The lingerie minefield

*Pastel blue bra and bright orange cami set – both B by Ted Baker via Debenham’s

How complex an issue lingerie is. Bridget Jones neatly surmised the struggle (as she so often does) when she considered the pros and cons of Spanx vs. thong: greatly increase chance of reaching crucial moment by wearing the former, or be akin to sex Goddess at crucial moment by opting for the latter? The struggle, as they say, is real. What the fuck does one wear when confronted with a backless, sweetheart, strapless, upside down monstrosity of a dress? Will it look embarrassingly forward-thinking if I wear matching lingerie on a date? And – god forbid – will his anaconda want none if my knickers don’t enhance my buns?

Girl world is fraught with such thorny situations as these; a minefield of sorts (if the fields were shop floors and the mines lacy.) None however, are so treacherous as the fit of one’s bra. When I reached puberty and sprouted Fergie-dubbed ‘lady lumps’, no one told me I’d need a degree in biology to find a bra that fitted right. In 2014, the Bible (WWD) reported that so complex an issue the bra fit really is, that 64% of the 10,000 women they surveyed were wearing the wrong size. I don’t think anyone was that surprised; minds immediately jumped to their elderly neighbour or their curiously tri-boobed old school teacher. But did they consider themselves? I for one, did not. Besides the fact that I don’t really wear bras, (because life is too short to be trussed up everyday) when I did wear them, I was convinced I was in the right size. I’m not entirely sure why this is. I would know, for instance, if my skinny jeans were too tight or my A-line skirt too baggy. I would know and I would diet/belt accordingly. So what is it about the bra that made me so complacent?

I would love to give a well-considered answer to the obliviousness of the 64%, but I may as well attempt to expound dark matter. What I can tell you though, is that Debenhams do a free bra fitting service and that it will probably change, if not your whole life, the contents of your underwear drawer.

People of the UK According To The Adverts

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Do you think foreigners judge us by our adverts? I only ask, because when I first went to the USA I thought that it was normal for people to take lots and lots of prescribed drugs while simultaneously inhaling cheap and cheerful burgers. The fact that you’re probably thinking ‘well they do’ is testament to the sheer power of advertising’s generalisations. If we think that all Americans are fat and high on Xanax, then how on earth do they envisage us? As boring and curiously stimulated by the idea of a new sofa, probably.

Here is a list I compiled of many other ways the good old people of Blighty are presented to behave by their advertising agencies.

50+ year olds

When not urinating themselves or struggling to ejaculate, adults over the age of fifty enjoy cruise holidays with Rob Brydon. They like yoga, impromptu salsa classes in the middle of cafes, and embarrassing their adult children by sniffing theatrically whenever the Glade plug in squirts. 50+ women always have self-effacing curly hair and friendly crinkled eyes. Men aged 50 and over have gone – with no exceptions –  a little or entirely grey. All adults over the half-a-decade mark are awaiting death.


Everyone who owns a car invariably moves near a mountain and ensures that any destination they may need to reach is situated somewhere upon said summit. Occasionally, a car owner will move to a city, but only one in which no one else has ever seen a car. No one driver is ever within sight of another. Car owners are irresistibly drawn towards hobbies that involve sizeable and/or bizarrely shaped objects, thereby demanding physically improbable amounts of space from their boots.

LGBTQ people

Homosexual men are all handsome, flamboyant and excellently choreographed flaneurs. There are no such things as lesbians.


Women are in an everlasting state of smugly consuming chocolate. Sometimes, they venture into the culinary landscape of the yoghurt which is less (but never more than) 99 calories; in these cases, the female is unable to finish said yoghurt without:

  1. falling over,
  2. being watched hungrily by a nearby man, or
  3. exclaiming something vapid at full volume.


No advert man has ever washed the dishes. They sometimes make sandwiches, but only if there is bacon on it, and they have no wife. See also ‘drivers.’


In advert-land, it is a punishable offence to allow your child to walk; you must see to it that they are running at all times, always. Children do not go to school, but instead glut themselves on a series of expensive and gender-conforming hobbies which include, but are no limited to: ballet, football, kite-flying and drinking orange juice. The staple diet of any child consists of beans on (one slice of) toast, fish fingers, and a number of different juices from concentrate.


Species is no guarantee of cleanliness. Moulting is as inevitable a misfortune as death and taxes for the pet owner, and this is true even of those who only own fish. To remedy this unfortunate inevitability, you will own a vacuum cleaner that is powerful enough to wake even your slumbering teenage son (who is otherwise languishing in a vegetative state.)  98.5% of dogs are labradors (golden.)


Women who have children spend 60% of their time in the bath. They breast-feed, wash the dishes and have boring hair cuts. Their husbands (they are always married) are out of their league and they wear a look of absolute ecstasy whenever they wipe their baby’s bottom.

70+ year olds

The older generation is caught in a perpetual orgy of furniture-purchasing. They spend every day of their uneventful and mundane lives testing out recliners. Reclining is the 70+ year old’s forte. No member of the older generation is able to

  1. climb stairs,
  2. get in and out of the bath, or
  3. stand up from a chair

without some form of mechanical assistance. There is no such thing as a grandchild-less older person. The life goal of every retiree is to bolster their free fountain pen collection.