Welcome to Harwayes Lingerie
On 29th March 2011, Harwayes embarked on a new chapter in its long history of providing beautiful lingerie and accessories to its customers.
Harwayes has been acquired by Saffron Lingerie of Stafford and will continue to provide you with the brands and ranges of lingerie that you are familiar with, as well as adding a "Pinch of Saffron" to expand and enhance the Harwayes ranges.
Harry Waite, the founder of Harwayes opened his first shop in Coventry in 1947. This shop was a WW11 Nissen hut, which he purchased from a nearby airstrip for a £1. He then had it transported by truck into the centre of town. Bombed heavily during the war, Coventry had little or no infrastructure to support local business, hence the need for the Nissen hut.
Post war, stock was very difficult to get hold of and customers could be seen queuing outside the shop to buy their nightwear and stockings, which they then paid for with their coupons.
Harwayes, including Johnstones of Nottingham, became a chain of 24 stores. These stores stretched from Crewe and Worksop in the north, Dunstable in the south, Stourbridge in the west and Norwich in the east.
During the 61 years of Harwayes Lingerie, we have seen huge change in the quality, comfort and general fit of lingerie. Fashions have changed and modern materials have allowed lingerie to become lighter, prettier and easier to wash. However, we are now seeing a come back of the corsetry and long-line underwear styles once common in the 50s, as women regain their desire for slimming, smoothing undergarments. Harwayes are meeting that demand by stocking several different styles of ‘shapewear’ garments for all sizes, to achieve that hourglass figure.
Not only has lingerie evolved, but the overall size of women today has also seen a dramatic change. With better nutrition the average bra size has grown from a 34B to 36D. With increasing bra sizes and improved awareness of how important it is to have a correctly fitted bra, many of the ranges we offer are available up to a J cup.
Waist sizes have expanded since the 50s from an average of 27’’ to 31’’, which could explain the recent demand for shapewear, which enables ladies to achieve that enviable smaller waist.
In 2006 Harry Waite’s granddaughter Emily Murray took Harwayes online with the launch of their website: www.harwayeslingerie.com.
Regrettably, due to difficult trading conditions on the High Street in 2009, like many other major retailers, even household names such as Woolworths, Harwayes had to close its ‘Bricks and Mortar’ stores. However, the on-line shop was taken over by online retail specialist, Katy Brown Limited , prior to the sale to Saffron.
Specialist Fitting Service
One service Harwayes proudly continues to offer its customers an online fitting service.
It is estimated that as many as 80% of women in the UK are wearing the wrong sized bra.
We believe that a correctly fitted bra is essential and not only will it feel more comfortable, but will look great too. By offering this service we can find your correct bra size and a style that best suits your shape.