Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Girls Only

No, I'm not being sexist, but this is serious "girl talk." And it involves shopping, so you guys won't be interested anyway!

Having put on a little too much weight recently, I decided that I would have to bow to the inevitable, and get a new brassiere or two, as the old ones were just a trifle too ill-fitting. However, getting the right size is vital, and, unfortunately, it's the sort of thing that has to be done properly. I've previously gone to John Lewis for a fitting, but hadn't been that impressed with the variety on offer for the larger lady... if I'm going to pay around £50 - £60 (that's $100) for an item of clothing then (1) I want it to fit properly, and (2) even if no-one else is going to get to see it, I'd still prefer it to be slightly attractive rather than something which looks as if you'd need welding equipment to get in and out of...

I had heard about Rigby & Peller (Corsetières to HM the Queen, no less!) and had idly wondered what it was like to go in for a proper fitting. So, desperate to get something to fit, I trundled up to Knightsbridge.

The stuff on display at the front of the shop was not encouraging. The items appeared to be for svelte, fashionable, young women. It crossed my mind that, pretty as it was, all that lace must be terribly uncomfortable... The back of the shop was quite something: I had expected an establishment frequented by Her Majesty to look, well... clinical. It actually looked more like a bordello (or at least, like I imagine a bordello would look) - plush red carpets, red upholstery on the chairs, and swathes of red-and-gold curtain material. The only indications that this was actually part of a shop were found in the presence of a till and a back wall covered in lots of little drawers. There was absolutely nothing to indicate which drawers held what, but as I watched, a couple were opened to reveal lots of bras. Encouragingly, the only colours evident were the eminently practical ones of white, black and beige.

I was then summoned to the fitting rooms. The assistant (who looked about 18) looked me over with a practiced eye, and produced something suitable. A perfect fit, and not a tape measure in sight. The whole experience took just over five minutes, and was far less unpleasant than anticipated. Now, if only they had a branch in Bluewater...

16 comments:

DilexitPrior said...

$100 for a bra?!?! That's crazy! I don't think I've spent that much money on any piece of clothing other than perhaps a winter coat and good running shoes. Granted, I know England's expensive. Yikes!

Mac McLernon said...

It is possible to get cheaper ones - around $70 or so - but they are little lacy wisps of material that are more decorative than practical. I need something a little more, well, substantial...
;-)

But yes, I agree totally. It's outrageous, especially for something which will never be seen by man nor beast!!

a thorn in the pew said...

We USA gals can send you one for a better price if you are in need. We have quite nice and attractive ones here that can be had for under $25 USD. Since they are "unmentionables", just send us a note...
That is A LOT of funds for mammary gland holders.

Mac McLernon said...

Thanks Thorn... but, as I said to Dilexit, there are many pretty and relatively cheap unmentionables here too... unfortunately I require rather more in the way of, ummm... "support"
;-)

Anonymous said...

Now you know the size, you could try www.amplebosom.com. Believe it or not, they go up to size 58J - 'Magic Lift Posture bra'! I'm not suggesting you need it, mind, just for curiosity!

newhousenewjob said...

I paid a fiver (well, a tenner for a pack of two) for mine at M&S... In fact, I thought there was some sort of law here in England that all women had to buy their unmentionables from M&S.

Ma Beck said...

Yeah, a friend of mine at work recently spent $80 on one.
She swears it was worth every penny.

Elizabeth said...

How much more expensive was Knightsbride compared to Bluewater, or would you say the prices were similar.

White Stone Name Seeker said...

I have only been fitted for a bra twice-both post natally. Once in m&s and once in Rackhams. Strangely both fitters were little old ladies- about boob height- each with tape they never used. They simply pierced my chest with an iron glare and handed me an exact fit of bra.
After ds2 was born I had weapons of mass destruction. I was still hormonal (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it).
I was hoping for nice pretty feeding bra, but was handed what looked like a straight jacket and it was HUGE! Worse still it FITTED!
Timorously I enquired if there was anything else-you know, pretty?
"Not in YOUR size madam!" she pronounced.
I had to buy the straight jacket-and I ended up sobbing into my poor dh's shoulder about the size of my WMDs. LOL.

Craven said...

Listen ladies,
how many times does Mac need to spell out FORMIDABLE BOSSOMS - REQUIRING REINFORCED TENSILE STEEL -thus the price.
MAC a boob job might be cheeper these days, although you can always loose the harness and the let horses head south as a mortification.

Karen H. -- San Diego said...

the best have the wider slightly padded straps. And frankly, any idiot who has a lace bra deserves all the prickly heat she gets! [Too bad she won't feel it, given the rocks in her head!]

And my stars...50 pounds. FIFTY pounds. Fly to NYC and buy 10 you'll come out ahead. What the heck was it made out of? 24 carat gold leaf? That thing ought to sing "Fly me to the Moon" when you put it on.

Ttony said...

You started: "No, I'm not being sexist, but this is serious "girl talk." And it involves shopping, so you guys won't be interested anyway!"

Shopping! I can cope with posts about shopping: I'm married to a woman, and own a female teenager as well. So I read on.

Next time you warn me not to, I won't.

Karen H. -- San Diego said...

Craven, Craven....yes, we all got that she is not a member of the IBT committee. But really, even the "Extra strength" models over here in the US are so much cheaper. You British women are being ripped off.

And #2 that metal boob underwire support can ONLY have been invented by the type of queen you do not call "Your Majesty."

GET the underwire bra...then remove those suckers before they kill you. Some queen is laughing all the way to the bank. And she's not called "Elizabeth."

Any men still reading this thread...too bad! Mac warned you.

Now...are all the men really gone? Let's talk about them.... What genetic programming makes them incapable of stopping to ask directions when they are clearly lost. "Honey, remember 40 miles back when I suggested that the man with the sombrerro and the donkey was surely a sign that we're in Mexico now? It's starting to get dark, and forgive me if I have my doubts that this is the shortcut to Vons."

Kasia said...

Good grief!!!

OK, I have to chime in. I am a card-carrying member of the IBT Committee (large "A" or maaaayyybe small "B" now that I'm more than fifty pounds overweight), and it is unbelievably difficult to find bras that fit me. So I went to a specialty lingerie store - they actually specialize in Mac-sized ladies and ladies who have had mastectomies - and was fitted, sans tape measure, by a very sweet elderly lady. Took about 15 minutes to get it right.

However, here's the punch line: the bra was $50 retail (RIDICULOUSLY expensive here). Know why?

...IT WAS DESIGNED TO BE WORN WITH A PROSTHESIS.

So apparently I am approximately the size of the little prosthetic bumps they give to post-mastectomy women to make them feel less like un-women.

(As it happens, they gave it to me for $40 because usually insurance subsidizes these 'therapeutic' devices. As I was not actually a mastectomy patient, my insurance would have had nothing doing, not that I would've filed it to begin with!)

Karen H. -- San Diego, Ca. said...

Ah, Geez, seems like none of us women can catch a break pricewise no matter WHAT size we are. You can bet your boots if men were forced to pay a premium because, uh, certain parts of their anatomy were either too "big" or too "small" for their boxers, they wouldn't be paying 100 pounds or even 25 bucks for their fruit of the looms. There'd be riots in the streets and a change of government.

At any rate..... I have to say I do miss all those 1950s "I dreamed I conquered Near East Asia in my Maidenform (tm) bra...."

See here for ad sample...it's a classic:

click here

Brad Harvey said...

Mac: I found this post so uninteresting that I had to come back and read it a second time;)

With 3 buxom ladies in my household, I would be broke by now if they chose to order their brassieres from the UK

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