Friday, 4 February 2011

Valentine's Day Lingerie

So you probably can't escape all the red and pink gifts in the shop windows now, right?  I know, I know...we should show the love all year round and maybe Valentine's Day is just a money making trick for the retail industry....psht! A little romance can't be a bad thing, can it?? Even if you're a Valentine's Day hater, don't you think it's a perfect time to make the most of all the gorgeous lingerie on offer?? I think you lovely lady readers should treat yourself to some new sets - if not for your lucky partner, then for you! A new set always makes you feel extra special, particularly when worn on a completely mundane same-old day. Yes and I said sets, people - please coordinate, or at the very least, match your lingerie!! Seriously, if you don't match your lingerie at the moment dooooo! It makes you feel so much more feminine and sexy! Pretty sets aren't just for those times, they're for everyday!!

For the ultimate in luxury, opt for Carine Gilson or Deborah Marquit. For pure indulgence, go for Stella McCartney, La Perla or Agent Provocateur. Some favulous mid-range labels are Calvin Klein and Elle Macpherson Intimates. Finally, for the cheapest deals but excellent quality, good old Marks and Spencer is great - seriously, I know your granny probably shops there but the Collette Dinnigan range is gorgeous and made with silk.

Here are some recommendations...

Calvin Klein Envy bra £34, Stella McCartney Clara Whispering bra £98, Agent Provocateur Darlene bra £90, Collette Dinnigan at M&S bra £22, Deborah Marquit French lace bra £155 and La Perla Code bra £156. Most of these are available at Net-A-Porter.

Now, I did say that matching (as opposed to coordinated sets) are acceptable and Hanky Panky do the most comfortable forget-you're-wearing them thongs. They come in a huge range of colours but only one size. I promise they will fit you!! They are girly but very sexy and make great gifts - they come scrunched up in a ball so every Valentine's they make a special bouquet of panties - too cute!!  Make sure you go for the low rise and not the original (which are a bit too retro - in the totally wrong sense). The stockists I'm aware of are Net-A-Porter, Harrods and Strip beauty salons.

Sorry to be a bore....but you should be sure to get the right fit....PLEASE!!! This is a serious bugbear of mine. I can't tell you the times I have seen women that I can tell are wearing completely the wrong bra even though they think it's hidden away under their clothes! Saggy boobs from a lack of support....DOUBLE boobs from a too-small cup.... *shudders*

Us women fluctuate in size and you should get fitted at least twice a year. I recommend those in London (and now Brent Cross and Cambridge!) head down to Rigby & Peller for an expert fitting.  Even if the prices are too high or you don't like what they have (some can be a bit old not chic!!) then just pretend you're going to get something and then...don't! They can tell what size you are just by looking at you! I don't trust all fitters out there - I have a very narrow back and some would look at me and try and squeeze me into tiny sizes...ouch!! You'll know if they're talking rubbish so do trust your instincts too...The bottom line is, a bra should give you a streamlined silhouette with no lumps and bumps around the edges - no double-boob effect, please...not hot! It should also be comfortable! Ensuring you have the correct size and support will transform what your clothes look like - good underwear is key to a flattering outfit.

So...general tips...if the strap is riding up at the back, it's too big for you. As a general rule, going down in number (i.e. strap size) will mean the cup size will go up. So, for example, you might find that you could wear either a 34B or a need to try them on (with a fitter who's in the know!) to work out which is best. Also, you might be a different size in different shops or with different styles. A padded bra will probably mean a larger cup size but a balcony style will likely mean you need a smaller cup size. Those blessed with voluptuous busts should go for wider shoulder straps and at least a double row of hooks (don't go for ones with a single hook & eye - these won't support you enough!). Finally, don't get lazy - check the shoulder straps are at the correct length for you each time you put your bra on, the cheeky things might have wiggled around in the wash! You should be able to fit a finger under comfortably and they should never dig in to your shoulder.

In terms of styles, bigger busts should get full cup styles, mid-sizes will look good in a balcony style and smaller ladies should opt for half-cups and padded styles. Happy shopping!


AB x

* Top photo borrowed from - thank you!

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