What I Learned From My Almost $230-Dollar La Perla Bra Purchase in Chicago

As I continue my quest to find the world’s most perfect bra, I could not resist going to La Perla, located on Chicago’s swanky Magnificent Mile (aka South Michigan Avenue). And while I was on my quest, I discovered I’m buying my bra two sizes too small.


La Perla on North Michigan Avenue, Chicago

I was given a tour of the boutique with my mouth mostly agape because the prices were just waaaaaaay over budget. And while Laura, my salesgirl, was very accommodating to put aside a few end-of-season sale bras, there was only one item that this Italian lingerie designer that hooked me on– the Donna Agata Triangle Bra, for a pretty steep price of $238.00. I want one in black. And cream. And yellow. And!…and!!….and…!!!

la perla

The Donna Agata isn’t just another pretty face or a one-wear-wonder that looks good until you wash it three times. Much of the high cost of La Perla items are due to the high-quality materials and hand-made details. And let me tell you, I was thisclose to buying it, and if I hadn’t been paying high-priced hooker prices for taxis all weekend I would have.

Now I’ve always been advised to leave the premises and think it over really hard before dropping more money than the cost of an iPhone for a piece of underwear, so I asked the nice sales lady if she recommended any other quality lingerie shops in the area. She sent me over to Intimacy, a company that touts themselves and “bra fit specialists.” They were just a few blocks down in the Bloomingdale’s shopping mall (by the way, all the “malls’ are vertical, not horizontal and sprawling like what us West Coasters are used to). So I braved the cold–yes, COLD!! Chicago is having a record-breaking cold-snap in July for crip’s sake–and went over, delighted I didn’t have to contemplate donating blood or a kidney or something to pay all the high taxi fares.

That’s where I met an Angel.

No…I mean, really. Her name was Angel.

I walked in and asked for the 36 B’s and she told me they didn’t have any, but not to worry, because one look at me and she could tell right off the bat that I was a 32 D.


Me: (Discretely peeking into my blouse, then looking at her like she’s cray cray) “You can’t be serious. I don’t believe you.”

Angel: “Yes, you’re a 32D.”

Me: “Prove it.”

And so she did. She gathered about a half-dozen sale bras into the fitting room and told me to disrobe, because they get REAL intimate at Intimacy–they literally put the bras on for you and help you get they girls in. It was weird for about half a second but Angel had the clinical detachment of a doctor.

And guess what?

I’m a 32D.

Angel: “I knew you were a 32 D.”

Me: (Mouth agape, birds looking in at potential real estate).

Okay to be fair, I am also a 36 B. But did you know that if you go up a cup size and decrease the bra width by size, chances are the bra will fit? Por ejemplo, I’m a 36B, 34C, and 32D. Yep, I’m all of those, and you probably are too. This little bit of knowledge comes in really handy during the season’s blow out sales when you might find your regular size is getting scarce. And after trying on few Chantelles and some more European brands I can’t remember, I settled on this item from Simone Perle.

And by the way, if you don’t have an Angel like I did, not to worry. Intimacy has a pretty comprehensive bra fit styling session offering, but you have to book those in advance. It’s a good thing they focus so much on making sure their customers have a perfect fit, because they don’t do cash returns.


I really love the fit and detail of this bra, but I’ll have to be honest and say it’s not the most comfortable bra in my new collection. I was more jazzed about the fact that I was lucky enough to snag the last pair of matching panties.

In other news, the items I told you I’d order last week came in while I was gone and I couldn’t be happier. So far, Natori is still in the lead when it comes to both style and comfort, but my new silk bra is so ridiculously decadent…


This set is from MYLA. It’s 67% silk, 30% Polyamide and 3% Elastane.

As lovely as they are, the Natori “Feathers” collection has me all a-twitter. The only thing better was the La Perla item I tried, and Natori is a quarter of the price. But don’t take my word for it…follow that link and see all the raves for yourself.



Now tonight is wash night. I’d love to hear what you ladies use for your intimates, but in the meantime I’ll stick with my tried-and-true, Vaska. It has no harsh chemicals and cleans pretty well, but blood or grass stains can be a challenge because their formula doesn’t put in the chemicals and enzymes harsher detergents use, but I usually get good results when I spot-treat and pre-soak.



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