Fashion / Lifestyle

Shop Small: bra and pants by What Lydia Made

Bras and pants. If you’ve got the body parts or the desire to wear these, then you’ll likely have a preference for styles, shapes and colours. In my underwear draw, these items have always been purely practical. A multipack of black briefs at M&S and a basic beige or black bra will do just fine, thank you. I’ve got to say, when the rest of my wardrobe has had such an emphasis on style, what’s underneath has always been surprisingly uniform.

But now, for reasons unbeknown to even me, I’ve begun to find matching bra and pants sets attractive. A newfound desire for something interesting to wear underneath my other interesting clothes.

So when I needed to replace some well-worn pants and a bra, I had a look around for options that could be guaranteed as more sustainable and more ethical in their production vs the mass market where some brands don’t even realise that the factories they work with are outsourcing in horrifying ways, sometimes this happens right here in the UK.

BRAS & PANTS: WHAT LYDIA MADE 

I learned about What Lydia Made on Instagram thanks to the power of word of mouth: someone I followed had discovered her and mentioned her profile in a Story that I saw, so I started following Lydia because I liked her style, and I was curious to know more about these bespoke handmade bras and pants.

After several months of following Lydia she made an announcement: order dates would be opening up on her site that Saturday evening at 8pm, with limited slots available to avoid her being over-booked. Be ready with your measurements if you want to secure a slot!

I emailed Lydia straight away with all my questions, and she responded almost immediately that Saturday afternoon. We emailed throughout the weekend – and by Sunday night I was sending her photos of me in a bra so she could better understand my body and what sizing adjustments I might require. Needless to say, this is new territory for me and it was all very exciting discussing my breasts while thinking this bra will be made just for me! Already, the experience was miles away from the high street routine of pick price item, select size, try on, pay, go home.

When it was time to order, it was really straightforward and I loved seeing the options available for modification, beyond colour schemes / high waist / low waist, including nursing clips and options for ‘no boobs’ and ‘pants with shaping’ for those who are non-binary or male to accommodate the genitals. All bodies and sizes are catered for, and I felt a little warm & fuzzy feeling for supporting a designer that actively works to be inclusive.

The set cost £78 including shipping and arrived exactly 3 weeks after I placed the order. This amount of time might be annoying to some, but I welcomed knowing that no one was harmed in the making of this set, and that the maker was enjoying a good quality of life and working conditions. Something I can’t guarantee with previous high street purchases…

I tried it on immediately, and am delighted to say it fit perfectly. Now that I’ve got it in hand I will admit that I was a bit nervous that the bra wouldn’t be comfortable or it wouldn’t fit correctly, but it is and it does and I will happily order from Lydia again.

What independent underwear brands have you tried? Let’s talk in the comments to share our experiences and discover the styles and price points that work for each of us!

Much love, Katie xo

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