Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Let's Mention Unmentionables

Nothing lasts forever (except maybe Tupperware and that pair of shoes you absolutely hate) and so it is with underwear, namely mine. I've found myself in need of new undies and hit the store to buy new ones.

Buying underwear is almost as complicated as buying a new car and picking out wallpaper. At least there are no pushy salesmen and not quite as many different selections as with wallpaper. But as I discovered on my recent shopping trip, it's not as easy as it used to be. When I was growing up, most every woman wore the same thing -- ladies briefs AKA granny panties.

But now there is an assortment of styles and they're all pretty much based around how much of your rear they cover. The chart below gives you an overview of the various styles on the market today.

While I AM a grandmother, I'm not ready for granny panties yet, so I perused some of the other styles, and here they are in a sort of descending order of butt coverage.

The hi-cut brief is exactly what its name implies -- a brief with higher cut leg openings. It's a little less old-looking than briefs, but not much.

Then we have the low-rise brief, again pretty much what its name indicates.

I got a bit confused, though, when I looked at hipsters because I'm not quite sure of the difference between a hipster and a low-rise brief.

Further down the butt-coverage scale is the bikini. And even within this style there is the standard bikini, tghe string bikini and the dip-front bikini. Who thought there'd ever be sub-genres of underwear.

And last, and certainly least, is the thong, or as Larry the Cable Guy calls it, "butt floss."

Then there's this style that seems to incorporate a more masculine styling -- the boy short.

Once you decide on a style, you have to deal with the fabric (cotton, nylon, silk, satin, microfiber), color and whether they are solid or patterned. The day of plain white panties seems to have disappeared. Bright colors and wild patterns abound. The undies display at Victoria's Secret is a veritable rainbow of hues and designs, and just like selecting wallpaper, once you think you've found what you want, you spot a pair on another table that seems a little prettier. And since you can't try on panties, sometimes your purchase is a real gamble.

It actually took me about a week to re-stock my underwear drawer and I ended up with a combination of styles, colors and fabrics to suit different articles of clothing. I won't tell you exactly what I bought, but I will tell you that drawer contains no thongs or boy shorts.

I won't go so far as to ask y'all what sort of underwear you wear (of course, if you want to volunteer the information, I won't stop you), but I will ask this: Do you get as frustrated as I do shopping for them? Do you prefer any particular fabric? Do you like solids or patterns?

When I was researching underwear, I saw this quote and loved it:

I don't believe in the after life, although I'm bringing a change of underwear. -- Woody Allen

And don't get me started on the apparent disappearance of the woman's full-length slip. I found some in a large department store, but good gracious alive, they cost as much as the dress I wanted to wear it under. And all us Southern girls know you're supposed to wear a slip under a skirt or dress to prevent unsightly show-through if the light catches you the wrong way. Anyone remember the fuss over this photo?

P.S. The Free Book Friday winner from last week is Rebekah. Please email Smarty Pants to arrange for your prize.


susanwilson44 said...

Yes, the full length slip has definitely disappeared. I used to wear one under my nurses uniform, but I think I was the only person. It used to be underwear on full view where I worked, particularly in the rainbow of colours you just mentioned, through a white dress. Ugh! Believe it or not I would have been the youngest person there at the time - not the oldest!

Maven Linda said...

Going with the view that underwear isn't meant to be seen by the general public, whether it's a bra strap or the waistband of whatever style of panty you're wearing, I really don't care how my underwear looks because I'm not going to be showing it. For me, comfort is everything, which means if I'm forever tugging at something, it goes in the trash. I don't care how new it is. I may have just bought it, but it gets only one trial run. But I do prefer the microfiber that's so smooth, doesn't have seams, etc. They fit like a dream, too.

What I have the toughest time buying is socks. You may have the same problem, PM, because you and PC have the same issue I do: a small foot. Most socks are too big for me, which means I either have to roll up the excess at the toe and tuck it under, or pull it up so high the heel part is sticking out of the back of my shoe. There's nothing more irritating than to be walking along and have a sock go renegade on you, and you have to stop, take off your shoe, and adjust the darn thing.

Angel said...

Yes, panty shopping is a pain. The biggest reason is that you can't try them on, so what if I spend $5 for a pair of panties that I get home and hate. Thus, if I find some I love, I go back and buy them in every color. :) I have different styles, depending on what I'm going to be wearing them with, and have a few pairs that only stay on long enough for the hubby to get a good look, then they're gone. :)

I did actually find some slips at Walmart! I desperately needed one to wear for the Readers Luncheon, and happened to walk by them in the lingerie department. Convenient and cheap, but I don't think they have them at the one nearest you, PM. That one has the smallest PJ department I've seen in a Walmart.

Socks!!! Don't get me started. I have to admit that I usually buy the smallest adult size, then pull them tight so the heel in up the back of my foot. I tried the largest kids size, but they were too small. Sigh. Again, if I find some that fit perfectly, I go buy a bunch.


Cheryl said...

I am aghast at the plethora of undies out there! Like you. PM, I would not wear a pair of thongs. That would drive me absolutely crazy (remember wedgies?). My days of bikini panties are over, thanks to childbirth. And I am NOT wearing granny panties. Narrows the field, a lot. I have to admit, and yes I hear all of you out there screaming, I have never been in a Victoria's Secret. Yes, it's true and I also have never been in a Starbucks. I live to be a rebel.

Problem Child said...

I'm guilty of the bra strap showing -- mainly in the summer when I'm wearing a tank top. But we're talking grocery store trips here, not church or anything. (And I do try to match my bra to the tank top so it's not so obvious. Black tank - black bra.)

And I have to admit, I'm a fan of the pretty undies. Somehow a great set of undies just gives me a major confidence boost for the day.

Instigator said...

Cheryl, wedgies was the reason I started wearing thongs...I figured if the material was going to be there anyway I might as well make it as small as possible. You get used to them.

I'm a sucker for pretty panties too. Don't care if no one's going to see them (and occasionally you have the incident at the airport that you hadn't planned on and are greatful that at least the panties the TSA guy saw included a cute pink bow.) I know they're cute and that's all that matters.


P.S. I tried to write my response without giving away what kind of panties I wear and couldn't so y'all will just have to know more about me than you probably wanted to. :-)

catslady said...

The only thing worse is trying to find a bra. I wear the bikini, my 26 yr. old daughter wears briefs or hipsters and my 23 yr. old wears those horrible thongs lol.

PM's Mother said...

W-e-l-l-l-l-l Depends!

Seriously, 100 percent cotton is the most comfortable where I live, but the style I like - Bali's Skimp Skamp (with only one seam down the back - very comfortable) is only made in nylon.

I enjoyed my visit with the Play Friends and the meeting with Heart Of Dixie group.

Smarty Pants said...

I have almost every style in my drawer except the granny panties. I really like the smooth stretchy kind without pantylines. A nifty pair I got the other day have a gather up the back to prevent the baggy butt look. Although large, my rear is flat and that's a problem.

Anonymous said...

I detest underwear shopping! I can rarely find bra's in my size, and having one special fitted just doesn't work on my budget! As for the undies, seriously, it depends on my weight. The bigger I am, then, the undies' style changes! And I also agree that undies aren't meant to be seen in genera public. I work in a grocery store, and honestly some people just dont understand that people dont want to see your neon thong! Nor do we need to see you shopping with your boobs laying on your stomach without the proper support!

word verification: mines

Sheryl M