pictures of lingerie below! If you're keeping custody of your eyes, you might not want to read this!
A reader asks:
Is lingerie appropriate? And not just pretty nighties, but y'know, naughty stuff?
Oh my. Things have reached quite a state when we have to ask this question. There is a deep irony when a grown woman will not question stepping out in front of strangers wearing a two-piece, but will hesitate to purchase from Frederick's of Hollywood. But since you asked, my unequivocal answer is:
Lingerie is a subject near and dear to my palpitating heart. J'adore le lingerie. Although this reader is obviously asking about some more risque items, the term applies to all your delicates - bras, knickers (undies, panties, etc.), hoisery, body suits, corsettes, garters, teddies, suspender belts, corsalettes, basques, robes, and all the wonderful rest! With that in mind, of course lingerie is appropriate - and it can be a lot of fun.
The lingerie industry does seem to favor objectification of women of a certain body type, as opposed to glorification of the beauty of the feminine form. This does not mean that this has to happen in your bedroom. You should choose lingerie that makes you feel lovely and attractive and avoid styles that make you feel like an object or 'slutty.' Although raunchier lingerie isn't strictly forbidden, I would offer this word of caution: if you're using the lingerie to make sex 'dirty' because that's what turns both of you on, then your ideas about sex need fixing! Sex isn't dirty or wrong. God made bodies, and it isn't wrong to enjoy that. The fact of the Incarnation (the word we use to refer to Jesus becoming man) means that our bodies are redeemed; they are Good. If the 'world' has gotten into your head about sex, try to clear it out...it'll probably help your marriage and your sex life!
With that in mind, every day lingerie is a wonderful way to remind yourself that your body is a temple, thus your most sacred parts should be covered with beautiful garments. Not only this, but it can certainly remind your husband - if he needs reminding, Heaven forbid - that you are beautiful and worthy of (fawning) attention. I cannot express how good I feel when I put on some nice knickers and a matching bra. But I'll be the first to admit that transitioning from scholarly-academic (in my mind, still a 'kid' - not a 'grown-up') to married woman has not always been reflected in my delicates drawer...
To illustrate this, I'll tell you a story. About six months after the birth of one of our children, I opened my delicates drawer and observed the following: old ill-fitting bras; maternity knickers with the wide band; several pairs of faded cotton briefs from high school. I thought about my poor husband and my poor self - neither one being shown how incredibly lovely and special my body is, having just brought this incredible human being into the world. I wondered why on earth I was putting up with uncomfortable bras and underwear that I was constantly adjusting and didn't enjoy. I like all my other clothes - I wouldn't leave the house in clothes that just plain didn't fit, or were unattractive. I packed up the maternity knickers, gave the rest to my rag bin (oh hush, I told you I'm frugal), and requested that we budget next month for some new unmentionables. Mr. Chastity was more than eager to comply (as he always is...especially where my knickers are concerned).
Buying lingerie can be a question of money or even of style. However, I think there is a far greater variety of lingerie available than we currently conceive of - and most of it has nothing to do with the ubiquitous Ms. Secret. There are frequent sales, a far wider range of sizes than you see in most stores, and many lovely styles. In honor of it being Wednesday and Hallie (formerly Betty Beguiles) hosting a link-up, I give you (5) websites for shopping for delicates:
Shown is the Pour Moi? Romantic Chemise
Figleaves is a great all-around site for lingerie. They carry some high end, some median, and some inexpensive brands. They're constantly running sales, so if you see something you love that's out of your price point, sign up for their alerts and buy it when it's on sale!
They carry larger cup sizes, swimwear, sportsbras, and nursing bras.
Pictured is the beautiful Natori 'Feather's Brief, a lovely alternative to hip hugger underwear, and which is on sale!
I love Nordstrom for two reasons: selection and customer service. They have a nice selection of lovely items (including nursing bras, bras for a fuller bust, and some lovely nightgowns), a good sale selection, and always free shipping - always! No minimum order required. Also, if you're not satisfied, you can return your items to your nearest store if that's more convenient, or simply return (also via free shipping).
I personally adore this sweet Edwardian Cotton and Lace Camisole and Shorts. Feminine and comfortable!
Maybe you have some gorgeous padding on your already lovely hips - you're more like Joan from Mad Men than Betty? Hips and Curves is the place for you! They have a wonderful selection of lingerie ranging from basic to more risque, all with the buxom beauty in mind - garter belts, pretty lacy bras, sleepwear, shapewear, and even swimwear! They do not carry nursing bras, if that's your market.
The lovely Eberjey Anouk Bra - unfortunately tops out size-wize at 36C (so disappointing).
I admit, Journelle is my go-to when I just want to dream. This luxury site carries some gorgeous brands like Fleur of England, Eberjey, La Perla, and Simone Perele. I cannot afford their lingerie, but it does often give me ideas of what I want to look for in other, less expensive pieces. Their size range is not particularly large, but Simone Perele makes a (wider) variety of bra sizes especially. Their largest band is 40 and largest cup is H.
I will note! Their sales are KILLER and go so fast!
Vintage nylon dot stockings! On sale and especially a good idea with Fall right around the corner!
Are you an old-fashioned, vintage kind of gal? Then this may be the site for you! SIL is renowned for their very authentic girdles, suspender belts, and stockings. I find their lingerie to be delightful, albeit unpractical for my current life (I have no idea how women in the South ever wore stockings, but I'm so glad I don't have to because I'd die of heat exhaustion). Also, please don't ask me why all their models look a bit...campy? I'm not sure what's up with that, but I think they're trying to give the authentic retro vibe more than a pin-up vibe that we so often associate with the 50s and 60s.
That's all the lingerie talk for now...although it's one of my favorite topics, so feel free to bring it up again!
For more information on lingerie than you could ever need, I highly recommend The Lingerie Addict. She does product reviews, shows new designers, discusses brands...love her site. I don't agree with all of her views, obviously, but she has a great lingerie website, which I think is the point.