I recently visited my sister-in-law in New York, and she asked me to bring her some perfect bras for everyday wear. As a young mother, she is running around after a toddler all day, so she wasn’t looking for anything fancy – just some reasonably priced basics. I brought her the old standbys – Eberjey’s Pima Goddess T-Shirt Bra, the Bodas Cotton Basics Underwire Bra, a few frilly lacy ones for fun, and some of my absolute favorites like the amazing Eve Giggling by Stella McCartney. At first, she was hesitant to model them so that I could help her find the right fit, but we eventually got past it. While she liked the first few, she ended up falling in love with the Stella – something that happens quite often in the dressing room here at Lille. The incredible thing about this bra is that it fits everyone – from a 32A to a 36DD – equally well, and provides the same level of support. The stretchy mesh material lifts better than any padded bra I’ve ever seen, and the shape of the bra is so natural as to evoke the “perfect” breast, even if your girls have seen perkier days. Fortunately for everyone, Stella plans to keep making this bra next season, so even if we’re currently sold out of your size, it will be back again in the Fall.
It’s a funny thing, bra talk. I’ve grown so accustomed to discussing the various attributes of different bra cuts and how they work for specific chest types (not just cup/band size, but torso width, distance from shoulder to breast, etc.) that I forget how taciturn some people can be on the subject. Whether it stems from a Catholic upbringing, feelings of inadequacy, or some other hidden impulse, many women are quite modest and disinclined to discuss their undergarments, much less display them. I always laugh when I see a film clip of a women’s locker room or dorm where the ladies are all walking around topless or having pillow fights in teddies. It is such a stereotypical male fantasy, but I have never in all my years seen anything remotely resembling these scenes in real life. Sorry to burst your bubble, boys, but girls don’t hang out with other girls in lingerie unless they’re being paid to do so…but I digress.
They don’t call them unmentionables for nothing. I find that you can tell a lot about a person by their reaction to the subject of lingerie. Men whose response is something akin to, “Ooh la la,” with a wink and a nudge have probably not seen a lot of scantily clad women in their days. Likewise, women who get flustered and blush at the mere notion of a garter belt and stockings probably don’t give much thought to their trousseau and gravitate more towards the 6-pack of white cotton briefs in a plastic bag. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m not here to judge. But I do find it sad when women think they need an excuse like Valentine’s Day or an anniversary to buy themselves nice lingerie….as if you can only justify the purchase as an accessory to a sexual escapade. I know that there are certain connotations with the word itself, but I really wish we could get beyond the notion that lingerie has everything to do with sex.
This attitude is perpetuated by tv shows and movies geared towards middle America. On the plane, I got stuck watching a dreadful romcom called “She’s the One” by that champion of mediocrity, Ed Burns. The always lukewarm Jennifer Aniston plays a rich housewife who is distraught because her husband has lost all interest in sex. In an effort to reignite their old passion, she suggests getting “some of that stuff, you know” (bravo, Ed, that is some winning dialogue) in reference to any lingerie that will theoretically lure him back to the bedroom. Tragically, the silk chemise she purchases has little effect on her philandering spouse (who is, incidentally, an insufferable prick she would be better off without.) Case in point, ladies. If you’re at a point in life where you think of lingerie as “that stuff” with a naughty little smirk, then perhaps you should reevaluate your attitude before it is too late.