Lingerie Debate: In Defense Of Comfort



I’ve got a drawerful of wispy underthings. I was once a copywriter for the Victoria’s Secret catalog, so felt obliged to up my lingerie game after attending one too many VS runway shows. (Just that one.) My husband mourns those days, their memory as gossamer as the chantilly lace that once clad my jaunty butt. The drawer stays shut.

When did I get so unsexy? Not a rhetorical question. Seriously, why so unsexy??

If I’m going to point fingers, well, “J’accuse, mes enfants!” Sexy maternity lingerie is an oxymoron—at least in my dictionary—and pregnancy to birth to nursing lasts years, especially with more than one kid. I admit I haven’t fully embraced the body positivity movement. (I’m Asian. There’s no Dove Real Beauty campaign for us.) After gaining 70 pounds with my second pregnancy, I no longer rock the lace-up cheekini with the cutout back. No one needs to see these cheeks unless marriage vows have decreed it. Sorry again, husband.

At some point during this odyssey called motherhood, I began choosing comfort over style. I am not lying when I say that I asked for a onesie this Christmas and got it (though not in the requested terrycloth!) I live in un-ironic mom jeans or holey pyjama pants (I work from home). Why would I subject myself to the discomfort of hot silk or scratchy lace when it comes to tarping my lady garden?

I love soft, stretchy microfiber or cozy cotton. My bras are designed to be invisible under t-shirts and my current underwear motto is: The More Seamless, The Better.

If it weren’t so Britney/Lindsay/Paris circa 2006, I’d go commando and save myself the VPL.

But. You knew there’d be a but.

I live in France, where lingerie—at least the word—was invented. I don’t think there’s a Parisienne out there who doesn’t match her bra with her culotte, much less owns a pair of granny panties. I’m sure there’s not even a translation for granny panties. Around the time I used to suffer for sexy (in my 20s when I did all manner of stupid things), a guy once explained the difference between French and American girls: The former were more sensual and had incredible underwear.

As you can see, his off-hand comment has haunted me. Now that I live amongst these sensual women with awesome underwear—and my baby-making years are behind me—I feel small pangs of… inadequacy? competition? regret?… when I rifle through my collection of 5 for $25 cotton Victoria’s Secret panties. (Restocked whenever I’m back in the States. Victoria’s real secret: Bamboozling you into believing cheap, disposable thongs are a good idea.)

I’m not quite at the La Perla tipping point. But I am reconsidering my comfort-above-all stance, especially since many of my non-French friends rave about how sexy and powerful they feel when they’ve got on their nice lingerie. Sexy and powerful does sound more appealing than soft and snuggly, doesn’t it?

But DO NOT ask me to give up my onesie. I’m going to be buried cremated in that thing.

Image via Victoria’s Secret

Which side of the Lingerie Debate do you fall on? Comfy or Sexy? Let us know in the comments. Here’s Dominica on sexy confidence. As for where to buy beautiful lingerie in Paris, check out our carnet.  



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Maggie Kim is a writer, musician and the founder of LES LOLOS.


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