According to French lingerie expert and trained corsetiere, Lyne Glanzmann there is a clear difference between North American and European women's approach to lingerie.  Canadians are decidedly more practical. Lingerie is a reasonably basic, comfort item that we like to keep hidden. European women on the other hand often pick style over comfort and are not afraid to show off what is underneath.

For me personally this rings very true. For years my bra drawer housed a perfect t-shirt bra collection. During my early bra years I wore a lot of skating dresses with portions of white and was quickly trained that beige was the best to keep your hidden. So my bra collection was mostly beige and seamless. With maybe one lace piece for special occasions. I doubt any of them cost me much money.  Except for a brief fling with coloured bra straps under tank tops in the late 90s, this has held pretty much true until recently.

I hadn't realized that I had changed my approach to lingerie until I attended an event with Empreinte at Dianes Lingerie. My Vancouver readers will know that Dianes is an institution that has helped women find the perfect bra for 30 years. The place you go when you want a great personal bra fitting and individual customer service (love that my info is on file so I don't have to remember what size/brand/colour I bought last time I was there).  The event was to introduce the new Empreinte Spring/Summer 2013 collection, meet the trained corsetiere Lyne Glanzmann and have a personal bra fitting.

Diane's Lingerie

When I dressed for the event, I put on one of my favourite bras, which was lovely pearl lace bra that I had purchased the last time I had been into Dianes. As I noted above I don't normally remember what brand I am wearing. So it wasn't until I was there that I realized I was already wearing an Empreinte bra. When I got home I checked in my lingerie drawer and my favourite purple lace bra was also an Empreinte.  I had been a fan and hadn't even realized it.

So two of my favourite bras were Empreinte. Ones that I wear almost everyday. Neither is a seamless, smooth, t-shirt bra. Neither of them is beige. Both were luxurious, high quality French bras. Neither inexpensive. I had a little light bulb moment that I had clearly evolved my thinking about bras.  I had started thinking about my bras as an investment item in my closet!

So why did I love these two Empreinte bras specifically? First they are made for curvaceous women (their word and I steal it guilt free). Their bras are made of a high quality materials and fixtures.  I hadn't been aware that the bras were handmade or that Empreinte rigorously tests their bras for 6 to 12 months in all sizes at the fitting stage (and they have a very wide range of sizes). But that all makes sense with how well they fit and how the quality lasts over time.

Empreinte Lingerie

A black version of the first purple Empreinte that started me on my road to re-think my lingerie.

That first lace purple bra, was purchased as a special occasion bra. But quickly became an everyday bra because it fit so well, made my clothes and myself feel great when I wore it.  When I bought my second Empreinte bra, the pearl one I wore to the event, I could instantly see how much better it fit me than other bras. I remember being disappointed that it wasn't beige or a plain fabric. But it fit too perfectly not to get it.  I have a short waist and don't need any sagging to make it any shorter.  Another thing I realized - I don't wear a lot of white anymore. And when I do, I still have a great beige seamless bra (from Dianes) that I can wear.

Empreinte Lingerie

I added this lovely Empreinte bra to my collection at the Dianes event, care of Dianes.

Why spend the extra money on a bra that few people ever see? First, when my girls look good I look good. The clothes I already own look better on me. I have less back issues when I am properly supported. Better quality bras don't stretch out as quickly as other bras. They last longer. And finally, I think I am worth the investment!

Solo Lisa attended the same event and has posted some great bra fitting tips over on her blog.

What about you? Do you take a practical approach to your lingerie? Or do you hide some luxurious lingerie under your clothes everyday? 

Disclosure: I was given a bra fitting and an Empreinte bra care of Dianes lingerie at the event. All opinions are 100% my own.