To maximise or minimise? Discussing bra dilemas for grown ups with M&S

Regular readers will remember we are doing a couple of blog posts for the excellent M&S Stories, to delve into some of the issues you all raised on our blog back here.  This week we talked to the very excellent Paschal Little, head of quality and innovation and Soozie Jenkinson, head of design who in our books are one of the BEST things about M&S lingerie. I am working on a way of turning the pair of them into a phone App so we can all have their expertise at our disposal for when we are puzzling over what to buy.

We discussed lots of things, but the idea was to get Paschal and Soozie to pick out their suggestions for great bras to buy taking into account a dislike of over excess padding, a desire for GORGEOUS but supportive styles, comfy but super-styish fabric and good details designed-in, such as wide satin straps and minimiser bras that don’t look matronly. They came up with some good stuff, do read the post here.

Half the problem with M&S lingerie is that there is SO MUCH of it (it has to be all things to all people remember) that it’s hard to find what you really want before you get bored and head off elsewhere. It was wonderful having Soozie and Paschal do an edit for us, I bought or tried on all the bras they suggested and they are excellent. In fact, there’s a lot of great stuff coming through for Christmas that we think you will like too (in a grown-up glamour sort of way) so we’ll do a further post on the more glam stuff as it hits the store.

We were just talking bras for the Stories post, but can I also direct you towards these fabulous lace support pants that work brilliantly with the’ essential lace bra’…they are really pretty, despite being big pants and have marvellous control for such fine slips of lace! I also bought the perfect poise back support bra (because it came up in discussion and sounded fab) which is good for anyone who stoops over a screen all day or has upper back issues (big boobs sometimes cause this). I’ve worn it a couple of times and I really love it, It’s quite an effort to get into, but once in boy, does it support.

Why M&S haven’t got a chain of just lingerie shops, where we could actually SEE all of this interesting lingerie and have Soozie and Paschal clones around to advise on all the latest developments, heaven alone knows. Also if you have suggestions or issues with any of the lingerie, do leave a comment on the Stories post because I promise you Soozie is reading every word. The pair really do care passionately about what they do.

Are you happy with your underwear?



  • Sue says:

    I cannot cope with the underwear department in M&S because, as you say, there is just so much stuff and it’s too daunting to try and have to find what you’re looking for. And it’s all squished together in towering mounds everywhere. The website is so much better for seeing what they have, I find. I do like (and buy) their knickers: but, the bras do not fit me. I know this is because of my size (30F) so it’s panache for every day or rigby & peller in the sale.Sue

  • Marianne says:

    I agree with Sue’s comment. Just too much and confusing. I am a 75F mostly, depending on the brand. I have never bought a comfortable bra from M & S despite having a fitting. I buy more expensive brands now and for cheaper I go to Bravissimo which I find comfortable.

  • Jacqueline says:

    I always buy my bras following a fitting in M&S. However about 6 months ago the fitter recommended a balcony bra – which I bought! Looking sideways in the mirror when i got home I realised this gave me a Jane Russell shape (look her up if you don’t remember her) & provided OH with a lot of mirth. At £22 (I’m officially an OAP) it was not cheap and because it had been worn M&S refusd to take it back!! I was remeasured in another store & now wear pretty & uplifting, but not out thrusting, Per Una bras.

  • Cathy says:

    I’m happy with my underwear as I buy it all from Bodas. It’s more expensive than M&S, but the styles are simple if limited – which I see as a plus point. They have no fussy details, great colours and the fabrics are gorgeous and they wash well and last. What more can you want? It’s also a treat to go into the shop with well informed staff and great service.

  • Janine says:

    I used to buy all of my bras from M&S but was so appalled by the fit and range of maternity and nursing bras when I was pregnant with my first child four years ago that I was put off and haven’t been back since. I’m not particularly well-endowed (36D between pregnancies; 38F when breast feeding) but their maternity range was tightly fitting and uncomfortable – not to mention matronly and ugly! Nursing bras can still be pretty or – dare I say, sexy – look at Hot Milk or Elle McPherson ones. I’m heavily pregnant now (baby due in 2 weeks) so might give them a go after I’ve stopped breast feeding – on your recommendation!

  • Jes says:

    I have never shopped at M&S however I do feel overwhelmed when you walk into a bra shop, where there is way too much crammed in. Don’t know where to start. And on top of that I find I fit into 3 different sized bras, frustrating!

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