TKD Lingerie mummyonmymind

Local Flair Issue 26: TKD Lingerie

TKD Lingerie mummyonmymind

Welcome back to another Local Flair issue, and this time I got an insight into TKD Lingerie, through it’s founder Kate Kikano. TKD Lingerie is an award winning lingerie store, exclusively for women with bigger busts, and also stocking swimwear and nightwear. Kate was also kind enough to invite me to see their extensive Maternity range, where she imparted to me crucial information about how to choose the right maternity bra. Read on to find out why Kate is so passionate about her business and why TKD Lingerie promises to leave customers feeling confident and attractive, but most importantly “happy that finally you have found a lingerie store that understands you.”  P.S. Giveaway at the end of the post!

TKD Lingerie mummyonmymindTell me a little about yourself.

I have been working with people all my life. Ever since my first job washing hair in a local salon, I have been with providing service, in one way or another. In my career as an optometrist, I was always passionate about service and the customer experience and I was very lucky to have had that experience before opening my own store.

When I am not at work, I am busy with my two kids and my pets. I seem to collect strays and rescues, and my heart bleeds for all the animals that are abandoned each year. If I ever have any time left over, I also love to read. Fiction, business books, non-fiction.. There is never enough time.

Tell me about TKD Lingerie. 

I remember being pregnant about 7 years ago and trekking around the Dubai malls looking for bras. I was told again and again that my size was too big, and I kept getting offered smaller sizes. But a smaller cup size is the last thing you want when your breasts are already heavy and tender. I could have cried. Maybe I did a little. But then I dried my eyes and got to work on the business plan for TKD Lingerie.

Too often women are either sold the wrong size bra or told that her size isn’t available. An astonishing 80% of women wear the wrong size today, because they are not getting the right fitting advice. TKD Lingerie was born to change that. Every woman who walks in the store is offered a complimentary lingerie consultation to ensure she gets the size, shape and style that makes her look and feel her best.

My awful bra shopping experience helped when it came to designing the customer experience in TKD Lingerie. I wanted the brand to be feminine, friendly and accessible. And that means a brand that wasn’t intimidating, it meant never body shaming or telling women they were the wrong size for our products.

I have a good friend who is an excellent designer and we worked together to come up with the name and logo. The Knicker Drawers was soon shortened to TKD (as it was a bit of a mouthful), and that brings us to today. We are about to celebrate our 6th birthday and we have grown organically since the first day we opened. We have also opened a boutique in Bahrain and we are about to open our webstore.

What’s the most rewarding part of your business?

The other day I did a fitting with a lady who had never been fitted properly before. She had spent her whole life wearing bras in the wrong size. When I gave her a bra that was right for her size and shape, she couldn’t believe her eyes. She was literally stunned at the difference. Suddenly her boobs were supported and lifted up off her front to show off her waist, and in an instant she looked 10 years younger. Some of that was because of her new silhouette, but most of it was because of the expression on her face.

Doing fittings is not always so dramatic, but when you have one of those moments – and it happens more than you think – it stays with you. It is an amazing experience to be able to lift someone’s spirits in a matter of minutes.

TKD Lingerie mummyonmymind

What’s been the most frustrating or challenging aspect of your business, and how have you overcome it?

Seeing women at the gym or by the pool who clearly need better support but don’t know it!

The most challenging part of what we do by far is overcoming the misinformation and bad fitting advice that has been the norm for so long. Lots of women choose bras based on a fitting they might have had 10 years ago. And it might not have been right in the first place. There are plenty of fitting services out there where they use a measuring tape to calculate your bra size, which has been proven to give the wrong size more often than it gives the right one.

Once you have seen and felt the difference, you know what to look for in a bra. But if you haven’t ever been fitted properly, you might not know how much better it can be.

How many lingerie collections do you stock, and where are they sourced from?

We stock more than 120 sizes, from a 28 – 46 D-K cup. The boutiques stock high quality and award-winning brands from the UK, the US, Australia and New Zealand such as Panache, Fantasie, Freya, Cake Maternity, Hotmilk, Cleo, Curvy Kate, Charnos, Miss Mandalay, Cyberjammies, and Miraclesuit. We are brand independent, which means that we only stock the best brands based on fit and quality, because our customers deserve the best.

TKD Lingerie mummyonmymind

TKD Lingerie mummyonmymind

What is the unique trait about TKD Lingerie?

 Our fitting expertise and our size range is unique in the market. We are passionate about finding the right fit for every woman and that means not just getting the size right, but also the shape and style of bra. We are the D+ experts for the Middle east, because we know more than 60% of all women are a D cup or above.

Our size range starts from 28D and goes all the way up to a 46 back. So not only do we have the right size and shape for the majority of all women, we also have sizes that can be very hard to find elsewhere. That is because we don’t think anyone should have to compromise on getting the right fit.

Your award-winning store has been recommended by many women in Dubai, especially for your fitting services. The TKD Lingerie fitting service does not use measuring tapes. Why is this so?

Most of us have been conditioned to think that our bra size can be determined with the help of two measurements: under the boobs and across. But a recent study by scientists at Portsmouth University showed that more than three quarters of bra fittings using a tape measure gave the wrong size. This is why. Firstly, a tape measure isn’t stretchy like bra material, so it cannot tell you how the bra will fit on your ribcage. Secondly, breasts are not rigid and uniform. Some are perky and high, some are full and round, and some are more relaxed. These differences in shape will give completely different measurements even when the actual volume of the breast is exactly the same.

Or to put it in another way, think of baking a cake. You have made the cake batter and you can pour it into a narrow and tall cake tin, or a wide round one. Measuring these cake tins with a measuring tape will give you completely different numbers, but the actual amount of cake is the same, no matter which one you use.

TKD Lingerie mummyonmymind

What factors should customers look out for when searching for the perfect maternity bra? It is advised that you should not wear wire bras during breastfeeding as it can clog the milk ducts, however you introduced me to the concept of flexi-wire. How does the flexi-wire bra work and why is it safe to be used during breastfeeding?

We stock the best maternity bra brands available in the market; Cake, Hotmilk, Panache. Your maternity or nursing bra should be comfortable. It should be firm around the back to offer proper support. The cups should be able to accommodate your breast when they are at their fullest without pressing on breast tissue.

Many women prefer the support of underwired bras but are often recommended not to use them during pregnancy or lactation. This is due to rigid underwires not being able to accommodate the daily changes in breast shape, which can put pressure on breast tissue leading to blocked milk ducts and mastitis.

TKD has an award-winning range of flexible wire nursing bras from Cake Lingerie. These have been designed to provide superior shape, support and good overall breast health. The wires are made from a light gauge alloy so it easily moulds and shapes around the breast. The angle of the wire is wider, which encompasses the breast whilst avoiding pressure on the breast tissue at the sides. These flexible wire bras deliver that much needed security and support whilst still being surprisingly comfortable.

What is the At Home Service you provide for new mothers, and why is it so important?

Having the right support, right from the start, can make a huge difference when you are trying to get to grips with nursing a newborn. But we know how difficult it can be to get out in the very early days with a new baby. That is why we have launched the home visit service, to support those new mums who really need it.

Maternity and nursing underwear has been a core pillar in our business since the day we opened, with award-winning high quality brands such as Hotmilk, Cake Maternity and Panache. We offer the widest range of sizes and styles of nursing underwear in the market, and all our staff are professionals, fully qualified to do pre and postnatal fittings.

For many new mums, the first weeks at home with a new baby can be an overwhelming time. Going out to buy much needed nursing bras between nappy changes, feeding, burping, napping, and sometimes looking after older siblings can sometimes seem like an insurmountable task. Many women also find it difficult to know what size to choose as their bodies continue to change post-partum, which is why a fitting is so important.

TKD Lingerie mummyonmymind

Tell me about a day in your life, as the owner of TKD Lingerie? 

Every day is different. When you are an SME owner, you do everything and anything from seeing customers on the shop floor to overseeing the accounts and speaking to suppliers. There are always changes in regulation you need to learn about, or potential new suppliers to evaluate.

I like to take part in community events where I can speak to women about how to make sure their bras fit properly, and this is something we do a lot of. I am often asked to speak at prenatal and breast-feeding events, and this is also something I feel passionate about because I know first hand what a difference the right support can make when it comes to nursing.

When you are running your own business there will always be more to do. But as a mother you also have a whole other set of commitments that are equally important, so trying to find a way to balance the two without burning the candle at both ends is crucial.

Where would you like to see TKD Lingerie in 5 years time?

We want to continue to be the lingerie store of choice for women of the Middle East. I also want to continue to educate the market about fittings, and to give many more women that “Wow” experience that comes with trying on a bra that truly fits for the first time.

In terms of current plans, we will also be launching our webstore in the coming months so make sure you sign up for our newsletter so you will be the first to hear when we are live.

TKD Lingerie mummyonmymind

Mummy On My Mind’s Review…

Kate was kind enough to show me around the TKD Lingerie store in Town Centre Mall just before the end of my pregnancy. I was also offered a maternity bra fitting and gifted two maternity bras to try out for myself. The store itself stocks a great number and variety of lingerie, catering to all your style and comfort needs. The maternity section can be found at the back of the store, alongside two very large fitting rooms, that are able to fit in a stroller inside! Kate has really put in a lot of thought, down to such small details that ensure all her customers have the best and most efficient experience.

As for my fitting, I was told I was in fact wearing the wrong size, and just a few adjustments made such a huge and wonderful difference. I was also kindly gifted two maternity bras: a black Flexi Wire Nursing bra by Cake Lingerie and a nude Soft Structured Nursing Bra by Panache, that we picked after trying on all sorts of bras. I have been wearing both since having given birth to Little Z, and made sure to get nursing bras that would cater to a bigger bust size since I am breastfeeding. Though the flexi-wire bra is very flattering, and there is even an option to have it with a racer back, for the first few weeks post partum, I found it very comfortable to wear the soft structured nursing bra by Panache. Comfortable enough to even sleep in it all night, as it was made of a stretchable material and felt incredibly soft.

I think the main thing I have taken away from this fitting experience at TKD Lingerie is that maternity bras need not be boring. They can still offer comfort but also look good on you, making you feel confident inside and out. I would highly recommend TKD Lingerie, especially for bigger busted women, and even if you do not plan to shop for bras, at least make sure to get yourself fitted properly by their expert team because it truly makes the world of a difference.


TKD Lingerie and Mummy On My Mind are holding a giveaway for your chance to win a voucher of AED 250! The giveaway will run from 19th February to 26th February. All you have to do is:

  • Follow mummyonmymind and tkd_lingerie on Instagram
  • Like and comment on the photo of the TKD Lingerie giveaway with the answer to the question asked in the caption.
  • Tag 5 of your friends who would be interested in the comments section of the photo.

Please Note: This giveaway is open to UAE residents only.

Thank you Kate for introducing TKD Lingerie to us but for also sharing tips on how to pick the perfect bra. Don’t forget, TKD Lingerie offer a free fitting service, so hurry on over to their store to make sure you are wearing the right bra for you.

For more information, head to their website or follow them for updates on Facebook and Instagram. TKD Lingerie is located on the ground floor of Town Centre Mall in Jumeirah, Dubai.

Note: Some photographs in this post belong to TKD Lingerie and have been used by the owner’s permission. 

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