I’ll be honest – living on a student budget is not conducive to any sort of addiction, let alone an addiction to luxury lingerie. Nevertheless, addictions have to be fed and over time I’ve learned that I’ll simply have to make compromises.
My bra size has always been hopelessly awkward – it remains a sad fact that the majority of lingerie brands tend to avoid such smaller back sizes. Although more and more companies are expanding their size ranges to cater for the more petite ladies out there, it’s still not nearly as common as I’d like.
Being as fussy as I am with design, I wouldn’t settle on just any bra that would fit. It’s almost as if I have an allergy to beige t-shirt bras. Thus began my first lingerie problem – rationing. With my first properly fitting lingerie purchase, my entire budget was blown on three expensive but exquisite bras. I was forced to wear them on a very strict rotation with A LOT of washing. With so much difficulty in finding affordable brands with designs I liked, I simply gave up and tried to do the best with what I had.
Unfortunately, this is what led to my very first lingerie ‘sin’. Understandably, I began to grow tired of the same three designs. I consequently began to let my standards slip: I started to compromise on fit.
Unable to find a size 30 in any of my favourite designs, I simply began to buy a size 32. Obviously, whilst not ideal, this opened up a world of possibilities – I could find an ‘adequate’ size absolutely everywhere. My coveting of pretty designs was no longer such a problem; I could pop into any high street shop and buy some pretty frilly things that I could at least occasionally wear!
But then came the sales. Sales are my only real chance to indulge in my penchant for luxury lingerie: the designs that I so covet but could not normally dream of affording. Brands such as Bordelle, Lascivious and Aubade are most certainly not within a student’s budget in ordinary circumstances.
Nor is it possible to find adequate and affordable high street ‘replicas’ of their designs. I don’t deny the fact that I am a complete design-centric snob; if the smallest details aren’t quite right I will immediately look down on that piece of lingerie. So often in high-street designs, it is obvious that they skimp on certain materials such as lace to save money, often ruining the piece in my eyes.
So with my covetous nature, what choice do I have at a warehouse sale when Aubade’s Envoutante Esquisse Sublim’Up Bra (that I’d been drooling over quite some time) turns up at £15? Who cares if it’s two sizes too big! Once I get it home I can always unpick and resew until it doesn’t look utterly ridiculous on my body. The opportunity to own such a work of art knocks out any sensible or logical thought out of my head immediately. I don’t consider whether I will ever wear the piece in question, only that I can finally count it as mine.
In some way, I am able to justify these utterly ridiculous purchases; as a lingerie student I can somewhat tenuously say that the unwearable pieces I constantly add to my collection are ‘research’. Inevitably, I have ended up with drawers full of bras and knickers in completely the wrong size that seem to be gathering dust. Yet I wouldn’t part with them for the world; I consider each of them works of art within their own right. I remain curious what the future holds for my shopping habits. I hope that one day I’ll be capable of having some restraint and using logic – after all, it’s not possible to live off lingerie alone!
Readers: what are your lingerie shopping habits like? Are you sensible and only buy things with a perfect fit, or utterly ridiculous like myself?