Royal Central is continuing its series on companies who’ve received the royal seal of approval or Warrant of Appointment for providing the best products to its consumers who include members of the Royal Family. Where can you read mention of Royal unmentionables? Well, to an extent, right here.
Have you ever been curious about where a woman such as Her Majesty buys her undergarments and other lingerie? I can tell you where, but other than that, all else is confidential.
Rigby and Peller is the company responsible for ensuring The Queen’s more intimate items of clothing fit perfectly and are of the best quality. Founded by two entrepreneurial corsetieres in 1939, it’s first bespoke shop was established in South Molton Street in London’s West End.
It started providing bras for busty women but, over the years, has expanded to include more classic pieces in its collections and taken on a more modern approach. Ladies across the world can order much more choice now than ever before, in locations across the UK, the United States, Denmark, Germany and Hong Kong.
Gita Peller and Bertha Rigby ran the company until the 1950’s until one of Ms. Peller’s cousins took over. In 1982, June Kenton and her husband started running the company. And now their son has that honour. Ms. Kenton herself measures the Queen and has done so since the early 1980’s.
Undoubtedly, you might think of Rigby and Peller as a stuffy dowdy place where your grannie buys her brassieres. Come on, though, if R&P has been providing luxury items for Her Majesty since given its royal Warrant of Approval in 1960, there must be something unique about it. Right? Absolutely.
“All of our Stylists must learn to assess any customer’s size by eye,” according to an interview with one of the company’s buyers. “In addition, they must learn the unique fit of each of our products and be able to recommend the correct shape, colour and style bra to fit the individual customer’s size, shape, colouring and lifestyle. This service is what makes Rigby & Peller unique in the lingerie world.”
The company does have more competition these days, but what has kept it at the forefront of women’s minds all these decades is their made-to-measure approach. Whether they be royalty, movie stars or other celebrities, all clients receive individualised, personalised care and a customised fit specific to their lifestyle, wardrobe and how they feel wearing the garments.
Last year, The Daily Telegraph wrote about Rigby and Peller’s five scientific principles when finding a bra that fits just right. “But the sixth principle,” according to the article, “is most important of all: emotion. If it doesn’t feel right on, everything else goes out the window,”
Once the client works with an lingerie stylist determining fit and shape, which can vary depending on which of the 20 plus brands and styles examined, the fun begins. Working with an in-store seamstress, they can make modifications to the shape, choose what materials they want from French silks and lace and add any embellishments they wish. The garment is then put together to the exacting specifications of the client. It is finally tailored, if needed in a second fitting.
There is one final attribute that sets Rigby and Peller apart. It has lifted a page from the books of the Paris couture fashion houses. To allow its customers to purchase items with different trims and colours from anywhere in the world, templates for every made-to-measure customer are saved.
The company’s products aren’t the cheapest on the market – prices vary between £50 and £170 per bra and, unfortunately, we can’t tell you which ones Her Majesty herself is a fan of. The Queen, like all clients, gets one-on-one treatment and any measurements, choices and orders are kept strictly under wraps. Only a select few in the company, Angela Kelly and Her Majesty herself are likely to know but don’t let that put you off the company’s heritage and its attention to detail.
Knowing that Rigby and Peller are clothing one of the world’s great monarchs, if you order yourself, you’ll know you’re in safe hands and you’ll definitely feel like a Queen.
Would that be so bad?