Friday, 8 July 2016

Soft, strong and very very long … underwear, not toilet roll!

Let’s start with the strong - three British female athletes have taken part in a lingerie shoot to ‘empower young women’. The three, Bryony Shaw (windsurfer), Amber Hill (skeet shooter) and Paralympic long jumper Stefanie Reid, are involved in a campaign to keep girls doing sport after the age of 13. Research has shown that this is the key age at which girls often give up sports and that they do so because of issues around their bodies.



The aim of the photographs is to reveal how strong and powerful bodies are also beautiful and to encourage long women not to feel ashamed of being physically strong. Bryony Shaw, a bronze medallist in Beijing an the current European champion says act she hid her body at school because she was worried other children would say she looked like a boy.

While we think that the intention is good, we can’t help feeling that photographs of three strong and superbly fit young women are unlikely to achieve the stated aim. While fearing getting too muscular might demotivate some teenage girls from sporting exercise, we think that many more young women feel they are too fat and too ‘flabby’ to reveal their figures - and being shown how toned and slim female athletes can be won’t do much for their self image. If one of the three had been from a different sport, perhaps shot-putting or the hammer, it might have given a wider range of body types with which more of us could have identified.

We’re very taken with Amber Hill’s outfit in this shoot though … we went hunting through our own stock to see what would look just as good on somebody who wasn’t a sporting superstar and we came up with the Charlotte set with its lovely half bra which is flattering in all sizes.

So, soft and long … how to conserve your underwear


Underwear is always soft when we get it - utterly wonderful against the skin, but all too often we find that after a while it’s no longer so soft and doesn’t always last as long as we’d like. So what can we do to preserve the quality and length of our new lingerie?

Rotate your undies


Both bras and knickers need a regular rest - this is because the elastic in underwear needs a day or so to get back to its designed shape - if you wear something and then give it a couple of days off duty, it will hold its shape better for longer.

 Wash with care


Use gentle detergent, preferably a liquid wash. Some powders can contain agents that are too aggressive for the fragile fabrics from which lingerie is made and biological washes can contain strong chemicals that dry out elastic and flatten the gentle weave of silks and satins. Hand washing is also highly recommended - but if you do need to machine wash, close clasps on suspenders and hook up bras before putting them in a lingerie bag or even a cotton pillowcase before putting them in the washing machine. This ensures that your underwear isn’t beaten about by other garments and that hooks and clasps don’t catch on other fabrics and get stretched.

Dry outdoors


Wherever possible line dry your lingerie - tumble drying destroys the careful construction of underwear, especially where underwires are concerned and can degrade elasticated areas of the garment causing sags that make it less nice to wear.


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