When I was invited to Rigby & Peller for a bra fitting I was unsure what to expect
I had heard that they are the Queens corsetieres and I have a few friends whose mothers regularly go to Rigby & Peller but what did the company have to offer me? I am neither old nor ample bosomed. I had recently been feeling uncomfortable in my bras and the line and support they gave me but after a disastrous fitting at a well known high street store, I thought that Rigby & Peller must at least be able to tell me what size I am if the Queen trusts them!
I arrived at the Conduit Street store, with our photographer Laura, and was instantly surprised. There was no imposing shop front nor were there the disapproving sales assistants that are often a feature of designer stores. The shop has the exterior of a London boutique and a warm inviting interior, not the stuffy, old fashioned store I had imagined. After browsing the lingerie rails we approached the sales assistant and were whisked through to the waiting area.
This is where my preconceptions were truly blown away. In the waiting room was a mixture of old and young, smart and scruffy, a young mother with her new baby and even a young boy playing on the floor with his new toys (clearly a ploy to keep him quiet whilst his mother treats herself!) We had a pre booked appointment but for those taking advantage of the walk in service there is even a ticket machine on the wall and digital display exactly like the cheese counter at your local supermarket!
After a short wait, which I spent browsing the press clippings folders (of which there are many), I was called through to the fitting area and I was sure this was where my feelings of relaxation were to be shattered.
My fitter, Lucy, ushered me into the changing area and we began the fitting. First she looked me up and down in my clothes and asked me what size I thought I was. After removing my top and bra Lucy asked me to turn to the back. After establishing my back size I then turn to the front and Lucy confidently announces Youre a 32DD/E and then sweeps out of the cubicle to find a bra. Whilst shes out of the cubicle I privately think to myself 32DD shes definitely got this wrong, Ive always been a 34 so theres no way Im that small and how can she possibly tell? She didnt even use a tape measure?
Whilst we try the offerings I take the opportunity to quiz Lucy about being a fitter. They are trained by watching the more experienced fitters in action and that only a few girls go on to develop an eye for fitting. Im intrigued by the lack of tape measures though because I had always followed the mantra of measuring your ribs and adding 2 inches before measuring round the bust and working out the cup size from the difference. But as Lucy explains if the back of a bra is made from elastic and a tape measure is not surely, if anything, you should be taking inches off not adding them on? And
that breasts come in so many different shapes and sizes that it is almost impossible to judge a cup size through inches.
I decide to go for the full set and these are sent to the sales assistant whilst I get myself ready. At the till, my underwear is beautifully wrapped and presented to me in a boutique bag tied with a gold ribbon and its like receiving a perfect present, despite knowing the contents!
I walked into Rigby & Peller with a sceptical mind and a 34D chest (FYI the high street store measured me as a 36C two weeks prior to my visit) and walked out a 32DD feeling totally relaxed and
pampered. My confidence has soared with no tugging, pulling or rearranging of uncomfortable bras or feeling conscious of the dreaded drooping chest or four boob syndromes. I shall definitely be going back for fittings, the service and the beautiful lingerie. Especially now I have the perfect opportunity to invest in a whole new lingerie wardrobe!