Despite my somewhat drab exterior, with regulation boot cut jeans and polo shirt and maybe a fitted fleece when it is colder, I pride myself on my undergarments.
I never used to, tending to go for the ubiquitous washing machine grey knickers and mismatched bra of indeterminate age acquired from Marks & Sparks that I force myself and my attributes to squeeze into when required.
Occasionally on high days and holidays and all those times I expected or knew I would be revealing myself to scrutiny I would don a matching, sometimes even risky, rig out.
As my twenties passed me by it dawned on me that my natural vivacity, sparkling wit and charming personality were not getting me what I wanted on the man front and that in order to impress I would have to up the ante.
On this score I went a little crazy and I can honestly say as far as lingerie is concerned I have tried the lot: Wonderbra, Ultimo, strapless, basques, bustier, corsets, push up, minimiser, cross back, back loader, front loader, sports and maternity (tho’ of course this was after I had bagged my man!).
And with those have gone a variety of knicker styles – all matching of course! I’ve worn briefs, bikini, boyshorts, G-strings, Grannies, hi-cut briefs, hipsters, thongs, string bikinis, tangas and even thongboys – some obviously more successful than others. I dread to think how much has been frittered on covering my nether regions and attributes.
But it wasn’t until I actually ventured into that Mecca of lingerie emporiums that I finally snagged my man. By this time I was in my thirties and my attributes were waning: there were younger models on the block.
Taking advice from a buoyant 38GG who had positively bounced down the aisle I entered the hallowed portals of Rigby & Peller.
Seeing my bewildered, nay panic stricken, face on entering the kindly assistants pointed me to the back of the surprisingly bijou shop. There I perched on a circular bench clutching a rather down to earth cheese counter ticket awaiting my turn through the brushed velvet red curtains. Assistants bobbed in and out clutching a variety of garments all rather alarmingly big.
I mentally pictured Joyce Grenfell and started muttering Stately as a Galleon:“Stately as a galleon, I sail across the floor, Doing the Military Two-step, as in the days of yore.”
After 15 minutes of twitching and muttering on my part I started to flick through the myriad of glossy magazines available. Each one encased in a soft leather folder – formidable but eminently sensible – a bit like the brassieres I thought.
Finally my number came up and I was ushered into a cubicle and left there alone. Just as I was about to panic the assistant returned tape round her neck with a variety of packages for my delectation – I hadn’t even said a word.
With just one glance she had done what several boys of my acquaintance always boasted about and always got wrong – she summed up my attributes within an inch of their lives. This was quite a shock but without further ado away went my 36C cup and in romped a 32FF.
Now I know we’ve all scoffed at Trinny & Susannah and really not believed half the hype that is said about a well-fitted bra but girls they are SO right. I literally floated out of that shop. I felt confident, light headed even. I looked taller; I looked slimmer - heck I felt both! But best of all girls – within two months I bagged my man on a road trip to France.