Planning a wedding is usually a very, very big deal. Mine wasn’t. There was no need for a big fuss, we did what everyone says they want to do: “Have a big party for our friends,” but we didn’t suddenly turn into psychos and spend $20K on the wedding. We actually just had a big party for some of our friends.
Of course we did spend a little bit of money, I had to buy an outfit, and we needed booze for our friends, which is very expensive in England as they tend to consume…a lot. I think the cost of the wedding cost about the same as my outfit (and really, my outfit was very cheap, the most expensive thing was, of course, my shoes.) My wedding dress was one of the most painless purchases of my entire life, and I know I’ve written about it before, but I’ll quickly recap.
Like every girl, well, almost every girl, I dreamt of getting married in Valentino Haute Couture. Then I grew up. And by the time I was getting married, I couldn’t afford a couture dress, and the last thing I wanted was a fluffy meringue, but I was still tempted by the idea of Valentino. Coincidentally, the collection in the Valentino stores around the time I was wedding shopping was the last one he had designed. So it was destiny, I’d wear something out of his last collection. Something red.
Nora and I happened to be in West London one day, so we popped out head into the Valentino store. The process was easy: there were three nice red dresses, and two made me look fat. So I bought the third. In and out in about 20 minutes. Possibly one of the most painless wedding dress shopping trips ever.
But today I want to talk about what I wore under the dress. Which resulted in one of the most terrifying lingerie shopping experiences of my life.
The obvious place to go for fancy underwear in England is Rigby & Peller. They are a very fancy lingerie store that sells wonderful brands, and they specialize in fittings. I went into the store and had my first bra fitting. It was an incredible experience, the fitter had one look at my chest, my back, and came back with the most perfect-fitting bra ever. She didn’t even use a measuring tape or touch me. Genius.
But then we need to find something to wear on the bottom, some sort of “suction unit” (as I like to call them) so that everything was smooth. Bring on the Spanx. She brought over this bicycle short contraption, that suctions from the thighs straight up to the bra, in fact, you hook the unit onto your bra, so it stays up. Hideous, but it seemed to do the job.
I bought my bra, suction unit, and a beautiful lacy set by Marie-Jo, and was on my way. My next stop of the day was a meeting with a PR agency called Brower Lewis, and I was meeting with Amber Pepper, who used to run the agency and is now at Harrods (Amber, you and your team were the best!)
We discussed the upcoming wedding, and I told Amber about my Rigby & Peller purchases. She asked me how will I go to the toilet if I’m locked in from bra to thigh? “Ummm…well, there is a ‘double gusset,’ you don’t take it off, you sort of pull it apart at the crotch when nature calls…?” “So Alex, you are going to be wearing crotchless bicycle shorts on your wedding day?” The horror sunk in.
I rushed back to Rigby & Peller, and tried to return the Spanx. The woman said no, they don’t return intimate goods. “Please, I only left the store two hours ago, and I haven’t even undone the bow around the bag!” No. “Please, I spent over $500 on underwear, and I am only asking for a refund on an $80 item!” No. “Please, I can’t wear CROTCHLESS BICYCLE SHORTS ON MY WEDDING DAY!” That was clearly the trick, because the store, full of posh women buying expensive lingerie, erupted into giggles. I got my refund.
I can barely even remember what I ended up wearing as underwear, only that it did the job, and when you are busy having a great time at one of the best parties of your life, you don’t worry if you aren’t perfectly suctioned underneath your dress. However, I will never forget my experience at Rigby & Peller, and despite the fact that they sold me crotchless bicycle shorts to wear on my wedding day, they are most definitely the best lingerie store in the world. You are not going to find sex toys, or crazy lingerie that is virtually unwearable, you are going to find beautiful, classic french lingerie that fits you perfectly. PERFECTLY. And seriously, that is the best kind.