POSTED ON OCTOBER 29, 2008:
Tender Loving Underwear Care
Comfortable skivvies require honesty, variety and common sense
Anyone who has ever read this column in the midst of the leaves changing knows that I'm a real sucker for fall. The chance to wear crisp fall outerwear in all its tweed and houndstooth glory in beautiful fall shades is lovely. And it would be even lovelier if it weren't so warm. Because we've been touched by the magic wand of global warming, there will be less time this year to sport the most adorable of jackets, fun colored layers and other fall ensemble delights. And if you can't wear snazzy outerwear, you'd best rock some exciting (and maybe enticing) underwear.
That's right. The first thing you put on and the last thing you take off are just as important as whatever you're wearing over it. Underpinnings can make or break a look just as much as they can make or break the mood.
Like your closet, your underwear drawer (or drawers - some of you ladies have loads of panties and bras) should have a well-balanced mix of the mundane and the exciting. Just like a reliable pair of jeans that you buy multiple pairs of because they fit so well, you buy undies and bras in one preferred style in bulk. Likewise, you might own a cocktail dress that requires a cocktail panty, which sounds all kinds of dirty. Let's flesh out this undergarment idea a bit.
First Things First
National Breast Cancer Awareness month just ended, but that doesn't mean you should forget about your boobs until next October. In 2006, a whopping 85 percent of ladies were wearing the wrong sized bra. Whether you're wearing too small or too big, it could affect your health and most certainly how you look in a shirt. Most specialty shops and department stores have a staff well-equipped with a tape measure and the know-how to take the proper measurements to ensure you are wearing the correctly sized cup and inches.
It's not something to get embarrassed about; it takes all of a minute, clothes stay on and is typically free of charge. There's no excuse to be wearing the wrong size bra. Instead of having T's down to your knees or cups excessively running over, you're clothes will fit better, your back and shoulders relieved of pain, and it could make you look thinner. But, one sizing doesn't mean you're sized for life. A bra size, like everything else, is never guaranteed longterm. Weight gain or loss, aging and obviously pregnancy means that your bra size is not one-size-fits-always.
Once you have the right bra size, you need at least a variety or two in bra styles. Find a great bra that sits well under most clothing. Lacey bras for day-to-day use are thrilling, but under a t-shirt they give the appearance of oatmeal-filled breasts. Some bras show under clothing, so having at least one nude bra helps.
Also look into the differences in cups and where straps are placed. You may need some demi cups (where the cups don't go as high on the breast) for low cut shirts. You'll need comfortable sports bras designated for working out. This helps your boobs and keeps the rest of your bras in good, not-sweaty shape.
Not only do you need to take care of your undergarments, but your undergarments need to also take care of you. Cotton is the most highly praised textile for undergarments for health reasons. I don't feel like taking it past that, so if you're still confused, consult your doctor.
Whatever kind of underpants you like to rock, the only thing you should worry about is it peeking out above your pants. Even though ladies aren't wearing as low cut jeans as the early 2000s, some undies come up so high there's either a whale tale (when the top of a thong creeps out) or bunched up cotton peeking out. There is low waist underwear, so find some in the style you like -- g-string, Brazilian cut, bikini, boyshorts, etc. -- and buy them.
But there are times when basic equals boring and you want to be a little more titillating. This is why every woman should have a sexy bra and underwear set. Sexy is different for everyone, so it can be anything from a pair of lace Brazilian cut panties to boy shorts to something involving garters. Matching is nice and you can certainly find plenty of lacy, satiny bow-filled sets out there. But just as you don't have to match everything else you're wearing, so true is it with your undergarments, for either a nice Tuesday or a naughty Saturday. Whatever it may be, when wearing in public, make sure that it's still sexy and supportive. And to ensure that it always looks sexy and not scary, your delicate undergarments should be washed by hand and hung to dry.
Feeling a Draft
A line must be drawn when a gal goes commando. Certainly if you wear one of those teeny tiny dresses then you should sport some panties. I don't care how tight the dress is, there are underpants out there that won't give you a case of VPL -- visible panty line. Without even the slightest thong, you'll make something else visible.
Also, as a courtesy to both friends and strangers, always wear underwear when you borrow someone else's clothes or going shopping and plan to try something on. It needs no explanation; it's just considerate.
Tulsa has a handful of great specialty stores where you can find bras of every variety, event, color and most important, size. They also help you take the measurements, ensuring good looking cleavage. And, unlike some national specialty stores or department stores, sizes go as big as real-world boobs. Expect to find sizing varying from AA all the way to the letter L. And if your bra letter is on the furthest end of the alphabet, they can often special-order for you and yours. Check out True to You Bra Salon, 5952 S. Lewis, or find more information on their Web site www.truetoyoubras.com. Or try The Bust Stop, 8270 E. 71st St. You can visit them online at www.buststop.com. Muse Intimates, 8172 S. Lewis, is another specialty store option. Visit www.museintimate.com.
By this point in the article, I've either grossed out all the gentlemen reading or upped my pervert readership. But underwear is just as important for guys as it is for gals -- if nothing more than the possibility that unsightly undergarments might ruin your game.
I visit a blog that frequently comments, quite hilariously, on the catalogue International Male. If you aren't familiar with this absurd men's fashion publication and you wish to see a corporation trying to profit by keeping early 1990s men's fashion alive forever, get yourself to Google now.
I mention that fashion atrocity because, in addition to carrying terrible men's fashions, they have the largest assortment of men's panties I've ever seen. I wouldn't typically equate men's underwear with the word "panties," but its large variety of thongs could not be categorized as anything but panties. In short, men should never own anything like these. In this modern age, a woman gets mildly creeped out by a guy rocking tighty whiteys. If electric blue, banana-hammocky, and look vaguely like something from a woman's underwear drawer, the garments are definitely a problem. If they are something you select misters can't live without, I highly recommend toning, tanning and trouping with the only crowd that appreciates this look, Chippendale dancers.
Let's get serious. Wearing the wrong sized underwear can lower your sperm count. There, I said it. This is why they are important. While not a viable means of birth control (ladies, please don't fall for that line) briefs or underwear worn too small can do harm. Now, I doubt many of you boys are wearing too small underwear, but those of you aching to procreate might want to opt for boxers. Plus, ladies dig them. Keep it fun with great patterns and colors, but keep it normal. Avoid the looks that would also be fitting for a 9-year old, or anything that looks like it came from a how-to-be-a-perv handbook. If commando's not for you -- though it very well could be -- your last option is the boxer brief. In fact, earlier this year I conducted an incredibly unscientific poll of a few Tulsa ladies, most of whom preferred their guy in that underwear hybrid. But all of this can be easily disregarded; you will wear what is most comfortable.
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