by MIA FREEDMAN
I own too much underwear. This is the conclusion I reached recently, while spring cleaning my knicker drawer. So I decided the time was right to make some piles: keep, stash and bin (unlike my usual wardrobe purges, there is obviously no give-away pile when it comes to undies…. enough said).
You can gain many insights with a quick flick through your knickers. Here are some of mine:
1. SEX AND UNDIES ARE TIGHT
(Tight as it closely connected – not literally tight because that would be uncomfortable.)
When men become newly single, they often mark the occasion with a primal ‘get-blind-and-have-meaningless-sex-with-any-chick-who’ll-do-me’ ritual. It’s how they get back in the saddle, so to speak.
Women? We go knicker shopping. Or rather, lingerie shopping (if there’s ever a time your undies get a name upgrade to “lingerie”, it’s when you’re dating). While the female lingerie ritual is inevitably more expensive than blokes’ 24 beers and a post-shag cab ride home, there’s a far lower risk of STDs. Especially if you follow the fitting room signs and keep your own undies on during the trying-on process. In my nostalgic trip down the memory lane of my knicker drawer, I uncovered two matching lacy sets I’d bought when last newly single.
For some women, designer lingerie is a sickness on par with the more common designer shoe addiction but I’ve always been more superficial. I prefer to wear my expensive buys on the outside. Spending a fortune on a bra (let alone a g-string!) is not how I roll.
But even for those who love investing in a bra the same way the rest of us invest in a handbag, once you’re actually in a relationship – things change. Oh how they change. I think the amount of cash and thought you put into your underwear is inversely proportional to the length of the relationship. Things always start out promisingly with a tantalising display of saucy, sexy lingerie. By the time you move in together, all bets are off and comfort rules once again.
2. CLEAVAGE & FASHION DON’T ALWAYS MIX
I used to own a number of water bras and push-up bras that seemed like a good idea at the time. I was probably single when I bought them. But wearing them now feels faintly ridiculous. And not just because I’m married. The Pamela Anderson look – breasts thrust up, together and forward – doesn’t really work with fashion at the moment. And it’s true to say that I’d prefer people to notice my clothes (or – gasp! – my words!) than my breasts.
3. I AM NOT A MATCHY GIRL
The few times I have bought fancy-pants pants and bras? Well, I took the bras for a few spins, wore the g-strings once each and and then stuffed the lot at the back of the drawer so I wouldn’t have to admit they were a total waste of money. I’ve never been a matchy girl and I’ve come to accept I never will be. This isn’t because I’m some kind of anti-fashion rebel but more due to laziness and practicality.
The laziness is that I can’t be bothered fossicking through all my knickers to match-make. I’d rather spend the time moderating comments on Mamamia. The practicality part is that finding a well-fitting, good-looking, comfy bra or pair of undies can be difficult. The chances that its lingerie twin will look as good or fit as well are slim-to-none.
4. LINGERIE DOESN’T DATE
This is happy news. Some of my favourite bras are six years old. Undies obviously have a much shorter life-span because they’re washed more often. But a good bra keeps on keeping on from both a fashion and function point of view. I still have a white Donna Karan t-bar bra that clasps at the front that I bought in New York nine years ago. And a blue leopard print bra I bought at Gap in LA 12 years ago.
5. ONCE-A-MONTH UNDIES ARE ESSENTIAL
We all have them. Speaking to various girlfriends, the common theme with this type of underwear is cotton, coverage and dark colours. I used to keep mine in a separate drawer because they were so functional and un-fun.But then drawer space got tighter and all my undies had to move in together. It’s not a happy defacto arrangement. My monthly undies sit in the corner of my lingerie drawer, black, basic and brooding; an eyesore among the rainbow of my other knickers. They know they are the poor relations and they sulk.
6. I WEAR 10% OF MY UNDIES 90% OF THE TIME
It’s the old wardrobe rule that applies to everything: shoes, jewellery, clothes and underwear. You wear 10% of your stash 90% of the time. My drawer may be overflowing with a riot of colours, fabrics and styles but I reach for my favourites again and again. Cotton, bright colours and patterns. I’ve noticed that my g-string collection has gone from high rotation to back of the drawer status as boy-legs , seamless and hipster briefs have leap-frogged them to the top of the charts. I’m finding it hard to recall the g-string years frankly. They seem so uncomfy. Bum coverage is the new black.