Culture

5 Items of Lingerie That I Don't Understand

It’s wedding season, which means my roommate and I have been shopping for gifts to give our female friends at their bachelorette parties. It’s a fine line to walk — you want to give her something racy that everyone can giggle at (and that she might realistically wear), but not SO outrageous that it makes her and everyone around uncomfortable. We’re not prudes, but we’re not getting anyone a ball gag, either.

Fortunately it’s also the season of the lingerie sale (probably not coincidentally) so we’ve had ample browsing opportunities. A few items, though, just made me scratch my head. How do you put it on, or get it off? How is that remotely comfortable, or sexy? What does it mean?! I invite you, dear readers, to investigate each case with me. Can you explain this lingerie to me?

5. Whatever This Is

How do you put it on? How does it stay on when you want it to stay on? How do you take it off when you want to take it off? What do all the straps mean? How do all your jiggly bits stay put?

In this category I’d lump all the bewilderingly strappy things we came across. First of all, I can’t imagine how a person would get into one of those contraptions all by herself. Or, how any man (or woman — this is the 21st century!) with anything less than an engineering degree would know how to get it off her. When I see that many strappy bits, I’m reminded of a recurring dream I have where things keep falling off of me, and I’m constantly trying to pick them up and put them back on, but I just can’t keep up with it. That’s what I imagine wearing that feels like.

This one deserves a higher place on the list, definitely, except I found a few more that defied explanation…

4. The Minimalist to a Fault

“Hey honey, you know those lace placemats we inherited from your grandmother?” This looks like a crafting project even I could master. Of course, I didn’t have lace placemats on hand, so I had to make do with two tea towels. Which, incidentally, is also my look when I haven’t done laundry in six weeks.

I certainly understand the mechanics of this one. What I don’t understand is why anyone would buy it. I’m not saying everyone has to wear one of these:

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…but I suppose if I’m going to spring beaucoup bucks on nightwear, I want there to be a bit more to it.

3. The Apron Attached to Your Undies

It’s like the French maid outfit, but the apron IS the underwear. Which seems like a recipe for disaster, or at the very least, confusion and maybe a ripped seam.

Sidenote: Why is it always French maid? I mean, what do Belgian maids look like?

Let’s think bigger, though. The French maid has been done a million times. If you’re going to get lingerie as a costume, get creative. If Halloween trends teach us anything, it’s that ANY costume, however unlikely, can be turned into lingerie.

2. The Inexplicable Bib

Why is it there? It looks scratchy. And inconvenient.

1. The Bodysuit/Teddy

I know this one is a classic, and of course it looks stunning on the model. (Though on that chick, it would be difficult for any garment NOT to look stunning.) My objections to the teddy/bodysuit are practical. What if you’re wearing it under your clothes for a surprise later, and you have to go to the bathroom?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPcbqAcHYoQ

Okay, at the end of the day I love lingerie, even the confusing ones, and I won’t judge anyone for slipping into something a little more perplexing. I may stick to the standard babydoll (which I’d argue offers plenty of exciting variety on its own), but I encourage my female readers to blaze new trails in the world of physics-defying fabric.

You can call me innocent, but there’s something fun about shopping for lingerie in wedding season, a bunch of girls giggling about funny get-ups and daring to imagine if their friend would wear one. It’s a playful confirmation that marriage can be sexy, too — that lingerie doesn’t just belong to single days and sordid encounters.