Thursday, September 30, 2010

'How Madame Fifi changed my life' or 'I could have been a Carry On Starlet'

To give due credit it's Trinny and Suzannah I have to thank for the initiation of the process that changed me from mild-mannered church administrator into sexy, strutting-my-stuff seductress. (Okay, allow me a little dramatic licence.)

It was, after all, their insistence on the importance of underpinning that led to me Madame Fifi in the first place. The 50 years it took me to take that first tentative step inside the door in the dark alleyway are best ignored, wiped from the memory as wasted years.

But crossing that threshold was in its way as significant a moment as man's first step on the moon. A small step for woman, a huge step for me.

Inside the blonde bouffanted woman - not Madame Fifi herself; she only comes out of retirement for the great and the good - took one look at me and pointed her finger, authoritatively, 'Go in there and call me when you're ready.'

Another busty blonde had positioned herself between me and the door so I had no option but to obey. In those days I wouldn't have dreamt of arguing anyway; my transformation had not yet begun.

Inside I hesitated. How much did I have to remove? My outer coat obviously and, I assumed, my jumper. 'I'm ready,' I whispered tremulously but she was outside the cubicle waiting and she appeared immediately.

She sighed. 'I can't measure you through your blouse.'
'Oh.' I took it off nervously. 'My bra, it's, um, a little old,' I said.
She sniffed. 'What size are you wearing?'
'Um, I don't know really. The label's washed off. About 36B maybe?'
She sniffed again. And shook her head. 'I see women like you every day. Wearing the wrong size bra. These are your most precious assets. You have to take care of them.'

It was all over in a flash. Then she said, 'Stay here.' As if I could get away.

She returned with two lacy contraptions with more metal bits than the Severn bridge. 'Let's try these first.'

I waited for her to leave but when it became obvious that she wasn't going to I swallowed hard and my pride and undid my bra, leaving two blotchy dangly breasts. I kept telling myself: she does this for a living; she must have seen worse.

She gave me the first one. I turned it back to front, upside-down and inside-out and wound it around my waist. 'What are you doing?' she practically screamed at me.
I quickly undid it and gave it back to her. 'I'm sorry I thought I was supposed to put it on.'
'That's not the way to put on a bra!'
She sighed again. 'Lean forward and let your breasts flop in.'

I did as bid: flopping breasts I can do no problem. She held the bra in font of me, did it up and yanked me into a standing position. 'There, how's that?'
'It's a bit tight,' I squeaked.
'No, it's not; it's perfect. You're just used to no support. Here.' At this she stuck her hand inside the left cup and fiddled vigorously with my boob. 'You have to get them in the right position.' She repeated the action with my right boob.

By now I had passed being surprised and was in a state of shock.

'There, how does that feel?' Without giving me a chance to reply she continued, 'see how it lifts' - she ran her finger from my ribcage to my nipple - 'and separates?' - and from nipple to nipple. 'Now put your jumper on top and see the difference.'

I was beyond arguing; I did as I was told. I put on my jumper and looked at myself in the mirror. 'Wowzers!'
She stood back modestly, used to the makeover reaction.
I turned from side to side, full frontal and back again. 'Wowzers!'

And that, dear readers, is how I became a UN ambassador for Proper Bra-Fitting for Women. If I'd been converted 30 years earlier I could have been Barbara Windsor.

P.S. Husband would like me to point out that he paid less for his dinner suit than I do for a bra but I think that says more about his suit than my bra.


Furtheron said...

sounds like your husband has a pricey suit ;-)

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

So you were wearing the wrong size then Liz !!! Isn't it funny we need to be taught how to put a bra on :-) .. Yes I may lots for my bras too..

She should of asked if you were happy for her to be in there whilst trying them on ..the ladies in my shop do.

CalumCarr said...

Do you think they take on old male trainee bra fitters? I could fair go that.

Liz, you are SO funny!

James Higham said...

These are your most precious assets. You have to take care of them.'

Oh, I can think of some others.

Leslie: said...

Oh Liz! Too funny! Why? Because I go through that about every 2 years at "Bare Basics," my little bra boutique! When I found out my correct size, I nearly died of shock, but actually the proper bra makes you look so much better! But the prices!!! At least $100 each! Now that hurts...

nick said...

Glad to know your precious assets are now getting the respect they deserve. As long as it doesn't feel like you're WEARING the Severn Bridge.

Rose said...

Ah, Liz, it's always so good to come here and get my weekly dose of chuckles. You always manage to put a smile on my face:)

My best friend and I were just discussing bras the other day and how neither of us is probably wearing the right size. I've just about made up my mind to go have a proper fitting, but now I'm not sure I'm brave enough:)

Liz said...

You and he would get on well I fear, furtheron!

This happened about 8 years ago now, anne. Although I think I do need to be fitted again.

Um, calum, let me think ... no.

True, james.

it's ridiculous that so little material can cost so much, isn't it, leslie?

It does at first, nick, but you get used to it. the things women do for vanity.

Do go, Rose! It makes an incredible difference!

jams o donnell said...

Haha You certainly have a wt of making a shopping trip entertaining!

It surprises me how many women do not wear the correct size bras.