Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A womanly post...thinking in pink.

Getting the right fit
is so important.

Did you know that most women are wearing the wrong bra size?

I have had the luxury of shopping at a lovely boutique owned by a very skilled English lady Jackie,
who incidentally, insisted on measuring her clients every time they came in for new brassieres.
I scoffed at the idea as I shopped semi annually for bras, how could they change size in 6 months?
Who knew?
Thankfully I listened to her advice.

She has retired now and I miss the sumptuous selection and her expert service so much.
I may have vented about this here on my blog before...
like a dog with a bone I am not wanting to let it go!

It's frustrating to go to a department store, peruse the stock, take in a few at a time, try them on and then get dressed again and repeat the process several times before finding what works best.
There never seems to be a clerk about when I need one.
I am I the only one who finds this frustrating?

Jackie would eye you up after measuring you with her tape and she knew which bras would fit
and often the sizes would be slightly different than what you might expect based on the styles.
(not unlike a designer's sizing, each company has it's quirks)

Peg was Jackie's assistant and she was SO funny.
A woman of "a certain age" with a savvy sense of fashion and a figure quite like mine and a rapid rapier wit.
She once shocked me after she measured my chest with her tape
(which hung conveniently around her neck as if she was a tailor)
she placed both her "cupped hands" over my breasts
to determine my cup size. I kid you not.

It took me by surprise and I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
I have told this story many times to my friends, but the weird thing is that she knew the cup size!

Living in a smallish town we have a few lingerie shops and I am hoping that someone will open a new one.
Vancouver is the closest city where one can find lovely the French lacy Chantelle's and the Italian engineered Prima Donna's, two of my favourite makers.
Good quality lingerie does not come cheap, they are investment pieces in my opinion.
When one spends a generous sum on staples like these, one needs to economize in other areas.

Do you ever order lingerie off the internet?

I picked this up the other day
at the small bookshop on The Avenue
apparently it inspired Julian Fellowes
to pen Downton Abbey.
The clerk Shirley, and I had a rousing and animated conversation about Downton Abbey.
We were both gushing about the series and have watched the episodes many times and never tire of them.

Are you a Downton Abbey fan?
I am mad for the series and can't wait for more.

You might like to read Julian's novels Snobs and Past Imperfect
both reside in a place of honour in my collection 
they are very rich and thoroughly entertaining.

To Marry an English Lord
"American Heiresses Take on Peerage"

"In 1895 nine American girls, including a Vanderbilt, LaRoche, Rogers, and Whitney married peers of the British realm-- among them, a duke, an earl, three barons, and a knight. It was the peak year of a social phenomenon that began in the Gilded Age after the American Civil War, and handed down the legacy of Anglomania, preppie, and the world of the television series Downton Abbey."

It has been added to the stack of books at my bedside table
so many fabulous books waiting...

Hermes share a shelf with future reads.

Bolder Breakfast Tea
(gift from Peg in Comox)
sipping and savouring this delicious blend 
while composing this post.

Thanks Peg!
I just realized there are two Pegs in my posts today.

Soft pink hydrangea blooms
subtle in the dim light
  of the Humble Bungalow dining room.

pretty in pink

This plant was under $20
 will bloom for many weeks 
before being replanted in the garden.

May brings many blooms to the garden
and with them come many weeds
and a lawn that runs riot.

Treat your self to some fresh flowers
or some pesky weeds if you prefer...
 a jar of sunny yellow dandelions are free
and ever so cheery.


  1. What a lovely post; the hydrangas are gorgeous - one of my favourite flowers. I was amused when my breast surgeon knew my cup size just by looking! And he was correct! Wish there were more diligent saleswomen in lingerie departments. Enjoy springtime in May.

  2. We really need some new lingerie shops in Victoria. I agree with you about going into the Bay. First of all the limit is 6 and I end up running out and trying to get different styles and sizes.At the end I always feel the same as when trying to buy a swimsuit...exhausted.I recently went to the store on Fort and the lady was rude. She told me I was in the wrong size and I explained I had lost alot weight. I had gone from a 38 to 34 so of course I knew I was in the wrong size. I left and went to the shop in the Pacific Centre
    Love Downton Abbey.When the theme music starts I'm in heaven.

    1. Congratulations on the weight loss, would you share your weight loss regime with me?
      (email me if you want to be private about might change my life)
      I do not do rudeness well, really why do we need to stand for it?
      Have we forgotten the "Golden Rule"?

  3. I hate buying new bras. It's always a chore to find them in my size. I agree with you about unhelpful clerks (if there are any around) in the department store. So frustrating. There is a shop in Parksville, Close to You, I think, that has a better selection.

    1. It has been a long time since I have driven up to Parksville but a lingerie shop would certainly woo me!

  4. Amen - to so much of this - wishing for another good lingerie shop (there used to be on in Duncan, perhaps it's still there) - Downton Abbey, hydrangeas and a good cup of tea!

  5. You are so right about the diffculty of buying bras. I live in a big city (Toronto) and there are a couple of good small stores are known for correct fitting of clients, but they are downtown and I am on the very outskirts. Traffic and parking in downtown TO are a nightmare. So I think I will have to go in for a fitting once and then perhaps be able to order the same brand and size from the internet. If anyone knows of a good site that ships quality bras from Canada (to avoid delays and duties at the border) I would love to hear about it.
    I am eagerly awaiting season 3 of Downton and fortunately discovered the two Julian Fellowes books you mention as as interim "fix." I have placed "To Marry an English Lord" on hold at the library. Thank you for the tip.

    1. Margaret you must have many options living in Toronto.
      Once every 6 months might be worth the parking and the traffic.
      Hope you enjoy the book.

  6. It's hard for me to think of bras as investment pieces as you're supposed to change them every 6 months, as they're supposedly not good much longer than that. Nordstrom has a decent lingerie department, with somewhat trained sales ladies who are good "fitters" - much better than Neiman Marcus IMO.
    I now buy 4 bras (all Chantelle) and have started the hand washing routine with them.
    No wonder bra burning began!

    1. I hand wash mine in Aveda Shampure.
      At $120 a bra I consider that an investment! When buying several at a time it's a serious "investment."

      Bra burning brings up memories of the 1960's!
      (and the pill)

  7. Where do I begin~
    Your photos of the hydrangeas are breathtaking!
    Downton Abbey~ adore and will look for the book.
    I, too, have gone to someone I love who fits me for my bras.
    It's a small shop, and I always call ahead to make sure she is
    in. No one does it like Barbara at Ruth's Intimate Apparel!
    I am due for a visit!

    1. Lucky you to have a shop and a clerk or owner who can cater to your needs.

  8. It is amazing, you always manage to get so many things of interest on your post! No, never even considered ordering lingerie online, as I have 2-3 shops, which carry my brand.
    The very first time, the lady in one of them, insisted taking measures, but I have had the right size all the time, as it appeared.
    I don´t know about the TV series, as I don´t watch TV, but I know, that it is easy to get hooked in just about anything.
    Flowers are expensive over here, and wild flowers won´t last inside the house, so I just enjoy them outside.
    Hampel is keeping the grass neat, his grazing season has begun ;).

    1. mette
      Helsinki must be a shopping mecca.
      You never fail to impress with your purchases...
      nice to know that Hampel can help with the upkeep on your estate!

  9. Twice a year on my London trips buy brs's,have had a couple of fittings each time same size.

    Have a friend who hates been fitted/touched she takes 8 different sized bras into the cubicle (so she does not need to come out)tries them on to find the best fit!!

    Have read that over the pond there is a cult following for Downton Abby,have never watched it. Have read 'Snobs' a light read for fun. Ida

    1. Ida you might like Downton Abbey.
      The BBC must have aired it in the UK before they played it here in Canada.

  10. I found a lovely little lingerie boutique near me owned by a Danish woman who is a real expert in bras and bra fitting. She introduced me to the Chantelle brand - that Kathy Peck also wears. It is the most comfortable bra I have ever worn.
    When I went to the shop to be fitted, I expected her to use a tape measure. But she didn't. She looked at my bust line, then asked me to turn around so she could see my back. Then she walked away, grabbed the Chantelle, got in the dressing room with me (!) and I was sold the moment I got it on. An ideal fit.
    She doesn't think measurements are the right way to determine bra size. I thought that was so interesting!
    I replace my bras about once year. I don't buy many because they are so expensive. I take good care of them but eventually they stretch out and stop doing what they are supposed to do.

    Have a wonderful day and enjoy those lovely flowers of yours. xo, A

    1. Chantelle are lovely and so comfortable and they look so pretty and feminine.
      I buy twice a year as I like to have a nude and a black with matching panties.

      Thanks for popping by Adrienne.

  11. I buy bras at Nordstrom 2x year. Their "fitters" are always friendly and good at suggesting styles that would work on my figure. They have also been well-versed on "online only" styles, that they also suggest.

    1. I'll be shopping in Nordstroms in early July in Seattle. I will check out their lingerie department and see what they have to offer.

  12. I have two Bra women living within me. The first Bar me buys my all time favourite in quantity; a mid-priced Bali that has fit like a dream for at least a dozen years and is about $40, in black and beige. The second Bra Me is a coquette who cannot resist the saucy balconette or seduction of black lace. In the latter I am abetted by Le Duc. So my drawer is divided, and the former worn maybe 80% of the time, the latter the more fun 20%.

    I suspect I am not alone? PS. Life is too short to not wear matching or at least coordinating panties... so I tell myself!

    1. I have two Bra Women living with me as well...
      I do feel very chic wearing lacy underthings!
      Saucy in fact!

  13. Margaret May: You cannot avoid duties and taxes. that's how the system works. (When you buy your imported bra in a store tax/duty/shipping is simply buried in the price.)

    If you travel to Europe you can buy French or Italian bras for half the price sold in Canada; that's what I do. My everyday bras are Bali from The Bay; they regularly have *really* good sales, and if you are over 55, you will get an additional 10% discount on the first Tuesday of the month.

  14. I used to shop in department stores, but then found a little boutique where lingerie shopping was such a wonderful and special experience. The owner was lovely. She also measured everyone every time and kept measurement cards, although she could remember ones favourite brands and required sizes by heart. After the shop closed I switched to on-line shopping and have been doing it for the last few years. I know the brands I like, I know my sizes and if there's something that doesn't suit me, I just send it back. Soooooooooooooo much easier and definitely much better to try things on at home rather than a changing room. :)


    1. Which online sites do you recommend?
      I am just curious as I don't feel confident enough to take that leap quite yet.

  15. Since my luggage fiasco, I decided to replace a couple of bras with new ones. I used to wear a 36DD, and now I'm at a 34DD - such a big differenct! The girls are strapped in, as they say, and I'm definitely less bouncy. I thought my bras were just worn out, but turns out they were worn out AND too big.

    I don't order bras off the internet because I find the fit is different between bra manufacturers. Also, the design yields a very different result (demi-cup, full coverage, racer back), so this is one area where I try on everything, do the bounce test (jump up and down), put a t-shirt back on, and evaluate the best option. It's a chore, and it's not necessarily fun shopping, but I hate driving to the post office to post return purchases!

    1. I am DD as well so I need serious support.
      Love a bit of frothy lace and matching knickers if you please.

      Too bad about that luggage mess up.
      Hope that your Seattle jaunt is fun and the coffee will be available on every corner :-))