Not long ago it was the 40th anniversary of Doreen, the best-selling bra in the UK.
I had never heard of Doreen, which surprised me. I’ve always loved clothes, and underwear, was a big fan of Janet Reger, Rigby and Peller et al. But I find that my ignorance is not surprising. The reason? Doreen is never advertised.
Triumph, her parent company, is ashamed of her. Or more precisely, Triumph is ashamed of Doreen’s wearers. The reason? We’re too old by half.
The average Doreen wearer is aged 55, and Triumph doesn’t want that generally known. Bras are for young, sexy, hip, flirty women, aren’t they? Well, how patronising can you get, is my response to that.
Bra manufacturers know damn well that practically the entire adult female population of the UK wears a bra. There are 30.7 million females in the UK, a sizeable proportion of whom are over 40, over a B cup and in need of some support – both literally and figuratively. And those women not only have sex and consider themselves sexy, they also have money in their pockets with which to buy decent underpinnings. At a conservative estimate, a woman needs three bras, even if they’re all identical. Is our money not good enough?
Triumph won’t pull Doreen from the shelves, of course – they just won’t make a fuss about her. Periodically they update the design slightly in terms of fabric and finish (you can now buy Doreen in ‘luxury’ finish and a cotton-rich version), and the bra is available in mid-line and long-line versions too, and even a swimsuit and a body. Meanwhile Doreen wearers (like your truly has become) are so addicted to our bras for their fantastic comfort and support that we pass on the news by word of mouth and effectively do Triumph’s legwork for them.
I love my Doreens, and will be buying many more in the (very limited) range of colours in which it’s available, but I have to admit that it pisses me off to put money in the coffers of a company that disrespects its client base in such an egregious manner. It really is a shame when the product itself is so superb. The best-selling bra in the UK, and it’s been that way for 40 years – you think they’d be proud of that, wouldn’t you?
The complete Doreen range is available from Figleaves.com