Before I get on to the subject of my specific favourite underwear, I’d like to have a polite rant about g-strings, thongs, hipster, briefs, bikinis, midis, panties, tanga, boy shorts, bloomers, pants – yep. Knickers.
It’s a minefield for us ladies. There are so many types to choose from aren’t there? We start off as babies wrapped in voluminous white nappies and, when toddlers, pull-up training pants. Then, at school, huge navy gym knickers are de rigueur (well, they were back in the Dark Ages when I was a student).
Over the next few years, as I grew into a teenager, my knickers shrank. They became progressively smaller until they were no more than a couple of tiny triangles held together with some delicate ribbon. I entered the zenith of sensuality when dating my various boyfriends, wearing silky sensationally lustworthy numbers from Agent Provocateur: those never stayed on long enough to give them their due appreciation.
However, when I got married, my underwear very very gradually morphed into sensible knickers – from g string to high waisted numbers – roughly on a parity, come to think of it, with the decreasing number of times I was being chased around the boudoir.
When the day finally came when I couldn’t be bothered to submit to any more painful bikini waxing, my knickers, like my age, increased even more. And now, in my late sixties, I’m back right where I started in navy gym knickers a la Bridget Jones (but without Hugh Grant). These days, if I’m going out somewhere special, I also add shapewear in a (vain) attempt to smooth out my lumps, bumps, fat back and muffin top. It’s just not fair… men have it so much easier. Their pants don’t have to be lust-inducing, revealing, skimpy or lacy – just clean!
OK, I concede that my underwear requirements are pretty simple – comfort, comfort, comfort. I have been buying my underwear at M&S for yonks. I adore their Bridget Jones knickers, especially as they come up large and I can wear a skimpy size 10. I adore their Flexifit crop top bras. I rely on their slinky smoothing bodies (snapping them up when they are in stock which, sadly, they aren’t during the summer months). If you too prefer comfort over seduction these days, here are my all time favourite underwear choices…
These cotton Lycra® knickers are both pretty and comfortable. They are available in a pack of 5, so a very reasonable £2.40 a pair. Opaline, black or white. Sizes 6 – 28. MORE INFO
Was listening to Woman’s Hour on Radio 4 and apparently a third of women have decided to give up wearing bras altogether and many more are opting for soft bras. Let’s be honest, the former isn’t going to happen if you happen to have a large bust that needs support, but the latter is understandable as so many of us can’t wait to unhook our bras at the end of the day.
My sister put me on to M&S Flexifit crop top bras and I absolutely dote on them. They give my 38E’s support but there isn’t a hook, underwire or other bit of plastic or metal in sight. This is one you can wear happily the entire day and evening. It feels like a second-skin (if you can feel it at all) and the soft fabric looks delicate but I can vouch that it is much stronger than it looks and machines washes brilliantly. Just step into it and pull it up. Not the usual way of putting on a bra but you’ll get used to it! These crop tops must be hugely popular because they are available in no less than 8 colours and in sizes 8 – 22. Advise going up a size. SHOP NOW M&S also stock Sloggi who have other soft bras that you might like.
I still have the wispy little corset I wore on my wedding night three decades ago – might fit around one thigh these days, but back then it was pretty damned sexy. However these days I reach for a body that will cover up as much as possible and smooth out my flab. Even on a hot summer’s day. Just makes me feel more confident, as I feel wobbly without one on.
As I mentioned earlier, my fave is from M&S but they don’t sell these type of bodies at this time of year. So I have two alternatives for you.
First from Sloggi, the Zero Feel Seamfree Body which is available in six colours and small, medium and large. It benefits from 360 degree stretch for total comfort and, because it is virtually seamfree, is undetectable under even close fitting clothes. Another bonus is its press stud closures (much less fiddly than hook and eye). MORE INFO
My second, more luxurious, choice is the Jamaika from Wolford. Fabulous fit and quality, this is less utilitarian looking and so preferable if you want to look good undressed as it were. This body looks great worn under a v neck top for example or an unbuttoned silk shirt. Wolford has the most amazing selection of bodies, so recommend you browse their website… MORE INFO
Of course I still have dreams of getting my old bod back in shape and buying less practical lingerie. You know the type of thing. I will actually lose that half a stone I have been talking about for sooooooo long. I will work regularly and breathlessly (ie gasping for breath) in the gym to get everything toned. I will find time to sit outside naked in the sunshine to get every last inch of me golden brown. But my diet always starts tomorrow, a gym routine is too sweaty, and my neighbour has an unpleasant habit of peering over the fence. In the meantime, I am a very happy bunny in my super comfortable, if not so sexy, underwear!
Have a fun weekend… whatever lingerie you’re wearing! Best wishes, Grace
Did you read our article on keeping cool in hot weather?