<< Previous Topic | Next Topic >>Return to Index  

An article from the Times online

June 21 2003 at 11:55 AM
No score for this post
zeuren  (no login)

Show a little less
Helen Mound discovers how to be discreet when the car door opens

Exiting a car - how it should be done

Jade Jagger has flashed them, Minnie Driver has let slip a peek, Kylie can’t keep them out of the public eye and Farah Fawcett once famously forgot them. Knickers, that is.
Summer is here, hemlines are up and once again a girl’s thoughts turn to how to climb out of a car gracefully without revealing her smalls.

“It’s a common mistake among celebrities,” says Judith Kark, of St James’s & Lucie Clayton College, the finishing school which in its previous incarnation was famous in the 1960s and 1970s for teaching girls how to become thoroughly modern ladies. “They think about the dress, the shoes, the car and how they will look on the red carpet. But they forget to put all the bits together, most important of which is stepping out of the car in front of the cameras. One wrong move and the whole image is ruined.”

A lesson Michelle Heaton of the pop band Liberty X learnt the hard way recently when she was snapped by paparazzi stepping out of a taxi knickerless. She was mortified.

Lucie Clayton discarded its training chassis last year. “The unit was used to teach girls how to get in and out of a car correctly, but it was very old and worn — it had had a hard life,” says Kark. A sure sign then that girls still want advice on how to alight cars properly? “Yes, some still ask for instruction,” says Kark. “And we have in the past given advice to brides who are using awkward classic cars. But people don’t demonstrate the same level of modesty they did 40 years ago.”

So we’re not concerned about flashing our knickers, then? Not true, according to Volvo’s female focus group, which helped develop the new XC90 SUV. Volvo’s designers took their complaint seriously and lowered the suspension on the XC90 to a more standard car height.

Range Rover has discovered that women in the lucrative Hong Kong market have similar concerns. Research found that because they are typically smaller than western women they found it difficult to climb into the big new Range Rover with dignity — so the air suspension system was modified.

Honda has also identified the problem, referring to the knicker matter in its design department rather charmingly as “ladies’ modesty”. According to Honda’s designers, when it comes to ergonomics, pants — or rather the lack of them on show — is as much a priority as comfort.

But if the Honda S2000, Volvo XC90 and Range Rover are female-friendly, the Lotus Elise is best described as male-friendly — particularly if there’s a girl in a miniskirt struggling to get behind the wheel. Few cars are more difficult to get in and out of.

“To be honest, I always take a walk round the back of the car when a female customer is getting into an Elise,” claims the exceptionally gallant Guy Munday, a Lotus salesman at the Stratton Motor Company in Norfolk. Lesser men would stand back and grin.

Munday admits there is probably no way of climbing into the little sports car in a skirt without showing your knickers. “Of course it depends on the length of the skirt and how agile the girl. It is easier in the Mk II Elise because it has a smaller doorsill,” he explains. “But women are the most common reason for my not selling the car to couples . . . perhaps because they don’t want to flash their knickers.”

Even the professionals are careful not to show off more than they should.

“I make certain I don’t have a skirt on when we’re filming road tests,” says Vicki Butler-Henderson, a presenter on Five’s Fifth Gear. “There have been a few bra-flashing incidents, courtesy of a tight- fitting shirt, but I’ve managed to keep my pants to myself.”

Celebrities, on the other hand, show no such restraint. Dave Jester, picture editor on the News of the World’s Sunday magazine, says it’s a weekly occurrence. But he has his suspicions about how much of an accident they really are: “If it’s the difference between getting noticed and not, there’s no doubt they will give a flash.”

If, however, you are more of a modest Lucie Clayton type than an I’m a Celebrity . . . Look at My Knickers sort of girl, the ladies’ college has some advice for you. Don’t climb into a car holding bags, use your arms to push up and sit down, and take your time.

And the correct way to get into and out of a car? Face the windscreen, put your bottom in first, sit down and, keeping your knees and ankles together, lift your legs in last. Do the same in reverse to get out, and if you have to do it one leg at a time, keep your hips facing towards the windscreen at all times, not the door.

Scoring disabled. You must be logged in to score posts.Respond to this message   
(no login)

url for the pics to the above story

No score for this post
June 21 2003, 11:59 AM 

pics of michelle heaton here


Scoring disabled. You must be logged in to score posts.Respond to this message   
  << Previous Topic | Next Topic >>Return to Index  
Find more forums on Communities & GroupsCreate your own forum at Network54
 Copyright © 1999-2018 Network54. All rights reserved.   Terms of Use   Privacy Statement