer and the business. It doesn't make any sense.
Rivergirl replying to a comment from Marie / October 31, 2009 at 06:22 pm
user-pic
You can buy bra's online at www.figleaves.com. You will save at least 40% of the high priced bras at secrets from your sister. Its easy and I do it all the time. I used to go to sfys but had such a bad experience with the Bloor st. manager that I refuse to go back. I enjoy Beestung on Yonge St. There are so many bra fitting places in the city, I rather spend my money somewhere else.
Rivergirl replying to a comment from friend of staff / October 31, 2009 at 06:25 pm
user-pic
I totally agree...and I've also been treated rudely and poorly at the Bloor St. I think a course in customer service would help both the owner and the manager of that store. I would also recommend that certain staff quit smoking or something because theres nothing worse then trying on bra's with a sales person that reeks of stale cigarette smoke! ew
Aggie / November 2, 2009 at 04:28 pm
user-pic
do you have to pay to get a fitting? say you want to go in and find out your bra size but wont definitely buy a bra after, does it cost anything?
SisGirl / November 3, 2009 at 09:27 am
user-pic
In response to Aggie, absolutely not. Fittings are complementary, and we still offer the service if you don't think you will be making a purchase that. I would say to let your fitter know that your primary goal of the day is to be fit, and understand sizing, that way you both make the best use of your time.
Also Aggie we love to set up wishlists. When we create a customer file, any style that you tried on that day, that fit you well, that for whatever reason is no a option for you to purchase that day,we can 'wishlist' for you, recording in our system your size, style, and color preference. That way for yourself, and should anyone ever need to pick up a gift for you,the information is already there.
SisGirl / November 3, 2009 at 09:27 am
user-pic
*that day
generic / November 4, 2009 at 04:04 pm
user-pic
You all should be aware the SFYS keeps a file on you in their computer. They make notes commenting on you creating negative and often false judgments on customers. Did you disagree with a fitter? You will be branded as "confrontational". Sounds like the FBI, not a retail store!
Kristin / November 9, 2009 at 09:06 pm
user-pic
As a long-time employee at SFYS, I would like the opportunity to address some of the comments on this blog. It's important to remember that everyone has a different idea of good customer service. For some, that means a lot of attention and good product knowledge. For others, it means that the customer is always right.

At SFYS, those who want to be able to come in, look around and have a self-directed experience with the option of returning everything later on will probably not find their expectations met. Luckily, there are many stores in the city that will grant such an experience. SFYS is meant to fill a void, rather than to contribute to what already exists. The point of this boutique is to give a one-on-one experience and impart 10 years of product knowledge and fitting know-how. We're passionate, we love lingerie, and contrary to what has been said on this blog, we're here to help!

A few points to debate:

1. The Free Bra Commission: The staff do earn incentive bras, but these come directly from the manufacturers who are offering these same incentives to every other store's employees in the city. Most lingerie companies offer it, so the employees will gain it no matter which size, style or company they sell you. They would gain nothing from coaxing you into the wrong size or trying to sell you the highest price point. In fact, not being a good bra fitter would cause them to lose their job!

2. Buying online: You will always get things cheaper online. That's because the online seller's are not paying to run a physical store. To take an hour of a fitter's time only to buy online means that you're taking advantage of a local business that you should be supporting. Also, bras are all cut differently, so you may find your bra just as uncomfortable as before if you don't have help finding the right size.

3. Retail has a high turn-over rate, so disliking one manager or having one unfavorable experience is no reason to discredit an entire business. SFYS has many dedicated staff who genuinely want to help people. They really are not sitting around like the FBI making nasty commentary about customers and inciting confrontation. That notion is ridiculous and illogical.

If SFYS is not your cup of tea, then find another great store in the city that suits your needs. SFYS has many happy return customers who love and respect the fact that we do things differently. Maybe you will too!
Brenna replying to a comment from Kristin / November 10, 2009 at 01:55 am
user-pic
Bravo Kristin.
It's about time someone mentioned this!

Especially about online. I'v made that mistake myself, sometimes they fit, sometimes its a waste of money, time and effort...

I have NEVER however wasted a fitters time. Although it did take me about a year to admit what my size was, like many women stuck in the idea of being a 38c. Ladies, if you think you are a 38 and do not wear L or XL shirts, there is a chance you are like me. I am a 32f.

And who cares of the girls make commission, really!? You tip your waiter whether you get good sevice or not, you tip your taxi driver who doesnt care at all about you, and you buy from other boutiques and shoe stores that make comisison off of you when its you that know what you like or want. With bras - although we think we do, we have no idea. So why shouldn't these women get comission or some kind of reward for spending hours with us, measuring us and dealing with some probably unpleasant customers.

Although I have had a bad experience at Sister's before I feel like some of these comments not only talk about them in a negative way, but about all other bra boutiques!And Kristin, your right, i bet some of these girls are just hard to please, but im also sure some of them are absolutely correct about the attitude of some of their employees.

Ladies you need to appreciate what these girls do!

Thank you patient, respetable bra fitters everywhere!

Janice / October 12, 2010 at 12:58 pm
user-pic
I to am looking for new bras.
Upon reading some of the comments from customers that have
experienced this store. I think I'll skip this one, the last
thing I need is poor customer service and employees that
think I'm a waste of time.
Thank-You.
Rose replying to a comment from Marie / October 20, 2010 at 07:29 pm
user-pic
A recommendation to the person who wanted to know where to buy bras online:

Once you know what your real bra size is (you do need a proper fitting, as most women are indeed wearing the wrong bra size) go to bravissimo.com

they are in the UK, but they have low shipping costs overseas, and they not only sell a wide variety of great styles, but they have their own brand of bras, and clothing ,which are really great - tank tops and halters and sleepwear with built in bras in every size, plus dresses, coats etc. cut to fit based on the proportion of your chest to your body. I loved this place when I lived in the UK, and I have never found a better place to buy lingere online. For selection, price and shipping, they are the best!! They also have great customer service and shipping advice.
Jules / October 25, 2010 at 09:31 pm
user-pic
It’s bra shopping time again so I was checking out the blogto article on the best bra shops around and have been reading the comments here on SFYS.

I have to say that I am a little surprised by the hostility in some of the comments posted. Perhaps the store has changed in the last few years, but I have bought a number of bras from SFYS before and my experience was excellent. It’s a bit hyperbolic to say that a well-fitting bra is life-changing, but it did feel that way.

As a large breasted woman, clothing shopping in general is frustrating and not very enjoyable. It’s very difficult to find pretty, sexy, classy clothes, or even anything that actually fits and doesn’t make me look like either a potato sack or a stripper.

The emphasis at SFYS was on fitting me properly. It took some time, but the saleswoman found me bras that were comfortable and actually fit. When the girls are well supported, straps are not digging into your shoulders, there is no double boob, bouncy-bouncy when you walk, poking underwire, uni-boob, etc. it makes a huge difference in the way you look and feel. I could not stop raving about my new bras to my girlfriends, sisters, even my mom.

For me personally, a bra fitting is a little uncomfortable. It’s not quite pap smear bad, but having a salesperson in your changing room, checking your bra, is not all that enjoyable. It was definitely worth it for me though, and I just wonder if the negative comments are not so much about this store as perhaps the emotional reaction to the experience of being fitted and trying on bras with a salesperson checking the fit.

Personally bras in my proper size (36-G) are expensive, but I think that is down to the manufacturers. Most clothing in general seems to be designed and made for thirteen year old girls and women who look like them. I think it’s rather unfair to judge a particular retailer for this. I moved to Canada when I was 20 and for the next decade did most of my lingerie shopping at the well known chain stores here, mostly because I didn’t know where else to go. Nothing ever fit me, it was always frustrating and I hated bra shopping so very much. SFYS changed that for me and I appreciate that a great deal.

The last thing is that I am British myself and I think the commenter above who mentioned the owner’s English accent as “proof” of her attitude was a bit out of line. I don’t know the owner and am just a customer, but really, would you say such a thing about a Jamaican or East Indian accent?

All that being said, and I feel a bit guilty for saying this, but I will probably be going to another store this time for my bra shopping. However that is just because I am a very lazy shopper and one of the other listed top stores is within walking distance from my home.

I guess I just thought some of these comments sounded a bit unfair and I wanted to say something about my experience.
Madelyn / December 12, 2010 at 03:12 am
user-pic
Great fittings, great staff, great bras..but definitely aimed at the clientele who's Filipino nanny is watching the kids while she shops. Students have big breasts too!
One thing I'd recommend...try your shirt on with the new bra before you buy it! I love love love the way my SFYS bra looks...when I'm only wearing the bra. The second I put on my shirt..torpedo boobs! I wish I noticed this before I spent $120 on it, or that she suggested I try it!!
boobs / January 19, 2011 at 08:12 pm
user-pic
www.bravissimo.com is the best thing ever!!!!!! Amazing selection and great prices.
christine / February 10, 2011 at 11:30 am
user-pic
I few years ago I took my then 16 year old daughter for her first proper bra fitting at Secrets Bloor St. location. The shop owner helped us and was insensitive and dismissive. My daughter hated the bra and when it started to fall apart shortly after purchase the owner refused to accommodate us in any way. Did they "empower" a 16 year old girl? No, they made her feel awful. We've never been back and we never will.
Toby / February 18, 2011 at 05:26 pm
user-pic
I was very disappointed after all the hype. I don't often post reviews, good or bad, but this one, I have to say something.

I called ahead to make sure SFYS had my size (I am an uncommon size). Yes - great. Open? Yes. Can I come in this afternoon? Yes. Great. I am on my way!

I drove there, which took about 45 minutes due to construction on Bloor. It would have been nice to have them warn me, but not everyone thinks about this when on the phone, which is fine. What I was disappointed about, was that when I got to the front desk I was informed that I would have at least an hour wait before I could see someone. I was already taking time off work, there was no way I could spend a hour sitting around waiting. If they knew they would be that busy, or that they already had appointments, they should have told me on the phone.

I told them my size and said I was happy to just look and see what they had. Apparently SFYS doesn't even allow you to browse without a fitter. It was a complete bust (no pun intended).

I am very disappointed that I couldn't even get past the front desk. I was also disappointed that the attitude from the receptionist was rather stand-offish. It was like I was the one who was being inconsiderate of their time, when I said I wasn't able to wait.

I immediately drove to Tryst on Queen, at Bathurst, where I normally go. The girls at Tryst remembered me and were able to look me up in their system, so they had a good start on sizing and the types of bras I prefer.

I had them fit me with two new bras and I was out of the shop in less than 45 minutes. Overall, a successful bra shopping experience, but not from the shop I was excited to try.

Word to the wise ladies, they may be great fitters, but their service could use a lift.
Becca / March 25, 2011 at 10:36 pm
user-pic
I love this place! I have been there three times and it has always been a positive experience. I found out about it from this blog and was excited to try it as i have always had trouble finding bras being a 36G. I am surprised at the number of negative reviews because I always come out happy. I was just there a few weeks ago and got four great bras. My fitter was Frankie and she was great at helping be find a great selection of beautiful and well fitting bras in the type and cut that I preferred. I even asked her to show me bras withing a certain price range so I could get more and she was more than happy to. She was also really honest when a bra wasn't working for me. I even got a free gift with purchase: a bottle of Soak (which is also great btw). Overall, I love this store, and will continue to shop there for my bras.
Nicole replying to a comment from friend of staff / March 29, 2011 at 11:46 pm
user-pic
Totally agree, management is terrible, customer service is terrible. Have takin' my boobs business to Tryst Lingerie -- same great stock, lovely staff, and pretentiousness down several notches. www.trystlingerie.com

SFYS needs to take some customer service courses. How can a boutique place not care about keeping customers loyal?
Jamie / April 1, 2011 at 11:39 am
user-pic
Does anyone know where sales rep Barbara aka "Babs" went?? Fantastic customer service. Is she at another lingerie store?
I'd follow her for the knowledge and service.
Leslie / April 3, 2011 at 04:02 pm
user-pic
Barbara aka Babs works at "Change" Yonge Street now!
2645 Yonge Street
Pain- Will never come back! / June 2, 2011 at 10:46 pm
user-pic
For a couple of years I had been reading great reviews of SFYS, so I was excited to go for a fitting and finally get a comfortable bra my size. The fitter was very kind and patient, and handed me over a 36 F size bra that offered a little too much fabric, so I asked for a V neck style (for the summer) and purchased it. Worst mistake ever.
The next day after I wore it I started feeling discomfort and then pain in my shoulders, I thought it would wear off with time but it never went away. After a few weeks of wearing the bra and working (as a barista) full-time I acquired ACUTE pain in my shoulder/neck area to a point I could not lift my arms up without feeling pins and needles. I went to the doctor which prescribed me strong painkillers and referred me to a physiotherapist. I was almost in tears by then.
We just recently went back to SFYS, after calling in advance to speak to a supervisor, only to be told there is nothing they can do and to stop wearing the bra. Yeah, its easy to say when you did not expend $150 on it. Moreover when we tried to ask for a high-level person to talk to or the store owner, they denied us the information flat out. They never even apologized for their mistake or offered an in-store credit.
In short, be very careful with the bras you purchase at SFYS as they take no responsibility for... lets say RUINING YOUR HEALTH. If this does not get resolved within the store system itself we are filing a complaint to the government consumers' affairs office. If you had similar problems I encourage you to do so as well, after all for such grave issues costumers have a right to be heard and have action taken on their behalf!
Torontolady / June 28, 2011 at 10:59 am
user-pic
I heard about this place from my roommate. She warned me that the prices were quite high but were worth it.

I stopped in briefly last Friday to potentially make an appointment to come in that weekend and have a fitting done(with the full intention of buying a bra or two). I was in the store looking around for more than 5 or 6 minutes with zero contact made by any staff. One staff member was busy talking on the phone on what sounded like a personal conversation and every other staff member in the store didn't so much as make eye contact with me or say hello when I entered.

I can't stand pretentious "customer service" people in Toronto so I've already sourced other places to spend my several hundred dollars on bras!
One Thing Does Not Fit All replying to a comment from Pain- Will never come back! / September 29, 2011 at 04:54 pm
user-pic
As someone who hails from Europe and it used to bra fitting stores and is educated in what's best for what size (I'm a 32G), i have to say that this comment is pretty ridiculous. If you are a 36f and looking for a low cut, there's a good chance this bra isn't giving you the support your breasts need. No wonder your shoulders hurt!

To be fair, the sales lady should have mentioned this to you. Try something with a support system next time...
Karen Lahura / October 1, 2011 at 11:43 am
user-pic
@ One Thing Does Not Fit All

I just wanted to let you know that there ARE bras that are low-cut, 36F and don't case ANY PAIN on your shoulders. I have purchased successfully many of such items from Beestung here in Toronto, and have never been happier.

Plus when you are a 19 year old going to your first fitting you have no idea what is a good bra for you, rather you trust in the attendants help and expertise to give you something proper. So I don't think my comment is ridiculous at all, I was extremely unhappy for the harm cause and the lack of responsibility of the store to even exchange or offer a refund for their item. I wanted to share my opinion and not be bashed for it, so please withhold the name calling madam.
Emilia D replying to a comment from Karen Lahura / October 4, 2011 at 10:19 am
user-pic
i Karen,
In reference to your comment about low cut bras. You're right there are ones that do fit low in 36F (im a 34ff almost the same thing) and I have about 3. BUT these are so difficult to come by. Most of the time they're only available for one season or just don't work as well for some people.

However, I am questioning your sources - when i was looking for boutiques and came across beestung (about a year or so ago) they didn't carry those sizes.
Karen / October 4, 2011 at 06:33 pm
user-pic
Hey Emilia,

Maybe I can help you with the difficulty of finding low-cut bras in 34 ff. I have bought mine from Beestung, in the brands of Princess Tam Tam and Elle Macpherson (this last one is my favorite and only carried by this store in the whole of TO). When they refitted me I was a 36 E, and i have found plenty of bras in that store in my size. Moreover, when they were having their summer sale i was able to buy the above brands at $30/ bra. I highly recommend you actually going into the store and asking them what they have in your size, its usually not busy. I do think they have FF as I use to think I was that size and they brought one or two out for me.
FormerFitter replying to a comment from Jamie / October 19, 2011 at 07:02 pm
user-pic
Jaime, Babs is now at Melmira on Yonge.
Jamie / October 20, 2011 at 11:02 am
user-pic
@ former fitter.... cheers!!
Mary / December 7, 2011 at 04:25 pm
user-pic
I went to this boutique (Bloor location) and had such a great experience. I was told I needed about 40 minutes because it was my first time being fitted, and ended up staying there for over an hour (time flew by). Staff was so knowledgable in regards to fit and help, very patient & sincere. I was blown away with their selection, I'm really use to finding nothing in my size and have been wearing the wrong size bra for years. I have recommended this place to fam and friends, and will continually come back. Its not cheap finding a good bra, but the support and fit is well worth it. I've had people, even coworkers tell me they noticed a difference..kind of sad that it was that noticable that I needed a new bra!
Tbear / December 14, 2011 at 06:23 pm
user-pic
bAD EXPERIENCE ALL AROUND. sAME THING AS PEOPLE HAVE MENTIONED BEFORE WITH NO CUSTOMER SERVICE. IT GOT WORSE THOUGH WHEN i PULLED A FEW BRAS AND THEN TRIED THEM ON. One of the sales girls came to check (which was shocking) and then said she'd try and find me another size. She brought me back 4 and I tried them on but she never came back. 15 minutes later being embarassed and halfway out of the dressing room I flagged another sales staff and asked her advice. she immediatly asked why I had so many bras in the change room (5) and that it wasnt allowed and against store policy and was "unacceptable". I replied that the sales girl had brought me them and I didnt know. She replied that the girl should have known better but I still wasnt allowed to do that and needed to put them back. I dont need to be spoken to like that- it wasnt fair and I had been ready to support the store given it was a recommendation from a coworker whose sister had a masectomy and got a bra there. I was eager to support a business that catered to such causes. But it wasn't worth being verbally abused for something that wasnt my fault. I would never go there again after they made an already self concious experience (I am small chested) into a brutally embarassing one. I really had hoped for better. I've since been to Change on Queen and found very comfortable and lovely looking bras that were more reasonable in price with helpful service.
Laura Lee / January 18, 2012 at 06:44 pm
user-pic
Hi,

I am looking to open a lingerie business in a small rural area with approx 30,000 plus population. I am asking if you can please please tell me or help me find a locate a reputable supplier, I am of course in no competition with you. Any websites or information would be greatly appreciated.
Karen / March 6, 2012 at 09:23 am
user-pic
Worst Customer Treatment Ever!
I have shopped at Secrets various times, and had good experiences in the store. However, Never, Ever order something that they don't have in stock. And, their stock selection is small, so ordering an item (eg. a bra you tried on but in a different colour). If you give them a deposit and your bra never comes in, they will turn it into a store credit that expires, forcing you to come in an purchase something so you don't lose your money. They will refuse to give your money back and extend a store credit (don't believe what they say verbally to you about your deposit when giving it to them!). Shady, Shady business practices....

In my case, they never called me (I dropped by the store and called multiple times, only to be brushed off and told I had to wait). It wasn't until nearly a year later, that when I showed up at the store they informed me that the bra had never come in and was discontinued. Then they further informed me that they had no records of my calls or showing up, and that they had made calls (apparently the bra had come in), and that I had failed to respond. They had made calls to me indeed, but these were sales calls to let me know about new bra lines I might be interested in, not about the ordered bra and money I had already give them. Wow! I have never dealt with a store that has so much disregard and behaves with so much dismissal of their customers. Such lack of integrity and lies!

Upper management will be appalling disrespectful and tell you that their and that their records are accurate, period, end of story, and eat it. If you have a grievance, don't ever expect an apology, much less a fair solution. If you get upset with them, you will be told that your behaviour is inappropriate. They're right, your're wrong, period. They , and their employees, are above reproach. Literally, I have an email from Secrets management that says as much.

I was fooled for a long time, believing that the veneer of helpfulness, kindness, and regard for customers was outstanding. However, the records they do keep are not meaningful business records, but nastiness about customers. I have found this out from reaching out to other customers who have had problems with them and their practices. They don't care about an individual customer; they believe in their own hype that they are the best and that people will continue to shop there. Also, they talk big about taking bras back (guarantee) but they will suddenly become very sleazy and coercive when you try to use their guarantee and make a return. Ladies, we deserve better!
Tonic / July 26, 2012 at 12:08 am
user-pic
SFYS's fitter(s) are great! (or at least the ones I've had) I found them super helpful and very friendly! I didn't know the 'red head' is the owner.. Indeed, Jen was snobby, rude and quite unfriendly. Crazy if she's the owner, her barely-there customer service was ridiculous! We had a brief encounter, only at the beginning and when I paid for my bra, and she managed to insult me with her rude comment, implying she'll 'write a comment' on my file just in case I'll return the bra (??) that (she implied quite blatantly) I won't take great care of - in which I have no intention to return anything!?, and in fact, I found that quite insulting!

It is really too bad, because every other way, I love that store! I thought the rude person is just a general manager or something.. but the owner?!? I have to re-evaluate shopping at SFYS!
j. Pascal / September 4, 2012 at 03:00 pm
user-pic
I will never shop at Secrets from your sister again.
I took time off work, rushed down to the bloor street location store, they were all busy with customers so I had to fit my bra myself. I ended purchasing 2 nursing bras(my last child is 27)
I wore one and was not impressed with the fit so I wanted to exchange it for another one from the sales rack.
They would not take it back, I said exchange, the snorty clerk would not budge. I will NEVER shop at your store again nor will I reccomend your store, I ask to be removed from your mailing list because you have no integrity. I work hard for my money and this was not money well spent, you will soon go out of business as all the prior sleeze bags have. Enjoy ripping customers off while you can
Mary / November 28, 2012 at 11:48 am
user-pic
Because of the above comments, I have decided not to go to Secrets. Instead, I purchased from Sophia's on the Danforth. They were professional, knowledgable and unpretentious. No need to feel uncomfortable or intimidated at Sophia's Lingerie
Reginald / December 10, 2012 at 06:08 pm
user-pic
In responce to the on-line shoppers here. I own a retail store and have a problem being competitive with on line shops. First, they have no expensive locations with high rental rates to support. They can set up in a barn in the middle of nowhere if they wish to do so. They do not have to support bra fitters and therefore employ less people. They also do not support the local communities They won`t be shopping or buying from your place of employment.. They often buy and sell the previous season`s fashions at a discount. Some charge shipping fees, duty and export fee`s etc. And on and on!!!
Eventually, some boutiques will close up shop and then you can try ordering your bras on line without the free bra fitting and sizing services these boutiques offer!!!
I think it`s a shame some of you`s would get a free bra fitting and then order on line. Just like some guys would do:..... get a free repair estimate from a garage and then do the work yourself I guess?
Laurie / December 22, 2012 at 02:33 pm
user-pic
Reginald, not all of us can afford to spend $100+ on a bra (particularly if you're small-chested and therefore do not need any specialty sizes,) no matter how much we'd like to help other local businesses or shop in store. And just because I don't have the cash to afford those particular undergarments does NOT mean that I, and other women like me, deserve to go about with unsupportive, poorly-made department store bras.

Perhaps if your competition is so fierce online that you can't beat em', you should join em' and open one yourself.
JOSIE / December 23, 2012 at 04:20 pm
user-pic
POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE EVER
Went there when they had one of their bra sales - I found about 10 bras from the sale rack that I wanted to try on - I stood by the changeroom for a few minutes and was totally ignored by the sales staff - I asked one of them how I could try on the bras and she took down my name and put me a waiting list which was fine however there was only one person in the changeroom and my name was the only one on the list. I waited about 30 minutes, I was ignored and not acknowledged by the staff so I placed all the bras on the cash desk and left. I I removed my name off their E-mail list and vowed never to go back there. I also told friends not to go there. I ended up going to Sophia's on the Danforth to purchase my bras.
Martin replying to a comment from Laura Lee / January 27, 2013 at 03:34 pm
user-pic
@Laura Lee. Paragon are great..www.picparagon.com/
principles of business marketing and finance teks / February 24, 2013 at 08:06 am
user-pic
Black notes that You - Tube is an often overlooked
platform for building low cost, high impact content.
Poof, just like that, all these cottage owners with their second homes became "year round" people.
When I started my writing business, I relied heavily
on word-of-mouth advertising and on personal inquiries that I made to
businesses looking for writers.
Marla / March 5, 2013 at 07:02 pm
user-pic
Worst customer service ever....prices are expensive and they make trying to exchange an item a nightmare! If you receive a present from your boyfriend more than 2 weeks after he bought it and it doesn't fit, you're out of luck. Their response: "Sorry, there's nothing we can do. " Ummm...yes there is, you can exchange it. Someone teach these people about business and customer service.
DoubleGG / April 6, 2013 at 08:38 am
user-pic
Had a great experience at SFYS both when I went for my fitting and when I went back to exchange one of the bras for a different colour. And yes I had to try it on because it was a slightly different style. I found the customer service great. The Elomi bras I purchased were reasonably priced for big size bras.

I will be back !!
www.lingeries-Sexy.biz / April 22, 2013 at 04:51 pm
user-pic
Aw, this was an extremely good post. Taking a few minutes
and actual effort to generate a great article… but what can
I say… I hesitate a lot and don't manage to get nearly anything done.
Gilda Grossman / June 29, 2013 at 10:58 am
user-pic
Sorry - but my friend told me a terrible story about their management
it seems that she had breast surgery for breast cancer - and one of her daughters - got her two bras just to try on and to see whether they fit
they didn't and when my friend tried to return them labels and on - management refused to do anything
Why are the women of Toronto supporting this store if this is the kind of terrible lack of compassion and sensitivity they demonstrate?
Aren't there other stores that would be kinder?
Marcia / August 1, 2013 at 07:27 pm
user-pic
I read through all these comments and will definitely not be visiting this store. I went to a store called "Shapings" in Burlington and got measured for an Elomi bra. I bought two of them at $95 each. Then, I discovered them on eBay (new with tags) for $25-70 (depending on bra) plus shipping. I have never paid duty. Since then, I have bought all my bras on eBay.

The sad thing is, I would still buy my bras in store, except they are extremely expensive! Even if they were $60, I would buy them in store. $95 is way too much though, especially if I want a varied assortment. Shaping only carried one style and in two colours, so eBay has been far better for me.

Another place I buy bras at sometimes is Change, although I do not find their bras to be as high in quality. I will definitely be checking on Tryst and/or Beestung, because I would like to branch off into another brand instead of just Elomi.

I understand that we should be supporting local businesses, especially since they provide the service of fitting, but I would be willing to pay for a scheduled fitting instead of having to wait an hour like these other people have complained of doing.
types of photography / February 21, 2014 at 04:19 am
user-pic
Wow! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It's on a completely different subject but
it has pretty much the same layout and design.
Wonderful choice of colors!
JumpinJack / July 13, 2014 at 12:18 pm
user-pic
Wow. I was recently there and SFYS is just as bad as the bad reviews say. Their staff is rude and snobby. They push bras on you that cost over $200, and they won't show you what they carry that costs less than that. They actually say they have some but they won't show them to you. They don't know fitting so well as they tell you that things look good on you that don't. They don't want to tell you the brand or size you tried on, in case you go look for it on the internet for cheaper. They write who knows what about you on your file. This is just awful customer service. I think they will have a shrinking clientele pretty soon. I went there a few years ago and found them pretty nice. I think it's going downhill. With those attitudes, they'll be out of business soon.

Add a Comment

Search

Find a Fashion Store

Or use the options below to assist you in locating a Fashion Store in Toronto.

Search Results

Please select criteria from the dropdown menus above to start your search.

Reviews

Recent Reviews

Refine the list using the categories below:


Loading...
Other Cities: Montreal