The Women


Twenty current and former lingerie store employees – from measurers to sales assistants to fitting room attendants – shared their most awkward encounters with customers on Reddit, and it may inspire you to do all of your shopping online for the rest of your life…

1. ‘I was trying to find a lady her first bra after a boob job. I told her the reason nothing looked right was because the swelling hadn't yet gone down so they were more round – sticking out like beach balls – than they'd eventually be. It turns out she'd had them done ages ago and just hadn't got round to going shopping yet’.

2. ‘I'm doing my thing and in walks this little old lady, cute as a button. I ask her how she's doing, and she says she is interested in buying some bras. I think this was around Christmas time so the shopping centre and store are packed. I take her into a dressing room and she starts very loudly telling me all about herself, how she's 85-years-old and used to teach at the local community college. So I'm chit-chatting with her, and I explain that I need to take a bra measurement. I explain that she can take her shirt off if she's comfortable, or I can measure over her shirt. Well, she decides to take everything off and says, 'Oh, just go ahead and measure me, I ain't got nothing to hide!'’

3. ‘I worked at Victoria's Secret for a couple months, and it was overall an interesting, yet pleasant experience. My most 'awkward' one would have to be when I noticed a larger, middle-aged man come into the store, and he was browsing. I loved helping men out because usually they just needed advice or help navigating what their significant other was interested in. I asked him who he was shopping for that day, and without a pause he looked at me and said 'myself.' The next hour of my life was spent in a private dressing room with him trying to measure him and pick out a bra he liked. He revealed to me that he had a wife and kids, and that he enjoyed wearing bras out in public in a neighboring town. He liked the thrill of noticing people's reactions when they could tell he was wearing a bra. After we picked out matching panties to go with the bras he liked for himself, he told me to pretend like I didn't know him if he came in again with his wife or daughter. I never felt uncomfortable with him. It was just a bit awkward because I wasn't sure how to handle the situation and how to not be insensitive about it!’

4. ‘A man wanted to buy perfume for his wife, so he asked my coworker to spray it on herself so he could smell what it was like on someone. He then licked her arm and ran out the door’.

5. ‘During a sale, two women went for the same bra, resulting in a fist-fight. The bra ripped in half’.

6. ‘A woman came in to return a huge bag full of items. She had probably 20 receipts, each from a different state. Her husband was a trucker who enjoyed buying lingerie – but not for her – and she had found his stash’.

7. ‘I was in the fitting room, and a 3-year-old girl ran past the desk with her father chasing her. She ran straight up to a rack of bras and yelled, 'Daddy, look! It's a bra! You put them on your boobies! We should get one for mom because she has boobies!'’

8. ‘My mom and I both worked at a lingerie store in a mall. She was a bra specialist, and I was a cashier. One day I'm ringing up customers, and I hear a panicked voice over headset saying she needs a manager in fitting rooms. Then she (my mom) comes running out from the fitting rooms, grabs me by the shoulders and shakes me saying 'I can't do this!' Apparently ...a really old dude came in and picked up one of the teeny tiny lingerie robes in two different colors and asked for two hangers and a fitting room. My mom thought it was strange, but showed him in anyways. A few minutes later he buzzed for assistance, swung the door open and asked her how it looked. She averted her eyes and told him it was a nice color. Mind you, this is a grown man, and these robes are tiny ... shirt size. He had asked for the hangers, so he could strip and see how he looked in it nude. He continued to buzz for assistance just to flash her and the other girls’.

9. ‘A friend of mine worked at Victoria's Secret. She was helping a woman get fitted for a bra, and when she was measuring her, the woman said, 'Just be warned about my babies in there!' My friend laughed, thinking she meant her breasts, when suddenly something in her shirt started running. My friend screamed. The woman kept sugar gliders – little hamster like rodents – in her bra’.

10. ‘My twin sister quit her job at a children's clothing store to go to work at a lingerie shop. She was helping a woman decide on what underwear size to buy, and the woman was complaining that they only had a large and she needed a medium. My sister, having just worked in children's retail says, 'Maybe you'll grow into them!'’

11. ‘We had this one lady who came in looking for a bra to give her more cleavage. Her boobs were pretty big, so this should have been an easy task. I measured her and got her a few styles to try. She invited me into the room to check the fit, and when I told her it didn't seem to be working, she stripped down and proceeded to show me the craziest pair of implants I have ever seen. They looked great with her shirt on, but when naked, they looked like they were made of clay – misshapen, lumpy, and way off to the sides of her chest. No matter what bras I gave her, those boobs just weren't moving in. At all. They were as hard as rocks. She left without buying anything, but came in once a week for the next few weeks to repeat the process, with the same results each time. She eventually told me she had had implant surgery something like five times and has never been satisfied with the results’.

12. ‘There were ladies who would come in to be measured and then absolutely refuse the size that I measured them for’.

13. ‘I worked at a lingerie store last year. Company policy only allowed one person per fitting room, with the exception of mothers with small children. Anyway, one day these two ladies came in to try stuff on, and they were clearly in relationship, which I definitely didn't judge. I greeted them cheerfully, as we're supposed to, and opened a fitting room. When the second lady tried to go into the room with her girlfriend, I stopped her and just politely let her know that only one person is allowed in the room at a time. She gave me the dirtiest look and asked me, 'Why? What do you think our relationship is?' I am speechless, since that's of course not what I meant at all. Before I really get a chance to answer, she continued, 'What do you think we're going to do in there?'’

14. ‘I once had to help a very large man out of the leather catsuit he had managed to get himself stuck in. Needless to say, he was 'Sexy Schoolgirl Cat Woman' for Halloween that year, and I wound up selling him a pleather skirt, lace-up boots and a whip instead’.

15. ‘A 12-year-old girl asked me to measure her bra size. It was awkward because she had bigger boobs than me’.

16. ‘I worked at Victoria's Secret, and I ran the fitting room for some time. I had a customer who was very sketchy while shopping, so I approached him to see what was up. He kept asking my underwear size, and I asked him uncomfortably, '… Am I about your girlfriend or wife's size?' He insisted it wasn't for anybody, but still kept pushing me to tell him’.

17. ‘For the thousands and thousands of teenage boys who think they are hot stuff asking me for a bra fitting, I'll promptly whip out my measuring tape, measure them, hand them a bra and start escorting them to the fitting room because 'I highly support your courage in this difficult time of transition and we here at the store highly support your need to become a women' and then they go running out’.

18. ‘A very nice man of about 30 years came into my store, looking to buy a bra and panty set for his wife for Christmas. He had no idea what size she was, and he couldn't ask her because he wanted it to be a surprise for her. I asked him to generalise her size (extra small, small, medium, large) so I could figure out what styles would fit her. He sort of looked me up and down, cupped his hands in front of my chest and said something along the lines of, 'Ehh, maybe a bit smaller than you…' I started cashiering after that’.

19. ‘A new mom was trying on bras. I was helping her adjust the straps and facing her, then she lifts her breast a little to get them into the cup, and she just lactates onto the bra and my hand’.

20. ‘A lady had been calling and calling every day, asking if we knew what type of bra she had been wearing for the last 3 years. She said that she wore it every day, so the tag had rubbed off and she couldn't identify it. One day while I was working alone in the store, she came in and asked me to identify the bra, so that she could buy another one. She lifts her shirt up – in the middle of the store – and bends over so that I can read the tag. The tag is completely washed out, and I can't read it. She asked me to sketch the bra so that the other people who worked in the store could try and identify it. No one ever could and we hadn't sold her the bra in the first place’.

Posts have been edited from Reddit for length and clarity.

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Article courtesy of Maria Yagoda at