7 Things to Know about Lingerie
Welcome to the lingerie post for Autostraddle Underwear Week! As you probably guess from my name, I have way, way too much to say about lingerie, so when I started this article I wanted to write everything. Happily, my girlfriend talked sense into me and I decided to boil down the 7 things about lingerie that I most wanted to share:
1. “Lingerie” means so many different things
Although bras and panties get the most love, there are so many other facets of lingerie: from corsets to pajamas, babydolls to blindfolds, garter belts to latex gloves. Basically anything you wear under your clothes or to bed or that was inspired by historical underpants can be covered under the ‘lingerie’ umbrella – and I’m ready to embrace all variations.
2. It isn’t necessarily about sex…
One thing that bugs the hell out of me is that sometimes when I mention my interest in lingerie, I get a little *wink wink nudge nudge* expression that implies that I’ve just fluttered my eyelashes at them and suggested that I’m free later for some show and tell. Just, no – what I really want to be talking about is different underwire shapes and color trends.
3. …But sometimes it is.
That lingerie is sexy is rarely disputed – but a good thing about that is that once you’ve already entered the land of “sexy,” there’s a lot more freedom to have fun and experiment. There are plenty of gorgeous light bondage concepts built into lingerie (like that bondage brief) and there are some fantastic Kiki de Montparnasse panties that say ‘Leche-Moi’ (Translation: ‘Lick Me’) on them. Is it weird that I think that’s kind of adorable? (and totally DIY-able)
4. Lingerie doesn’t have to be for a special occasion
Lingerie can be expensive and also impractical, which is why it is often reserved for special occasions. But really, can’t something be a special occasion because you’re wearing lingerie? I think any underwear that makes you feel special should be enjoyed as often as possible.
5. It doesn’t have to be girly
The word “lingerie” may conjure up a world of pink and bows (think Victoria’s Secret), but if you look beneath the surface, there are a ton of smaller, often US-based brands with a decidedly androgynous aesthetic. Some of my go-to androgynous brands: VPL, FYI by Dani Read and new brand Relique.
6. Love it or hate it, everyone has a lingerie saga
No matter who you are or how uninterested you think you are in lingerie, I’ve found that everyone has their own story to tell – bras that never fit, embarrassing gifts from strange relatives or a favorite pair of knickers that never lets you down. You wear it next to the skin so it’s hard not to have strong feelings associated with your experiences.
7. Forget practical: amazing lingerie is often about fantasy
I feel like lesbians have a reputation for seeking practicality above all things when it comes to fashion. Now, don’t get me wrong, a great thing about being gay is that it often means you get the chance to opt out of impractical pieces of clothing that can be considered socially necessary for most women (high heels, ruffled blouses, pants without pockets) and that can be excellent. But clothing and dressing up can be fun all on its own and some of my favorite lingerie has almost no relationship to something that would be normal or acceptable to actually wear in public. What can I say? Sheer lace catsuits and panties too frilly to fit under pants are ridiculously awesome.
by Intern Chelsey
When I was just a baby gay, I was convinced that in order to be a lesbian you had to wear boyshorts and sports bras. As I’ve become more comfortable with myself and my sexuality, I’ve realized that your underwear doesn’t define you in any way other than what you prefer to wear. Wearing lingerie for myself feels empowering, and I honestly feel most comfortable in balconet bras and lace underwear.
I adore the lingerie (and bras and underwear) from H&M. Their website is seriously lacking in variety, but the store is where I have bought some of my favorite lingerie, so I suggest shopping in person.
Topshop has really amazing separates, if you’re not into matching sets. I really love their variety of high waisted underwear.
They always have a large variety of bras with padding and without, and I’ve found they have the best range of sizes.