They've already done smoked salmon, caviar, champagne and lingerie one piece lobster
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They've already done smoked salmon, caviar, champagne and lingerie one piece lobster, but is Lidl lingerie a bargain too far?

First it was smoked salmon and caviar, followed by sexy lingerie China champagne and lobster. Now Lidl, the bargain supermarket chain the middle class love, is trying the luxury-on-the-cheap approach with something rather different: lingerie.

The collection, buy lingerie from China entitled See You In Venice, is part of the Esmara clothing range, and consists of four bra designs in cup sizes 34B, 36B, 38B and 38C. The bras are available in polka-dot, slate grey, black trimmed with pink or nude and black, and cost £3.99. The matching briefs come in small, medium and large, which covers a generous range of sizes between a ten and 20, and a pack of two costs £3.99 — a fraction of the amount we usually spend on smalls. All the lingerie is made in China from polyester, Lycra and nylon, and is available in Lidl stores while stocks last.

If the range proves popular, more sizes lingerie one piece will follow, says Sophie Lambert Russell, from the Lidl fashion team. While the undies are certainly cheap, as any woman knows, it can sometimes be a mistake to scrimp on the basics. So, can these supermarket smalls compete with our High Street favourites?

To find out if the See You In Venice buy lingerie from China collection is catwalk chic or bargain bucket, we asked independent lingerie one piece expert Becky John and the Mail’s senior stylist Amy Kester to cast their critical eyes over them, checking for size, fit and comfort. Here’s what they found …

BECKY SAYS: ‘This dark colour is flattering, and it looks classy on nearly every skin tone. There is no seam up the middle of the cup, so it won’t be visible through a tight T-shirt. The briefs are ultra-thin and I do hope they maintain their shape when they are washed. There are seams up the middle of the briefs on the front and back, which might be uncomfortable under tight jeans due to chafing.

‘However, they are pretty, grown-up looking and great value.’

AMY SAYS: ‘Wow, this set looks really chic. The underwiring gives good support and the brief-style knickers have good coverage as well as looking glamorous.’

Slate grey padded push-up bra, matching briefs.

EVERYDAY ESSENTIAL   

BECKY SAYS: ‘This is probably the most versatile of all the bras and could be worn everyday because of its neutral colour — it’s just a shame the whole set isn’t completely nude-toned. The black lace trim just looks like a cheap, last-minute add-on. It is only sewn on to the bra at the top and bottom rather than all the way round. I can actually put my finger under it, and I’m worried it might become detached or pucker when washed. The briefs are a good size — not too grannyish but not too skimpy either.’

AMY SAYS: ‘I don’t like this one on. The colour reminds me of shapewear and the black lace makes it look cheap. It would have been better in ivory.’

BEST FOR: Everyday wear.

Nude with lace trim padded push-up bra, matching briefs. 

GO-GETTING GLAMOUR

BECKY SAYS: ‘This colour combination reminds me of Agent Provocateur and this set has a lovely diamante detail along with the bows.

‘The briefs have no centre seams, which will ensure a smooth contour. I like the fact all the Lidl bras have three fastenings on the back. Some cheap sets have only two, or one, which means you can’t adjust them easily. This set looks beautiful and it smacks of luxury.’

AMY SAYS: ‘Pink on black can look cheap but the satiny fabric makes it look classy. It reminds me of a set Rosie Huntington-Whiteley designed for M&S.’

BEST FOR: A pretty gift.

Black padded push-up bra with pink lace trim, matching briefs.

POLKA PUSH-UP 

BECKY SAYS: ‘Thin straps look more attractive, but aren’t always strong enough to support a bigger bust and I’m not sure I’d want such a delicate strap if I was wearing the 38C.

‘The underwiring doesn’t sit flush to the model’s skin and that’s because the sizes are so limited.

‘And the half-seam up the front of the bra cup might show lingerie one piece under a T-shirt.

‘But the cut of the cups makes Lauren’s cleavage look really good and there is no unattractive gathering on the knickers. ’

AMY SAYS: ‘I love the bow details, and the lace edging gives it an expensive feel.’

BEST FOR: Teenagers.

Cream and black polka-dot padded push-up bra, matching briefs. 

THE VERDICT OF OUR EXPERTS

BECKY SAYS: ‘These four styles will give pricier ranges such as La Senza and Boux Avenue a run for their money. But the reason they can retail at such a low price is that the manufacturers need only a few templates as the bra sizes on offer are so limited. I’d be a bit fed up if I’d driven across town to buy a set, only to find lingerie one piece that the sizes available are too small for me.

‘A survey conducted by Debenhams in 2014 found the average bra size of women in England and Ireland is 34C, while in Scotland it’s 34DD. Only Welsh consumers — whose average size is 34B — would fit into the Lidl range.’

AMY SAYS: ‘I’ve inspected the stitching and everything looks finished properly. On the whole, I think they’re well made. I’m impressed by the attention to detail at such low prices.’





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