Thursday, March 22, 2007


- and any of you boys who care to read it, but, be warned ... it's a girly one!

Yesterday my personal B-day had come, in that I just couldn't leave the task of buying some new [black] bras any longer. So off I went to the little intimi shop, which may look old-fashioned and sweet but is actually filled with tempting, costly, classy designer goods! I've never been one for buying such garments at M&S in Britain, having been lucky enough to have lived in Cardiff where for many years we had the now much missed David Morgan store where a posse of efficient, motherly women d'un certain âge would measure you, fit you, hold the item so that you sort of ladled your equipment into the cups and then they adjusted the straps with a jerk so that [after you got your breath back] you felt suddenly taller, firmer and at least a size thinner.

None of that here! For a start, as I've written before here [and I also discussed underwear here and here, if you're new to this blog] you do not find the items on display so that you can peruse them first. And you are not measured, for the shop owner takes pride in being able to look at you once and know, just as the owners of some shoe shops do. Then in you go to the tiny changing cubicle where item after item is handed through the curtains to you. You know what it's like, my voluptuous sisters: parts of you will persist in falling out of one end or the other of the thing if you do not choose very carefully and so the whole episode can become rather fraught, especially by the time you have tried on the twentieth garment!

Having made my selection, out of the changing cubicle I come and where is the shop owner? She has been busy, for she is already holding up half a dozen lacy, matching - er... nether items for my inspection and praising the quality and workwomanship thereof. And of course I bought some, dear reader, for who could resist such prettiness, so charmingly sold? [Ok, so I'm gullible!]
Buying intimi in this non-browsable way is a much more expensive adventure than similar shopping in the UK, but now it occurs to me that the lack of free display is actually sound, Italian business sense!

Anyway , I can walk tall and comfortably until the summer, when another visit will be necessary to obtain items that won't show tell-tale straps peeking out of summer dresses and I'll leave you with more Lawrence Ferlinghetti:
"Women's underwear holds things up
Men's underwear holds things down
Underwear is one thing
men and women have in common
Underwear controls everything in the end
Take foundation garments for instance
They are really fascist forms
of underground government
making people believe
something but the truth".


Liz Hinds said...

For the last 4 years I've been buying bras at Madame Foner's and I spend a fortune. But they make me feel like a million euros. Once I get over the embarrassment of being woman-handled!

And Elder Son's wedding will be a good excuse for a new bra!

Lee said...

I hate store changing rooms with a passion. If I can escape without having to try things on, I do. One should only try garments on in the middle of winter, particularly here in Aus as it's too damn hot during summer. The little store you attended sounds like my kind of store. I hate the big shopping centres and much prefer the small, individual shops.

After rambling on with all of the above...I do love fancy, lacy underwear. It makes you feel like a million dollars.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Liz. If they make you feel good, they are worth it! Where is Mme Foner's?
Ciao, Lee. Almost impossible to try stuff on in high summer here, too! Thank you - you've taken my guilt away about the lacy stuff!

Janejill said...

Loved the post - I've been there and have made it my life's work to get pretty, well-fitting and comfortable bras with straps less than an inch thick! I even treated myself to Rigby &P but they were stuffy and not so good. You probably know of Bravissimo? They used to deliver to me in Spain so Sicily should not be a problem; and they go up to about Cup GG - Not (yet) my size! There is also Figleaves - enough advertising... I also used to go to a little place in Ipswich and the owner used to reach inside and adjust me if she thought I was not settled in the right position...

jmb said...

It's really frustrating in Italy with everything behind the counter and no touching etc. Not what we are used to. Still I'm glad you were satifactorily outfitted so you'll be the belle of the pronto soccorso (ER) , hopefully not, but ready.

James Higham said...

What a wonderful insight into the how the other half operates. makes me almost want to go out and buy a bra and frilly knickers.

Anonymous said...

Did you know that Michael Aspel used to work at 'David Morgan's in his younger days ?

Although it doesn't say whether his taste was for voluptuous vixens in black underwear...

But come on, who would go for that 'size zero' nonsense when you had Cardiff's finest hourglass figures parading through the arcade doors..

And anyway, it has been proved that men prefer curvy women - it's a fact!

Anonymous said...

I am an American woman living in Noto. Just found your blog. You are a riot! I liked the chocolate feste but still prefer the G&T

Liz Hinds said...

Madame Foner's is in an arcade in Swansea. I never thought I'd ever go in there but it's worth the temporary humiliation!

It's like buying shoes for children though. You get carefully measured, the assistant brings out the right size - and it's not! Manufacturers differ, which is why buying by mail order isn't the best.

I've been inspired by this post to write my own!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, janejill. I don't know Bravissimo or Figleaves but will have a look. Jmb, you're right - you do have to think about what you would look like in the pronto soccorso! Thanks, James. I think you should indulge that whim! Thanks, Anon - I didn't know that about M Aspel. Re curvy women, keep telling me that! Liz, next time I'm over I'll head for Mme Foner's! Coming over to you later. Hi, Linda. Nice to meet you. Have emailed you.

Anonymous said...

Why do so many women shop at M & S for their lingerie and miss out this kind of personal service. Now we need a pic to go with this.

Janejill, I'm a figleaves fan too.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Ciao, Ellee. I thought of putting a pic on but then wondered about the kind of comments it might attract!


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