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I'll admit to having a few vices, designer perfume, a certain tall dark and DDG man, the odd G&T, and nice lingerie to name a few. Now my chosen shop for a lingerie purchase has to be La Senza, unfortunately or fortunately for my bank balance depending on which way you look at it my nearest branches of La Senza are a bit of a track away. Given that La Senza's website is orientated for the North American market I've not even got the joys of La Senza shopping online! It was whilst on a freebie site I first came across the virtual wall to wall pulling pants site that is more recognizable by it's given name of figleaves.com!
Figleaves set up in business 3 years ago, selling lingerie, men's underwear and hosiery. During this time the site has grown from a staff of 4 to over 70 and are in the top 20 of online retailers, so they are no fly by night company that will take your money and run!
The site is very easy to navigate around, from the well ordered home page you'll find links to all brands stocked, Shop by size,men's section, swimwear and the sale rail. Name a High Street lingerie brand - apart from La Senza and you'll probably find it on here. From Ballet to Janet Reger, Gossard to La Perla, Triumph to Rigby and Peller and Wonderbra To Simone Perele you'll have plenty to choose from.
Shopping on Figleaves is a relatively painless experience, should you not wish to browse a quick way to find a new bra is to use the shop by size link this then takes you to a screen with all the available sizes. Figleaves currently stock bra's in sizes from 30A to 48F. If you are unsure of your bra size and it's thought that over 60% of UK woman are actually wearing the wrong size bra Figleaves have a very handy how to measure link which can be found right at the bottom of the home page. On clicking on your bra size you will then be taken to a page or pages depending on stock levels of bra's in your size.
Obviously a much nicer way to shop is to browse throw the available brands, on clicking on your chosen brand you will then be taken to a page with the available designs - all with the twee names that lingerie manufacturers love to give their items! One further click will then show you what is exactly available in that range. Most ranges tend to include a bra, thong and briefs. What lets Figleaves down is often the photo's will only show the item in one of the available colours.
Having decided that you have just got to have that bra (- ok boys stop rolling your eyes at this point!) you can get a close up with further details by clicking on the photo. This normally states briefly what the items is made of and the like. By scrowling down the size icon you'll then be able to see if it is made in your size. An automatic stock check will be done, you'll find that unfortunately in the popular sizes that stock levels do diminish pretty quickly. With sale items they seem to go within hours of being put up! Once you've selected your chosen garment added it to your handy little basket you are then taken to the page with the contents of your basket and asked if you'd like to order any matching items! Well of course you want to. Unfortunately this is where Figleaves lets me down. Many a time I've selected a lovely bra to find that the matching briefs are either not available in my size or if they are it's in a totally different colour as I said before stock shifts quickly on this site. With this in mind if you do get hold of a Figleaves catalogue you'll probably find it's out of date! Again sale items are snapped up very quickly and unless you're a 32A you'll probably not find a bra to fit if they've been posted as sale items for a few days!
As with any decent website Figleaves operates using a secure server for payments so you've no worries about some spotty teenager from Idaho getting hold of your credit card details. Should you prefer not to use the online buying facility you are able to ring throw with your order at certain times. Figleaves offers free postage and packaging on their standard delivery which is 3-5 days. Should you wish to have an item in a hurry then you could pay the £5 next day delivery option. Personally I've not used that facility but have found their normal free delivery gets items to me within 3 days. Methods of payment include Visa, Mastercard, Switch, Delta and Solo cards. At present they do not accept Visa Electron or Diner cards.
The downfall of buying lingerie online is obviously it might not fit properly, just because a bra is your size doesn't mean it's going to be a comfortable fit. Figleaves have taken this fact on board and offer free returns within the UK. During the Christmas and Valentine's period the return time is extended from the normal 28 days to 42 days - so should your partner present you with a "delightful" present 3 cup sizes to big with matching briefs 2 sizes too small you can return it using the freepost returns label they put in all UK orders.
Should you have a problem with an order you can contact Figleaves either by phone, email or snail mail. Orders can be tracked online by logging into your account.
Figleaves also offers a gift box service whereby your items will be sent in a nicely presented gift box complete with card. This will cost you an extra £3.50. A nice idea if the items purchased are for someone else.
Price wise Figleaves can be slightly cheaper than buying lingerie in the High Street, at sales times bargains can be had, but you do have to move fast if you're after a sale bargain as they shift pretty quickly. By signing up for a Figleaves newsletter you can be one step ahead of the bargain hunters.
Having made several purchases from Figleaves I would definitely recommend the site. If you're a new shopper to Figleaves I'd suggest you did a search of the freebie sites prior to buying anything where you'll probably find a link to a money off voucher. Given the relative ease of shopping for lingerie online I could also see the site appealing to men who want to buy something nice for their partners but do not want the embarrassment of being seen in the lingerie department of their local department store. Just a word of advice boys have a check for sizes before you buy!!!
Now if you'll excuse me I've some shopping to do! ;o)