My friends, I have spent the last three days at home. It has been blissful. I’ve run, zumbaed, and committed acts of yoga. The rest of the time, I’ve been sat in my underpants, writing.*
It’s heaven. I have a long standing hatred of pants, and would be without them at all times, if both modesty and the law didn’t require bottoms.
There’s also the issue of chafing, but that’s neither here nor there.
Anyway, my anti-pants stance is not a joke. I say things on twitter about not wearing pants, and everyone’s like, “Hahaha, that crazy Nicole, her and her tweets about pants.” But I am deadly serious people. Deadly.
Like an adder. Deadly.
Indeed, I pretty much knew a recent, budding relationship was going to go nowhere when we had the Pants Talk. My new beau and I walked in to my apartment from a day doing something or other, and I immediately took off my pants. Here’s what ensued:
Him: “Wow, you really don’t like pants.”
Me: “Nope. Hate ’em. You can take your pants off too, if you like.”
Him: “Um, no, that’s okay. I’m more comfortable with pants, during the daytime.”
Me (aloud): “Oh, okay.”
Me (in my mind): WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? MORE COMFORTABLE IN PANTS? WHAT? YOU PANTS LOVING FREAK WHO LIKES PANTS.
So, yeah, I’m pretty serious about the no pants. But I’m also serious about my underpants.
The great irony of my love of lingerie is that I currently spend half my time dressed for the gym, and the other half wearing whatever I cobbled together for a day spent in a place where Steeler’s jerseys are this season’s black and, I shit you not, people still wear scrunchies. You’ve seen that episode of Sex and the City, right? If you haven’t seen it, here it is. You only need the first minute and fifteen, and keep in mind this was nearly a decade ago, way back in 2003:
So on an everyday basis I don’t feel a pressing need to break out my vintage wear or my best black dresses. Instead, I try to blend in by making sure I match, and that I look at least five years older than my students. In other words, I rarely care what I’m wearing, and yet, underneath I’ve inevitably got on some fly panties.
Because I’m open about my love of the underpants, I’ve recently had a lot of talks with women about lingerie. The thing is, despite it being a major conglomerate that apparently makes bajillions, I know very few adult women who shop at Victoria’s Secret and are actually happy with their purchases. Occasionally there’s the “great” teddy that was worn once but never seen again, but for actual underwear a person can wear, be comfortable in, and still be sexy? Victoria’s Secret is a treasure chest of lies.
Part of the problem is that none of the five-year-olds they employ know what they’re doing. How can you measure my chest when you’re physically incapable of looking at my boobs? The other problem is that even if I were sized correctly, Victoria’s Secret has about five bras I can wear, and they’re inevitably the plain ones, in the back, hidden behind some flouncy A-cup. So I usually spend a visit to Victoria’s Secret saying, “Wow, pretty. Not my size. Wow, pretty. Not my size. Wow, pretty. Not my fucking size…”
This gets frustrating. And the same thing happens at the high end retailers, like La Perla, that I prefer to VS anyway. They’re made for lovely lithesome creatures. Unforttunately, I’m built more on a “Mesopotamian fertility goddess” scale, and even at my thinnest, all of my weight is in my tits and ass. Even now, as I’m finally losing all that thesis weight (it’s like baby weight, but without the lactating), it’s peeling off my arms and waist and calves . . . and sticking like glue to my hips, thighs, butt, and boobs.
So this is what women talk to me about. Women talk about it with me at signings, email me about it, DM me or Facebook message me: where do I get these underpants that I so love?
I usually hear from women who are like me: They’re too big in certain places for certain stores, but not big enough for other stores. We’re in a sort of size limbo: too small in most of our bodies for plus size, but way too plus size in other parts for normal stores. Oftentimes, women resort to just tenting themselves in the larger size, swaddling their little arms and legs and torsos so that something, anything, finally fits over their ass.
And that makes me sad, people.
So first of all, the secret is to find stores that sell a range of sizes. I will never need a size zero, but neither do I need 3XX. But there are a few stores that carry sizes from 14 to Much Larger than 14, and there are also stores that make a habit of catering to those who aren’t built on the fashion industry’s “perfect size 8” proportions.
My favorite place to buy the sorts of things you wear everyday, if your everyday is sexy, is Intimacy. It’s awesome. There’s very little storefront, as they immediately whisk you back to a room where they stare at and prod your boobies, then they only bring you what they have that will fit. It’s amazing! The products aren’t cheap, but they’re beautifully made and they’re gorgeous. So indulge! They’re also made for all sorts of weird sizes. So if you have enormous boobs and a tiny rib cage, or a huge rib cage and tiny boobs, they’ve got you covered.
As for robes, I’ve got to give Soma the big thumbs up. I just bought a gorgeous little robe from them, and I can’t wait to rock it out.
When it comes to fripperies–and who doesn’t love a frippery?–I’ve just ordered a shit ton of stuff from this place. It’s the kind of place I love as they actually have a lot of smaller sizes as well as larger, and a lot of mix and matching, so I can cobble something together that fits everything.
So these are some of the places I buy my underwear. They’ve got what I like: a range of styles and sizes, so that I can put together looks that fit.
Because I think so much of being confident in what we’re wearing is knowing it does, indeed, fit. No one feels good in a caftan, but it’s equally hard to feel confident when one is squeezed into something like a sausage in its casing. So take your measurements, be honest about those measurements, and only keep what actually fits. Never be afraid to go up or down a size, depending on what looks good. So many people are ruled by a number they think they are or should be, but all clothes are sized differently. If you look good in a 12, rock it out–but if you look like you’ve wedged yourself into that dress with a shoehorn, try the 14. No one will see the tag, they’ll just see you.
So feel free to be gorgeous, ladies, even if it’s under our yoga pants. Or to sit by ourselves on a couch all day and write a book. Life is short, and our underwear–like everything we do–should be fun.
*For the entirety of this blog post, I will be using “pants” in the American sense, meaning underpants. But my British readers may feel free to read this entire post with “pants” in the British sense, if it gives them a giggle.