“These are for special occasions,” I would say to myself when I’ve sauntered through the lingerie departments a few years back. Even next to the hotel I’ve stayed at in Boston stands a luxury brand that has bra and panty sets that can set you back several hundreds of dollars. How can that be for such minimal and tiny pieces of lace or silk? I’ve gone in probably at least a dozen times just to touch them and would swoon. I could never convince myself that I could (or should) spend that kind of money on something that is hidden away. Plus, as much as I think I’m a badass sometimes, I’m like many women who are self conscious about they way they look in underthings.
Then I was schooled about French lingerie and “someone” was very happy about that. I had spent some time getting to know Simone Pérèle, a lingerie brand from France and gained my confidence back. I was literally sized up by an expert fitter who was able to explain what type of styles suit me best. Yes, it’s confusing. Demi’s? Semi’s? Racer back? Full coverage? Less coverage? Wires? Padded? No…I don’t need padded. Tried that before and it just was too much. I think.
“I think you’d feel great all day in this style,” said the woman with the French accent as she selected something from collection all tucked nicely on the countertop. I gulped as I looked at the black lacy number she held up in front of me. “It’s pretty uh…sexy,” I replied. “Are you sure this can be for everyday too? I mean, not that I would wear it everyday but I don’t know that I can have a day and night collection necessarily.” I explained that I’ve tried doing lacy things and they just haven’t held (me) up or they were pretty but also pretty uncomfortable.
“Why not? Just try and see how you feel. Trust me,” she said.
She was right. I stood in the luxurious hotel suite in the SoHo Metropolitan Hotel where the fittings took place. I remember looking at the mirrors around the room and catching myself turning in all directions to look at every possible angle. No other bras I’ve had in the past held my attention because in reality, I was usually buying for function and not paying attention to details. I could sense the fitter knew this from the looks of the bra I wore in to the fitting.
She knocked on the door to ask how I felt in this style. Noted.
She didn’t ask me how was the bra…she asked me how I felt in the bra.
I was surprised that something that looked so delicate looking could be so comfortable. That’s what the House of Simone Pérèle is known for. The craftsmanship on each piece is well thought out. The company has been around since 1948 when Madame Pérèle opened her first shop in Paris. I learned that every item in the line is made with very fine attention to detail. From hooks, inlays, bindings there are 25 different components necessary in making one of their bras. Madame Pérèle recognized the needs of women and different silhouettes and created a fashionable lingerie line that was both elegant and comfortable and the line continues to be one of the most popular amongst women around the world today.
Standing in the room with the lacy number on, the fitter made sure it was the right size. Explained the cut and what I should always look for when I’m trying on bras. Most important for me was the gape in between the front. It should never gape. The fabric should always rest comfortable against the skin for a proper fit.
She encouraged me to try on a few other styles but my eye drew back to the first one she chose for me. I said “a most definite yes” and was sent on my way with a pretty ribboned bag. Actually, I wore the bra right out of the fitting and tossed my old one in the trash since it did nothing for me.
But this one? This one made me feel more confident all day long and a little more daring. No one else needs to know that but me.
A couple weeks later I headed straight to one of the retailers in the city to purchase a few more. Five more to be exact and prices were not as outrageous once I understood the quality of the work and materials as well as the designs. By the way, the sales person was also well trained to ensure the fit and cut was right for my shape. I was amazed at how much time she spent with me even though I had mentioned that I was already recently sized. But according to her, and the Simone Pérèle reps, we should always just check at least once a year.
I also returned to meet their one of their designers a few months later to preview what’s coming this fall and holiday seasons and learned that Simone Pérèle has been named the winner of the 2017 Creator of the Year award for international lingerie brands. I can’t wait for the collections to come in stores. I’ve got my eye on their Haute Couture collection inspired by French design houses including YSL.