Wirefree is creating a bit of a buzz right now, so we (AKA The Knicker Locker Team) thought it was time for an interview to get the low-down straight from the horse's mouth. Royce Lingerie is the only dedicated wirefree specialist and this year the company celebrates its 25th birthday!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROYCE!
The History of Royce
Known as the "go-to-gals" for beautiful, comfortable wirefree bras, Royce was founded in Banbury, Oxfordshire by husband and wife team, Jane and Bob Fleming in 1991 - both already had a long history within the lingerie industry. Their initial focus was nursing bras and their first customer was the National Childbirth Trust.
From the start, they relished in the technical demands of getting the patterns just right, sourced only the best quality fabrics and trims and created unique designs to ensure that every Royce bra was as comfortable and as supportive as possible. As the benefits of wearing a wirefree bra became more widely known, demand increased and Royce responded by expending its core ranges to meet the needs of its customers.
Today, Jane and Bob remain directors of this established family-run business and the head office is still in Banbury, where a dedicated design team works closely with wear-testers to ensure ever new style performs perfectly and meets the specific needs of each customer. Royce Lingerie is available from hundreds of retail stockists in the UK and worldwide as well as online... Wink Wink nudge nudge.... Knicker Locker!
Royce is famous for being wire-free. As well as its everyday styles in sizes ranging from AAA all the way up to an L cup, Royce offers maternity and nursing bras, mastectomy and post-surgery bras, styles for the fuller bust and teen bras.
"We are proud to say that all our bras are designed in Britain. Our bras are made in China, in Sedex-approved, ethical factories that look after their staff and work closely with us to bring our designs to life. When it comes to protecting the environment and helping others, as well as recycling everything we can, we work closely with the charity Against Breast Cancer and encourage our retailers to take one of their fabulous bra banks. We also have one here at our head office. Ladies can bring in any bras and they will be recycled or re-used by women in the third world. All of our samples go to the bra banks too."
Find out more about the Bra Bank: Click Here
The Royce Collections
The Everyday Comfort collection features an array for non-wired styles that offer great comfort and support. Theses ranges come in a variety of sizes to suit every body shape and also some great new colour choices to keep up with the latest fashion trends. Some bras have a cotton lining which can be used as a pocket if required. Styles such as Ava and Charlotte are available up to a UK K cup. One of their bestsellers is Grace with high Cotton content and fantastic comfort up to a UK FF cup.
Royce have had great success with their classic crop top sports bra, Impact Free, and have expanded their range adding in an Impact Free Petite and a new Impact Free. The new Impact Free is available up to a 40K and consists of 100% Cotton. The structured cups and high neckline ensures full coverage of the breasts to reduce vertical bounce. The Impact Free Petite is multi-functional, it can be used for teenage girls and can also hold a prosthesis if required once the pads are removed. This style is available from 30-36 A-D and has a stylish racerback.
The Caress collection offers great style specially for women who have undergone breast surgery. From T-Shirt bras to front fasteners and pretty fashion ranges, there is an array of choice up to a UK FF cup. Each bra is designed to meet exact standards and delivers the comfort, support and fit needed after breast surgery. However, these pocketed styles can be worn by any woman where the pockets can be used as a soft cotton lining instead.
The Royce Nursing collection offers fashionable, practical styles for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. They are all totally wirefree and come with easy-to-release drop-down clips for quick access. Their newest development of the Blossom Nursing Bra is an all time favourite with a clever ruching technique allowing the bra to become flexible, stylish and so-comfortable!
Missy - Teen
The Missy collection is perfect for all teenage girls as they start to develop into young women. All these styles are comfortable, discreet, pretty and are availabe in packs of two with one white bra and one patterned bra. With high Cotton content and a range of bra sizes from AA - D, this collection is ideal for a first time bra.
Q&As with Sarah Gilbert, Commercial Manager at Royce Lingerie
1. What makes Royce such a popular brand?
We are specialists in wirefree, our customers know they can come to us for all their wirefree needs. I also think it's because we have been doing larger cups for a long time - we realised that bigger cups were really what women needed and so we included these in our range from an early stage. Getting the right level of support in DD+ styles without underwires is a real feat of engineering, and our customers love the choice we offer - for example, our Impact Free Sports Bra is the only wirefree option that goes up to a K cup and our lovely Charlotte Nursing Bra goes up to a KK and L cup.
2. Why wirefree?
There are lots of reasons why woman may prefer a wirefree bra. Some very slim women find that underwires can hurt their ribs, while ladies who have a large bust may prefer a softer bra that is not restrictive. For teenage girls a non-wired bra is a good choice because their breasts are constantly developing and an underwired style can quickly dig in and become uncomfortable.
If you've had breast surgery - whether for augmentation, reduction or breast cancer - it's essential to wear a non-wired bra for the recovery period after surgery. Many women also find non-wired bras more comfortable once their surgery site has healed too, as they help avoid any irritation to sensitive scar tissue, while ensuring implants or protheses are protected.
Wirefree is also the best option for pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers to avoid restricting breasts as they grow providing gentle support that can adapt to fluctuations in breast size.
3. Where do you get your inspiration for new ranges and styles?
We take our inspiration from lots of different places - we go to the trade shows and see what is happening in the trends, as well as looking at fashion trends generally; we talk to our customers and find out what they are looking for and we look at how women's lifestyles are changing and think about the lingerie they need to see them through every day.
4. How do you know when a range or style is ready to launch?
We only decide a garment is ready to launch when we are completely happy with it from a design, function and performance point of view and when we have tested it and we know our wear testers love it.
5. What tests do you carry our to make sure the range is up to standards?
As well as being tested by the fabric suppliers themselves, all of our fabrics are tested by our factory. Then once the garments are made up in production quality fabrics, they are sent to an independent testing house to be tested for stability - wash testing makes sure they wash well, don't shrink and the colours don't fade. We also test them in-house using real women who wear the bras from the concept stage all the way through to production to ensure that they are comfortable and to help resolve any issues with fit.
6. A lot of manufacturers are promoting their wirefree styles to a younger audience. Do you think this is the way to go?!
We are delighted to be part of the general fashion zeitgeist! After all, we've been championing wirefree for 25 years. A lot of younger women like a very natural, smooth look under fitted tops and nothing says 'natural' better than a soft cup bra. In fact, we believe that once you've tried a Royce wirefree T-Shirt bra you will never look back. Our customers absolutely love the soft, sexy outline and the comfy, supportive fit.
7. What are the best selling styles from Royce?
The Maisie T-Shirt Bra in Navy from our everyday wirefree collection has been a great success since we launched it in October 2015. With its lining/pocket, Maisie is a favourite with women who have had a mastectomy. Another absolute favourite is our lovely Blossom Nursing Bra with it's ingenious ruching at the centre front that allows it to be adjusted from a crop-top style to a deeper 'V' for lower necklines. Blossom comes in a range of colour, including a new pink and cream striped Candy Blossom for the summer.
8. What can we look forward to from Royce's Autumn/Winter 16 collection?
We have lots of exciting new colours and prints and some new styles as well - we're experimenting with different shapes. Watch this space!
Knicker Locker Product Review
Candy Blossom Nursing Bra & Poppy Moulded Nursing Bra
By The Girl In The Pink Bra
I was thrilled to receive a parcel from Royce Lingerie this week. I was eager to discover the contents as the parcel seemed rather heavy! Not only was there an exquisite gift box but inside, were two beautiful Nursing Bras, a hand-written note and Royce catalogues to peruse! The Candy Blossom Nursing Bra has just been launched in the last week, so I have this one hot off the production line! Exciting! The Poppy Moulded Nursing Bra is also a new design but is already proving to be a very popular style. The Poppy Bra is a 32E, which is my usual bra size, but the Candy Blossom Bra is a 32 E/F/FF because of it's unique design.
Both styles are without underwires, which is to be expected with nursing bras so they don't dig into your breast tissue or milk ducts when breastfeeding. The Poppy Nursing Bra has pre-formed foam moulded cups, which should give a nice, natural shape under t-shirts. It is made of 53% Polyamide, 25% Polyester, 12% Cotton and 10% Elastane. As you can see, it has the drop-down clips for easy access and the print is very pretty with a vintage-inspired floral pattern. On my note from Royce I was informed there are also Poppy briefs to match the bra but they are not available until June. Who doesn't love a matching set!?
I love the look of the new Candy Blossom Nursing Bra - it looks extremely comfortable, fashionable and can be worn in several different ways. The ruching in the centre front gives the ability to adjust the cup size and style of the bra. Throughout breastfeeding, your breasts will fluctuate between sizes because of your natural milk production, it's normal to be a variety of different cup sizes throughout this stage/period. This bra consists of 68% Cotton, 15% Polyamide, 12% Polyester and 5% Elastane. It feels extremely soft because of the Cotton content and I notice it has foam pads on the inside of the cups to give a nice forward-facing shape. I can't wait to try them on!
The Wear Test(s)
Poppy Moulded Nursing Bra
The Poppy Nursing Bra went on with ease just like a 'normal' bra. I put it on the loosest hook on the back which was firm but comfortable and scooped my breasts into the cups. I immediately noticed one side of the bra cut in slightly on my bigger side. (We all have one breast bigger than the other! Even if we don't realise it!) This is very natural for me to see, as in some styles I can be a 32F, especially if they are padded. It would be a good idea to compare the 32E to a 32F to see which is the better fit. I haven't had the need to wear a soft up bra yet and at first it felt strange, but surprisingly I got used to it quite quickly! It gave me a nice round shape and the moulded cups also helped with extra support the underwires would have given. Big thumbs up!
Candy Blossom Nursing Bra
The Candy Blossom Bra was a dream to put on. I thought it wouldn't be as supportive as the Poppy Nursing Bra but I was pleasantly surprised! The under-band sat firmly round my back and the straps were easy to alter because they are adjustable from the front. You can see on the pictures below where the foam padding is located at the side of the cups, I think this was a great added extra as it provided a nice uplift and support. The ruching technique in the centre of the bra worked really well. I was able to gather it up and tie a bow to make sure it was secure and this gave me a more natural looking bra shape. The crop top style was incredibly comfortable but from a fashion perspective, it wouldn't work as well under low-cut outfits because it was very high on the neckline. Being in my 20s, I may get quite conscious of this and wear the other shape more often. Other than that, this is a style I would be more than happy to wear throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding and I would no doubt get the black colour way as well!
I am extremely impressed with the fit and quality of both Royce Nursing Bras. Even though I am currently not pregnant or breastfeeding, they both felt comfortable and non-irritable on the skin. I also believe they would appeal to both older and younger mothers because the prints and styles are both elegant and fashionable. If I were to pick a style based on comfort, I would easily choose the Blossom Nursing Bra, however if I were to pick based on aesthetics I would pick the Poppy Nursing Bra because of it's 'normal' moulded bra shape and the beautiful floral design. Of course, if I had the option I would buy both! One to wear at home and one for going out!
Being avid Royce fans for many years now, we made sure we stocked their bestsellers as well as their new fashion ranges and colour ways. From their Caress, Everyday and Nursing collection we bring you a stunning array of bra styles which are all available at Knicker Locker.
1. Comfi Bra - The Comfi Bra is designed for superb comfort with a front fastener and high Cotton content. It has cotton pockets/lining as standard so it's perfect for women who have undergone breast surgery or simply for everyday wear.
2. Maisie Moulded Soft Cup Bra - Maisie is a beautiful soft, moulded style with pretty satin trim to ensure great shape under clothes. It has a cotton lining/pockets making it ideal for women who have undergone breast surgery.
3. Georgia Moulded Soft Cup Bra - Georgia is a pretty T-Shirt bra style with lace trim on the under-band. It has lightly moulded cups and it comes with cotton lining/pockets as standard.
4. Charlotte Soft Cup Bra - Charlotte provides great comfort and support without the need of underwires. It is simple yet classy with a mesh trim and 2 part cup for a great shape. Ideal for everyday wear or pregnancy.
5. Poppy Nursing Bra - Pretty Poppy showcases a fun and colourful retro print on a soft moulded style. It has drop-down clips for easy access and great for wearing under T-Shirts.
6. Blossom Nursing Bra - Blossom is a new innovation from Royce, with a unique ruching and bow at the centre front to adjust and fit you correctly all through pregnancy and breastfeeding. Each size ranges between 3 cup sizes giving you great flexibility.
Royce cater for many special occasions and it's impossible to name another brand that specialises in such a broad range of soft cup bras. With 5 unique wirefree collections and new fashion ranges each season, we have to love them! For all your soft cup needs, make sure you always remember Royce Lingerie.
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(Psst...Don't forget to check out our YouTube channel for great videos from Royce and lots of other brands!)
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