Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Underwear Debate Rages On...

After reading a post on Jezebel, I read an interesting article in yesterday's Times (U.K.), in which Caitlin Moran wrote a hilarious, scathing attack on the unfortunate, unflattering "knickers" worn by most British women. Moran's call to action is to replace the thongs, briefs and bikinis that she describes as "little more than gluteal accessories, or arse trinkets" with underwear that actually fits our behinds. She blames fashion companies for not providing more attractive full-coverage underwear (not every panty with more than two square inches of fabric should resemble those hideous flesh-colored "granny panties") and argues quite persuasively that men really don't care either way.

I'm in total agreement and I'm curious what your take is on the topic. Have we been brainwashed by Victoria's Secret and other lingerie companies into believing we're better off in skimpy panties than more sensible, well-fitting underwear that actually looks good under clothes (what you wear for when your clothes are meant to come off is another post)?

If you're looking for more lively discussion on the topic of underwear, check out my earlier post titled "The Case Against Panties".

29 comments:

merry said...

I'm a new reader, but thought I'd say hi and say that I totally agree on the underpinnings issue.

Anonymous said...

I went to visit the family over christmas in NYC - i ended up buying these undies from dkny at macy's

http://www.barenecessities.com/DKNY-Lace-Galloon-Low-Rise-Tanga_product_DKNY470539_,search,.htm

and although i have to admit this is not the best picture, they look fabulous on (i bought black) the whole backside is sheer and is very sexy without outright exposed skin. They look large on the model but are not quite so large in reality. I do not normally like to wear lace but the lace in this is very soft and non itchy - they look very feminine and very sexy on.
these are also really cute:

http://www.barenecessities.com/DKNY-Satin-Charm-Tanga-Panty_product_DKNY432603_,search,.htm

Pattykate said...

I really don't care what undergarments a woman wears as long as I don't have to see them!! I am sick of seeing red thongs sticking out from low slung jeans!! And seeing a woman having to adjust her thong and her jeans in public is just more information that I need or want!

And, to go one step further , if you are going to wear your underwear for everyone to see, please make sure that its not worn, tattered or shreaded!!

Patty

a said...

Actually, while I agree, I feel like underwear is largely a personal affair. Under slim cut jeans, I often find many types of full cut underwear obnoxiously bulky, and prefer a thong or brazilian cut bikini underwear (loathe the term panties!). I don't find quality thongs any less uncomfortable than the boyshorts I prefer for under a dress. I live in a house full of girls and we all have our own underwear preferences, usually less about what Alessandra/Heidi/Adriana is wearing and more about what makes us feel comfy and cute.

Kaitie Tee said...

For a seamless look under close fitting slacks, I swear by my Bali's. They are FULL coverage. But I also think they have a certain vintage-sexy appeal because of their cut and coverage. They are the only underwear I've found that don't show lines no matter what I wear them with.

However, if I'm wearing jeans I like my cotton Victoria Secrets. The Bali's ride a little high on my back and are easily exposed by jeans that sit on my hips/low waist.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure you got the link to that from Jezebel...that counts as a source you need to cite.

holla! said...

I like boy shorts - but only if they are big enough to cover your bum! Surprisingly, I found some modest and comfortable ones at VS. I must say, they're amazing...and my boyfriend loves them!

Meg said...

Re: Anonymous (12:00pm)- I forgot to cite, so I've added it to the beginning of the post. Thanks for pointing that out!

Chocoholic said...

Honestly, I find a good thong to be more comfortable than ones that are more full coverage, or even bikini briefs. I do, however, have quite a round butt and finding underwear that actually fit my butt and my waist, at the same time, is hard. The only ones that are easy to find and I like are thongs. If someone made or I could find a pair that fit, covered my butt and didn't cause VPL, sure, I'd wear them.

Tsipa said...

I also prefer thongs to other styles of underwear: though fairly slim, I have a really rather round bum (the term "bubble butt" springs readily to mind) and I have never been able to find a pair of undies in any cut that didn't ride up with a vengeance.

I was alarmed by thongs at first, but soon decided that if I'm going to have a wedgie anyway, it may as well be as teensy as possible. Plus, I feel sexy in thongs, even though they're almost never seen.

lisa said...

I have a couple of thongs for situations where even seamless underwear will create a VPL, but most of the time I wear full coverage cotton bikinis or boyshorts. I find they're more comfortable under jeans (no denim-induced chafing)and yes, it is possible to find cute underwear that doesn't look like butt floss.

a said...

Actually, I've always wondered why I find thongs comfy when everyone rails against butt floss. But I meet the type described by many of my thong loving brethren: slim, small waist, round butt. Regular underwear can get bunchy!

Chocoholic said...

Yes! All these other people who have a small waist and a round butt have the same issues with underwear. I guess it's just that you have to find the most comfortable underwear for your body type, just like other clothing.

Stephanie said...

Better fitting panties means that your derriere won't be saggy when you're older! I think that's FAR sexier in the long run at least. Panties are bras for your bum. Without that support, your poor cheeks may not be so happy in a few decades.

a said...

Stephanie, that sound pretty dubious. The only underpinnings I can see holding up your bum are Spanx style constrictive underwear, which I take issue with at least for myself--I'm quite happy with my shape, work hard and eat well to maintain it, and don't need ultra tight suck-it-in underwear for day to day use. I'm not an anatomist or an MD, but I don't think butt sagging is really caused by non-supportive underwear, because most people don't wear supportive bum-coverings. Just a thought.

Jen Hill said...

I am so on board with you on this one. Pattykate I couldn't have written it better myself.

Thanks!

cat said...

okay really now...the thong hanging out of your jeans look was over at least a few years back. How trashy must you be to not only have embraced that trend, but keep at it after it's died its rightful death? That's just shameful.

Beyond that...I love my lace band knickers and anything with feminine details. I'm fine with my undies being skimpy since I wear pants that -surprise- cover my bum.

Heather said...

I'm boyshorts all the way... most of the time they do the job in a cute way.

a said...

Who said anything about thongs hanging out of jeans? When I wear a thong under jeans, I usually wear a belt...Also, thongs showing under jeans are not much tackier than swathes of cotton granny panties sticking out of the back of jeans.

Anonymous said...

No problem, nice citation ;)

Anonymous said...

I swear by Barely There bikinis. So comfy, no VPL. And if I must choose between thong and going commando, I'd choose the latter.

I do own some thongs only because my man likes them but they are my props, not my staples.

Meg from The Bargain Queens & All About Appearances said...

I love a nice pair of boy short undies. My favorite pair is in red lace and they are super flattering, sexy, and especially comfy.

I don't have a problem with thongs if they're in modal. With the exception of the first pair I mentioned, all my favorite undies are modal.

I'm a bit fan of skin-tone undies since I never have to worry about them showing through. Sure, the red lace ones are sexier, but a nice pair of modal undies in beige can still be sexy if they're cut right and cling like a second skin.

Chocoholic said...

cat, just because I wear thongs doesn't mean you can see them over the tops of my jeans. One, I buy the lower rise underwear to keep people from seeing it and two, my butt is much too round to wear that low rise of jeans. My butt would be out the top of them. I agree with what a said, and, from the sound of it, we have similar body types, thing but happen to have a round butt. (a, I'm bettign you have a horrible time finding jeans that fit your butt but don't gap at the waist, too.)

a said...

Choco: Yes, I do! I actually gave up on buying very fancy jeans, I spend less than 40$ a pair and then spend another $20 often hemming and having the waists brought in. It works for me. And yeah, super low rise + me = bad. I go for a decidedly less trendy but more flattering mid-rise or mid-to-low-rise, usually.

m said...

I like good thongs; less material riding up my butt. But a bad thong chafes! No way.

Anonymous said...

I know my man really doesn't care. He's happy with all of my varying styles of undies. My favorite, at age 23, being full butt undies. I do wear bikini style... and some brands tick me off for reasons you describe they just have zero coverage! You may as well wear a thong for the wedgies those unrealistically sized full butt undies will give you! I must say VS offers quality panties. They hold up to a lot of washings and general wear and tear. But I am disappointed in their signature cotton panites. within the last year or 2 they changed them completely. They now have a smaller elastic band, less fabric - IMHO - over the tushy and the fabric appears more thin and flimsy. Otherwise, I like all their other styles' quality still. I really now avoid the VS cotton panties like the plague.

I live in the USA and we have a warehouse/club membership store called Costco nearby and I catually *love* their it-se-bit-se bikini panties by french connection. They are fairly "wedgie proof" (but not perfect!) and come in adorable fruity pastel colors as well as basics like white, black, and tan. They are my newest faves. They come in packs of 5 or 6 and I got 3 packets. :) I've been sporting those for about 6 months now.

Anonymous said...

my problem with the thongs is gets stuck between with lips ( the opening and it hurts) and also juices from the sides come in contact with the trousers and the trouser stinks.

Kristi said...

OMGosh! I "googled" it-se-bit-se underware and I have been trying to find where I can purchase more of them...I used to live in Overland Park, Kansas (kansas City)..and loved shopping at the Costco there...about a yr ago I got these panties and LOVE them...and I can not find them anywhere...does anyhone know how I can get some more...I live about 6 hrs away. They are the best I have ever oened...I am a plus size girl and they look very sexy and cover my ass :)

Kristi in Nebraska

Kristi said...
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