Pre-baby I always rather liked my breasts. Small, pert, they didn’t get in the way. Ok, there was no big cleavage, but with the aid of a padded bra and maybe a bit of bronzing powder in the right direction (on a night out), I created the illusion of one. During pregnancy I welcomed my developing décolletage, it was an interesting experiment to see whether I liked having bigg(ish) breasts. I did. Very much. Post baby, once the breastfeeding had settled, and I’d passed the throbbing, engorged stage, I was quite delighted with my new assets. One (actually, two) of the great perks of new motherhood. If truth were told, I also felt quite smug as well. Even at their biggest my lactating mammaries were only a DD cup. I deluded myself that post breastfeeding, they would just spring back like little elastic bands to their old A cup shape.
How wrong I was. Even the smallest breasts can drop. Having small breasts located nearer to your belly button than your neck looks rather odd. And because they’re small, it means it’s harder to prop them up – mainly because there isn’t really much there to ‘prop up’ in the first place.
I breastfed Little Pip for a year. When I finally stopped, it took about five weeks for my beauties to shrink to their final size. They were like two withered little peaches. Yet, it wasn’t really how they looked naked that bothered me, it was the fact that whatever I wore, I felt like a boy. I literally went straight up and down, like a board. Suddenly I was not so enamoured with my post pregnancy body.
Some of the mummy friends urged me that surgery would make everything wonderful again. Two of them had recently had ‘natural’ breast enhancements, and although I looked at their breasts with a little envy, surgery was not for me. Instead, on the advice of a friend, I booked myself an appointment at Rigby & Peller.
For those not in the know, Rigby & Peller have a royal warrant. They are ‘over the shoulder boulder holder’ suppliers, (and probably all manner of other undergarments), to Her Majesty, the Queen. Their fittings are ‘by appointment only’.
I visited their new shop in Westfield (although if you want to be like the Queen, go to the Mayfair store). This is a shop where most stock items aren’t on display. There are a few choice, beautiful items featured on tasteful hangers, and then many rows of white drawers. You cannot go in and rummage around, M&S style - you have to wait to be helped. Slightly old fashioned really, but really rather special with it.
The fitter (a lovely lady called Sylvia) showed me to a room with a sumptuous purple, velvet curtain. We had a small chat, where I checked they did actually stock ‘small’ bras, and she confirmed, indeed they did. I was then told to remove the clothes from my upper body and handed a black silk robe, and she left.
In the intervening minutes, I went through a whole weird, ‘I’m like Mr Ben: I’m semi naked, with black silky number on, behind a purple curtain, what would life be like as a burlesque girl?’ moment. However, the daydream was interrupted when the curtain drew back again, and I was asked to remove the slinky robe. And there I was, displayed in all my smallness.
One of Rigby & Peller’s unique selling points is that they don’t measure customers with a tape measure. They claim that their fitters are so experienced that they can tell just from looking at a woman’s breasts, the size and style of bra that will suit you. With black silk robe on again, Syliva left me, taking a mental photograph of my breasts with her, as she went to look through white drawer upon white drawer. Then she returned, with a few bras in various styles and sizes to try on. Another interesting observation, it was rather like she was choosing the bra. ‘ No, I’m not happy with that’, ‘No, I don’t like that’. But to be fair, she was right each time.
Then we found it. The one. The holy grail of bras. A Rolls Royce of a bra with AIRBAGS.
It’s actually very pretty. Inside, are two discreet little puffy pockets, filled with air, that sit in the hollow problem area – the underside of the bust, and push upwards to create…a cleavage. It’s very comfortable too.
I tried my clothes on over the top. I looked like I’d had a boob job – fantastic!
There’s always a catch, isn’t there?
The price tag. Not quite so pleasing. Sixty nine English pounds. Gulp! I have never spent that much money on a bra in my life. But actually, it was significantly cheaper than a boob job, and as nearly boob jobs go, it’s been brilliant. In fact, I actually think it’s turned out to be quite good value.
*This is not a review. I have no connection to Rigby and Peller. I can only wish that they had given me the bra to write this, but alas, not. I paid for it. In case you are wondering, it is the bra pictured above. The very wonderful Simone Perele Nina Bra (with airpads.)*