Women, it seems, fall into two categories when it comes to underwear:
Those of us who wear matching sets, always
those of us who have knickers older than our teenage children.
I’m very much in the second of these 2 camps (without the children, teenage or otherwise, but I definitely have knickers older than my dog, and he’s 5 1/2, so that’s not a great start).
Whether it’s down to disorganisation, or funds, or perception of how I ‘should’ spend my money, I’m not sure. What is for definite, though, is that actually, for many of us, wearing matching sets of underwear actually makes us feel good – should we ever get round to it.
Certainly, there can’t be any joy to be gained from wearing the wrong size in lingerie, and yet that’s what many of us do – and for a variety of reasons.
Price doesn’t really cut it any more – with supermarkets and Primark all selling lingerie ranges, there’s a bargain to be found for most people. And even if your cup size dictates that you don’t get to take advantage of these shops, any shop from Bravissimo onwards is going to have sales every now and then.
Rigby and Peller recommend getting your cup size measured every 6 months – women’s bodies change, a lot, over time. It’s not just major things like having children, but weight loss or gain (not to mention gravity). OK, they’re in the business of selling bras, of course they may suggest regularly getting measured, but I think last time I got measured it had been closer to six years rather than six months!
I’ve read that anything from 60-90% of women are wearing the wrong size bra, and the thing is, we just kind of get used to it. It becomes normal for us. Sometimes we do it because we’re not happy with how we are – for example, we want to lose weight and don’t want to spend money on how we are now. Losing weight, though, can take time – why punish ourselves in the meantime? We’re worth more than that! We need to bear in mind that not treating our bodies well, because we’re dissatisfied with them = not treating ourselves well. Embrace what we have, now, and when we change – well, if we’re supposed to get measured every six months, surely that’s going to work out fine?
Incidentally, Rigby & Peller also recommend hand washing all bras, for longevity. So many of us are not only wearing them for what ‘may’ constitute longer than their natural life, we’re also probably shortening that life by sticking them in the washing machine.
With bras there is also the whole issue of sizing and fit. It’s a minefield. How can the same bra fit differently, in a different colour? The endless trying on, thinking you know your size, needing to go up at the back, down in the cup – it’s all a faff.
I’ve talked before about larger cup sizes (I have a personal interest). However, today I’ve been sent googling for smaller cup sizes, so here are a few websites that might be helpful.
Firstly, Triumph – from where you can diagnose where it’s all going wrong with fit in the first place:
Then, I found these sites that cater for smaller cup sizes:
Oh, dear. I said I would take a photo of my knicker drawer, and here it is – also an insight into the colour of my clothes (which tend to be less faded than my knickers to be fair). Needless to say, I haven’t embraced Marie Kondo’s method of storage, and I fear if I did keep only things that bring me joy, the whole drawer would go into the bin. Although maybe this is not a bad idea – talking to one client recently, she did exactly that – chucked the whole drawer out and bought matching sets only (3 pairs of knickers to go with each bra, since they tend to come in different styles).
I can’t say I’m not tempted – I do have some matching sets, but I also have a part of me that, when I reach for them, kind of tells me off – shouldn’t I be keeping them for best? What the ‘best’ is that my inner voice refers to, I don’t know. But it stops me wearing the nice knickers, and probably needs silencing!
I genuinely don’t know if it seems frivolous to not wear knickers until they actually have holes – but then, how do I explain the shoe habit? Is it just that I feel, unlike shoes, no one is going to see them? But Robin might (he’s not reading, he’ll never know this is a chance 😉 ).
I do know this – wearing matching sets actually makes me feel better when I’m getting dressed in the morning – it feels special. Am I somehow convinced this ‘specialness’ will disappear with time, if I only wear matching sets? Or am I (more likely) actually, on one level, thinking “I don’t deserve to feel special today”.
So, here’s my recommendation – take a good look at your lingerie – does it fit well? Is it comfortable? Is it worn out? Are you in imminent danger from impalement on an underwire?
Keep the good stuff.
Replace the really old stuff. (It doesn’t have to be all in one go, but at least start looking).
Feel good about what you’re wearing (and, nice side effect, well fitting lingerie give you a better shape under your clothes too – it was a revelation when I went bra shopping to have my chest back where it’s meant to be!).
Feel good about you, how you are, right now.