14 Nov 2011

A word about your underwear, Madam..

Call me obsessive but I have a thing about underwear. For a start, it has to be matching - the top half to the bottom half and the underwear to the outerwear. Black bra and white top - how very dare you!
It's not expensive to have nice underwear and what's more, it makes you feel good. When the world has gone to hell in a handbag, at least you know if you get knocked over by a bus the nurses won't be sniggering in Accident & Emergency over your mismatched bra and pants. One less thing to worry about!
You may be the kind of person who love to choose underwear by the first thing you dragged out of your drawer - and if that's you, far be it from me to frog-march you down to M&S or even Tesco to get you kitted out to my satisfaction. Or you may think that matching underwear should be reserved for special occasions. I used to think this, until I decided that as you never know when your last day on Earth may be, you should treat every day like a special occasion.
Next Lingerie, pretty & practical
I mean, come on ladies, what are you thinking with your seen-better-days grey cotton briefs and an elastic-all-but-gone ill-fitting bra? I know  you're busy, but really, when you can order online or grab some while you're in the supermarket clothes aisle, there's no excuse.
Now, let me make it clear I'm not talking to our twenty-something younger sisters or even daughters here. Young women can pretty much get away with anything - they have youth and attitude on their side. But once you're past the first flush of youth, you might want to spare a thought for the state of your smalls. Comfort begins to take precedence after a certain age as well as practicality - but they don't have to mean ugly undies.
First, you need to leave the kids with your husband/parents/best friend and get yourself down to your local department store to be measured properly. There's nothing worse than spilling out at the top or a back-strap that's slid up to your shoulder blades.
These days there are specialist companies online that make bras for the larger lady (even regular companies go up to G cups), and you can get breast-feeding or post-surgery bras much more easily than you used to be able to do. But these groups aside who have particular needs - when was the last time you were properly measured?
The last time I was, I discovered that I was bigger in the front and smaller round the back than I thought I was - and boy, what a difference it made. You don't stay one size your whole adult life - dieting, pregnancy, age - they can all mean you end up with the wrong bra size.
And pants - now ladies, there's no point kidding yourself your bum is smaller than it is. Your knickers will just dig in, ride up and cling to your clothes - not a good look. There's no shame in buying a larger size to be more comfortable. I'm a UK6 (US,2)  in jeans, but I always buy size UK12 underwear. They're just more comfortable. Don't ask me how a 12 fits inside a 6, but they do.
Also, there is NO excuse for VPL these days. You don't need to resort to a thong (unless you're aged 22 in which case comfy pants mean nothing to you). Marks & Spencer, Next, Debenhams and more - all have well-priced pants that sit invisibly under clothes.
And they don't last forever. Elastic loses its zing, so make sure you check them over every month to see if they really should be in the bin. I know it's sad and it seems wasteful but if they've lost their twang, they won't be doing a thing for you.
Style & Comfort matter too. I hate fussy bras whose seams you can see through your clothes. Next and other retailers have seam free technology that allow comfort and style to go together. They lie flat at the sides and round the back so your clothes don't cling to the outline of your back-strap.
For me, there's nothing worse than spending the day in uncomfortable underclothes or worrying that my clothes are revealing a bit too much about what's underneath. I might only be dressed casually in jeans and jumper -  but I want them to look as good as they can and knowing that what's underneath is invisible, comfortable and most of all pretty, makes me feel pretty good too.