What Lies Beneath: Ruth’s Lingerie in Cranston

Ruth's Lingerie has been a part of Rhode Island for 60 years


Ladies, if you haven’t heard of Ruth’s Lingerie, you’re in for a treat. The Cranston-based lingerie store carries the most extensive bra inventory in New England. Tucked in a cute little storefront off Rolfe Square, the store carries well-known American and European brands in all sizes and styles of bra – be it bandeaus, long lines or bralettes. There are also goods for every price range, from high-end lingerie to more practical, everyday wear. Swimwear is also sold year round. The floor space and walls are stacked high with every kind of style you could imagine. Seriously – stacked.

But, one of the coolest parts about Ruth’s isn’t just its vast inventory, but its amazing story. It all started in 1954 when, wanting to earn some extra money for her family, Ruth Lubinsky opened Ruth’s Shop of Corsetry. Her mother was the first seamstress for the store. Back in a time when it was unusual for women to own and run a business, let alone work, Ruth’s did pretty well. To this day, it remains a family-run business, with Ruth’s daughter, Carol Schwebel now at the helm. And it remains committed to the values it was founded on, namely outstanding customer service.

Carol explains that helpful customer service is paramount. Clients receive one-on-one service from Ruth’s highly knowledgeable team. “Our staff is very experienced.  They know how to fit a bra and they know what bra does best with each body type – they’re terrific,” says Carol. “The staff often prides themselves at bringing a client a bra and watching the client’s jaw drop as they’re amazed at how well the garment fits, feels comfortable and transforms how they look in their clothing.  That type of service isn’t readily available in most of the retail world these days.” Anyone who’s ever shopped for a bra knows how frustrating it can sometimes be to find one that’s the perfect fit. Because Ruth’s carries such a variety of styles, shape and sizes – and the people who work there really understand the garments and the sizing – that problem is quickly solved.

It’s truly remarkable how long Ruth’s has been around and a prominent feature of the Cranston shopping experience. “Just today I had a woman come in who talked about getting her first strapless bra from us – for prom.  She’s around 75 years old now,” shares Carol. “She’s been a customer all these years.” Very few shops can boast that kind of longevity and deep intimate relationship with their customers.

In addition, Ruth’s Lingerie is also a major supplier of mastectomy products for women in Rhode Island. “We have over 4,000 women who come to us post breast surgery. In other parts of the country, women often go to a hospital boutique or a DME supplier for their products.  I think we are such a better venue for them,“ explains Carol. “They shop where all women shop – it’s not like a medical experience. They’re still the same woman they always were. Emotionally and psychologically it makes sense.” Women’s welfare is important to Ruth’s in every way – it’s not just about looking good, but feeling good, too.

Ruth's Lingerie
2106 Rolfe Square, Cranston.