Love is in the air

February is a romantic time of year, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner and the official start of wedding season; our thoughts inevitably turn to pretty underthings. I must admit that I enjoy Valentines Day, or any celebration come to think of it. It’s a great excuse to turn up the heat and slip into something luxurious.

Lingerie sales are soaring at this time of the year so this month we take a look at the prettiest lingerie for Valentine’s Day, your wedding, and beyond…and we consider those all important and (likely well overdue) lingerie resolutions to help get you in the mood.

Spring Summer 2014 trends

Mother Nature and the ‘natural beauty of women’ takes centre stage for SS14 and what could be more feminine than lingerie! The SS14 colour palette is awash with pastel and neutral tones. Colour is provided via many shades of blue from cornflower to cobalt (easily the stand-out winner for colour trend of the season) accents of orange and invigorating pinks and fuchsias.

When it comes to prints natural florals dominate with everything from exotic flowers and tropical orchards, to the delicate beauty of an English spring garden. Sexy slips and clever lingerie solutions should be at the top of your wish list for SS14, which sees the return of the underwear-as-outerwear trend and backless bodices. Luxurious lace and ultra-soft fabrics complete what is a very light and feminine Spring Summer season.

Lingerie resolutions

Before you dive into the new season, make the following New Year lingerie resolutions.

Get fitted! A staggering 85% of women are reportedly wearing the wrong size bra. Penelope English, owner of See-Saw by Penny Jane Lingerie in Hale, Cheshire said: “Not only is it important that your bra is comfortable and the correct size but ladies can often underestimate the importance of a well-fitting bra to the appearance of their clothes. Ladies are all shapes and sizes therefore it is imperative that they go to a specialist lingerie retailer where the staff have been fully trained and have the knowledge and expertise to advise.” 

Invest in a supportive strapless bra. If the recent party season has taught you anything, it’s that your lingerie arsenal isn’t complete without a quality strapless bra; nothing can kill an outfit quite like unsightly straps.

Purchase a pair of patterned hosiery. Patterned or brightly coloured tights are an effortless way to jazz up an understated LBD or tired pencil skirt. However, keep the rest of your clothing simple and let them be the feature.

Find comfortable shapewear. Shapewear has come a long way. Or has it. I was under the impression that technology, innovative fabrics and better designs meant that 21st century shapewear offered support, flattered curves and smoothed away bulges with just the merest hint as to its presence.

…and you only need to sit through one of the many fashion programmes on television – as the host effortlessly whips unsuspecting members of the public in-and-out of changing rooms instantly transforming them with sleek silhouette enhancing body stockings – to believe it’s this easy.

Then I got this text message from a client: “Holy ****! That was nearly death-by-bodyshaper. Had it not been for a tiny miracle, an assistant might have found my sweating, thrashing, rash-ridden, naked, contorted body on the changing room floor at closing time.”

Once I had stopped laughing – just long enough just to check that my client was actually ok – I hit the blogs. Was it true. Is today’s range of shapewear and body slimmers still as archaic as the girdle grandma used to wear?

Suppliers say no, of course not… “It’s like getting the benefits of plastic surgery without the risks, cost or recovery”. Hmmmmm. The public however, seem to disagree. Spanx apparently started with $5000 and a dream – “to make the world a better place…one butt at a time!” In response one consumer is noted as saying, “my world is a better place when I can breathe, and when someone is not trying to convince me that making myself into a human sausage will make the world a better place.”

The conclusion, shapewear is a wonderful yet potentially uncomfortable invention, but it does have its place. And yes, it is possible to find comfortable shapewear. The key to achieving this is to buy the right item for your figure concerns. Wearing more control than is necessary will result in discomfort, or at the very least dissatisfaction. If in doubt visit your local retailer and speak to a fully-trained lingerie fitter.

As for my client, faced with that irreconcilable Bridget Jones dilemma – wear tummy tucking device to increase chance of romantic encounter, only to terrify object of affection with enormous pants? Or opt for sexy underthings that let it all hang out…“I’d rather spend money on something really sexy and get a flatter tummy the good old-fashioned way, with crunches and sit-ups! Besides, I’m happy with my body and my little tummy, it’s very real, very feminine and very womanly.”

Hurrah, an admirable attitude to female body shape. So whatever the reason, Valentines Day or a forthcoming wedding, treat yourself to some really sexy lingerie this month and show off that fabulous figure.

Image credits (from left)
Chantelle ‘Vendome’ bra (back view), £54 and lace shorts, £36. See-Saw in Hale, Cheshire
Marks & Spencer Limited Collection Cami, £16 and Shorts, £16
M&S Rosie for Autograph Oyster Cami Suspender, £45
Marie Jo ‘Jane’, See-Saw in Hale, Cheshire
Marie Jo ‘Daphne’ strapless bra, £76.95 and string, £32.95. See-Saw
Marks & Spencer Smoothlines Knickers. £19.50
Marks & Spencer, Limited Collection Rose Print Mesh Body
Marie Jo ‘Manon’ balcony bra, £74.95 and lace brief, £53.95. See-Saw
Simone Perele ‘Celeste’ balcony bra, £58. See-Saw

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