Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Style Maven: Lingerie

There may be a chance today or tomorrow, as you wend your last weary way around an overheated store, to take a break from the selfishness of other people's gifting requirements and make for the lingerie department.

I would recommend it. While fashion floors often send me into a tizz of horrid, materialistic covetousness, lingerie departments soothe me. Although I have to admit I've never tried one on Christmas Eve, so forgive me if I'm dispatching you into the seventh circle of hell.

Normally, though, there is something calming in rows of silky bras and knickers. Dropping into M&S to purchase a multipack of skin-toned seamless knickers (swear by them) is to me the equivalent of a cup of camomile tea and a rose-scented bath. Bliss.

Selfridges is where I have traditionally gone for a more luxurious lingerie experience. I love that place. It's like a library of underwear, a line-up of classics (La Perla), bestsellers (Elle Macpherson), bonkbusters (Agent Provocateur) and my personal favourites of long standing: Stella McCartney and Simone Perele.

IN PICTURES: The star-studded lingerie London Gala

New underwear for Christmas Day is a great idea. How nice to have something new and silky under your snowflake jumper or a good bit of flattering shapewear beneath your sequinned pencil skirt. And you still have time to drop a lingerie hint to a male loved one, who might possibly have left this particular errand until the last minute in order, I'm sure, simply to maximise research time.

If such a male happens to be reading this, I would encourage him to err on the side of classic; the wrong kind of sexy is really wrong. My tips, for what they're worth, are: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's collection for M&S - pretty and vintage-inspired in an impressive range of sizes. Simone Perele because it's French and the fit is amazing.

Fleur of England, available in department stores and boutiques dotted across the country, for beautiful camisoles. And Stella McCartney because it's the most modern, feminine lingerie out there and whenever a woman sees the label she feels champagne bubbles of excitement. Even if she had to buy it herself.

From left top: Stretch Chantilly-lace bra, £79.95, and knickers, £49.95, by Simone Perele, from Rigby & Peller (0845 076 5545), Nylon, cotton and elastane body, £155, by Wolford (020 7529 3000), Silk-mix bra, £22.50, and knickers, £12.50, by Rosie for Autograph


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