I’m not quite sure why jeans shopping always gets such a bad rap – for me, picking up a new pair of skinnies is a snip compared to the trauma of stepping into the changing room to try on lingerie. I’m English… we don’t really DO sexy in the same way that for example, a French girl would. Little scraps of silk and wisps of chiffon? Forget it! Give me a pair of cotton undies from M&S and I’m, well, I wouldn’t say happy exactly, but I’m comfortable… and that’s what it’s all about right?
And finding a bra? Well, that is my absolute greatest challenge, as if you’re not a totally standard size in this town, it can be tough to find options – if I find my size, I buy it, regardless of what it looks like, or even really how it fits. Earlier this year though, I discovered Hanky Panky thongs, and started to convert my way of thinking to believe lingerie could be both fun (cute colours!) and comfy… but bra-shopping remained something to be avoided at all costs.
When we met Lisa from Sheer, she convinced me to come into her shop and try out the Sheer Discovery Service, a personal lingerie makeover experience. I had to fill out a questionnaire ahead of time confessing my deepest darkest secrets (like that I NEVER hand-wash any of my bras and that I don’t own that absolute stalwart of a decent lingerie wardrobe – the black strapless bra, or the fact that most of my bras don’t fit properly). I turned up at Sheer one wintry afternoon, absolutely not in the mood to prance about semi-naked, clutching a few of my bras from home which Lisa had asked me to bring along to demonstrate my problems with fit.
After a very brief chat, I was whisked into the fitting rooms where I whipped off my t-shirt to show the problem at hand to Lisa. After determining that all A-cups are not created equal (the Victoria’s Secret bras I was wearing were cut way too “deep in the cup” meaning they equated more to a B or even a C cup – no wonder they gaped!), Lisa was off around the shop to find a selection of styles for me to try.
I’m a huge fan of the Little Bra Company, so was thrilled they had a huge selection from that line, and also discovered some new-to-me brands like OnGossamer, a whisper-light bra which is so soft you wouldn’t even know you were wearing one, and Lula Lu – so new to Sheer that all Lisa had was a sample. There were naturally a few misses, which coming all in a row felt a bit disheartening (what’s wrong with me?!) but Lisa stayed patient and the hits started rolling until I had a huge pile of bras that worked – a never-before-had experience! Sure, most were “safe” nudes, ivories and blacks, but Lisa told me that now she knows what works for me, she can help to order in more fashion colours for the future to brighten up my lingerie drawer!
We finished off with a little tour of Sheer’s nighties and gowns selection (they have a Eberjey gown in the fitting room so you don’t need to get fully-dressed again to pop back onto the shop floor to browse some more), and Lisa and Laura totally got that I’m more a men’s style PJs girl than a little negligee type (with a toddler and a helper in our household, mornings can’t really be spent running around boobs-on-display!). The goodies on offer run the gamut from super-sexy to cute and boyish, so there’s something for everyone and it was a good reminder for me that lingerie doesn’t just have to be something you wear underneath your clothes!
After a mental totting up of the total of all the things I’d amassed, I got a little concerned – instead of struggling to find things, I was in the opposite situation! I finally settled on three really great bras and threw in a handful of my beloved Hanky Panky thongs as well, including in the new Retro Thong style, a Mad Men-like high-rise knicker.
To teach me the error of my ways, Lisa talked me through how to protect my new investments by using proper laundry techniques (bunging things in the washing machine is the surest way to shorten the lives of your undies). She even popped a little sample of some yummy-smelling handwashing detergent in my shopping bag to try out.
A couple of weeks after my appointment, Sheer sent me an email to check how I was getting on with my purchases – a truly personal and impressive touch. The Sheer Discovery Service is so good you’ll go straight home and email your friends to recommend it – I did!
Sheer, 4/F, W Place, 52 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2147 3887