Shaping up


DEIRDRE McQUILLANon how to transform your body shape with the right foundation wear

THE ONE THING a woman can do to transform her body shape instantly is to wear the right fitting bra. It’s an age old truism and once you’ve seen the effect, you’re one of the converts. In “Your Best You”, Sonya Lennon Brendan Courtney’s new book “on looking great every day”, Lennon reveals that having dressed hundreds of Irish women, only one was wearing the right sized bra. Only one! In a season dominated by the more streamlined and shapely silhouette, shapewear and waist cinching pieces have a major impact on what’s worn on top. The newest trends, still largely taking their cue from Christina Hendricks in Mad Men, emphasise 50s style curvaceousness and voluptuousness, expressed in state of the art fabrics. Brown Thomas, this season, for example, is introducing Scandale, a brand revival of one of the early French pioneers of shapewear. Aimed at the 30 plus woman, its famous S curved seam detailing and sleek panelling use the latest textile technology to make this silky smooth lingerie. The eight piece collection comprises a bodysuit, dress, high waisted briefs and balconette bras.

Talking to BTs buyers Roslyn Ellis and Laura Daly about new lingerie trends, words like “compression” and “sleeking” pepper their conversation as they describe the new look retro underwear. “There is so much colour, so much technology and so much innovation. The new lingerie is not only functional but also very pretty”, they say, pointing to Stella McCartney’s super lightweight mesh bras with sweetheart necklines or Calvin Klein’s “Push Positive” seamless look memory foam bras.

There’s the iBra, the companion piece to the Wacoal’s iPant with “cellulite-busting properties”, waist cinchers and waspies. There’s a noticeable amount of colour and lace even in the bigger cup sizes.

Both stress the importance of being fitted for shapewear as much as for the correct bra size, every six months. “It will make you feel more confident”, they insist. “Compression needs to be comfortable and supportive”. It’s a view echoed by Soozie Jenkinson head of lingerie design at MS whose latest collection highlights the kind of comfortable but firm underpinnings that suit plunging necklines, nipped in waists or pencil skirts. The streamlined silhouette is achieved using “waistsculpt” slips, fan embroidered bodies and “Flatter Me” long line bras. As winter approaches, an underwear overhaul, even if only to venture into new look hosiery, has never been easier or more tempting.

But start with the right fit.

From today, October 27th, until Sunday, November 18th, Brown Thomas branches nationwide will host specialist workshops on the fundamentals of lingerie with expert fitters. There’s also a chance to win an wardrobe of lingerie and hosiery.