Barrington Bra & Girl Is A Lingerie Shop - And A Love Shack
“Men are very welcome here!” says Daniel Alden, who co-owns Great Barrington Bra & Girl, the new lingerie shop on Railroad Street in Great Barrington with his wife, April Burch, a microbiologist for the State of New York. Bra & Girl is not your grandmother’s corset shop, though saleswoman Barbara Roth, who wears a pink tape measure draped around her neck, had a grandmother who was “a corsetesean,” she says. “Barbara is our secret weapon,” says Alden, who sells real estate for Lance Vermeulen and used to be a sales rep for Sheffield’s Campo de’ Fiori and Pittsfield’s Blue Q.
How did Burch and Alden decide that what Great Barrington needed was a shop selling, frilly fancy undergarments by companies like Jezebel, Cosabella, Aubade, and Le Mystère ? “It was one of those ideas that you have after a bottle of wine,” says Alden, who credits his smarty-pants Southern belle wife with giving the store its personality.
“A lingerie store has always been a fantasy of mine,” says Burch, who grew up in a small town north of New Orleans. “It was always the topic of conversation at cocktail parties when people would ask me, What would you do if you were not a scientist?” When she moved to Great Barrington in 2004, she immediately realized there was a need for a boutique like Barrington Bra & Girl. “There was no place to buy a good bra—an essential element of a women’s wardrobe.” Alden seems like a kid in a candy shop as he shows off the store and its romantic pale pink walls. “We consulted with Carl Black of Liberty Paint in Hudson to select the ideal shade,” he says. He points out the “men’s bench” which is stocked with magazines like Dirt Bike and Rolling Stone for boyfriends and husbands. He notes that the dressing room is really a room, which makes it big enough for couples to use together or for a bride and her bridesmaids. He shows off a refrigerator case filled with chocolates by the redoubtable Joshua Needleman of Chocolate Springs in Lenox (who did the chocolates for their 2005 wedding at Race Brook Lodge), including a confection called the DoubleVenus ($2.95) that looks, well, voluptuous.
To my naive eyes, the store seems like a small-town version of Victoria’s Secret. “We want to be everything but that,” Alden says emphatically. “Our store is for real women with real bodies. It’s not about idealized body image.” Adds Burch: “Whether the client is a size 4 or 24, has $20 or $200 to spend, we strive to create a unique, sexy and successful shopping experience for each person.” They say that the shop has been bustling since opening on June 15, and it was filled with shoppers at 3 p.m. on a recent Tuesday. “Women often ask if they can wear their purchases right out of the store,” says Alden. “We love that—it means we are giving them something that makes them feel great.”
Barrington Bra & Girl
35 Railroad Street, Great Barrington; 413.528.6069
Monday - Saturday 10 - 6 (and sometimes later on Friday & Saturday nights); Sunday noon - 6