A gentlemans guide to buying the gift of lingerie

Christmas can be a daunting time for some men, particularly those wanting to give the gift of lingerie but avoid all of the awkwardness or embarrassing moments of visiting that department store and being spotted, or the impersonal service of the assistant with little knowledge of bra fitting, styles, structure, trends or just generally what is appropriate for the women he is buying for.

Even worse….will she like it? Will it fit? Will it offend her? Will he be having Christmas lunch wondering whether she is thinking of returning it, disappointed at his lack of attention?  Of course, this goes for anytime of the year but in the boutique I spend a lot of the month of December helping guys choose the right gift for their partners.

Whilst most men do have a pretty good idea of what THEY are looking for in a gift will it be what the recipient of that gift is looking for be a piece of lingerie for special outfits or occasions or simply a good everyday set that believe it or not guys is equally well received so long as it is a considered and researched purchase.

So before you call in to the boutique please ensure you have done a bit a groundwork and you have to hand the following information (this will mean a bit of snooping about I am afraid):

  1. What size does she usually wear? By this I mean there may be several different size bras in her drawer.  Try and find the most common size and also, don’t forget to check the brief size too.  No women wants just a bra it has to be a matching set if it is a gift!
  2. What UK dress size does she wear? If I have not fitted a woman previously it is better to be able to work out what size she will be wearing in the brands from the boutique if I know her UK dress size.  All brands fit differently and therefore you should never take for granted she is just one size across the board.
  3. What style bra and briefs does she like to wear? This is VITAL information.  There is absolutely no point in buying a pink lacey bra and thong if she usually wears a black t-shirt style bra and rio brief.  Go for the type of style she likes and she will thank you for a thoughtful choice.

There is plenty of choice in the ranges and lots of stock sizes however do not leave it too late!

Finally, if you are still not sure on the lingerie purchase there is a whole host of other options in the nightwear, silks, pyjamas, slippers, gowns and fragrance all also gift wrapped or boxed or if you really cannot decide there is a gift voucher of any denomination which is as much a thoughtful present as it shows you are thinking of her.


How to care for your swimwear


Good swimwear is an investment but is so worthwhile to give you the confidence to look your very best whilst you are on holiday. I completely advocate the benefit of having one or two quality one or two pieces and matching cover up when you are going away.

If you are only wearing these pieces for a few weeks a year then you can expect quality to last for several years. With this in mind ladies often ask how to keep their swimwear looking its best because even in this time the exposure to sunlight, swimming pool chemicals, seawater, sun cream and sweat so here are my top 5 tips to making sure your swimwear always looks its best so you do too!

Tip 1: Rinse! After you swim, immediately rinse your bikini or swimsuit in cold or lukewarm water to remove any harmful substances.

Tip 2: Check the care instructions on the label. Not all fabrics can be machine-washed. Regardless of what the label says, I always recommend washing swimwear by hand. Use cold or lukewarm water and a gentle detergent. Never leave your bikini or swimsuit to soak; you should rinse it immediately.

Tip 3: Once your bikini or swimwear has been washed, do not wring it out. This can damage the fibres and the elasticity of the fabric. What should you do instead? Lay swimwear out flat and allow to air dry. Never leave to dry in direct sunlight, as this can cause discoloration, and never tumble-dry, as it can damage the fabric.

Tip 4: Don’t buy swimwear too small. This can put extra tension on the fabric and cause it to stretch out more quickly.

Tip 5: When it comes to swimwear, premium materials are important. High-quality Lycra is thicker and more resistant to sun, seawater, and chlorine. Opt for high-quality swimwear.

Doing all these things will absolutely save you from looking for swimwear every year and less swimwear, higher quality means less time for you, greater benefit for the planet too!

6 Top tips for a well fitted Bra

So….here are my 6 top tips for checking you have the perfect fitting bra. Remember, when the bra is fitting correctly and is the right size and style for you, you should not feel like you are wearing a bra!!


  1. The band

The back band is responsible for up to 80% of a bra’s support, although the number differs from brand to brand due to design differences. For women with a larger cup size, it’s even more important to find a sturdy band. If it rides up, you may need to size down. If it digs in, you may need to size up.  Breast tissue is heavy and obviously the more generous the cup size the more weight a women is carrying on her front.

Tip: Fasten your bra on the loosest hook and see if you can fit three fingers under the clasp. If you can and if the band stays parallel to the floor, you’ve found the right band size. An easy way to check whether the band fits snugly is to lift your arms above your head. If your bra stays put, your band is tight enough. If it rides up, your band is too loose.

  1. The underwire

The underwire should lie flat against your sternum (chest bone), without digging in. If it bounces back when you press on it, the cups are probably too small. The underwire should also encapsulate the breast tissue completely with no poking or pinching.

  1. The centre gore

The strip of fabric that connects the cups is called the gore of the bra. For a perfect fit, the centre gore should also lie flat against the sternum (chest bone). If it doesn’t and if the underwire lifts away from the body, either size up or try a different bra style that better suits the shape of your breasts.

  1. The cups

The fit of the cups determines the comfort and look of your bra. To find out if you’re wearing the right cup size, check to see whether your entire breasts are inside the cups. If there’s any spillage on the top or the sides, try a larger cup size with the same band size. If the cups are gaping or wrinkling, try a smaller cup size or a different bra style.

Make sure the fabric on the cups offers the right support. Fabric with a lot of stretch doesn’t offer enough support with frequent wear.

  1. The straps

Tightening your bra straps will help lift your breasts but will not give proper support. Straps that pinch or dig in are extremely uncomfortable and can even cause pain or poor posture in the long run. Bra straps only account for roughly 10% of the support in your bra. The back band and the centre gore do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to support.

Tip: Adjust the straps until you can fit two fingers between the strap and your shoulder.

  1. How does it feel?

The final and most important check; always my last question in the fitting room is ‘how does your bra feel?’ Even if you’ve found the perfect size, how a bra feels is the most important test. You may feel more comfortable in a bra with more coverage or in a more revealing style made from lighter materials. Trying on lingerie is like trying on new shoes; The right size is important, but so is the fit, the material, and the overall look!

A PrimaDonna well fitted bra

The real benefits of a well fitted bra

In the boutique I dedicate all my time to championing the benefits of a well fitted bra to women of all ages.  I am passionate about getting every woman who visits me into the best fitting bra for her and educating her on what to look for when trying on a bra, the key indicators of a well fitted bra, the importance of a well fitted bra and more over the comfort and support it brings which in turn gives confidence and a sense of well-being.


There are several benefits some not even considered when wearing lingerie that does exactly as it should when fitted correctly which include, comfort and support, confidence and well-fitting clothes, alleviation of neck and shoulder pain due to lack of support. There is scientific evidence produced that suggests a woman wearing anything E cup and over is at risk of curvature of the spine.


The question of why it is important to invest in good quality lingerie is also asked which for me is quite simple; a bra is an investment piece in yourself not a fashion garment.  Not only will a high-quality bra give you excellent support and comfort, but it will also give you a lift (our female bodies change over time, and we all need a little lift) that ensures that your clothes hang properly from the shoulder seams bringing a more flattering silhouette by slimming the waist and elongating the spine.


The investment in a well made bra which may cost 2 or even 3 times the price of a High Street garment will long term be a savvier choice as cost per wear for the life of a bra.  I am an absolute advocate that you do not need a lot, you just need the right things.  My advice is that you only need 2 minimum, 3 maximum everyday bras.  If you follow the washing instructions and take care of your investment even if you are wearing your bra 3 or 4 days a week and washing it every couple of days in between, you may expect at least 3 years wear out of your bra.  3 years!!!  Help save the planet and buy less bras!


Of course it is important to get re-fitted every couple of years to check that you have not changed size and due to hormonal changes, stress, weight-gain, weight-loss, breast-feeding, the menopause and so many other factors this is always a possibility.  I would certainly deter anyone from using an online calculator in an attempt to determine their bra size as all brand designs and cuts differently.  It also usually involves a tape measure. When fitting a bra the fitter is looking at the volume of breast tissue and where it sits on your frame.  Every woman is unique and as such I am assessing size, style and lifestyle during your appointment.

I am a proud stockist of all of my brands having spent over 10 years sourcing, learning and fitting the iconic ranges and seasonal collections they produce and having also been fortunate enough to visit some of the European factories to see the production first hand which gives me a better understanding of the ranges available. From new product design, sourcing materials, to the cutting room, sewing, quality assurance, packing and dispatch the whole process is phenomenal and the amount of hands-on work and quality checking on each garment is remarkable.

A well fitted bra can quite literally be life-changing!

If you wish to make an appointment, then please use the booking system on this website or call the boutique on 01302 719292.