Wednesday 31 December 2014

New Year’s Lingerie Resolutions - keep it safe, keep it clean and how to deal with unwanted Christmas underwear!

Lingerie needs security in China

The story of how one Chinese underwear nabber was foiled by the sheer volume of lingerie he’d pilfered might look like a surprising one-off, but we know better! This particular knicker thief, named only as Tan, lives in the Guangxi region. He used a master key to break into neighbouring flats and steal underwear which he then stashed under the acoustic tiles in corridors and stairways in the building he inhabited. Eventually there were so many items in his hoard that a ceiling tile collapsed, strewing underwear sets down a stairway, and leading to the police being involved. The cache was so huge that police officers carried it downstairs and laid it out on the pavement outside the building … more than 2,000 sets of women’s underwear were extracted from the building’s ceiling areas.

The man concerned has admitted that he may have a mental illness and says he cannot recall when his obsession with stealing underwear began. But he’s not an isolated incident. In Hubei a man has been charged with stealing women’s lingerie to wear himself and in Zhejiang province a man was arrested for stealing 17 pairs of women’s knickers in a single day!

Dirty undies taken to a whole new level

Undercover reporters in New Jersey, USA, have been investigating what major stores do with returned underwear. And it’s not nice! The team bought lingerie from Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s Marshalls, Nordstrom, The Gap, Victoria’s Secret and Wal-Mart, then removed all the tags that suggested the garment was unworn and put tiny black dots on the manufacturer’s labels so they could identify items they’d previously purchased. They then returned the garments to the stores. And …

Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s, Nordstrom and The Gap made the returned goods vanish - they simply didn't reappear on the shop floor. But at Marshall’s and Victoria’s Secret underwear and swimsuits that had been purchased had new tags put on them and were put straight back on the shop floor. What’s even worse is that the swimsuit had its protective liner removed, making it completely clear that the item was not brand new. Still the Marshall’s staff put it back out for sale. And at Wal-Mart, even though one of the sales team actually questioned whether the underwear should be redisplayed, it was! The companies went on to admit their failings and said they would re-educate their staff.

How to deal with the wrong lingerie!

It’s such a disappointment when we’ve dropped all those hints and yet we get given something … unfortunate, for Christmas. Lingerie in the wrong size, the wrong colour or just inappropriate for our personalities - most women have had experience of this at one time or another. So how do you deal with it? First, don’t drop hints! We got quite explicit with our lingerie lists this year - one of us even bookmarked the Shirley of Hollywood black corset she wanted on her partner’s laptop.

Stuck with something unsuitable, our suggestion is to be honest but tactful and to ask about exchange policies. For example, “Darling, that basque is lovely but it’s just a bit too big/small/shows under my favourite dress - does the retailer have an exchange policy? I’d just love to get something that fits better/
works with the dress you bought me last year/looks right under that low cut top you love so much.”

The truth is that nobody is going to look or feel great underwear that doesn’t fit or feels uncomfortable, and your partner didn’t intend to get you something that doesn’t work for you, so a frank but loving question, followed by a swift exchange of garments, is the best possible result. We have a generous and clear returns policy for this very reason … and it’s one reason our clients come back to us time and again.

But suppose the item isn’t returnable or exchangeable for some reason? One of the team has the best story, although it takes quite a bit of nerve to carry it off. Given a rather scratchy and too tight thong by her then fiancee, and discovering it couldn’t be exchanged, she went out for lunch with him at a posh restaurant. “Guess what I’m wearing,” she whispered to him, and then told him. Just before their desserts arrived, she went to the ladies and when she returned, whispered again … “Guess what I’m not wearing any more…” Sure enough, her thrilled partner guessed she was not sporting the thong and when they got home and he found out for sure that she was naked under her dress, he was so delighted by her naughtiness that her apology, a couple of weeks later, that she must have dropped the thong from her bag after taking it off, more than made up for never seeing the offending garment again!

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