When making the decision to give the online lingerie scene its due, I knew I wouldn't be shopping via America. I'm not being mean. Every time I do, it costs me 40% extra in hidden fees. And that pisses me off. You'd think, what with me being up the block metaphorically, it would be easy to import from the US. Not so, peeps.
Realistically, that leaves Britain. Seems strange but, as most of the lingerie I actually buy is made there (Freya, Fantasie, Panache) - not to mention the brands I wish I could wear (Agent Provacateur, anyone) - it struck me as a good plan.
The next thing I had to figure out was where to buy. This was pretty simple. Figleaves is well-known and their policies seemed very reasonable. Plus, the prices are awesome compared with those I pay retail in TO. No doubt, I questioned whether that would all go to hell in taxes and duty and shipping. It did not. I wasn't charged a penny more than they advised I would be. I did not have to go to the post office to pick up a package. It arrived at my door in 6 business days beautifully (but not wastefully) wrapped.
My third issue was size. Natch, every bra is its own scene, though lines done by any particular brand tend to be somewhat uniform. I decided to start slow: I reordered 3 pairs of fancy undies that I already own (ones that needed replacing), and one bra (a basic, seemless nude thing) I've bought many times. I got them all in the size previously purchased. (Note, being the OCD idiot I am, the first thing I do, after buying, is take every tag out of my lingerie. Which means I had to guess/remember what sizes I'd purchased those babies in, in the first place. May I suggest you keep your removed tags on hand for future reference?)
All of them arrived and fit well - well, the back size on the bra was a bit snug but I ordered a 30 (remembering that this back stretches fast) and I'm not at my absolute fat-free-est right now.
Not only that but I was offered a 10% discount for first purchase. Now, when I tried to apply it on the order, it didn't work, so I emailed customer service and they happily offered to refund it to me when the goods arrived (were I to keep them). Very politely, I might add. Moreover, they do little Twitter promotions and they are constantly having short sales (on good stuff - not simply the dregs) and the deals can be 30% off. On the first order - the trial run - I spent $118.00. It would have cost close to $300 at the store.
So, needless to say, once I got the first shipment, I instantly decided to order something new and fun. Behold:
Mind you, this set is by Freya (one of my go-to brands though it's a style I haven't worn) and the pattern is zebra! How could I resist. And, it was 30% off. In TO, this set would have cost about $250.00 with tax. I got it for 34 pounds - and that includes shipping. That's turned out to be about $60.00. And no attitude. Even if I have to return it for another size (or send it back altogether if I don't like it), I'm only out the cost of shipping it back to the UK. That's a risk I'm willing to take.
Truly Exciting Update: The set just arrived and it fits PERFECTLY. And I love it. You can't see it here but the background is dove grey, the zebra pattern is muted and there are tiny little pink embroidered roses dotted all over. So fun!