In keeping with many of the other colorful businesses popping up in Detroit lately, Busted Bra Shop's owner, Lee Padgett, saw a specific need in the community and sought to serve it. Busted Bra Shop opened in October 2013 in a tiny office in the historic Park Shelton, selling just four styles of bras displayed on card tables and boxes covered in black pleather. By Christmas, Padgett had expanded the space into a full-fledged boutique with three times the amount of inventory and a diverse set of dedicated clientele. And while Padgett attributes the shop's popularity to serving the everyday underwear needs of women of all sizes, customers say the allure is in the one-on-one attention with the shop's staff, who are expertly trained in fitting bras and other foundation garments.
Busted carries a wide range of sizes, including bras from an A cup to an O cup, and bands from 26 to 54, as well as panties up to 10X. The effort to include a wide range of sizes is a major part of Padgett's inclusive vision for Busted (Padgett says they'll even fit men). "Anyone who wants to wear a bra is important and deserves our attention to fit detail," Padgett says. "We want to provide a fun, safe, and helpful atmosphere for anyone who wants to wear our products."
Every customer who enters the shop is invited to receive a complimentary bra fitting, a traditional aspect of the old-fashioned bra shops of the 1940's and '50s that Busted replicates with a modern perspective. "We measure you, find out what you are looking for, and do your shopping for you," Padgett says. "We also explain the difference between a good and bad fit, so you can evaluate your bras with a better understanding on how they should fit." Every customer even has a personalized file, with fit details, style preferences, and other specifics that make reorders and return visits a breeze.
Busted is also the first boutique in the U.S. to carry Nubian Skin from the UK, a favorite brand of Padgett's, which provides four shades of nude for women of color. Full coverage up to an O cup are special features of brands Elomi and Goddess, while Curvy Kate bras take care of strapless options for tiny frames and big cups alike. Anna Pardal bras from Poland "perform boobie voodoo," according to Padgett, and enhance the décolleté with a forward projection and an upward lift. Other staff favorites include "boobie armor," by sports bra brand Panache, and an edgy haute couture line by Marlies Dekkers. Curvy girl favorite, the strapless bra Maria from Elomi, has "made many a bride cry in the dressing room," Padgett proudly reports. "It keeps our brides from having to worry about their underpinnings on their important day."
In addition to the dizzying variety of bras, Busted sells five-dollar panties, garters, socks, corsets, printed and fleece-lined tights, loungewear, costumes, pleasure products, and many other niche accessories. Male shoppers (or their discerning partners) can choose from silk underwear, French briefs by Pullin, and some more unusual styles worth checking out in person. Customers can also book private bra-fitting parties for 8 to 25 people and should be on the lookout for upcoming fashion and trunk shows featuring local designers in October and November.