Gabriella Sandham Lingerie and Swimwear Boutique

  • Caring for you and the environment

    With the increasing focus on the effect we are having on the earth, emphasised by programmes like Blue Planet, it’s clear that consumers and companies must do their bit to help. And with the devastating impact our activities are having on the oceans, it’s appropriate that some swimwear brands are turning their attention to using more environmentally friendly fabrics to make the garments that we wear to go into the sea.

    Australia’s top swimwear brand, Seafolly is doing its bit and has introduced several styles made entirely from ‘upcycled’ consumer products, creating a more environmentally sustainable product without compromising on quality. The Seafolly Water Garden Retro Bikini Pants and Water Garden Halter-neck Bikini Top are prime examples. The fabric composition is made from MIPAN® regen™ recycled nylon fibres created from pre-consumer waste. Famous for its eco-friendly bi-products, the MIPAN® regen™ fibres help to conserve our natural resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce waste to landfill.

    As the producers of mastectomy bras and swimwear for women who have experienced the life-changing effects of cancer, Amoena is obviously focussed on caring for its customers. But the brand also cares for the environment and ensures that all its breast prostheses are coated with elastic polyurethane film and that the film remnants left behind after the process are recycled. The company’s recycling rate is currently at more than 95%. Amoena is also creating some of its products, such as the Buenos Aires swimwear collection, from a product called ECONYL® regenerated nylon.

    The regeneration system begins by rescuing waste such as fishing nets, fabric scraps and industrial plastic from landfill and the ocean. This is sorted and cleaned and then recycled back to its original purity, which means that ECONYL® is exactly the same as virgin nylon. Amoena carefully selects the perfect styles that can be created using this fabric, as well as ensuring it is resistant to chlorine and suntan creams. Ultimately you can be sure that you are wearing a beautifully designed and comfortable garment and helping our planet!

  • Prima Donna Deauville Bra

    For this month’s blog, we’ve got a story about one of your favourites – Prima Donna’s Deauville bra.

    It’s one of Prima Donna’s best-selling bras around the world and it’s full-cup, un-moulded bra, with fantastic wired support, encapsulates the brand’s values at it’s best.

    Some of you clever clients have noticed that there is a difference in the bra. We caught up with Evelyn Verstraeten, Head of Global PR at Van de Velde, the makers of Prima Donna to find out what has changed and why.

    Gabriella Sandham: “The label on the Deauville bra looks different – when did it change and why?”

    Evelyn Verstraten:
    In July 2016 we launched the updated version of the Prima Donna Deauville and Madison bra. As you know, these are our most popular lines and they sell globally. Thanks to our international stockists, retailers and the growth of e-commerce, we’re reaching more women, from even more countries.

    International legal requirements
    We had to change the label as different countries have different legal requirements. International sizing is different, so we needed to make sure women had the right fitting measurements. Some countries require us as manufacturers to list all the materials on the label, so obviously we had to change it.

    A light makeover for the label
    We saw the necessary changes as an opportunity to give the labels a makeover too, to keep in line with our global brand identity, to make them a little more elegant, luxurious and contemporary.

    So if you purchase a bra which doesn’t have the new label, you’ll know it is stock which dates back to before July 2016.

    Q: The straps on the bra have changed – is this part of the styling update?

    Evelyn Verstraeten: Exactly! We’re always looking at ways of improving our lingerie for our customers. The slightly slimmer straps were a response to a more contemporary feel to Deauville. They’re still as comfortable and modern textile development means that they give as much support as the previous model’s. Our designers have created straps which are exquisite, with luxurious touches of lace and trim.

    We understand that Deauville has a loyal following – as has our other range, Madison – so we’ve not changed the core of it. It’s still just as comfortable and beautiful as ever!

    GS: Thank you for your time

    EV: Thank you for the article and to our loyal customers
    info@vandevelde.eu

  • Why Seafolly is one of my favourite Aussie Swimwear brand

    There's nothing better than heading out of a noisy, hot, gritty city and to the clean, fresh air of a beach on a summer's day. Blue skies, golden sands and a glorious array of bright colours-the beach is a tonic for the most jaded of souls. So it makes sense that your beachwear should brighten your mood as well,and that's exactly what the wonderful designs from Australian company Seafolly does.

    Seafolly started in 1975 and up until recently was still run by the same family. Seafolly beachwear takes the passion for life and the vibrancy of the Australian lifestyle and packs it up for us ladies, shipping us a little of that Aussie sunshine.

    Exceptional design and quality
    Beachwear often has a reputation for being poor quality, even when you're paying over the odds. That's definitely not the case with Seafolly beachwear. They've worked hard to build a reputation for producing some of the best quality swimwear and beachwear on the market - and all at an affordable price.

    I can stand testament to that too - i bought my first Seafolly swimsuit back in my twenties and only parted with it ( very reluctantly!) a few months ago.My gorgeous Seafolly swimsuit stayed with me for over 10 years and, if i'm honest, probably had a couple of years of life left in it when i reluctantly let it go. However, times change and so do fashions, so I've treated myself to something new from their fabulous range of Seafolly swimsuits.

    What makes them so good?
    If there's one thing you want on the beach, it's a flattering swimsuit. From bikinis to one piece suits, halternecks, triangles, bandeaus or tank tops, Seafolly has a design to suit you, whatever your body shape. They're fabulously flattering or as delightfully daring as you want to go, so whether you're on Cornwall or San Tropez beaches, you know you're going to look great.

    If you're slightly under-endowed then the cup padding will give you a smoother, fuller outline and more feminine curves. If you prefer to keep your assets to yourself then that padding can also be removed - it's entirely your choice. Seafolly swimwear suits almost anybody shapes, and can accommodate larger ladies up to and including an F cup.

    Getting active on the beach
    Water sports are part of any beach holiday, unless like me you're committed to spending as much time as possible on your sun lounger,and prefer to leave all that splashing about to others! But if you are the sort who gets off the sun lounger occasionally and heads to the ocean then Seafolly's range of Active swimwear is just right. Sporty, bold and designed specifically for those prepared to do a little more in the way of physical exertion, they're supple and all-day comfortable. For us lounge lovers though, a triangle bikini or silky-smooth one piece suit is perfect for laying back, sipping a Pina Colada, and working on your tan.

    Valve for money
    Top quality beachwear like Seafolly usually comes with a premium price tag. However, Seafolly swimwear is designed to be affordable and represents great value for money. The fact that it lasts and lasts means you really get your money's worth out of every piece, and the timeless design and classic cuts mean they last for more than one season.

    I love Seafolly swimwear, and think it's have some of the very best selections for women swimming costume or bikinis an absolute essential for any holiday, so make sure you pack one in your suitcase before you head off to the beach!

    So Ladies you can now buy Seafolly swimwear on our online store or visit our South London Boutique

  • Cate's bra fitting experience

    I love my job! I’m like a kid in a lingerie shop. However, there’s one thing I dread. Every week the owner of the boutique, out of sheer kindness, offers to measure me and check that I’m wearing a bra that’s the right size (and shape)! What she doesn’t realise is that I haven’t been fitted for a bra since I was a teenager. Back then I was a 36A and things have changed a bit since then.

    Well, today’s the day!

    It was a bit of a revelation to me. So, here are my top tips for finding a good fitting bra.

    Firstly, you should get measured twice a year. Every year! The effects of things such as weight loss, weight gain, pregnancy, hormones and gravity mean that our breasts are constantly evolving and we need to keep up.

    Secondly, there’s such a thing as bra etiquette! Who knew? I’m sure you all know, but just in case…. A good fitting bra keeps your shoulders back and your boobs up and in place. No more back aches (and in some cases, tension headaches) and we say NO to pendulous breasts and wardrobe malfunctions.

    Dependent on your size and shape you will probably be more suited to a plunge, a balconette or a full cup bra. Smaller ladies, like myself, look great in a plunge or balconette, as these maximise our assets. If you fit a larger cup (you lucky things) a full cup will keep everything in, so it doesn’t spill over and you feel secure and are well-shaped.

    If you are unsure which style suits you best, ask the person fitting you for advice. Try the different styles next to each other, as there can be a massive difference.

    Also, wear a vest top or a fitted outfit made of thin material when you get measured, so you can see how the bra fits your contours.

    How do you know if a bra fits well?

    1. Get measured. If, like me, you’re in between sizes, you should always go smaller. Due to their nature, like jeans, bras will stretch over time and you don’t want them to be saggy or baggy.

    2. Choose the right shape for your breasts. Smaller - plunge/balconette. Larger - full cup.

    3. The central band should sit flat in the middle when you put the bra on.

    4. The underband should lie flat against the torso.

    5. The breast tissue needs to be encased. Ignore any back or side fat and don’t take that into account when getting measured.

    6. There should be no gape in the cups. They should be filled, but not over spilling (unless you are in the bedroom and trying to impress the b/f, but even then you will look more like a keeper in a bra that fits).

    7. A new bra should be fastened on the first notch and you should be able to do the Finger Test.

    8. What's the Finger Test? You should only be able to get one or two fingers under the bra at the back. If the bra is too loose you will not receive the support you require.

    9. The straps should be halfway up the back and the back of the bra should not ride up. This world can drag you down, you don’t need a bra that does the same.

    10. Once the bra is on, the breasts should look perky and uplifted, even under clothes. Your breasts should never point forward or down. Ok, boobs, you heard the lady!

    Having been measured, what’s the outcome? 5 minutes ago I was a 36A with gapage (is that a word), now I’m a 34C and perky as can be!

  • French Underwear Brand Hom

    Vive La Revolution!

    In 1968, student took to the streets of Paris in droves to protect against traditional institutions, values and order. In the midst of these turbulent times, fashion changed dramatically, with boys wanting to wear jeans and other casual clothes. Alongside this, another less obvious revolution was taking place that was in the world of men's underwear.
    As far back as that , French brand leader HOM was at the forefront of developing what can best be described as 'lingerie for men'

    Today HOM's underwear has a reputation of being both stylish and quirky but always masculine. HOM products have a distinctive look , design, shape and quality, and often come in extremely vibrant colours. Moreover, they are renowned for being very comfortable to wear. If your a metro-sexual or traditional man who is looking for a new brand of underwear, HOM may just be what you are looking for. And if your are unsure about the best type of underwear for your body shape, Gabriella Sandham and her team is here 6 days of the week for you to speak with.

    Over the years, the brand has diversified into having a number of styles under the overall HOM umbrella, to cater specifically for the individual lifestyles of modern men. For instance, there's the dedicated designer sporty underwear range HOM Sport and then there's the subtly elegant HOM Business style.
    And perhaps the most colourful of all, the Drogba & Co style that sometime use bold geometric motifs as part of it fabric design.

    If it's your love one's birthday or you want to spoil yourself, perhaps you might consider buying something from the HOM Temptation range. These garments are unashamedly sexy and have been known to be powerful aids to seduction!

    Gabriella Sandham stocks not only briefs, hipsters and boxers from all the ranges mentioned above but also Strings and Pyjamas. Hom is an innovative brand that never stand still and no doubt other new, exciting products are in the pipeline. Long may the revolution continue!

  • Gabriella Sandham Swimwear Tips

    As winter approaches and temperatures plummet, lots of us are dreading the onset of the coldest season. But not everyone! Each year, at about this time, more and more Uk citizens dream of getting away from it all over the holiday period, preferably somewhere warm where they can relax by a pool or on the beach. If you're one of the lucky ones who is soon to jet off to some tropical paradise, then chances are you're going to need some new swimwear to make your holiday complete.

    Gabriella Sandham stocks a wide range of swimsuits for women by brand names such as Prima Donna, Chantelle, Liz Hurley, Seafolly, Aqua Sphere and Pour Moi. These includes underwired swimsuits, both padded and unpadded, for bigger bust ladies, whilst for women who are concerned about their tummy, torso and waist, we have a selection of slimming swimsuits that slims and firms these problem areas. And for women who have undergone a mastectomy, we stock a range of pocketed swimwear by Amoena for use with either one or two waterproof breast forms. Amoena breast forms can also be used in other ranges of pocketed swimwear.

    Our men's swimwear includes both boxers and swim shorts. For fit and styling, we would recommend the French swimwear brand Hom, whilst if you're planning on turning heads by looking sexy, there's Latin Brand Mundo Unico. A work of caution,though: you're not allowed to wear either long boxers or Bermudas in European hotels or spas, so make sure you always have a pair of swim shorts in your travel bag.

    For kids, we have swimsuits and bikinis for kid from age 2 up to 12 by Boobs & Bloomers for Kids and Liz Hurley Kids Swimwear. And don't forget that we also stock goggles, nose clips, ear plugs and swim caps so you will be able to enjoy your poolside holiday to the max.

    If you've splashed out on some great swimwear for yourself, it's important to look after it properly so it retains its shape and continues to look good for as long as possible. Always rinse your swimwear in cold water after each use and then line dry. Never wash swimwear in a machine and never tumble dry. Also, most swimwear is made mostly from Lycra which tends to lose elasticity after being expose to salt water and chlorine. So, once your swimwear is worn out, throw it away. It's never nice to be at the pool,spa, or beach and see someone in a loose-fitting or worn-out swimwear. Look at it this way: you don't want to be that person who has an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction in full view of all the other holidaymakers!

    Happy Holidays!

    If you would like to be measured and fitted for your Swimsuits or Bikinis, you can booked an appointment at our South London Boutique. 0207 223 5558

  • Gabriella Sandham Interview

    Introduction to Gabriella Sandham, her views and opinions on the Lingerie industry during the last 9 years.

  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month

    The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – a cause that I support wholeheartedly.

    I strongly feel that, after experiencing something as devastating as breast cancer, my customers deserve to be helped to feel better about themselves, which may help towards their recovery. As I have been specially trained in fitting mastectomy bras, I have always made sure that the boutique and our website stocks a good selection of mastectomy bras and swimwear, as well as breast enhancers and prosthetics.

    My favourite brand is Amoena, so I always ensure we stock a good range for our customers, particularly those who come to us for a fitting. Non-wired mastectomy bras can be simple and practical if you wish, or feminine and sexy.

    Once you've been fitted with your chosen lingerie, I also offer 15% off all mastectomy bras purchased within the first year following your operation. Please call 020 7223 5558 for more details on how we can help you.

    For more information about Breast Cancer Care and how you can help or be helped, go to www.breastcancercare.org.uk

    You can now view or buy Amoena Lingerie and Prostheses at Gabriella Sandham online and at our boutique: 161 Lavender Hill, Battersea, London SW11 5QH.

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