Yesterday, Selfridges launched a massive new destination department – for lingerie, swim, sportswear, loungewear and hosiery – and I couldn’t resist a visit on the opening day so booked myself in for a bra fitting after work. The Body Studio is based on the third floor of its Oxford Street store and, as reported in trade journal Lingerie Insight:
It transforms Selfridges’ former head office space into retail – revealing an unseen part of the store to customers for the first time. This unique shopping destination will put bodywear at the forefront of consumers’ minds. No longer will it be an add-on sales item purchased as an accessory to outwear; the Studio will firmly establish this fashion category as important first step in the shopping journey.
But does it live up to the hype? On my arrival at The Body Studio, I was greeted by what appeared to be an oasis of calm. Thanks to a combination of lighter evenings and plenty of windows, natural light flooded into the space and there was lots of room to walk around and browse, with each section of the department well signposted and every brand clearly labelled. If you’re like me and can’t afford the vast majority of what Selfridges offer, being able to see the brand names from a distance is a massive help as you can often prepare yourself in advance for how many digits you’re likely to see when you turn over the price label on something you like! A couple of luxury lingerie brands have their own boutique-like areas – Agent Provocateur and La Perla – and the Fit Studio was easy to find for my appointment. So far so good.
I was greeted warmly at the counter and then shown to a cozy well-lit changing room by a lovely fitter called Eeeva. She asked me about why I’d booked an appointment – basically, as a way to discover which of their brands came in my size and to try a few with an expert on hand – and also asked what size I was currently wearing (32F). She then returned with a Panache bra in that size, in a beautiful floral print which perfectly matched what I was wearing, and waited while I tried it on so she could check the fit. Eeeva then checked that the band was sitting horizontally, that the underwires were flat against my ribcage and not squashing any breast tissue, that the straps were adjusted correctly and that the cups didn’t have any wrinkles in. There was a slight wrinkling at the bottom, due to the weight of my breasts being slightly higher than the bra is designed for, but not enough to spoil the look or the level of support. I was very pleased that this was indeed a proper bra fitting – not a tape measure in sight!
Next, Eeeva went to get me a selection in the same size from different brands. She returned with bras from Panache, Fantasie and three styles from Adina Reay, a brand that was new to both Selfridges and to me. The fit was good on most of these, with slight and expected differences depending on the style and the cut, and I made sure I showed her the gorgeous Adina Reay ‘Jean’ style, with its lace keyhole back as she had told me she’d not yet seen the brand on anyone during a fitting. A second haul from the shop floor brought me styles from Wacoal, Chantelle and more Adina Reay, including ‘Jean’ in a stunning magenta colourway. The comfort of the Chantelle t-shirt bras meant they will definitely be a go-to brand once my basics have seen better days, but by far the best bra I tried on was something much less sensible. If you’d told me that I’d fall in love with a sheer tulle bra, I’d have said you were talking to the wrong person, but the gorgeous Adina Reay ‘Fran‘ won my heart and I decided to treat myself. (She’s rather more revealing than the nipple-less photos on the Selfridges website and Instagram would have you believe though, so you won’t be getting any photos from me here.)
On a peaceful Monday evening, The Body Studio was indeed the perfect destination for beautiful bodywear. As well as all the undies, swimwear, activewear and lounge/nightwear any fashion lover could want, there’s also a healthy little cafe and a hair salon, should you feel the need for the full body experience. As I descended the escalator back to the ground floor, I spotted a huge promotional image of a curvy model wearing the bra I’d just purchased… along with some matching high-waisted suspender briefs. Maybe I need to return for another visit?