Win: A £150 Rigby & Peller lingerie set
Advertisement feature: To celebrate the reopening of Cambridge’s Rigby & Peller store, we're giving away a VIP Fit & Style appointment - plus £150 to spend on lingerie. Read on. . .
“Nothing beats seeing a woman leave the store with a smile and a renewed sense of confidence. That’s the power of truly good lingerie: it makes you feel better as well as look better.”
So says Jessica McQuoid, who’s been a supervisor at Cambridge’s Rigby & Peller store for three years. Founded in London more than 80 years ago, by female corsetieres Bertha Rigby and Gita Peller, the lingerie brand has long been synonymous with quality: it stocks the very finest products and provides the very finest service, too.
Walk into the new store, on the first floor of the city’s Grand Arcade, and both those things are immediately evident. The displays showcase the latest lingerie collections from top labels PrimaDonna, Marie Jo, Andres Sarda, Empreinte, Aubade, Simone Perele and Hanro among others, along with night, swim and sportswear. And the staff - always attentive without ever being intrusive - make you feel instantly welcomed and at ease.
I can attest to this, having been a Rigby & Peller customer ever since the brand came to Cambridge. Initially, I’ll admit feeling apprehensive about shopping for my smalls somewhere so intimate and elegant. But the team are, to a woman, brilliant at what they do: I’ve never experienced a moment’s awkwardness while being fitted and have always left with the perfect item/s. No, Rigby & Peller underwear isn’t cheap. But the quality is exceptional: following the hand-wash instructions, I’ve had bras last for years so, price per wear, they’re exceptional value.
All Rigby & Peller lingerie stylists train for more than three months to be able to give clients expert guidance on shape, cut, colour, style and fit. While they’re trained to do this by eye, the Cambridge store is one of the first to have a cutting edge 3D mirror installed: by taking images of the client at different angles, behind the changing room curtain, it does a digital assessment and automatically makes a selection of suitable stock.
“It’s great for clients who perhaps want a little more privacy,” explains Jessica, “and, since we’ve reopened following lockdown, it’s really come into its own because it means we can do socially distanced appointments. We still give all bras a final fit-check ourselves, to ensure they’re perfect, of course. Everybody knows a good fit is important health-wise, and it can really make a difference to the look of your clothes, as well as your comfort.”
Rigby & Peller is known for its post-mastectomy service. Helping women who’ve had breast cancer surgery find the right garment, so they can look good and feel confident in their clothes again, is, says store manager Jennifer Mason, “amazing and very humbling”. Inspired in part by her day job, Jennifer is a key organiser of the annual Cambridge Breast Cancer Appeal Fashion Show, sponsored by Rigby & Peller and usually held at the Grand Arcade each October, in aid of Addenbrooke’s breast services. “I’ve had women come in nervous to look in the mirror and just burst into tears of joy when they see themselves fitted correctly," she says. “To see them smile as they leave? That’s real job satisfaction.”
It was while under the ownership of husband and wife retail duo Harold and June Kenton, who purchased the business in 1982, that Rigby & Peller evolved into one of Britain’s most talked about brands. June was dubbed the 'Queen of Bras' by the UK media, due to her technique of fitting by eye and her reputation for dressing some of the country’s most iconic women, from rock royalty to crowned heads.
Today Rigby & Peller is majority owned by luxury lingerie manufacturer Van de Velde, which this year celebrates its centenary. The Belgian manufacturer counts PrimaDonna, Marie Jo and Andres Sarda amongst its collections. Since the acquisition in 2011, the retailer has experienced international expansion throughout Europe and Asia and there are now more than 25 Rigby & Peller stores in prime locations.
The original Rigby & Peller store in Cambridge, just across the Grand Arcade landing, wasn’t as spacious as the new premises, which have a larger shop floor which really lends itself to showcasing the collections, says Jessica.
The new season’s lingerie designs are, she continues, lovelier than ever: though black, white and neutral will always be wardrobe staples, shades of blue and coral pink are coming through, with blush becoming a popular alternative to nude. “It’s a lovely place to work and a lovely place to shop, too,” she adds.
To celebrate the reopening of Cambridge’s Rigby & Peller store, we’ve teamed up with the brand to give away a VIP Fit & Style appointment - plus £150 to spend on lingerie!
For your chance to win, simply email your name, address and daytime number to email@example.com, titling your message ‘Rigby & Peller VIP Competition’. Entries should arrive no later than September 20 and the usual Ts and Cs apply; if you’re happy to be contacted by Iliffe Media and its partners, add ‘Please Contact’.
Please note: this prize must be claimed at the Cambridge branch of Rigby & Peller.
Rigby & Peller is at First Floor, Grand Arcade, 14 St Andrew’s Street, Cambridge CB2 3BJ. Call (01223) 488460 and see rigbyandpeller.co.uk to find out more.
Read moreFashion and Beauty
More by this authorAlice Ryan