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underwear rant


I wore white grandma underwear until I was a senior in college. It had just never occurred to me before then to buy more interesting underwear. My mother and grandmother had always bought me those big white ones that turn gray when you're a college student and you don't have much extra time or money to be sorting your laundry so you wash it with your black socks and green shirt and blue jeans. They would get old, I would go to WalMart or whatever and buy 6 more pairs of grandma underwear.

Then one day when I was a senior, I noticed that my (freshman) roommate didn't have any grandma underwear and my world changed. The lacy little red things you see in Victoria's Secret ads aren't just for lingerie purposes. You could wear them without needing to have a boyfriend to justify it! Whoa.

I wasn't ready for the lacy little red things (the idea of having a string going up my butt crack--pardon the crudery--just wasn't very appealing), so I basically ended up buying 20 or so pairs (most from Victoria's Secret at the 5-for-$20 rate) in colors other than white and in styles other than big grandma briefs. They served me well for the next five years.

Five years is up, and most of their elastics have waved good-bye. I dislike having to pick wedgies in public; it's quite unflattering. Plus, I'm getting married soon. I don't want my soon-to-be husband looking at faded and stretched-out old underwear if I can help it.

So I decided to buy 10 pairs from Victoria's Secret online at the 5-for-$20 rate. I looked for the style that I'd liked the most in the previous five years, and I couldn't find it. (How am I supposed to know it's filed under "bikinis" and not "briefs"? I wasn't looking for swimwear! Grrrr...) I compromised and bought the style that looked the closest to what I'd wanted. I checked my current underwear size (L), and purchased 10. Perfect. That was a month ago.

I got the 10 larges in, wore two, sent them back to exchange for size M. Apparently, to accommodate the ever-growing American bum, they resized their underwear in the interim. Plus, I'd lost 8-10 lbs. since starting at the gym. OK. Two weeks ago, (thanks to the VS quick response!) I got the 10 replacement M's in. Perfect.

I wore two, they fit better than the L's, but they still rode up in annoying ways and didn't solve the unflattering wedgie-picking problem. Frustrated, I sent them all back for a refund. Still waiting for that.

So: after querying my sisters, girlfriends, and wedding dressmaker, I went to Frederick's of Hollywood, with glowing reviews. They didn't have any of the style I really had originally wanted. (Oy, I wish I knew what it was called: "string bikini"? I don't know. It's got a full bottom's worth of material with strong elastics so it doesn't usually ride up, a full patch of material in the front, and there is only the elastic band going over the hip bones.) Very comfortable; makes me feel sexy. Anyway, they didn't have those. Their whole store was basically just thongs and G-strings. I'm back to the sinking, trapped feeling of string-up-the-butt-not-desireable.

Well, my sister and that freshman roommate swore by them, so I decided to compromise and try their 5-for-$20 cotton thongs. jcobleigh helped me pick out 10.

I have stubbornly tried them for the last three days.

Day One: Immensely uncomfortable, can't pick wedgie because thong IS wedgie. Who would wear these things? Why did the woman at the Frederick's counter say that she wore these "all the time and they're comfortable"? Am I a freak with a hypersensitive bum, etc.?

Day Two: I WILL make this work! I have spent $40 on it already. It must get better soon. My sister said that you just have to get used to them. Ow. When I sit down in the car, it causes extremely painful wedgie. I must then awkwardly dig to remove it while also avoiding decapitation by automatic seat-belt thing in jcobleigh's car. Broke tailbone when I was 13 and it never fully recovered. Thong seems to press on just wrong point and it has a dull ache now. It must get better soon. Itchy and dry.

Day Three: Chafed. In pain. Awkward. Aware of thong nearly continually. Catch myself dreaming of non-thong underwear. Itchy and dry. In so much pain that topical medication is required. Resolution to stop wearing thong. Much annoyance and frustration at inability to find underwear that works. Wondering if crazy.

Day Four: Not wearing thong. Getting positive messages from subconscious. Underwear rides up as usual but does not chafe. Giving up quest until after return from honeymoon. Soon-to-be husband loves me anyway, but may be horrified by public announcement of underwear issues.

Does anyone have words of wisdom for me?



I usually just buy Hanes Her Way, because I'm cheap like that. However, they do come in a variety of colours and patterns, and I've found that both the high-cut (in the legs) version and the hip-riders are reasonably comfortable.

However, the most comfortable pair of underwear I ever had, the ones that I nearly cried over when they wore out because I knew I'd miss them so, were Jockey hip-huggers (as they called them then -- I have no idea what they're called now) in a light silky blue material. I never had to tug them down at the back -- they always fit just nicely. I really ought to see if Jockey makes anything similar these days, because the Hanes are beginning to annoy me.

The second most comfortable underwear I've ever had was soft stretch lace, in white and black styles, from Sears' lingerie department. I should buy some more of those, too. Maybe even in the "boy-leg" style which is long enough that I shouldn't ever have to go fishing for the riding-up bits.

can't help it

I was going to post this last night but the Net connection dropped off the face of the Earth, as it is wont to do when I actually want to do something...

A quick rifle through Someone's drawer reveals that the ones in question are called "low-rise" by American Eagle. Full back, patch in front, only elastic on sides.

Go forth and shop.
Thank you! Good to know, if VS doesn't work out tomorrow.

Now we're off to attempt to convince Frederick's to take the underwear back. They were making noises about how they couldn't do that for sanitary reasons, but my friend assures me that she brought a G-string back to them and they accepted it without a problem. If they start giving me resistance, I think I'll start mentioning the pain their products caused me and make enough noise to get a full refund... :)
Although a quick inventory of my underwear drawer reveals VS, I am a fan of GapBody underwear. Quite comfortable.

If you live in the proximity of an outlet mall, the Maidenform outlets and the L'eggs/Hanes/Bali outlet have some nice underwear.

Also if you have a bit of a pooch/tummy/Buddha belly (though you probably do not since you mention working out rather frequently), stay away from the low rise. When worn normally, the belly hangs over and it is quite uncomfortable.
Thanks for the tip. :)

I like thinking of the belly as a "buddha belly" and the bum as a "ghetto booty". It's not so much of an issue since I started working out, but it kind of helped me to be proud of my body instead of disliking myself.


Hanes Her Way bikini cut

...get a second vote. Comfy cotton, pretty colors, sometimes patterns available, attractive cut. Pick 'em up in the supermarket, even!




I laughed until I had a coughing fit....

Victoria's Secret Rio Briefs are the ones I like. Wide elastic for "control", wide enough back-side that they stay put.

Otherwise, Hanes are great. Plus they sell 'em at Stop & Shop.