Monday, 25 January 2010

"Illusion is the First of All Pleasures" Oscar Wilde.

Did you know that Agent Provocateur was a house hold brand name before they had opened a single shop?
Their marketing campaign was so successful that everyone wanted the product before they even knew what it was.
Astounding isn't it?
The company branding was, (and still is) more important and more impressive than the actual product and people still, happily, pay a premium for it.
On the contrary there are people making exceptional products and paying attention to quality, design, ethics and value for money and no one has ever heard of them.

Such is the crazy world we live in…

It is my (self imposed,) mission to bring to your attention these unsung heros of the fashion and beauty world.
Without bias or agenda I will share with you the secrets of a stylish, quality, functional capsule wardrobe, I will advise you when to save and when to splurge, and I will educate you on garment production and alteration, and on how to achieve a perfect fit.

But first... I need to talk a little bit more about your underwear.

I know you are probably thinking by now that I have an unhealthy obsession with your boobs and bums (and who wouldn’t? they are fabulous after all…) but this is important stuff!

All I’m doing is starting at the beginning...

That is to say…eat well, sleep well, exercise regularly, smile lots, love lots, have good underwear...

Problem solvers-the dos and don’ts:
First of all if you have any of those awful ‘invisible’ clear plastic bra straps in your lingerie draw throw them out immediately!! I mean it! Do it right now, (dancer’s you are exempt but ONLY when you are on stage and to be seen from an extreme distance.)
They are NOT invisible. We can all see them…who are you trying to kid?
You have two choices, a good strapless undergarment, or a garment with straps, it’s as simple as that.

Lingerie tape is your friend:
Use it all the time.
Affectionately called ‘tit tape’ it is a double sided, hypo allergenic, tape, which is a staple in any good stylist’s (or stylish person’s) ‘kit’. Use it to stick your top to your skin or your bra in order to avoid ‘wardrobe malfunctions’ and nipple flashing.
A great quick fix for a loose hem, lingerie tape can also be used to secure a slippy sling back or stick a lose court shoe to your foot, (particularly useful when wearing tights)
It can be purchased on rolls or in strips, which can easily be popped in your purse for reapplication (or for educational gifting to less stylish friends.)

Gym matters:
A good sports bra is essential for every single woman.
I wear a normal underwired bra underneath a super supportive sports bra when I do any high impact activity.
I always wear 100% cotton knickers and socks to the gym too, it’s healthier and more comfortable.

Magic knickers:
I hope you realise how difficult this is for me, I go against everything I stand for by telling the world I used to hate my boobs and now I’m discussing my granny pants!

First of all, as far as anyone knows, you don’t own any.

Only wear the ‘cycling short’ type under trousers (…or floor length skirts if, you are not planning on doing any of the following during the course of the evening: falling over, dancing on tables, doing the cancan, or demonstrating your high kick.)

N.B. As imposing these rules on yourself at any kind of social event is likely to hinder the experience Gilly Woo would suggest ONLY wearing them under trousers.

Tummy control knickers (which I don’t have any of;-) are great under dresses, particularly if they cinch your waist in too.
They smooth your contours and even out your shape.
The ones that I don’t own come up to my bra and are seamless, (this way you avoid the unsightly knicker line that can sometimes be visible at the waist.) Always buy them a size too small for maximum effect.
Department stores are your best resource for this item as they will carry lots of styles for you to try, I would avoid anything with boning unless you go made to measure, when buying off the peg I prefer to stick with ‘industrial strength’ elastic, it’s more comfy and less likely to show under clothing, boning only works when it’s rigid (as in corsetry.)
Do not be fooled by clever marketing! Just because Gok Wan or Trinny and Susanna are grinning at you from the label doesn’t mean it’s the best product on the market, try the old lady section in Debenhams, you might be surprised…

If you own any kind of contour dress and are bigger than a size 10 you need these in your life.

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