New Bra, New Me!

Last weekend I popped into town with the BF to do nothing more than a spot of present buying and look for a nude bra; with the appearance of the sunshine, I realised just how grey and old my existing one is and how much I wear it in the summer. My shopping trip had been wholly unsuccessful when I decided to pop into Kings Walk, Reading’s boutique shopping centre to see whether the chocolate shop was open. It wasn’t, but Pudding, the lingerie store was and the BF suggested I give it a bash as part of my bra hunt.

Now, I’d not previously ventured into Pudding as the prices are a little bit above what I’d normally spend on my underwear and to be honest, with my chest, I couldn’t see the point. However, the sun was shining and I decided to give it a go so in I trotted…

Well, first thing’s first, I nearly toppled over as almost instantly I was asked if I needed any help. I’m not used to good customer service, it shocked the life out of me so I politely declined, saying I was just looking. The sales assistant persisted and I confessed what I was really looking for. I was completely unprepared for what followed; she suggested that a fitting would be the best way to know what I should buy. Something in me seemingly malfunctioned and I agreed – yes the BF was stood right there, next to me at the time!

Normally, I don’t really care how my bras fit as being small chested, I figure I really don’t need the support that the larger chested women of the world need. However, to the fitting room I walked in my used-to-be-neon-pink but now is dirty pink La Senza bra, (I hadn’t expected it to be seen publicly) thanking heavens I had one of my best fitting bras on. Apparently it doesn’t fit. Apparently I’m not a 34 or a B (or an A as I also wear). It would appear that I am a 32 and a C, or a D in some bras.

Not only did I get it really wrong but I don’t know how I was so far off the mark!  There was no tape measure involved, I was fitted by somebody looking at me and the size I was currently wearing then bringing in what they thought  would fit me. They were right. I look at my chest every day and simply had not noticed it was all wrong.

Here’s what I bought (note, the lack of nude bra – these are much prettier):

I won’t lie, these cost me what I would consider to be a LOT of money – over £300 quid for that little haul. But, and this is a big BUT… I chose some of the most expensive styles (you could halve this) and they fit me amazingly well. I’ve got stunning undies which hardly anyone else will have (I love being unique), they fit me really well, they aren’t padded yet somehow my boobs look better than they do with padded bras and I received amazing customer service.  This is not to mention the fact that I supported an independent local business which there seem to be fewer and fewer of these days. I couldn’t be happier and can’t wait until I can afford to replace all of my undies with such pretty lingerie!

It might seem insignificant to some but for me, this was a real eye opener and proved to me why I should reconsider buying lots of cheap clothing and look at buying less but choosing items which will last and which I love. It also demonstrated why losing independent shops is much worse than most people realise; we’re losing service, expertise and those unique finds which make us feel special. So I urge you to venture outside of the big chains and get yourselves to a proper lingerie shop; it’ll make your chain store dresses look much nicer on your new silhouette!

If you like the sound of Pudding, you can shop online worldwide via their website:

Big love x

As the High Street Falls does the Independent Rise?

With today’s news that yet another high street store, (Peacocks) has gone into administration, it’s really got me wondering about the future of the British high street. I’m sure you’re all familiar with Mary Portas’ campaign to promote independent businesses but I think we have an opportunity now to really give this campaign a boost and transform our generic high streets into something fresh and exciting. Here are some of the stores that have gone into administration in the last couple of years:

  • La Senza
  • Woolworths
  • Peacocks
  • Past Times
  • Habitat
  • Blacks Leisure
  • Hawkins Bazaar
  • Barratts (shoes)
  • Comet
  • Faith (shoes)
  • Adams
  • Jane Norman
  • Focus DIY
  • Confetti
  • JJB Sports
  • Arrogant Cat
  • Alexon (Ann Harvey, Kaliko, etc)

As you can see, many of these are huge names, certainly names I remember growing up with. You’ll also notice that quite a few of these are still on our high streets today where either the process is slow or they have been bought. Why are they going into administration? Is it just a lack of consumer spending or is it that we as consumers are bored of shopping in the same places in every town for years on end and are slowly but surely campaigning for change?

With the demise of these generic shops comes an opportunity for the independent retailer to step up and prove that they really do have a place on our high streets. Independents with knowledgeable staff and great customer service stand only to gain in this market, coaxing those precious pennies from our pockets whilst their larger, stark neighbours expose their own weaknesses with even worse service and poorer quality stock as they fall. The risk however is that we will end up with a high street that is even more generic than ever as the failing stores are bought out by larger groups which already own huge chunks of our high street.

So here I am on my soap box, preaching what you’ve all heard a million times before but I really mean it…support your independents! We have a huge opportunity to transform our own shopping experiences  for the better and we need to seize it or it could be another 10 years of drudgery before we get the chance!

On that note, please do comment if you know of any independents that you want to give a shout out to! x