Badly cut, poorly designed and made from cheap fabric… shape up M&S, your knickers are pants!
21:59 GMT, 23 May 2012
As I stood with my back to the bedroom mirror, twisting my neck to catch my reflection, I shuddered in horror at the pair of saddlebags that seemed to have replaced my reasonably-toned behind.
While I haven’t quite graduated with full honours from the Kylie school for tight bums, after months of doing bottom-clenching exercises — at my desk, in the car, while cooking dinner — I expected more than a hammock hanging from my buttocks.
And then it hit me. There wasn’t a problem with my body. There was a problem with my lingerie. The badly fitting briefs (a size 10, if the pack was to be trusted) were about as shapely as a dish cloth.
'Shapely as a dishcloth': Angela thinks M&S are no longer making flattering knickers (posed by model)
I know the old adage about workmen blaming their tools, but this working woman is pointing the finger fairly and squarely at M&S. The shop that used to be the only place on the High Street to buy one’s knickers has lost its way. The briefs in its once-fabled lingerie department are now badly cut, poorly designed and made from cheap fabric.
When once its knickers would cradle my bottom in a cap of comfortable cotton, now there’s little to distinguish them from the synthetic packs of underwear at my local Tesco.
Of course, I don’t expect to get the full lingerie-buying experience when I sling pants in the trolley along with a family pack of King Edwards and a multi-pack of kitchen roll. I do when I buy them in the dedicated lingerie department of what was once perceived to be Britain’s most trusted purveyor of pants.
Once M&S was the only place to get lovely, pretty knickers without going for the so-called ‘sexy’ look (read: red and itchy) of High Street underwear shops like Ann Summers, or the eye-watering prices of bespoke lingerie boutiques.
Indeed, such is the loyalty M&S knickers inspire, when a friend of mine moved to Israel many years ago, she would always ask me to buy some of their white knickers to bring out whenever I came to visit.
Trashy: Angela is not impressed with M&S's jubilee range, inspired by underwear from the 1950s
As well as betraying their devoted customers by churning out ill-fitting briefs, the store has abandoned its once-wholesome approach to lingerie by launching a succession of tacky styles — the kind of thing you once would find in the supermarket satin range just before Valentine’s Day.
Take their newly unveiled Jubilee collection. The design team supposedly revisited the fashions of the monarch’s Coronation year, blending conical bras with a modern day makeover in silk, satin, lace and mesh.
The result A trashy dog’s dinner that wouldn’t look out of place on a chat-line advert. Since when did M&S’s designs on our derrieres sink so low Even girls on a drunken hen-night would baulk at this lot. The only thing regal about the collection is the fact that some of those French knickers could double up as a gazebo for a street party.
Marks & Spencer needs to return to its roots: fitted, well-made cotton knickers that cling and flatter, and provide comfort in the right places. Otherwise, I’m taking my hard-working bottom elsewhere.