Advantages Very cheap, high quality
Disadvantages Sometimes sizes are limited
Hands up if you own a Wonderbra. And hands up if you paid more than £20 for it. You may not have seen me, but my hands are glued firmly to my sides for the second question. If you live in the Herts/Beds/Bucks area, I'm about to let you into a secret that will change the way you shop for underwear forever!!Just off the A5, in Bedfordshire, nestles the small town of Leighton Buzzard. It's not really world famous for anything, but is the home of the Gossard factory. Right next door is a little shop, where all sorts of wonderous bargains can be had. Brands you can find here include Aristoc, Berlei and Gossard.
The shop is reasonably small, and was originally set up for employees of the firm, but is also open to the general public. I cannot go here without spending a few quid on some undies, as the prices have to be seen to be believed. The best bit is that all stock is brand new, and is exactly the same quality as you would get in a department store. In addition, quite often you can get your hands on sample sets, which may never go on general release.So, what to expect?
All shop staff are fully trained fitters, like you'd get in Marks and Spencer. It is estimated that over 50% of British women are walking round in the wrong size bra, contributing to all sort of postural and sagging problems. It is a good idea to be measured at least onmce a year, as you can change size for all sorts of reasons. The staff are all pleasant and polite, and normally a bit of a giggle into the bargain.The shop is always clean and tidy. There are two rooms, plus a small fitting/changing room. The back room is where you will find all the real bargains. This stuff tends to be special offers, end of lines, slight seconds and samples. I have bought seconds from here, and never been able to see why - the fault must be so small as to be invisible to my 20/20 vision.
The front of the shop contains all the mainstream stuff that you could well go to Debenhams on the same day and pay twice the price for. Most items are discounted by 25 - 50%, but on some occasions, I've had discounts in excess of 90%. For example, in January of this year, I bought a bridal basque thingy for £2.50. Going into Debenhams the next day, exactly the same thing was on sale for £45. Last time I went, I got two Ultrabras and five pairs of knickers for £12. You can surely understand why I won't consider buying underwear anywhere else.As well as bra's and knickers, there is always a good range of sports bras to be had. These are also heavily discounted. There is a small range of tights, stockings and sock on offer, but these are priced at about 10% less than normal, so it's not worth a trip just for those. There is no mens underwear to be had - just in case anyone was wondering.
If you do pick a wrongun' the exchange policy is similar to anywhere else. If you bring it back unused, with labels attached then you will get an exchange. If you have your reciept as well then you will get your money back. I have tried and tested this system a couple of times, and it is painless.
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