A La Mode Intimates was born out of the dissatisfaction of the “one size fits most” bras that were on the market. There was a disconnect between the way bras were displayed in stores and how they claimed to fit all body types. A la mode has spent the past 18 years innovating the way their customers buy bras.
Q: For those who may be unfamiliar, can you tell me a little bit about à la mode?
A: à la mode intimates is a locally owned boutique that provides high-quality fashionable lingerie, bras, panties, and sleepwear. In French, à la mode means “in the fashion,” reflecting our practice of representing the latest, most fashionable pieces in the lingerie market. We offer body-positive styles and fit for all sizes and shapes; carrying literally hundreds of band/cup combinations and sizes that you won’t find in a department store. Our staff of professionally certified bra fitters will help you find the right style for your needs in the perfect fit for your comfort
Q: How long has à la mode been at Annapolis Town Center? What is it like having your shop here?
A: We have been in the Town Center for a decade! à la mode intimates relocated here from our original shop on West Street in January of 2011. It was a good fit for us because our customer base was growing beyond just the Annapolis market. We had, and still have, clients coming from across the Baltimore-DC corridor and Mid-Atlantic region. We needed a larger space with more centralized access and parking. The Annapolis Town Center provides all this plus a unique blend of major retailers, local boutiques, luxury living, and amazing restaurants.
Q: Do you ever get to collaborate with other tenants?
A: Yes! There have been many collaborations over the years. We participate in the annual Fashion for Friends runway show to benefit the Light House Shelter held at Great Gatherings. We also recently took part in the Kaleidoscope exhibit featuring women-owned businesses in the Town Center.
Q: What is your favorite part of the à la mode community?
A: The opportunity to meet and work with strong, smart women every day. When we say that we support our community, we’re talking about more than the lift a good-fitting bra provides. We believe in playing an active role in helping our community of women.
We support Chrysalis House, a non-profit in Annapolis that provides addiction and mental health treatment services exclusively to women, while allowing them to have their children in residence during treatment. We have hosted bra fittings for residents and given them new bras, panties, and sleepwear. We help keep their “crisis closet” supplied with underwear for women who come in with nothing. And we have, on occasion, donated diapers and baby wipes because sometimes that is the most important need.
In 2020, we asked our customers to join us in The Comfort Project, where we provided gift bags filled with pajamas, robes, and other items to women health care workers on the COVID-19 front lines. We donated as many as we could, and our customers stepped in and donated even more. We have the greatest customers! When the project ended, we had donated several hundred gift bags to nurses at three area hospitals.
Q: What makes à la mode stand out?
A: à la mode intimates’ success is built on the idea that expert bra fitting services paired with making sure that our deep product inventory is designed to fulfill the perfect fit for all- all bodies, all sizes, and all backgrounds. We bring in products designed to embrace the unique beauty of everyone. We want our product to spark confidence in our clients in an inclusive, positive, friendly, and welcoming setting. We want our clients to say “WOW!” Wow, that was so easy. Wow, that was fun. Wow, I love the fit and comfort.
We are always expanding offerings for our clients. We go to both the Spring and Fall Intima trade shows in New York City to find brands and products to bring back to our store. These buying trips give us the opportunity to share feedback with brand representatives and let them know what our customers are looking for. We just returned from the Fall Intima trade show 2 weeks ago, where we saw exciting fashion trends and were able to scout out what our customers have requested: more wireless options, high fashion, and brand sustainability practices.
We have a strong customer base who recommends à la mode to family and friends. We see generations of women- grandmothers, mothers, and daughters- as well as groups of friends coming in for fittings. We have won recognition from local media (Capital Gazette Readers’ Choice, What’s Up Best Of) for our customer service and national industry awards (Best of Intima) for excellence.
Q: à la mode has had events and promotions throughout the year. What has been one of the most memorable or your favorite events?
A: We have a month-long bra recycling event every January and October. During the Bad Bra Month of January and the Dead Bra Days of October, customers can bring in an old or unwanted bra for recycling and get $5 off the purchase of any new bra. The unusable bras are sent to a materials recycling facility, and any donated new bras (yes, it happens) are donated to charity.
Q: We know your 18th anniversary is coming up, what does that mean to you and to a la mode? Will you be doing anything special to celebrate?
A: We are so thankful for our 18 years in business. We are truly blessed to work in a field for which we have great passion. We know that the right bra can change how a woman feels. We see it every day in our boutique. The relief when they are comfortably fitted and the smile when they realize how beautiful they feel. It is pretty amazing.
And yes! We are definitely celebrating the BIG 18. Thursday, Aug. 26 through the end of the month, we will have new markdowns of up to 75% off select in-store merchandise. Swimwear will be 40% to 75% off. Designer panties $20 each or 3 for $48. Select panties from Marlies Dekkers and Aubade, regularly $75+, marked down to $20. And, what’s a party without gifts? We’ll give a free gift with any purchase of $75 or more.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who might be considering their first fitting?
A: Do it for your health and comfort. Eighty percent of women are wearing the wrong size bra. Very few women recognize the signs of a bad fit, assuming that underwire will always hurt, straps will always dig, and bands will always ride up.
We understand that bra shopping can be overwhelming and intimidating. Many women are hesitant to take off their tops and look in a mirror. Our bra salon is a no-judgment zone. We designed our boutique and trained our staff to make sure each woman has a friendly, supportive experience. We celebrate every body type and strive to find the bra that will put a smile on her face. She should feel beautiful. She should be comfortable.
We make scheduling easy. On our website, alamodeintimates.com click the button “Schedule a Bra Fitting” and you’re on your way.
Q: What is the best way for people to find out more about these events?
A: Our favorite way to get the word out is face to face! We’d love for you to come by our Annapolis Town Center boutique and explore all we offer- bras, panties, lingerie, sleepwear, sportswear, swimsuits, shapewear, and maternity. Our website- alamodeintimates.com – and social media pages have a lot of great information. Find us on Facebook and Instagram as @alamodeintimates. We also send out a newsletter twice a month featuring upcoming sales, events and what’s new in stock. Sign up for our newsletter at this link here.