Lingerie Nostalgia - The Shopping Experience

Monday, 7 November 2016  |  Admin

<p>My first memory of lingerie is of two shops - one on Margate seafront, a naughty lingerie shop called Pillow Talk. They had mannequins in risque lacy underwear and see through nighties worn with high heels, dimmed red lighting and two vending machines outside - one which offered shiny PVC panties packed in a plastic ball and the other sold something called Durex. My brother and I used to love going to the arcades and I remember him asking my Mum if he could have a go on the machine so he could win a durex and see what it was. My mum's response was that Durex was a make of blank tapes - but they don't fit in your cassette player, they are too small! As a family we would laugh when we walked past this shop saying things like "what's the point in wearing something so flimsy, you would be cold!"</p>

<p>The second shop was called Evenden on Broadstairs High Street. This shop had a more exclusive and mature air about it with mannequins in the window dressed in luxurious long satin nightwear and delicate ivory and white bridal looking pieces inside on padded hangers waiting to be worn on the most magical day ever. I remember feeling slightly uncomfortable going into this shop as a young adult with a birthday gift voucher that was worth only a quarter of the cost of their lowest priced item and walking back out again feeling rather sheepish!</p>

<p>Now as a very established adult I'd love to see more lingerie shops in town. Sure you can get lingerie and fancy underwear from almost anywhere; Primark or Marks and Spencers for example, you can even get some with your grocery shop in most of the larger supermarkets - but I don't want to do that. Now I've grown up, had children, watched my body change and accepted that it just does its own thing when it feels like it I'd love to spend the odd day here and there browsing lingerie shops to find something that makes me look and feel wonderful. Sure you can get the same things online, maybe cheaper online too and you can get the same good service but you don't get the experience. You don't get to feel the product, you don't get to hold it up against yourself to see if it suits. By the time you've bought something online you've already fallen in love with it and have something in mind for it - it's so much more disappointing having to send something back in the post than it is to put something back on a rail and its a lot more effort too.</p>

<p>There's also something special about taking time to invest in your intimate wardrobe. Websites are built for speed and ease of use and I do often feel rushed when shopping online because the experience of feeling the product is missing. I don't want to read lengthy descriptions and reviews because they are not my opinion, I want to develop my own instinctive opinion. Kelly from Walthamstow may love lilac panties and how stretchy or colourfast they are, this might be really important to her; but to me - no. I want to visualise how my boyfriends hand might feel on my skin as he teases away the shoulder strap and I can only sense that by feeling the lingerie in my hands. I want my own intimate connection with the product before I make a purchasing decision. Of course there's nothing stopping a website from trying to put this in words but knowing that this has been written by someone who needs to sell the product to earn a living I probably wouldn't believe it or read it anyway. </p>

<p>I am not completely dissing online lingerie shopping - that would be silly! Ideally we would have a brick and mortar shop to run alongside and compliment our website to give our customers that experience too. Pop up shops are all the rage here in Margate but the focus is very much on hand crafted goods, art and retro upcycles. We have been politely refused already due to the adult nature of our products and website not fitting in with the promoted artisan feel of this town, which is fair enough - it is nice to see the town flourishing compared to ten years ago. We will try again in a few years though, things may change. I'd like to think of our shop being an amalgamation of the two I remember if or when we are able to do so; with our added selection of dresses and going out clothes of course! In the meantime we will continue to offer returns on everything so at least you will have the time to feel if the product is right for you in your own home.</p>