My body confidence is crap.
I’m 5ft 11. I’m a size 20. I have big boobs that, after three children, are no longer nice and perky. Those three things combined makes it really hard sometimes to feel good about myself. I don’t always feel particularly feminine, even though I am, and I feel fat and frumpy in pretty much whatever I wear.
Stay with me…this isn’t a pity party!
A couple of weeks ago, I was bridesmaid for my now sister in law and I wanted it to be like when I was a bridesmaid for my other sister-in-law last year. It was one of the few times in my life I’ve felt beautiful. I wore a gorgeous dress, my hair was lovely and my makeup was perfect. I didn’t feel fat or frumpy. I didn’t feel like a 31-year-old overweight mom of three. I felt like Rachel. I was a bit worried on the run-up to this wedding. I’ve put on some weight – not a lot, but enough to tip me from feeling okay about myself to feeling a bit ‘meh’. It was probably going to be the last time I am ever a bridesmaid, and I wanted to soak up the day and remember it for the right reasons.
That’s where good, high-quality underwear comes in.
I’d always under-estimated the importance of good underwear. To me, it was always something I had to wear under my clothes. I didn’t really think about how it could make a difference to the way my clothes looked. Now, I realise that a good bra and a pair of ‘sucky-in’ pants can make a huge difference. That’s where UK Lingerie comes in.
I opted for the Maidenform Tummy Solutions Curvy Hi-Waist Brief (£39) in body beige. My bridesmaid dress was a sort of pale gold colour, so I wanted something that wouldn’t show through my dress. As far as control underwear goes, it looked quite pretty on the website. My only problem lay with the sizing. They start at X-Large and go up to 4XL. There’s no guide to tell you what the equivalent dress size in. Being a size 20, I’m usually towards the larger end of these, so I risked it and went for a 4XL.
When they arrived, the equivalent dress sizes were on the hanger, and it turned out that the 4XL was a size 26-28 so was obviously too big. They are big pants anyway, covering from bum to just under the boobs, so I thought I’d try them anyway.
Control pants are meant to hold you in and I guess that means they need to feel a little snug. These didn’t feel snug at all because of getting the wrong size, and my god, they are comfortable. REALLY comfortable. The downside to that is that they don’t really seem to hold me in, not in the way that I expected. However, they have smoothed my ‘love handles’ slightly, so I was pretty pleased with that. I think had I had the correct size, these would have been absolutely brilliant. Still, I’ve ended up with a very comfortable pair of pants! I’m not going to show you a picture in said pants, but as far as control pants go, they’re quite pretty.
Let’s talk about the bra – the Felina Conturelle Solid Memory Soft Bra (£39). I knew that for the wedding, I wanted a nude seamless bra that gave me some support whilst being comfortable at the same time. This ticks all of those boxes! The dress was quite clingy around my boobs, and the bra gave me a good, smooth look. I was wearing it all day, from 6am, and had a lot of food and drink (oh hello lovely three-course meal and gourmet burger bar and lots of prosecco) and it felt just as comfortable when I whipped it off at 1am! I’ve not owned many bras where I can wear them that long without getting annoyed. In terms of sizing, I think it was pretty spot on. I ordered my usual 38D and it felt like it fitted perfectly.
I really like the UK lingerie site. Being a bigger girl, the choices are much more limited for me, but that’s pretty normal anyway. The only thing I would like to see is a bit more information about sizing, as with some of the things, there was an element of guessing. Other than that, it’s great and I will use again.
*I was given £100 to spend on the UK Lingerie site. All thoughts and words are my own and have not been influenced in any way.