I recently took my mum into Victoria’s Secret on a shopping trip. She proceeded to stand there looking bored for about 10 minutes, branding it as the new “place of darkness” (a title previously held by Hollister), before actually looking round and realising it really wasn’t so bad. In fact, she had a kind of epiphany-style moment. It turns out, that no woman can escape from the fact that wearing nice underwear makes you feel really good about yourself. The question is: why?
In the overly-sexualised world in which we live, women generally have no qualms with either publicly or privately exclaiming that they have it tough. After all, they didn’t choose the boob life, the boob life chose them. So why is it that we have to spent around £30 for a decent bra? Why do we do it?
A man might suggest that it’s all for them; to make a man feel like the woman’s made an effort for them. A feminist (that wonderfully vague and skewed phrase on which there will be more later…) may reply that if that is the case, the man should pay for the expensive bras that are apparently only bought for their benefit. But then the same principle would have to be applied to razors, bikini waxes, high heels and any other appearance-enhancing necessity you wish to throw into the mix. At which point you’re descending into a spiral of never-ending, frivolous technicalities.
The truth is – and I’m sorry if this causes offence, it is only my opinion after all – that women wear nice underwear because it gives them this kind of confidence boost; that if they were run over by a car at any moment (Heaven forbid) they’d at least look nice and not be judged for wearing granny pants. Underwear gives a whole new meaning to “if you feel good on the inside, you look good on the outside.” It’s no secret that we all have insecurities about our bodies. Even those who feel entirely comfortable in their own skin would change something or other given the opportunity. And let’s face it, a Victoria’s Secret Bombshell bra is a hell of a lot cheaper than a boob job. It makes you feel just as good, without the added medical and financial complications. Surely that’s a win-win?
I’m a self-confessed devotee of nice underwear, it’s kind of like my own little secret; like if someone judges my outfit in the street (and let’s face it, that’s something we’re all guilty of), I just think to myself, “you can’t even see the best bit of it.” And, I’m not going to lie, I feel pretty smug about it.
After all, as that age-old saying goes, a good bra is like a good friends; it supports you, never leaves you hanging and makes you look good (something like that anyway).
Speaking of which, I have a friend who has been wearing the same underwire-free bras for about 3 years. She doesn’t get measured, she just guesses. She’s comfortable, her bras are cheap and her underwear drawer is able to remain a content heap of M&S’s finest. There’s nothing wrong with that. If nothing else, underwear is a personal choice. Your choice, and the motivations behind it, are private. For me, wearing nice underwear is a great feeling, and one I’m willing to spend a fair bit of money to get, but I know that’s not the case for everyone.
Whilst my personal feelings towards underwear mainly revolve around bras, the problem of the thong is one that plagues me. They may look great, but as a very wise person once observed, a thong is essentially just a permanent, self-inflicted wedgie. Like I said, underwear is a choice; for me, a thong is a necessary evil. Anyone who watched the BAFTAs this year will know that the VPL situation is one that should be avoided at all costs. What’s interesting is that it was originally designed for men, which begs the question: which woman thought it would be a good idea to adopt the garment for females? Whoever it was either had a great eye for detail or was just a grown-up version of a playground bully, vying for mass wedgies. Who knows. Anyone?