We celebrated the rainbow last week, but now it's time to go monochromatic, baby.
Read more from Sable at xoVain!
I haven’t worn a bra pretty much since I graduated college 6 years ago.
Never having had a job that required a strict dress code or even an HR department that I could taunt with hem lengths, I’ve never had to worry about revealing garments or nip-slipping. This was also about the time the Olsens matriculated into NYU and suddenly hobo-chic became a style, even though the very nature of those two words strung together is kind of oxymoronic, no?
I was intrigued. Big sweaters! Floofy pants! Basically anything that completely encompasses your entire frame so you never have to think twice about your bulge-to-drape ratio. Since my breasts are virtually undetectable underneath a “one-size” raglan sleeved hi-lo sweater which was all the rage in F21 and Urban Outfitters’ catalogs at the time (and still kind of is), there was no point in me wearing a bra. I was free!
Also, since my shoulders are so sloped that they make me the perfect candidate to save fallen children from wells, I would never again have to begrudge a bra’s straps for constantly falling down. Hate that.
I was free-boobing it for a few years, only wearing a bra for fancy occasions where my breasts might offend (grandparent-y events, job interviews, etc).
I know everyone has the WORST time bra shopping because they can’t find the right support or whichever (I lament that I will never know what it’s like to need that, seriously. Grass is always greener…) but my 32A chesticles were a deceptive 33 or 34A, for comfort’s sake.
Most 32As cut into my, body giving me weird bulge in all the wrong places. Whenever I went to buy an inch or two up, the cup size went up as well. There’s got to be a better system for this. Like, I can have the smallest cup size but NOT the smallest bust measurements? Let me live!
So I was all “F it” and forwent bras altogether. Which is great for summer, especially in NYC where June-August is pretty much nipple-gazing season. Seriously, to all the braless beauties walking the streets of Brooklyn, I celebrate you, even though you’re probably just really sweaty and having a band of spandex around your chest doesn’t help.
As some recent French study pointed out, women who don’t wear bras experience less sagging when they get older -- Something about how wearing a tit-sling basically “atrophies” the skin and tissue in your breasts so when you age and lose collagen and elastin, they’re not use to carrying the weight, thus sagging.
So by not wearing a bra, the girls are getting a daily endurance workout. Leave it to the French to come out with groundbreaking boob science. Everyone kind of defers to them anyway for things having to do with foreign sophisticated sexiness and fantasy.
Anyway, what I was saying about boobs and the French is that a couple months after not wearing a bra I noticed that my boobs did start to change shape. Being that they were no longer pushed up and back to form some pitiful slope of cleavage, they seemed to “relax.” They went down. And they stayed down. But this allowed them to kind of round out, becoming less pointy and more mound-y. I started to really like how they looked, as opposed to before when they had been squashed into perdition. I wonder if it’s anything like the goldfish rule -- that fish grow in relation to the size of their captivity. Shrug.
In an ironic turn of events, I was like “Oh, now I can buy pretty lacy delicate bras to frame my blossomed bosom!” And then the excited teenage girl in my brain (since my actual teenage self never had the joy of overnight breasts develop to the ogling fanfare of her male classmates) was like, “Why stop there! Your new pretty bras will look so odd on top of your regular whatever-looking cotton bikini briefs.”
The natural solution was to buy matching sets of all pretty lacy delicate underwears!
Some of them didn’t necessarily come in a matching set, mostly because I’m not into prints on my undergarments, but did match in color and style -- sex appeal trumping functionality. There’s just something so “secret pleasures” to me about wearing a strappy black dominatrix-y lace bralet underneath an oversized old pilly but comfy sweatshirt -- like an elementary school teacher enjoying an Arbor Mist in a mug in the teacher’s lounge. I’m into secret-sexy.
The thing about deciding to only wear lovely lacy underthings, while thrilling, is also EXPENSIVE. Gah, lingerie is crazy money when you consider how little material is going on there! I mean, for real this is dangerous stuff to get into considering I’m no highly paid exec or whatever, nor do I have some baller financier boyfriend who can outfit me in Agent Provocateur exclusively.
Anyway, it seems remiss to blab on about sexy underpinnings without giving up the goods. I ain’t no tease. Hark these sensual sets as I further wax poetic on my journey into spending way too much money on underwear.
I tend to stick to “affordable” basics like Calvin Klein. This little number is pretty but not screaming “I CAME HERE TO DO YOU.” Although, if this were a third date situation a modest girl-next-door pairing like these would certainly not go underappreciated.
Upping your sex/foreign appeal, there’s this scallop-y La Perla set. Something like this is just so encompassing of lingerie, the French word for “washables” that we Americans use to refer to sexy knickers, thus improving upon the French language YOU'RE WELCOME! Those strategically placed little fan details covering the nipple are really doing it for me. As long as the nips don’t show it’s not porn yet, right?
Here is another slumber party fashion show opener. Kiki De Montparnasse is like my splurging go-to to feel next-level fancy. Also the name is just the right amount of unpronounceable -- I can abbreviate to just “Kiki” if I’m feeling lazy and want to appear like I’m best pals with KDM, if she is indeed an actual person and not just the name of a company. My KDM cherry was popped when I was gifted a black leather triangle bra as a B-day gift to include in my semi-ridiculous stage getups back in my electro-punk-singer days. I mean, this here is much less Mad Max, but I would straight-up seduce a dude in this.
I recently discovered this little lingerie/vintage store on a trip to LA to visit my brother. The Loved One is possibly my favorite name for a lingerie brand because it makes me feel more cherished beauty pageant queen, rather than high-class escort (which is empowering in its own way I suppose. Shrug).
Their dreamily-shot lookbook for said lingerie made my mouth water over everything in it while simultaneously transporting me to a dream of nonchalant lounging about in my boudoir. I like to shop within things that would pop up in my Tumblr feed, you know? This little gauzy peasant top set is perfect sexy slumber party material.
Does anyone else deign to only wear matching underwear sets? Or if that isn’t possible, just going braless thus eliminating the rules for sets? Or does anyone have any good recommendations for pretty and well-made knickers that won’t break the bank? Seriously, you saw my selections. I clearly am ignorant to the vast availability of affordable lingerie.