For the Love of Lingerie
So I’ve come to realise recently, that I bloody love lingerie. I mean you just have to take a quick peek at my pinterest page for TLB to see that I am obsessed with those satiny scraps of material that cover my most sensitive areas:
Doing a quick count in my head I think I have at least 12 bra sets, 3 bodice/bodies, and probably enough panties to last me a whole month (this does not include any comfy/period/sports wear), and I still want to buy more. That’s a lot of money poured into lace and silk over the past 8 years. It’s also a large investment in my breasts. I currently boast a bountiful 34DD cup size, which developed in line with a horrendous experience with the pill (I believe I mentioned how awful I found it in a previous post Speculum Speculations) where I put on several stone in weight. Luckily I came off the pill, lost the weight, and kept the boobs. Dream.
I can’t quite pin down when I started coveting pin-up styles. I used to buy a matching set of underwear every year or so, only bringing it out when I wanted to make a night in with whichever current boyfriend a bit more special, which usually meant sporadic anniversaries or birthdays. I would spend an hour prepping and preening (no matter how many times I wear them, suspender belts just don’t snap on easily) to be greeted with a cursory nod and a face that said ‘whatever, lets do this’. I began to get a bit irritated. One particular memory I have is of deciding to surprise a boyfriend for his birthday. I had boarded the train after work and decided I wanted to show up at his house in a trench coat, suspenders, and a cheeky bustier. This meant getting changed in the train toilets. Train toilets are awful. They are smelly, unclean, and the British versions have a tendency of unveiling you right at the moment of key weakness, like some sort of awful prize. ‘What’s behind door number 1?’ ‘Oh look! A shitting woman’. After all the kerfuffle of getting my gear on, I arrived at his house and was greeted with the same old ‘hey’. I was a tad crestfallen to not really receive a gasp, or sharp intake of breath, at the utterly beguiling sight of me in my fancy pants. He just wanted it off. Immediately. Which I guess is the point.
And this seemed to be the general reaction to my lusty lingerie outfits. I would receive a cursory look up and down, and then would get down to business as soon as I had undone my stockings, because of course, they found the whole process of unclipping far too difficult. I’ve spoken about this less-than-lusty response to lingerie with John who, whilst appreciating my bedecked body, ultimately views my lingerie as an obstacle in the way of my ultimate state of nakidity. Fair play to him.
I used to have it in my head that men were supposed to fawn over my hidden nethers and adorned nipples, but I’m starting to realise that that may all be some sort of sham promulgated by women’s magazines, bad chick flicks, and lingerie adverts. I’m sure there are blokes out there that truly love their ladies in lingerie, and spend a large amount of time just admiring them and buying them stupidly expensive thongs from La Perla. I have not met these men. I used to be a bit miffed about this, thinking that my various man-friends were dismissing the effort I had put in, and ultimately resenting them a little bit for it. However in the past few years I have decided that I don’t care. I don’t care what men think of my secret smalls. I don’t care if my expensive silk bra set and saucy stockings barely register, because I feel fucking fantastic in them. I don’t buy it for them. I buy it for me. I like being trussed up in tulle and to sashay around in satin, I love the feel of lace on my nipples and enjoy the slip of silk across my clit during the day. In fact the only thought I’ve given to buying specific lingerie these days, is to buy a few more thin-lace bras which would make it easier for John to pinch my nipples in public and for me to really feel it.
It’s been nearly 2 years since I really bought any new underwear, mostly because my previous Lingerie haven, La Senza, went bust (HA puns!) and decided in a strange bid to avoid bankruptcy, to invest in luminescent rave underwear. They went back into administration yesterday. But I mean honestly it’s no real shock. I went into one of their stores the other day and was so visually affronted by the fluro designs I had to don a pair of sunglasses and slowly back away out of the doors. I mean, come on La Senza, what the fuck are you thinking, nothing will kill an erection faster than a massively over-padded nylon lime-green dip-dye bra, trust me.
(Apparently, the store is still open in Canada. I guess fluro-dipdye is a real turn on there?)
So since then, I’ve been searching in vain for a store that can offer me the (literal and figurative) support I need for my bodacious body. It’s been a tough job. As much as I love the Elle Macpherson range at John Lewis, I can’t afford it. High street shops seem to barely go beyond a D cup and Debenhams seems to only sell bras that appeal to women with no clue over the age of 50. M&S seems to have some options, sometimes, but mostly not, and Ann Summers seems to deal singularly in plastic fantastic crap.
(I tried this on as a joke the other day in Ann Summers – plastic silver “metallic” style bra with matching thong. It was the most squeaky and uncomfortable piece of underwear I have ever endured. Also, too many buckles. Not even worth the £5 sale price)
Where has the classic style gone? What happened to a bit of lace, a smattering of bows and in general a shape that accentuates your body, rather than attempting to force your breasts into unnatural melon-like contours. Thankfully I think I’ve found one. Enter Boux Avenue. Their stores are stylish and fun with a huge range of classic shapes and styles. I’ve been in their stores twice now, once in Glasgow and another time in Southampton and they are impeccable. Their atmosphere is refined and sexy, you enter to polished floors and tasteful displays, dressing rooms with three types of lighting and very flattering mirrors (don’t get lost in your reflection). I’m obsessed with them. They’ve managed to capture the flirtatious magic that buying underwear brings, it’s a space to indulge, be pampered and feel utterly sexy. You want to put on a piece, look in the mirror and think ‘Yeah, I’d fuck me’. I recently bought these two bras and a handful of seriously comfy panties and I fucking love them. I’m also currently wanting to buy this gorgeous number, because I love bodies and the thong style is super easy to slip to the side for a bit of quickie-access.
Thanks to places like this, and of course MJ’s go-to underwear store, Itimissimi (I have no local store sadly, but the pieces are gorgeous) I can now treat myself to some fancy pants any time I want. I love wandering around my city in my sexy smalls, be it under a show-stopping dress or my every-day jeans. Wearing underwear like this makes me feel great, it gives me that extra boost of confidence that we all need sometimes. I have no doubt that my collection will keep growing (I need new stockings and a new suspender belt actually), and it’s not out of the desire to appease my man. It’s for me. I love my breasts, I love my cunt, I love my body and I will treat them as often as I like.