Thursday, June 11, 2009

preaching good underwear


lara stone in another magazine, jean paul gautier's infamous creation worn by madonna on her blonde ambition tour

When i did my stint of work experience at lingerie supremes Rigby and Peller, I was well and truly converted to the "always start with a good bra" philosophy. While previously I was likely to tutt at such a statement, placing it in the category of pointless fashion rules alongside "never wear black and brown" now I often notice if a woman is wearing ill-fitting underwear.

I think teenage girls are put off going for fittings (I know I was) because of that age-old issue of "will I have to remove my bra in front of the measurer?" As somebody with a small chest, I always dismissed the need for a proper measurement, instead starting with an A cup from Tammy. So years later when a free fitting at Rigby was offered, it turned out that I was infact four cup sizes bigger and a chest size smaller than I had thought. "D? I can't be a D!" I muttered as the fitter fastened me up. Alas I am. And the comfortable fit was enough proof, as well as the fitter's reassurance that women generally wear their cup too small and chest too wide. My perception of bra sizes and proportions, I realised had been completely skewif.

I was also taught that the best way to put on your bra was to lower yourself into it, and I must admit it took a bit of practise to do this, after all the years of that lazy, 'fasten it upside down and hoik it up' trick.
After my work experience, I came back home, urging all of my friends to get a proper bra fitting. "I have before, at Marks and Spencer!" they would reply, though I had been told that bra fitters should be able to match a woman to her bra by looking at her, rather than actually measuring with a tape, which is what the ladies at M&S do. I am aware that this story has a distinctive whiff of "girl gets brainwashed by bra cult", but don't take my advice as biased, because once you have a free fitting at somewhere like Rigby and Peller (or a 'high class equivalent' in your respective countries(!)..) you will instantly feel the difference.

It doesn't mean you will be constricted to a life of trying to afford expensive underwear; once you know your size you can always roughly apply this to the high street, like I do.
And there is something incredibly rewarding about walking down the street in jeans, a jumper and some converse knowing that beneath this simple ensemble is some fantastic underwear.


WendyB said...

I'm amazed!

Anonymous said...

ahhh yes i am a certified bra fitter at a store called dillards here in america..and you would not believe how many women are wearing the wrong size! now i too look at women on the street and think, ohhh their wearing the wrong size!

Hadley said...

I fully agree on needing a proper fitting, EXCEPT when the fitter is completely incompetent. I wear a D or a large C, depending on the store, but some charming woman at Victoria's Secret insisted that I was an A. Incorrect. And then she looked all confused when I was literally falling out of the bra. When she told me I'd probably fastened it wrong, I left.

FASHIÓN (con acento) said...

Funny and sensual photos!
Love from an A cup from Barcelona!


The same happened to me, I went for a fitting and was smaller in the back and 3 cup sizes bigger and now genuinely ALL of my clothes look better. Also, before I got to the photo I was thinking 'how very Blonde Ambition Madonna!'.
I love your blog and have read it for years (metaphorically) by the way, but have never commented before, so I thought I would express my appreciation for your blog!

she'll bartend your party said...

rigby and peller are AMAZING for bras! im one of the girls who absolutely hates stripping off infront of a bra measurer.. its amazing how you never are the size you think you are.. i always go in one size and come out a loot bigger ha.

Simes. said...

Too Cool.

Miss Mae said...

There is nothing more beautiful then good lingerie. I love this pose. Lara Stone is stunning!


Anonymous said...

Most definitely agree. I was made, in utter shame, to go for my first bra fittings at John Lewis as a teenager and it was the best first step ever as I am an E - can you imagine stuffing those into A cups all this time?

I don't understand why it's a vanity issue and people are annoyed when they're told they're a bigger bra size. It's got nothing to do with your overall size - bigger in this department doesn't mean better or worse, it's just a fact. Amen to decent bras.


bohobum said...

okay now explain what you mean by "lower yourself into it" cause I've only ever done the upside down method. also, this really made me want to get a fitting immediately

discotheque confusion said...

It's interesting to hear all of your similar stories with fittings, and that's interesting what you say, disconaplondon about people feeling a bit put out upon finding out they have a bigger cup size. you're right, it's more about how much space your breasts cover than how far they come out of your body!

when I was told I was a D, for some reasons Glamour Model connotations filled with head, which was completely silly. It makes you realise D really isn't very big. If we all wore the correct size, it would put it into perspective!

and bohobum, in terms of the "lowering" method (!), it just involves putting your arms through the straps, resting the cups over your breasts and then fastening it at the back. It's a common way of putting it on, I think a lot of people do, but I also know that some (along with myself) often revert to fastening and hoiking!

I think the 2st way is just better for the bra and means it'll have a better fit.

I love how I suddenly sound like a matronly agony aunt talking about breats, or some bra preacher!

Carol Jeandel said...

Bra it`s always gril need and love ! When we are in the store of bra those colour and fantay as candy bra will be make me crazy !! a lot ...

Isabel said...

So true! Preach that gospel woman!

A. said...

ah, i love this post. it makes me wish i could fit into such lush underpinnings. but im afraid i cant even fit into kids size underwear. its a bit sad because a la perla bra has always been my dream.


Alya said...

yup that is so true. I know tons of girls who wore wrong sizes (including me) before getting a proper fitting.

Anonymous said...

ah yes...the coned bra

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