Three Easy Ways To Build Upselling Into Your Lingerie Business

                        by Holly Jackson
Every designer and boutique owner that I know struggles with one big issue: how to sell full sets of lingerie. Brick and mortar stores frequently struggle with customers who are reluctant to buy both a bra and the matching panty, while online retailers worry about buyers who are nervous about buying a bra before being fitted into it. In some cases, online buyers are much more likely to buy a pair of panties than the full set.

If any of this sounds familiar, keep reading. Today I’m going to give you some quick tips on up selling in general, and how upselling can really help your bottom line.

1. Offer a discount if they complete the set.

This works for both brick and mortar boutiques and online stores. If you’re an online store, simply tuck a classy coupon in offering a small discount on the remaining item or items in the set. You can also make this a policy at your brick and mortar boutique, which may encourage women to pick up the whole set even if they don’t strictly need it.

I’ve seen this work really well around holidays and special occasions as well. One designer offered a large discount off a six piece set this past Valentine’s Day, which I thought was brilliant.

2. Shift your customer’s mindset.

Many women feel like buying a bra is like going to the hardware store: it’s difficult, intimating, and all you get at the end is an expensive tool. While the popularity of nude t-shirt bras won’t ever diminish, encouraging your customers to get out of their comfort zones and see themselves in a new light can help up your sales. Women are more likely to purchase a full set that they feel sexy and powerful in than a basic set. Sexier or more fashion forward sets can also be a great way to introduce extras like garter belts and different types of stockings. If you’re an online boutique, make sure that you’re showcasing fashion forward and colorful options along with the tried and true basics.

3. Offer different options for different personalities.

I am friends with dozens of women who are lingerie lovers, and we all have very different tastes. We’ve all got different personalities, and upselling to each of us would require a different offer. Some would accessorize with handcuffs or pasties, while some would go for practical stockings and a small bottle of lingerie wash in case of emergencies. It’s obviously not practical to have a set of combinations for every person, but there is a way to bring different personalities into your marketing.

Honestly, this is where a copywriter (or at least a professional ghost blogger) can come in handy. Make sure when you’re blogging or using social media that you’re also presenting options that appeal to a range of personalities, ages, body types, and budgets. This can be done with a quick outfit post or a gift guide that encompasses many different types of customers. Either way, a wider variety of fans means a wider variety of sales.

Holly Jackson owns The Full Figured Chest Copywriting, and specializes in lingerie writing and online content creation for lingerie companies. Her work can be found on lingerie boutique websites across the world as well as in national level campaigns. She currently writes six regular lingerie and marketing columns, and is a regular contributor to The Lingerie Addict and The Lingerie Journal as well asMcPeteSez. In 2011, The Lingerie Journal named her their number one copywriter in the lingerie industry.
Holly can be found tweeting @thefullfigurechesthere on Facebook, and reviewing the newest full-busted lingerie at her blog, Her list of copywriting services can be found here.

Lipgloss & Lace

                         by Mandie Mutchie
A new craze going on is Boudoir Photography – I’ve seen cards in boutiques, and even specials on Good Morning, America. If you are somehow unaware of what Boudoir Photography is, let me spell it out for you! Basically, it is the chance for women to make their significant other realize how lucky they are… She does a photoshoot in the style of Maxim (or for the more daring, Playboy), or a pinup shoot, and gives the final photos as a gift to their lover. it is a chance for the women to remind themselves of how sexy they are by getting dolled up like a supermodel and showin’ what she’s got! I did makeup and hair for a maternity boudoir shoot the other day, and it was awesome to see the subject’s transformation as she went from a shy Middle School Math teacher (just like I used to be – haha!) to a vampy siren! Her personality changed, and and she began giving poses and facial expressions I’m sure her students never imagined were possible!

You may be wondering – what does this have to do with me?

As a lingerie boutique or manufacturer, you could definitely make the best of this craze. How?

Contact local photographers that do boudoir photography and offer a flyer share (each can put the other’s flyer in a prominent place at their business or on their websites) and/or discount share. Provide catalogues, items and accessories for examples for during the consultation in exchange for mentioning your name, or even offer boudoir consultations yourself! One thing that I have been very surprised for, during the time that I have spent working in a lingerie boutique is that WAY more women than I would ever expect are clueless and afraid when it comes to lingerie! I guess I took it for granted that most women thought like me – a lingerie model! I am sure that many women would appreciate the help of a professional when choosing what lacy bra to wear under the classic white button-down! The specific shoot that I was a part of was a woman and her friend (who had done the same thing before – a maternity boudoir shoot) was there for moral support and to offer tips. This makes me think that it would be fun to have a boudoir-driven party! You could even possibly take the pictures the same night, if there is ample space for a portable pop-up studio or pretty locations for the shoot.

Boudoir photography is taking the country by storm – this is a perfect opportunity for the lingerie industry! Best of luck incorporating it into your marketing!

Amanda Mutchie began her professional modeling career nearly ten years ago, and has appeared in many national and international publications, and commercials. Over the course of her modeling career, she worked with many acclaimed makeup artists, learning from them along the way. She eventually became a makeup artist herself and started FaceScape Artistry. Now she works with incredible photographers, models, brides, and other clients to create glamorous as well as natural makeup looks. She also channels her passion for fitness and nutrition and desire to help others into her work as a beachbody coach, and is pursuing her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction.
For more information on Mandie go, email Mandie at or follow her on Twitter @mandelicious.  Don’t forget to “like” her pages on facebook, too! &

*Photo by Rafal Krolik of Seville Media  

Fab Foundations: An Original Approach to Bra Fit at La Fille d’O

                           by Ali Cudby
It’s always exciting to discover brands that are thinking in new and innovative ways about lingerie – particularly when it comes to bra fit. La Fille d’O is one of those brands. A Belgian company that was created in 2003, their architectural take on lingerie and unique approach to sizing challenges is a great example of designers understanding the existing issues with fit and seeking solutions for their customers.

(“Different Suit” bra, with white and sheer tulle)

Owner/designer Murielle Scherre created La Fille d’O out of a desire to combine function and form in lingerie. The name is derived from the erotica classic “The Story of O,” and Scherre’s inspiration, “indicates a new generation of women who are eager to please whilst keeping their self respect and wit.”

Stemming from that philosophical approach, Scherre began with a belief that her product should be pleasurable for her customers. According to Scherre, “many women think of themselves as having ‘difficult breasts.’ To me, there is no such thing.” [NOTE: The psychological issues that affect women when bra shopping is also documented in my book, Busted! The Fab Foundations Guide to Bras That Fit, Flatter and Feel Fantastic.] Scherre’s customer and fit orientation gets translated into design.

What makes La Fille d’O particularly innovative is its approach to sizing, which stems from the design. The bras have more opportunities for customized adjustment. Generally speaking, bras have a 5cm adjustment in the band via stationary hook and eye settings. La Fille d’O bands do not use the standard hook and eye closures, and their adjustment system allows for a 15cm adjustment, which means three different back sizes in one bra. This is good for consumers, who then have more options to customize fit.

(A look at La Fille d’O’s unique back adjustment, “Classic Keep” style bra)

Increased flexibility in adjusting band size is helpful on several levels. First, not all bodies are designed to fit into the exact increments of hooks and eyes in standard bras. A slider means that a woman can adjust her fit more precisely. It also means more opportunity to fine-tune as the garment stretches with use. Finally, for women who experience more dramatic shifts in size – such as when breastfeeding or going through their monthly cycle – a slider allows for a more customization. This fit methodology is also beneficial for retailers, as they are able to stock fewer SKUs to fit their customers.

Once freed from a band/cup combination, the sizing must change, and La Fille d’O uses sizes that progress numerically, from 1 to 7. With fit being paramount to the brand, not all styles are made in all sizes.

La Fille d’O uses a very basic color palette – white, “nude” and navy – and plays extensively with sheer fabrics. The sheers are brought into the designs in surprising places – areas of the body other brands generally seek to conceal. It is this combination of architectural lines and voyeuristic sensuality that makes La Fille d’O visually arresting and original. The brand is unapologetically not for everyone, yet is full-service for the women it appeals to, offering styles ranging from post-mastectomy to maternity to swim.

(“Going Exact” maternity bra and “Bright Blue” brief)

Ali Cudby is the author of the book Busted! The Fab Foundations™ Guide to Bras That Fit, Flatter and Feel Fantastic (December 2011), and CEO of Fab Foundations™, an intimate apparel consulting company.
Ali can be found on Twitter@alicudby, and you can be a fan of the Ali Cudby’s page on Facebook. To learn more about bras that fit,download a free chapter of Busted!

Sales Reps Wanted

Undersummers Shortlettes by Carrie Rae seeks sales reps throughout the country- Contact- George Hardy- or call 919 676 8190