Have you heard about the Staffordshire lingerie businesses where buying underwear has been transformed into a pampering experience? Jenny Amphlett met owner Justine Oldfield to find out more.
Buying underwear is more than just shopping when you visit SoS Lingerie – it’s an uplifting experience in every sense of the word.
Based in the beautiful surroundings of The Deer Park at Hoar Cross, the newest underwear retailer in the Midlands is a world apart from picking up a multipack of possibly ill-fitting bras during the weekly shop.
Owner Justine Oldfield has set out to offer ladies a luxurious, pampering experience where they can be expertly measured and fitted in privacy.
They can try on bras with back sizes 26 to 48, cup sizes A to K and priced from £25 to £150 until they find something that’s perfect for them.
Brands include Simone Perele, Empreinte and Katherine Hamilton among many others.
“My business has been built on offering an experience for ladies,” says Justine, who has many years of experience in the corporate world and in retail.
“I originally set up a clothing business in a studio at my home. I live in a beautiful cottage so when ladies came to see me they loved it.
“I know that underwear shopping can be an intimidating and not very engaging experience, so it’s important to me to offer something different to that.”
When Justine adapted the business to offer lingerie due to customer demand she decided to move to new premises but was worried that she wouldn’t find somewhere that offered the same experience for her customers – then she found The Deer Park.
“It’s such a beautiful setting, down country lanes, and customers can relax over coffee or food and do some shopping in the other independent businesses while they’re here.
“It offers a wonderful experience and is a lovely place to work and visit. For me, it means I can continue to offer a special experience.
Justine says it is important to her to offer a broad range of lingerie, from luxurious high-end items to more affordable pieces.
“I’ve been in a place where I’ve had to live on a limited income and I know what a nice experience it can be to just buy one thing for yourself, how it can really affect you and give you a lift.
“At the other end of the spectrum I’ve travelled the world with high net worth individuals and been exposed to the kind of life that they lead.
“I’ve built my business to incorporate my own life experiences so that I can offer customers a personal experience in a relaxing environment that is also accessible to all ladies.”
Justine says it can be a real eye opener for women when they try on high end lingerie for the first time – that they perhaps hadn’t realised how much it can enhance their figure and how good it can make them feel.
“I often have ladies who say they don’t spend more than £30 on a bra but then when they try the full range on they can feel the difference. It’s all about what works for the individual and some people find the perfect underwear comes in at under their budget.
“As women we tend to give very little attention to that very important item that is our bra. We don’t get measured often enough, as our bra size changes throughout our life, which is partly because there aren’t enough outlets offering a quality fitting service. I aim to change that.”
SoS Lingerie is open three days a week for retail sales, with private fittings available on other days by appointment.