Thursday 19 September 2019

Womanly pleasures


Bodysuit, €76, Spanx
Bodysuit, €76, Spanx

I love the reliability of the fact that, on Christmas Eve, men will always be found beating a path to lingerie counters around the country. It's not that they forgot about the woman they love. Rather, time kind of ran away from them; self-consciousness or self-doubt struck. OK, yes, they forgot.

To this end, Brown Thomas launches today their special gift-box promotion, which, frankly, we should all be buying into. Across eight of their gorgeous brands (including Stella McCartney, Chantelle, Calvin Klein), from size 32A to 38F, you can buy an exclusively selected bra - and the brief will, effectively, be gratis. Then, the whole ensemble will be luxuriously and dramatically wrapped in a special-edition red Brown Thomas gift box.

If you haven't already bought your autumn lingerie, it makes financial, as well as self-treat sense, to do so now.

I just enjoyed a significant birthday and asked my dearest to treat me to beautiful lingerie and nightwear. To open several luxurious boxes of delicate lace and silk pieces, nestling in tissue, made for the most special, celebrating experience ever. They, coupled with scented candles, body creams and evocative perfume, are food for the senses, as Frances Fleming, Brown Thomas swimwear, lingerie and hosiery buyer, and a former luxury perfume buyer, attests.

"Fragrance and lingerie go together," Frances tells me. "It is the sensual thing. Everyone, when they go out on their day, needs to spread fragrance around themselves, wear beautiful lingerie - it makes for the feeling that the day is yours, and you are beautiful.

"Brides will buy lingerie and fragrance for their special day. Why do it for just that day?"

Why, indeed? I feel modern women have lost the art of self-pleasure in the pursuit of equity. But the tide is turning.

Frances sees it, too: "Ten years ago, lingerie was all about the push-up, and boobs in your face. Now it is more feminine, less obvious," she says. "Trends in lingerie are softer, more fresh. Shapes are enhanced to better support your natural body. There is a vintage look to lingerie this winter, favouring more lace, soft pink and berries, be it Stella or Simone Perele; Elixir for the fuller cup; La Perla for luxury."

Even Spanx is doing beauty - the control bodysuit on this page is a work of art.

"It is all about feeling beautiful. It's about luxury fabrics, silk-velvet robes, even a lace robe instead of a dressing gown, for that extra bit of glamour," advises Frances.

And, if you still aren't sure, there's always... Ugg!

Photography by Eilish McCormick

Styling by Sinead Keenan

Fashion edited by Constance Harris

Sunday Independent

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