I’VE never been one to ‘do’ good underwear. Nightwear neither, nor loungewear. (Not even when I walk to the local Spar.) Instead, I have to admit to sleeping in old tee-shirts that are close to extinction, and schlepping around the house in wholly unattractive saggy-bottomed trackie pants, a vision of true loveliness.
The problem, as I see it, is that I tend to squander all my disposable income on things I can leave the house in; to me it seems extraordinarily lavish to invest in ‘what lies beneath’, the stuff that no one but you and your nearest and dearest will ever see. Because surely cost per sighting becomes ridiculously high if you spend more than a tenner? And I guess I’ve always associated the ownership of good underwear and nightwear with maturity. Grown-up-ism.
But I am vowing, here and now, to become a grown-up. To grow up. And maybe even buy some pretty stuff to wear under my clothes. It is, after all, almost New Year, the ideal time to make a pact and stick to it. So first stop, good old Marks & Spencer (M&S from here on), who have seduced me with their whimsical Christmas ads featuring the magnificent Rosie Huntingdon-Whitely (RHW) in a vast range of lovely knickers and bras.
And huzzah for RHW. Not only does she look damn fine in the underwear, she also designed it. She is not just the body, but the brains and creative talent too, behind M&S’s new Rosie for Autograph range. And it’s actually pretty fabulous. The collection has lots going for it, and it’s not all ‘in-your-face-menfolk’ balconette bras and tiny thongs. The collection includes great pyjamas, dressing gowns, wraps and loungewear in luxurious fabrics like silk, satin and cashmere. Which all means that you can shop for the you you’d like to be…
…As well as the you you really are.
Top:Above: Rosie For Autograph Rose Print Silk Padded Plunge A-E Bra with French Designed Rose Lace, €35; and Silk Brazilian Knickers with French Designed Rose Lace, €17. Above: Rosie For Autograph Backless Jumper with Angora, €49; and cuffed pyjama pants, €27.
Price-wise, the range is higher than normal but not by a long shot – making it perfect fodder for gifts. The silk pyjamas (€125) are amazing, and who wouldn’t feel happier starting and ending each day swathed in silk?
Similarly, the cashmere wraps just scream luxury and come in two lengths – short, price €210 or long, price €279.
And in terms of more ‘real-world’ purchases, the jersey tee-shirts (€19.50) and cuffed pajama bottoms (€27) are perfect – really good quality (as we’ve all come to expect from M&S lingerie) and utterly practical despite their luxurious feel. And not in the least bit embarrassing to be seen in.
Because let’s face it. Most of us will receive sleepwear or underwear, of some form, in our Christmas stockings. It’s an unshakeable tradition in a lot of Irish households. So get in there quick and make mention of RHW and you might just manage to avoid the inevitable onesie or three-pack of thermal vests.