The notion started out quite reasonably. Lots of women suffer with thigh chafe. Bloomin’ Sexy’s Carol is one of them, having a curvy figure, and being without the illusive “thigh gap”. She’d worked in the NHS for almost forty years and liked to wear dresses and skirts, but invariably ended up in trousers for comfort as it prevented thigh rub. It wasn’t a problem during the winter, but during hot summer days, Carol wanted to be able to wear cooler dresses or skirts. The solution was to wear leggings underneath. Hot!! Worse still was the occasion of a Red Carpet event in Leicester Square, London. Carol’s son had composed the soundtrack to a movie, and the family were attending the film premiere. Having bought the posh long frock, silver sandals and accessories, Carol ended up wearing tights under the dress, knowing that without them she would be uncomfortable all evening. Red painted toenails underneath tights just looked wrong, and Carol was admiring all the bare toes of the other women whilst feeling embarrassed about, and trying to hide her own.
Speaking to Carol’s work colleagues revealed that many of them wore a variety of different garments under their dresses for this very issue. Some underwear showing (and no small amount of giggling) revealed shorts, leggings, shape wear, cycling shorts, all in the attempt to stop the chafe. None of these solutions were very pretty. This took Carol on a hunt of the major fashion stores during her lunch break, looking for a garment that was practical and comfortable, but looked pretty. She found nothing, so looked online and ordered some anti chafe knickers. These arrived, and whilst they were functional, they weren’t an item of lingerie that felt feminine and sexy so the concept of making some that were both comfortable but still looked pretty was born. As Carol had been searching for bloomer like garments, and the idea was that women could feel sexy wearing them, she coined the name Bloomin’ Sexy right at the outset, partly in jest, but somehow it felt appropriate and it stuck.
Carol’s idea felt sound, but she had no idea how to create bloomers! Her mother in law used to make her own bloomer-type garment from petticoats, and she was a very good seamstress, however she sadly died following a stroke and Carol pondered how she would solve her lack of dressmaking skills. This is where designer Jill came in. Carol remembered a creative lady she’d first met several years before, when she was health visiting. Jill was brought up in Cornwall as a child and then moved to Devon 30 years ago, where she draws so much inspiration from her surroundings. Since the age of 4 Jill had always loved creating things from all kinds of materials which fed her curiosity to experiment with different fabrics. She’d worked in various clerical and retail jobs until becoming a full time mum, and had done dressmaking and garment alterations from home when her four daughters were young. Carol remembered that Jill had always had a great eye for style and presentation, making loads of her own and her children’s clothes (and doing a fair few alterations to Carol’s own clothes!) Designing had been a natural process for Jill – she spends her spare time dressmaking, doing textile art, knitting, quilting – always on the go with ideas! Deciding that there was nothing to lose, Carol knocked on her door one day, and explained her (what she thought quite daft) idea.
When Carol approached Jill to help with her idea Jill was so excited and began sketching straight away. Within minutes Jill had put pen to paper and sketched out the very first ideas for what has since evolved into our Classic and Vintage designs. We got together frequently after this, formed the company, and went on the hunt for the very best fabrics and manufacturers that we could find. Jill is always buzzing with ideas for new designs and Carol is pretty good with the admin side, so between them they have the business sorted!