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It's my wedding night. We've had an excellent day and Andrew and I escape to our room. Lights down low he slowly unbuttons my dress. I can feel the tension and anticipation as he undoes more buttons and comes closer to me for the first time that day. Our half naked bodies brush ....
No I can't go on.... it's just not done! Suffice to say, it was good!
It could have been so different though... here's the conversation a month before:
Mum : "You are going to have to sort your underwear out for your wedding... here try these in your bra."
She passes me some pads which resemble cotton wool pads covered in sexy nylon.
Me : "I don't think so Mum. Not really right are they?"
Mum: "Noone will see..."
Me: "But I'll know and I can just imagine the look on Andrew's face when... oh never mind, I'm going shopping."
Mum: "No you're not - tidy your bedroom!"
(I can't wait till I'm married and that is never said again....!)
So, disheartened and terrified that my new husband would be horrified at the sight of me in oh so sexy underwear I did as my mother had ordered and set out tidying my bedroom slowly convincing myself that I would have to call the whole thing off. Then I remembered - there must be an internet based shop that can help....
10pm and my first chance to look. I had heard of Figleaves (used to be Easyshop) through Webrewards (a web based reward system funnily enough) and I decided to check them out. Figleaves is a lingerie store online that sells branded goods for men and women. I would be very hesitant at buying non-branded goods from the web but the ability to know what you are getting in advance was what swung it for me.
++ Layout ++
What could be clearer! The site is very well laid out and easy to use. There are several search facilities which enable you to narrow down your choices and it is easy just to browse as well. There are pictures and/or descriptions of all the products.
++ Availability ++
When you have found what you are looking for you enter the size you require and the computer shows you how many are in stock. This seems to be a good idea as you can then judge how much time you think you have before you need to commit yourself to the purchase. Clearly if there is only one in stock and you then go away to think about it it might not be there when you come back. On the other hand, if, like me, you find that there are 8 or so in stock you should be pretty safe.
++ Price ++
The same as the high street retailers in the main although they do have "Sale Rails" outside of the highstreet sale season. I also had a £10 off a £30 spend voucher (through Webrewards) and so was able to use this against my purchase making it cheaper than the highstreet. I have seen other vouchers for £5 off elsewhere too. You do not pay for P&P which is the way forward!
++ Delivery ++
About three days which I though was OK. Once your order has been placed you get an email confirmation to let you know that every thing has gone OK. Your products come wrapped in tissue in a box (just like a good old-fashioned quality shop would do) and they arrived in good condition.
++ Returns ++
These are also free. You can return goods if they don't fit, if they are faulty or if you just change your mind. Note though that if you have used a discount voucher and your return takes you under the minimum spend limit applicable to the voucher the value of the voucher will be pro-rated and so you will not get the full benefit of the discount, if any.
This is the only problem I have come across. I have returned one of the products I bought as it turned out to be faulty and 6 weeks on have heard nothing. I telephoned once and a very helpful lady told me that they had yet to receive the product back but that this was not terribly unusual as they use a PO Box system and so goods can take up to be received by them. I have been on honeymoon for 2 and a half weeks and so have not been able to chase again. I will update this opinion if I continue to experience problems.
***************** UPDATE ************************
I emailed yesterday to explain my position and got a same day response saying that they had not received my return but that they would refund or replace it as it had obviously been lost in the post. I have had a further email confirming dispatch today! No proof of posting was required and a same day response seems pretty good to me!
++ So, what did I buy ...., and did Andrew like it? ++
The boring bit of my package were some tights...just to get the cost up to the £30 spend so that I could use the voucher.
The bit for Andrew... unfortunately that was the thing that went back so I don't know whether he would have liked it or not. It was an inflatable bra produced by Gossard called the Ultra-Airotic. Rather like the gel and water-filled bras that hit the shops 18 months ago or so these bras have air filled pockets which you can "inflate to give the desired cleavage". They claim to enhance you by up to two sizes....which, for anyone who knows me is an absolute godsend.
The bra was very comfortable, less heavy than the water/gel-filled equivalents and it did give a good shape. Only problem was the left cup just refused to retain the air from more than about 4 hours. It slowly deflated! Not quite appropriate for my wedding day...... everyone would have known I was cheating (they do now if they are reading this!)
Let's hope the next one is a success!
I would recommend Figleaves as despite the problems I have had with the returns I get the feeling that this was more of a one-off and just unlucky. They have responded to emails promptly and gave a very fast initial service. If you are hesitant about buying something you can always try it in a shop first and then take the benefit of their better pricing and discounts.