Putting it under consideration
With the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s all having a fashion moment, we really shouldn't be surprised that lingerie has gone all retro this season as well. And unsurprisingly, those same eras are reflected in the designs of bras and briefs, with such punishing 1950s undergarments as waspies, longline bras, suspenders, basques and even corsets hanging alongside the wispy bikini briefs and barely-there bras of the 1970s and 80s.
In addition to retro, key trends for spring lingerie are sorbet colours, gingham and flower prints of every kind, with Stella McCartney's adorable poppies and meadow flowers among the prettiest.
But before thinking about trends, it is worth heeding the advice of Rigby & Peller founder June Kenton, holder of the Royal Warrant for fitting the Queen: "We all change bra size throughout our lives so it is important to recognise that a bra size and cup-size can alter. "
Kenton advises that professional fitting is the best way to achieve a bra that fits well, because like every other kind of clothing, "bra sizes
vary from brand to brand".
While M & S is no longer the default option for women who either don't want (or don't feel the need) to lavish large sums on lingerie, the chain still - despite the black-lace-on-purple satin and nasty synthetics of recent years - achieved a 27 per cent market share in lingerie in 2010/11. Ranges like Collette by Collette Dinnigan and Autograph range make it worth another look.
But the high street name which has, deservedly, taken a bite out of M&S's market share in lingerie is Debenhams, where their "designers for" collections include the very desirable B by Ted Baker, Floozie by Frostfrench and Reger by Janet Reger, which continues in the luxe, lacy tradition of the brand's founder.