Friday 24 November 2017

Summer Loving: seasonal lingerie can change our feelings about our bodies

 

Bralet, €38; briefs, €22, both Reger Noir by Janet Reger, Debenhams. Earrings, €65; rings, from €105, both Juvi
Bralet, €38; briefs, €22, both Reger Noir by Janet Reger, Debenhams. Earrings, €65; rings, from €105, both Juvi
Silk robe, €250, Vivis; silk-satin bra, €210; matching briefs, €90, both La Perla, all Brown Thomas. Earrings, €25, Om Diva
Bra, €84; matching briefs, €43, both Wacoal, Brown Thomas. Earrings, €189; locket, €199; model's right hand: amethyst and gold ring, €289; blue topaz ring, €279 model's left hand: rose quartz ring, €229; prasiolite ring, €369, all Chupi, [MADE ] Store & Gallery

Summer lingerie holds a special place in my affections for the service it provides. We see more of our own flesh in the summer than at any other time. Winter is a fantastic time to practise avoidance - "Quick, pull on the woollies, tights and trousers and get warm". But in summer, we are forced to look at it all, us all, or die of heatstroke. Often, we opt to die inside of mortification. But, truly, pretty summer lingerie can change our feelings about our bodies.

A summer-bright bra and matching briefs being the first thing to hit your flesh each morning, starts your day off as bright and beautiful and full of optimism and potential. It can only get better from here.

And even if it doesn't, every time you catch a glimpse of that playful bit of lace and colour you chose to wear that morning for your own pleasure and self adornment, your soul will lift for knowing you value yourself. You are treating you right.

I don't practise single-brand or store loyalty when it comes to summer lingerie purchases. I go where it talks to me.

Silk robe, €250, Vivis; silk-satin bra, €210; matching briefs, €90, both La Perla, all Brown Thomas. Earrings, €25, Om Diva
Silk robe, €250, Vivis; silk-satin bra, €210; matching briefs, €90, both La Perla, all Brown Thomas. Earrings, €25, Om Diva

I do believe, though, that lingerie is of too much importance to buy bad quality, and good quality is not necessarily expensive. A rough-finished lace, or badly placed seam, even in a costly bra, can result in delicate nipple and breast tissue getting damaged, and that sensitive area can take a long time to repair. Likewise, a badly padded underwire can result in lumps and bruises in the breast and worry-inducing visits to breast clinics.

"My pet peeve is seeing women wear badly fitted bras," says our stylist Carmel Daly. "I often notice a woman in a beautiful dress - but because her bra is badly fitting, she looks awful, all her efforts wasted. And badly supported breasts are ageing, not to mention very unflattering to your shape."

A tired-looking bra fills me with sadness; it screams of the lack of self-love the wearer feels.

Brown Thomas and Susan Hunter Lingerie are aspirational territory - who wouldn't love to indulge in a bit of La Perla, Stella McCartney and Simone Perele? Carmel and I also love Debenhams for its breadth of offering and price ranges, and great original collections, such as Reger Noir by Janet Reger, and the playful Floozie by Frost French.

Carmel was blown away by how Marks & Spencer has upped its game in fit, styling and for bigger sizes, while I loved its Rosie for Autograph temperature-cooling silks.

Well done all, we say.

Silk robe, €250, Vivis; silk-satin bra, €210; matching briefs, €90, both La Perla, all Brown Thomas. Earrings, €25, Om Diva
Silk robe, €250, Vivis; silk-satin bra, €210; matching briefs, €90, both La Perla, all Brown Thomas. Earrings, €25, Om Diva

Photography by Anita Sadowska

Styling by Carmel Daly

Fashion edited by Constance Harris

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