What's your position on lovely underthings?

by Hallie @ Moxie Wife on May 22, 2012

This will probably surprise exactly no one, but I’m pretty smitten with lovely underthings. Even if no one else sees them, they still make me smile. And, of course, when my special someone does see them, well, that’s all good, too (wink, wink).

But between private emails I’ve received, public comments left on the blog, and various conversations I’ve had, I’m learning that women are not of one mind when it comes to this issue.

From what I can tell, most gals fall into one of three camps:

 

  1. Lovely underthings should be worn every day.
  2. They should be called upon for special occasions only.
  3. Or they should not be worn ever.

 

So, maybe it seems like a silly thing to wonder about, but I’m curious to hear your thoughts…

 

  • Are you a never, a sometimes, or an everyday kind of pretty underthings-wearin’ gal?
  • If you’re opposed to beautiful unmentionables, is it because it makes you feel objectified? Or just shy and uncomfortable? Or for some other reason entirely?
  • If you pull out the pretties only on certain days, is it because you think such things should be reserved for special occasions? Or does it just depend upon your mood?
  • And if you wear nothing but satin skivvies (and the like), do you do so for yourself? Or is it a practice you adopted for the sake of your husband? And why do you think it’s a good practice to adopt?

 

Inquiring minds want to know!

(And please feel free to comment anonymously.)

 

{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

bearing May 21, 2012 at 1:34 pm

My view is that no matter the color or fineness of fabric, the most basic level of “loveliness” in underthings is that they fit properly and provide the needed support. Too many women are shortchanging themselves by wearing the wrong size or by wearing “thrifty” undergarments that are no bargain because they don’t work right. Start there, and that’s definitely for every day!

Alison Solove @ExperimentalWifery May 21, 2012 at 1:34 pm

I’ve always been more about function than form–especially when it comes to undergarments. But I didn’t realize how important lovely unmentionables are to my husband until I recently invested in a nursing bra that was not only comfortable, but also flattering. My husband compliments me on it every time I wear it! I guess I’ve learned that I can give him a special treat and keep myself comfortable.
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Maggie @ From the Heart May 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm

This post has given me lots to think about. I don’t wear lovely underthings because I think it is inappropriate or objectifies me… I guess I’m just too lazy. Or maybe I am that self-conscious of my body and don’t really realize it. My husband has never asked for me to wear anything like that, so I just don’t even think about it. (Although, I know he would appreciate it.) I used to wear stuff like that all the time in my sinful dark days… not only to impress the man I was currently sleeping with, but to make myself feel sexier. Now you got me pondering! I however, don’t think a woman who is married who does wear lovely underthings isn’t doing anything wrong. More power to ya! :-)
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Lucy May 21, 2012 at 1:48 pm

In theory I am all for pretty undies but I don’t wear them because a) they cost too much especially because I am a big woman, and b) really I am most comfy wearing no undies at all. I grudgingly reign things in when I leave the house but at home or the woods, I am all about freedom so cost per wear on the pretty stuff would be exorbitant.

Colleen @ Martin Family Moments May 21, 2012 at 2:05 pm

I try to wear the most sensible, comfortable and supportive underthings I can afford to buy! I don’t want to look like I am wearing granny panties but I don’t want to be stuck in a thong either! I LOVE Gapbody Hipster briefs. Such nice soft material and good coverage. I recently started wearing the genie bra and like the way it controls my back fat (TMI?). Plus I got 3 for $19.99 at BJ’s! On rare occasions I wear special pretty things for my husband’s eyes only, and I think he appreciates the extra effort and also knows I have one thing on my mind!! But honestly, it comes off so fast I wonder if it was even worth it?!?!?

Hallie @ Betty Beguiles May 21, 2012 at 2:19 pm

I totally agree!
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Lisa G. May 21, 2012 at 2:21 pm

I’m a “never wears lovely things” – couldn’t justify the money when we are barely scraping by. I actually had to ask my husband if we had the $$ for new underwear recently as mine was beyond repair. We aren’t “poor” but we definitely have to feed ourselves before I can buy fun stuff. But, if I were to wear the fun stuff, I would have to wear it all the time instead of once in a while. I find it hard to variate between the two and would opt for comfort over lovely in all cases. And I’m suuuuuuppppperr self-concious about that stuff and wouldn’t pick it unless it were the only thing in my drawer.

Can I add that as a woman with no butt and no hips, wearing satin anything just makes my pants fall down??
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Hallie @ Betty Beguiles May 21, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Don’t you just love it when your husband surprises you with an unexpectedly positive reaction? I’m still surprised by some of the things that tickle my husband’s fancy. ;)
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Liz May 21, 2012 at 2:30 pm

I guess I am a “once-in-a-while” wearer of pretty undergarments. I love to look at them, but I don’t wear them all the time because they do not look very good under my clothes: lace shows through, pretty bras are usually too thin to be supportive and modest, and “cute” undies create terrible panty lines. So, even on a date, I look better in my “practical” (but not ugly) things. I know that there are supposedly pretty things that are also good under clothes, but I don’t want to spend $100/bra! Also, my husband would rarely see them – we get dressed/undressed separately (just by happenstance, not by design), and, being small-busted, I don’t wear undergarments to bed. I could see the appeal of wearing pretty underwear if I start to feel “droopier” later in life and wanted to wear something throughout any activities.
I am a fan of pretty sleepwear (especially chemises) since he does see it, though the smaller (and cuter) ones are less practical for getting up at night with babies, or for when the baby ends up in bed with you. Before we had a child, we usually just opted for au naturale sleeping, so, even then, we just went for the practical and comfortable! Even on our honeymoon, when I brought a pile of pretty things, they were off within 30 seconds with hardly a look, so it just seems silly to wear something fancy for the walk between the bathroom and the bed! Again, though, as I age, I’m sure I will have times when I’d like to be a bit more covered, so an attractive negligee to be left on might be just the thing.
I think it’s great for married ladies to have nice undergarments if they or their husband care about them, but it just doesn’t suit our marriage’s style right now!

Jeni May 21, 2012 at 2:30 pm

I am very pro cute girlie things but I’ve never owned any :( I’d live to but that’s not really up there with food and therefore seems frivolous in that light. I mean, we have $20 for groceries this week and none for gas; spending money on pretty panties just ain’t gonna happen. But someday when they do I know I will be pretty thrilled. :)

Shelly May 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm

I wear lovely underthings everyday! It helps that I have never had to buy my own! My husband is always surprising me with the latest, most comfortable, supportive, and stylish underthings so I never have to worry about them wearing out. After 24 years of marriage, pregnancies and 8 children, he always gets just the right size and style.

Martha May 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I recently read an article in Conde Nast Traveler about just this topic. It concerned how the French women were shocked beyond belief that we wore ugly underthings. That got me thinking… I’m usually a cotton Target cheapo kind of girl, with a few pretties for special occasions, but I think I agree with the Frenchies. It should be all the time. Well, except for one week a month. :P And I’m not condoning THONGS for heaven’s sake- I don’t think those fall into the sexy category, just raunchy. Okay, well, I do own some of those as well. I digress.

No matter what you chose, form or function, I think the bottom line is they should fit well, flatter your body type, and match. If you’re on a limited budget, just go all black and all nude. Simple, basic, classy.

We’re awaiting the ‘underthings guide’ for next time, Hallie! Don’t let us down, you purveyor of all things girly!

Joanna May 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm

This is something that I have been thinking about a lot lately due to my upcoming wedding and certain prewedding events where I may be receiving some lovely lingerie type things! I have always tended to go for bright, colorful, fun undergarments just because I have personally always enjoyed them. It was until my fiancee and I started to seriously discuss marriage, and my friends started to discuss my bachelorette party that my mind wandered to the fact that hey… I’m not the only one who is going to be seeing my underwear anymore! weird! (and exciting!;) So I feel like for me, I not only wear pretty things to make myself happy and amused, but I want to wear them for my husband as well. I feel like there is something fun and exciting about wearing hot pink undies or a new lacy bra. I also think that lingerie is feminine and beautiful and is intended to accentuate some of our most feminine and beautiful characteristics. my opinions and thoughts on the subject. fun post! :)

-Joanna
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Hallie @ Betty Beguiles May 21, 2012 at 3:24 pm

I really do think it’s an interesting topic–especially in this day and age where so many have sexual wounds from which they are in the process of healing. I’m really enjoying these comments. Thanks for chiming in, Maggie!
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Alexandra May 21, 2012 at 3:43 pm

I love pretty underthings! As others have said, I’d wear pretty stuff daily if I could afford it. Because I can’t, however, I mostly have a moderately sized collection in rotation for more important days. Here’s a tip: I don’t like supporting certain lingerie stores because of their prices and their immodest marketing.. a certain Someone’s Secret, anyone? I’ve done great, however at discount places like TJMaxx, Marshalls, Daffys, etc. Even Target has some pretty fancier items. There is more to pick over at these stores, and not everything is drop-dead gorgeous, but it’s enough to catch his eye and feel beautiful!

graceling May 21, 2012 at 3:44 pm

I think there is a lot to be said for what stage you are at in your life and marriage. When I was working 12+ hour shifts as a critical care nurse, my underthings were practical for my activity level, cotton to prevent infections, and BLEACHED frequently (oh, the germs!) They were not pretty.

I do like wearing pretty underthings (and for me, pretty has much more to do with how I feel rather than how it looks), and would probably wear them every day if I could fit into the ones I already own (baby weight, sigh). But for this time in my life, I can’t justify spending money on something that will (hopefully) be too big in a few months.

That said, I do know what my husband prefers and try to work with that as much as my limited post-baby wardrobe allows. For instance, he loves camisoles, so I might wear a nursing camisole to bed rather than a nursing bra. Yeah, I’m still in his old boxers, but the camisole makes the ensemble “cute” to him. I’ll take it!
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Julie May 21, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Well…this is a delicate issue. Ha! (pardon the pun!) :) Enjoyed reading the comments here. I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle of function and fun. I like both ~ and as someone who has merchandised and sold intimates I can tell you the choices run across the spectrum. I love pretty but must have comfort too as a general rule for daily use and work etc…I think women (and the answers here) are much more complex than the either~or I am a “funtion” or *fun* girl only. (Gosh do we women and the culture get hung up on body image, paint ourselves into categories and short change ourselves! STOP doing this!) Last I checked, regardless of size and shapes we all come with the same *parts*. The art of building and keeping up a trousseau has really been lost I am afraid. Especially for we American women. There really should be a thoughtful attempt occassionally. I know we are all busy and penniless at times but the truth is ~~ with all of the choice available today ~~(drum roll) ~~ we should make the effort. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Just put some time and care into it and THAT is what will make you feel like a million $$ whether anyone sees them or not. (You know they are there!) Practical and affordable are a must for many choices BUT I like the answer above about the French. ~ The worlds best in intimates can be found from La Perla and some of the other French makers. Ignore the Victoria’s Secret runway for the most part and the objectifying aspects of the culture. It is a slipperly slop and a road women have been down far too long. Sleazy has been taken to a whole new level ~ don’t get caught up in it. I HATE most magazine ads etc…. The French can be great at celebrating and showing women how to *enjoy* being a woman without turning it into a *cheap* showy experience. The best designs, silouettes, and fabrics help for sure. If you can afford it ~ treat yourself. It will be worth it. Any price range as long as care and time is taken will add and accent any woman. :)

Kimberlie May 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm

I am a “sometimes” gal because I just want to be comfortable. I mean, I have some pretty lacy unmentionables but I only wear them occasionally. Case in point, I have lacy “boy shorts” type panties that make me feel super sexy when I put them on, but ahem, they aren’t comfortable to keep on for long if you are cathin’ my drift. They are for me in a sense because they make me feel pretty and sexy when I want to get in the mood, but they are for my husband too. I think if I could afford to buy some really nice silkies that fit in the right places but made me feel like French women feel in their underthings, I would do it. But I have a Target budget not a Victoria _____ budget. And let’s face it, a Target budget pretty much gets you fake silk and scratchy lace. :) However, going back to my original thought, lacy and silky underthings make me feel super feminine. I don’t think there’s a thing wrong with that when you are dressing for yourself and your husband. I mean, just because we are Catholic Christian ladies, doesn’t mean we have to go around in granny-panties and bullet bras all the time, right?
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Caitie Rose May 21, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Sorry to intrude.. Does he have a single brother?

LOL ;)

anonymous May 21, 2012 at 4:19 pm

I have to be anonymous for this one. My husband loves the pretty little things I love to feel pretty and sexy in them. What’s funny is that he calls my other ugly everyday underwear “no sex” underwear and moans whenever I put them on. Of course, it’s not true because this gal loves to give surprises, but it’s funny non the less that he thinks the night will end quicker if the no sex underwear where worn. lol.

BTW. I’m sure you agree, but anyone who has problem with you or anyone else wearing pretty little things has a problem accepting their own God given gift of sexuality. Through spiritual growth and maturity, people can heal from past sexual wounds and insecurity, but it infuriates me when they use their insecurities to pass judgment on others. I hope you have not received too many nasty notes.

elizabethe May 21, 2012 at 7:25 pm

I have an ideal and a a real with this one. My ideal would be to have a wardrobe of lovely underthings each and every day. In fact, I used to have this.

But over the years, I’ve moved to my real. My real is that I have super-sensitive skin and have found that, at least for underpants, I can only wear 100% cotton underthings or else by the end of the day I am not a happy camper. No lycra blends, no silk or satin or slippery things, no rayon, it all drives me crazy, even if it’s lined with cotton. Bras I’m afraid, I go function over form. I’ve been nursing off and on for five years and anticipate doing so again soon (which drives me nuts that I can’t get a nursing bra that keeps the girls in the proper place. My number one pet peeve in women is low hanging fruit, iykwim. Your boobs are supposed to be halfway between your elbow and the top of your shoulder and if they are lower than that, you need a bra fitting, number one thing you can do to improve the fit of your clothes and your appearance).

I’ve also discovered through experience that I can’t have a whole bunch of different colored bras that I can only wear with one shirt or they will show through, or inevitably I will be going through the dirty laundry trying to find the bra I can wear with my white top when I only have my aqua lace bra and my purple satin bra clean. After one too many times of doing this, I did a color limitation, I only have black or dark grey and nude (And I’m about to ban, black, as well).

Through trial and error I’ve learned that it’s just more important to me that undergarments contribute in an unfussy, non-stressful way to a great outward presentation; and that makes me feel better about myself than any satin panty every could. My one rule is to replace them often so I always have nice new looking ones, and not ratty ones.

cynthia May 21, 2012 at 8:50 pm

love this subject! I am so a 30 something modesty loving girl. I am all about classic undergarments and believe that attractiveness comes from within and elegant lovely lacey under things are charming bonus.
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Maria May 21, 2012 at 10:07 pm

I am definitely some where between everyday and special occasion only. I have been wearing nursing bras for 9 years straight now, and I finally found a few pretty and practical ones last summer. I try to pick out mostly practical- but- still- pretty panties, with a few special pairs thrown in from time to time.

Larissa May 21, 2012 at 10:32 pm

I agree with the ladies that have said that the shape, fit and how they make you feel are all primary things one needs to take into account when purchasing underthings … whether they are ‘super-boring-plain’ or ‘fancy-pretty-lovely’ underthings they need to be practical and comfortable for everyday use – especially when one is breastfeeding!!!
I used to have a whole wardrobe of ‘pretty’ underthings, both bra & panties, most matching … this was well before I had my daughter, and generally during the years I was going out every weekend being all kinds of naughty. I wore them for the guys who would see them, but also because they made me feel sexy and cute, and helped build up my self-esteem (which was pretty shocking back then!) … When I fell pregnant with my daughter, try as I might I couldn’t find any pretty maternity bras in my price range (though this has since changed after I stopped a year and a half ago!), and since her father had chosen to have no contact (and I was … still am … single, relationship wise), I didn’t really feel I had to ‘dress’ for anyone and thus my underthings became the practical, plain & boring kind. As my lower half had become rather larger than before, I also decided upon the cream-coloured plainer, cotton panties.
In the last six months however, I have increasingly felt the desire to once again those ‘pretty’ items and have conceded by purchasing 4 comfortable, yet gorgeous bras that make me feel incredible when I wear them. I only wear them out of the house (still wear the ‘old’ bras as I am still larger than I would like to be), and I have not purchased matching panties, but I really enjoy how I feel when I wear them – confident, secure … my back even straightens up, lol!!!
As I slowly lose my weight this year I hope to be able to increase this number, ending up with a gorgeous collection of underwear that I can confidently wear for my future husband. I have lost approximately 13 pounds and 9 inches (7 around my waist, 2 around my hips) since the beginning of the year (I am working towards losing another 55-60 pounds by the end of the year), and my current ones will need to be replaced shortly if I can keep this up … I am looking forward to having the collection of gorgeous intimates that I dream of in the near future!! … And I REALLY look forward to sharing this with my future husband!!
Thanks for posing the question! Its been great to see where other people are at with this issue … especially those who are already married!!
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Melissa May 21, 2012 at 10:37 pm

Betty, you’ll make a girly out of me yet! I admire the gentleness with which you approach the subject.
Not too long ago, I was laughing with mock shame to my husband that the underwear that had been relegated to “desperado” status (the underwear you choose to wear absolutely last) were the fancy things. Oh, how I love my “butt bags,” but I’m trying to get the cute, fancy stuff back into regular rotation. And I _do_ feel happier overall when I’m wearing pretty underwear during the day instead of saving it for those “30 seconds” at night.

I’m reading, _Raising Responsible Kids_, by Jay Kesler, and the title of his first Principle (Chapter One) is, “Love Your Spouse More Than Your Kids.” This hit me right between the eyes! I read on to see that the author’s point is that in modeling a stable, loving, affectionate marriage for our kids makes them feel safe and loved and give them a worthy goal to achieve in their own respective marriages.

The author advocates putting the marital relationship decidedly first before the kids- not in a selfish way, but in a way that protects and nurtures what’s important.

This ties into Betty’s post here and, moreso, her post encouraging the ladies to consider taking more care in bedtime dress/preparation. I had defaulted to accepting that my husband and our relationship was last behind our kids and would take care of itself while we wrangle our way through the young years.

But oh my goodness! am I reaping so many good things from putting forth the littlest efforts at directing care to my husband and dressing in cute things for bed. These efforts need NOT be expensive. I sh0pped the sale/clearance rack at marshalls and got a few things that can stand on their own as decently cute and neat, but can be ramped up easily depending on how they are worn or with what- or without what.

I guess the point is to try to see it as a worthy effort/investment- not hundreds of dollars, but in the category of “it’s the thought that counts.” Back to the author, Kesler, he states boldly that:
“Some of the best money you can spend is for a babysitter so you can have a night out alone with your spouse. Better yet, find a couple who will keep your kids for a weekend so you can spend some uninterrupted time together to cultivate your relationship. [my note: not necessarily just "get a break from the kids," but to _"cultivate"_ the marital relationship.]
“Kids need to understand that mom and dad have something special going. They need to see you touch each other, kiss each other, show affection for one another. They need to know that your marriage is solid and that there is nothing anybody can do to divide you from one another.”

This is LONG, now, but I guess I’m testifying to benefits of Betty’s suggestions. I’m not tramp-dressing each night- I’m taking care in my appearance instead of falling asleep in the same yoga pants and tshirt I wore all day. It’s not always about green-lighting sex, either. My husband has become perceptibly more attentive- he has started to *gasp* initiate snuggling in the morning. Just to be affectionate. But there have been eyebrow raising benefits as well. :)

Rebekka May 21, 2012 at 10:39 pm

I’m usually a comfort-seeking type, because imo nothing ruins an outfit faster than uncomfortable underwear. Also, I’m a nurse and the hospital supplies our uniforms and they are white. Also, I’m a nurse, and did you know that to really kill your poop bacteria (that EVERYONE has) is by washing underwear on hot (60 C)? (Or I guess with bleach.) So I wear cotton underwear, mostly white for work and some black (I do a white load and a dark load of undies). If I can’t wash it on hot, I’m not going to wear it.

Brawise I am so, so over my nursing bras. I can’t wait to wear regular bras again. I have to get pretty pricey bras because I am big both bandwise and cupwise, but I usually only have 2 in rotation. My requirement there is that it has to lie smooth under my clothes and be a neutral color (I usually wear camisoles under my tops, so this gives me a little leeway).

So basically I don’t have anything against things looking okay, but other things are higher on my priority list – hygiene and comfort/support.

jo May 21, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Personally, I have found lacy underthings, etc. to be naturally repulsive (sorry to be blunt!). Part of this derives from my own aesthetic, but I believe that the cultural influence of this view is not negligible. It seems as if the only places we tend to see fancy undergarments (at least by chance as adolescents) are in saucy advertisements, racy scenes in movies, etc. Although they are far from the only entity that does so, I often feel like I have something of a personal vendetta against Victoria’s Secret because I find their advertising to objectify women quite a bit (and I also think that paying loads of money for underwear, not matter how comfortable, is criminal). I’m not sure if this is a universal occurrence, but sometimes teenage girls will use their fancy panties as some sort of status symbol to show off in locker rooms-the same girls who, at least in my experience, were most outspoken about their own trampiness. I’m not married, but I’m fairly certain that fancy undergarments would make me feel quite uncomfortable and possibly objectified, depending on the item. Lacy underwear has, for me, been too closely associated with “tramp” to ever associate it with anything else.

Mama Benedikt May 22, 2012 at 12:02 am

I would prefer tasteful lovelies all the time. I feel prettier in them. Lack of a paycheck doesn’t permit. I would rather have the nice feeling of honest to goodness real silk, or close to it. Cotton in the lining, though, if not, the former really messes up NFP charting, bodies from “breathing”, etc.
I would like to share an observation. As our culture has so sexualized the body, in degrading way, it is unfortunate that women are practically forced to wear undergarments. So many other cultures find our need to wear bras ridiculous. Only larger busted women, whose backs hurt really “need” support. Underwear? Plenty of people get along fine without it, as long as they dress properly, ie: long skirts, dresses, and the like. Germs and bacteria really can’t attack when a woman wears long skirts, dresses. Sure, one would need to be careful how they sat, etc. Manners are key. Dignity. Drooping breasts are not ugly. “We” think this because we are taught this. It is a cultural thing. My husband comes from Africa. Bras in his country are rarely used (and this is not just tribes in the bush, either) and only because of Western influences. No one there looks at women with sagging breasts as ugly or gross. It’s normal. Truth, unless one is larger busted/has back problems, it is healthier NOT to wear a bra. Think how breasts are forced into bras of all sorts of materials, underwires, etc. There’s not much breathing of the skin going on. Milk ducts are pressed in upon. Well, you can picture it. There should not be this stigma of shame that the Western world places on women who choose not to wear bras. As long as one is dressed appropriately, ie: not just a little tank top.

“Women in the United States typically only see their own breasts and those of the supermodels, which have been fixed & augmented, and the photos have been airbrushed, modified, photoshopped—you name it. All people can perceive of other women’s breasts are just the fact they are bra-bound and bra-lifted. So this causes people—both men and women—to think that the normal or typical breast is what the models have in TV and magazines, and that anything else is sagging/too small/ugly/abnormal. Oh, what a deception!” (from site below)
For more reading on this issue:
http://www.007b.com/

Lalita May 22, 2012 at 12:36 am

I’m a Catholic teen, so I’m not in the same walk of life as most of you :-) This is a really interesting topic.

My older sisters, and some of my girls cousins, send fancy underthings to each other sometimes. I do own some fancy things, but they never fit right or are as comfortable as my more functional items. I like the idea of fancy unmentionables, but don’t have the money to buy good enough ones which fit right. Who knows how that’ll change how I get older, though. I love hearing your thoughts on this!

Anna May 22, 2012 at 1:54 am

I have to have something functional, but I like it to look nice as well. I’ve always wanted something at least a little pretty even before I was married. Partly, it’s just for me. If I’m dressing at least somewhat nicely (not just underthings) and taking some time with my appearance, I feel nicer and have a better attitude.
I now live in the Congo, which presents some extra challenges. No washer or dryer, so we hang thing on a clothesline. There are lots of people who pass by on any given day, so I have to remember that whatever is on the line is there for everyone to see.
Also have to order new things on-line, but not in person. We have 2 visitors coming, and I had a few things from VS sent for one of them to bring. She sent an e-mail which was then forwarded to 1/2 of our mission team saying what she was bringing for different people. I wasn’t planning on sharing that with the group… a little TMI!
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Laura May 22, 2012 at 4:53 am

Um, okay, so I feel like I’m the only one who actually loves me my granny panties. It’s weird, I know. They are just so dern comfortable that I’m loathe to wear anything else during the day.

Conversely, my husband loves him the few super sexy items I do own. I’ve found that if I wear those all day, I have an easier time getting in the mood later that evening. With two under two right now, I need all the help I can get in that department. As usual then, getting dressed requires thought as to what the context of the day will be!

Jennifer @ Raindrops On My Head May 22, 2012 at 7:42 am

Here’s my tuppence ha’penny: I am in the process of doing a complete turnaround as regards my dainties mainly thanks to this blog! I have never had any objection to fancy or special undies and even owned a few lovely pieces but I’m afraid desire for comfort always kicked in when I opened the drawer and so the comfy cottons were always sitting there inviting me and the prettier stuff shoved to the back. The same with night-wear. Now I have thrown out all my shabby washed and totally un-alluring pjs and panties. A trip to TKMaxx this week rewarded itself with two very pretty, sexy AND comfy nightdresses. Previously I’d have just walked past that dept. I headed to the knicker section but there were two men fixing the roof at that exact spot so I decided to leave that to another day.(I like TKMaxx as you can get the quality without breaking the bank.) Well anyway, my mindset is changed now…those sections of shops DO apply to ME and are not only for other women. It’s an act of love, service and dare I say it…Justice…to look as nice as possible for my husband. He makes a huge effort to keep fit and in shape for me and so that he’ll hopefully be here for the family as long as possible so it’s fair that I do the same for him and for myself. So if you’d asked this question a few months ago my answer would have been COMFORT PLEASE!! In two or three months I’m hoping to be able to say, PRETTY SPECIAL every day!!! And, best of all, my husband is noticing the change.
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Hallie @ Betty Beguiles May 22, 2012 at 8:23 am

Hi, girls! Just popping in here to say that I am LOVING these comments! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! xoxox
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Anonfortoday May 22, 2012 at 8:37 am

Hmm….
I am not opposed to pretty things, I use them occasionally, but function is the most important in my mind for day to day use. A good fitting bra and underwear makes your clothes look better. I actually use my pretty stuff in anticipation of the marital embrace. I want to look nice and attractive for my husband but I admit I recoil at Victoria Secret Ads. They are selling a lifestyle that doesn’t exactly speak the language of the truth and dignity of the human person. I am also dismayed to see that stores are selling matching bra and undies sets for young girls. Who the hell is going to see them?

SMR May 22, 2012 at 9:14 am

Just a couple of questions – where do you find your pretty nursing bras, and how do you balance looking pretty at night with being modest for your children who visit you during the night? I recently passed over some really cute everyday pjs at gap because I thought they wouldn’t be appropriate for my kids to see me in.

Hricco May 22, 2012 at 9:25 am

My husband would love for me to wear them all the time, but I find them a.) hideously uncomfortable (at least the kind he likes) and b.) expensive – hard to justify the price. We’re still working on a compromise though. =) I’m coming to believe some discomfort sometimes might be worth it to make my husband happy.

Martha May 22, 2012 at 9:58 am

Um, yeah. What? Is he French? That is fantastic!!! I’m so happy for you! He needs to host a webinar or something!

Martha May 22, 2012 at 10:02 am

I agree, Julie. Love that you used the word ‘trouseeau’. Fantastic. I’ll take two, please. ;D

Melissa May 22, 2012 at 11:40 am

To SMR: Just a light, knit or cotton robe/house coat could be thrown on in a jiffy. Problem solved.
Also, I mentioned above that a nightgown that could look perfectly innocuous to kiddies can look and feel fab to your husband if it’s thin, light cotton (knit or woven) and there’s nothin’ under it. Again, the house coat comes in handy here for alighting from bed. :)

Also, Betty, and others- many here seem to think only of Victoria’s Secret when thinking of lingerie and therefore, struggle with feeling “morally acceptable” about owning lingerie. Can some of you help out with some websites that offer pretty underthings that are lovely and _can_ be alluring in their own way, but which don’t carry the stigma of “illicit reputation?”

I think this touches on another, bigger issue, which is an issue I struggled with and sometimes still struggle with in terms of mindset: Making the successful transition from thinking about sex as “verboten” before/outside of marriage with a BIG stop sign… to thinking of sex within marriage as not only acceptable, but something to be encouraged, explored & joyful. It can really mess with attitude and psyche!

Melissa May 22, 2012 at 12:31 pm

-http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/store/jump/productDetail/Clothing/Women&aposs/Bras_&_Panties/Reversible_Bandeau/59416
-What about this? Let’s form a tasteful undies cooperative- I mean, who needs _40_ pairs or more of underwear, but you can’t beat the prices… http://www.dhgate.com/wholesale/pure+silk+underwear/1.html
-A while ago, I was in a Filene’s basement and found some arie brand underwear on clearance for a couple bucks. I have searched in vain for more since. They are cute/feminine print, 100% cotton bikini-ish style, but have satin side ties… They fit the “comfortable, practical” category, the ties stay tied, they are adjustable (again, the ties), AND they can fit the “vavoom” category because of the side ties. Suggestive without being over the top. I actually find them flattering to a less-than-perfect-ample-ish figure, too.
- Keep your eyes open at cheapie places like Target and Kmart and Marshalls/TJMaxx- you’d be surprised what you happen upon there.

College Bound May 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Melissa, when I read your comment about the book you’re reading I totally connected. My parents never knew that they made my older brother and I feel very troubled by their lack of extra attention to each other, by making it seem like he and I were more important than their marriage. We know they love one another, but I distinctly remember wondering if mom and dad were friends, because they hardly seem enthusiastic about just being around each other, doing fun stuff. We worry about our younger siblings growing up this way, too, and I know they already notice it. I can see my childhood all over again, and it’s really painful. From my heart I entreat you to continue doing special things for your husband, because in reality you’re doing it for your whole family. May God bless your marriage in joy and peace. :)

whatever good you do for your husband will make your kids feel ten times more secure and calm, especially when you’re doing it when you don’t feel like it.

Kristina Chatfield May 22, 2012 at 2:35 pm

I can’t stand any underpants that are not completely cotton. Just a personal preference. So that limits the “pretty” definition. that being said, I think I look great in them with the right cut and fit. I’m definitely a bikini girl and not a granny girl! I love pretty bras, and try to mix and match as best I can. I have gotten out of the idea that everything has to be the same color and matchy-matchy. A nice fitting panty in blue can look lovely with a nice fitting bra in a print. That opens up all sort of possibilities. I agree with many of the comments – correct fit goes a long way to making undergarments fall into the “pretty underthing” category. Form and function!

Kristina Chatfield May 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm

That’s something I struggle with also. So many pajama tops out there are a bit see-through and I have two teenage boys (and two younger boys). I like to be able to wear my pj’s in the house at night and in the morning for breakfast, without worrying about scandalizing my teenagers! I have found some nice pjs’s at Kohl’s and a few things at Target that are pretty and functional without being too revealing.

bearing May 22, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Also, Betty, and others- many here seem to think only of Victoria’s Secret when thinking of lingerie and therefore, struggle with feeling “morally acceptable” about owning lingerie. Can some of you help out with some websites that offer pretty underthings that are lovely and _can_ be alluring in their own way, but which don’t carry the stigma of “illicit reputation?”

Personally, I like the Title Nine catalogue, if you want some positive body images lying around for your young daughters to see. They carry a large line of supportive brassieres, many (but not all) of which are sports bras, and usually include a couple of nursing bras. The emphasis is on fun and function. The women are sexy, but athletic-sexy, not porn-victim-sexy. And if you need a lot of support for any sort of physical activity, you’ll find that bra there — it may not be “pretty,” but like I said in the first comment, the most basic test of pretty underthings (which many “pretty-looking” bras FAIL) is proper fit and performance.

http://bounce.titlenine.com

But if you want to avoid the objectification, hie thee to a real department store with a big lingerie department that has trained fitters. Or possibly a true lingerie boutique. No inappropriate models there; just racks of brassieres and fitting rooms with mirrors and someone who will measure you, stuff your breasts into the bra for you, and tell you like it is.
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Kassie May 22, 2012 at 5:18 pm

I’m a single Catholic gal who is addicted to pretty underthings. I believe that to be truly functional, you must have form — but maybe that’s just my ballet background rearing its head.
My favorite recent clothing purchase is a sturdy, well-made garter belt — not only do I MUCH prefer stockings to pantyhose, but it smoothes my silhouette and doubles as a waist cincher for my favorite vintage dresses. I don’t buy VS, not for moral reasons, but because the quality does not match the price. I’d much rather spend more on La Perla when I can find it on sale, and have underthings that will last for years.
I’m a big fan of What Katie Did, and Dollhouse Bettie! Hopefully, when I get married, my husband will appreciate my obsession with all things pin-up…

Lauren May 22, 2012 at 7:39 pm

I don’t wear the pretty stuff all the time, but I’d like to. I love nice lingere. Anyone who is afraid of spending the money, I’ll tell you that the really nice stuff, not Victoria’s Secret, lasts a long time. For my wedding day, I got these very flattering panties, lots of coverage, and comfortable. Matched the merry widow I wore under my dress. Those were the best panties ever. I just gave them the heave ho recently, and I’ve been married 5 years. If you hand wash your nice stuff, you’ll really get your money’s worth out of them. As for other stuff, I love cute and sexy chemises. Natori makes some real stunners. I also have some slutty stuff from Fredrick’s which makes my husband and I laugh. When you’re married, it’s all good fun!

Ramona May 22, 2012 at 7:47 pm

I’m so glad to hear that I am not alone in liking to wear pretty things but having trouble finding a bra that won’t contribute to the “back fat” effect :) Thanks for the tip on the Genie bra. I’ll check it out. Your parting line cracked me up! I’ve wondered the same thing myself..but after 32 years of marriage..4 kids and 3 grandchildren..I just count myself incredibly blessed :)

Jennifer G. May 22, 2012 at 9:30 pm

I’m a special occasions gal. Partially because my pretty underthings aren’t exactly comfortable. And partially because it helps me separate the every day from the special moments.

Germaine May 23, 2012 at 7:54 am

Just got to let you know I love this post! My college gal friends and I enjoy reading your blog, and definitely find this blog entry prescient for us. I love feminine and pretty everythings, but don’t really wear anything except cotton unmentionables :) I don’t mind actually; it’s rather like 50′s swimwear I think…even though the 2 piece suits were risque for the time (definitely not now), they gave them coverage, comfort and still managed to look cute and not frumpy with a full brief. When I do get married, I know I’ll look forward to wearing more exciting things …most likely of different material …but same coverage (couldn’t be comfortable in anything else…and I wouldn’t change to a different pair of underwear just because my husband was coming home and it would be off soon enough anyway). Right now, I just like to have lovely things to sleep in. I convinced several girls over the course of the semester to switch to wearing nightgowns and/or to procure some over the summer :D Go femininity!

Caitlin May 23, 2012 at 12:59 pm

I would love to wear pretties all the time, but unfortunately it’s just not realistic for me. As I am ahem…. slightly more endowed, it’s impossible for me to find a really pretty bra unless it’s in a boutique and $$$$. Generally I have to get myself a pricier bra for support and I think that’s really important (I’m always amazed how I look about 10 lbs lighter with a bra that fits correctly!). Usually I have a $50 bra with a $5 t-shirt. :) I couldn’t shop at VS even if I wanted to because they just don’t have my bra size. That said, I try to wear something a little cuter downstairs to make up for the not-so-sexy bra, but it’s certainly nothing mind-blowing. For me, just an everyday bra is an investment so I can’t really justify buying a bra just for fun and instead I usually get a cute little lingerie dress.
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Amy May 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm

I love all the wonderful suggestions on here. I would love to be the type of person who wears pretty underthings all the time, but it just doesn’t happen. I’d like to blame it on the fact that I’m nursing/have two tiny boys, but the truth is, I would probably reach for the plainer things even if that wasn’t the case. Sometime after the birth of my oldest, I did buy a bunch of solid black panties to match my favorite nursing bra, so I feel like they’re a “set,” but unfortunately, the velcro on the babies’ bibs has torn up the waistbands on almost all of them. I’ve already given my husband a heads-up that once my littlest is weaned, I’d like to replace most of the things in my underwear drawer. I’m also hoping that after I’m not nursing anymore, my cup size will go back down so that I can fit into my old lacy things from the earlier days of our marriage, but that remains to be seen. I’m willing to buy new if I have to!
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Anita May 23, 2012 at 6:42 pm

I have a light-weight (seer-sucker) robe I pull on when I get out of bed if I am wearing a lighter top. After 10 years of nursing, most are “lighter” if you get my drift, except whem it is sweats in the winter.

Ashley May 24, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I fall into the “sometimes” group. I love the idea of pretty, but when it comes to actually paying for something I go for cost/comfort/function. When I’m occasionally able to match cost/comfort with pretty/fun I’m thrilled with the results, and those are always my first choice out of the drawer (and my husband’s reaction is definitely motivating as well).

JMB May 24, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Personally, I think underwear is the most difficult item to buy because you need to wash it and then wear it all day long and wash it again to see if it works well. That said, I only buy one pair at a time, and if it passes the wash & wear test, then I will return to the store and buy two or three more pairs. I’ve mastered the bra – only Wacoal, and my underwear catagories – thong for working out, Cosabella or Hanky Panky, boy shorts in nude for every day – Calvin Klein or DKNY.

Annie May 24, 2012 at 2:15 pm

If you are looking for a really good, professional bra fitting, go to Nordstroms. The fitting is free. A properly-fit bra is the most comfortable thing in the world, and worth the investment. I had a fitting done two years ago and bought two pretty $50 brassieres, in black and nude. The bras continue to hold up wonderfully, much better than the cheap Target stuff. For the $100 I spent at Nordstrom, I would have had to buy and replace several Target bras in those same 2 years. The other benefit of a fitting is that once you know your proper size, watch for the sales on nice brassieres at Nordstrom Rack, Filene’s Basement or TJMaxx, and you can get well-fitting, well-made ones for a fraction of the full price. Good underwear are an investment worth saving for, and as the old saying goes, “I can’t afford to shop cheaply!” (meaning you’ll spend more money buying and replacing cheap stuff than in buying 2 or so more expensive brands).

Meg May 27, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Had to chime in on this delightful topic! I remember being in college the first time I ‘splurged’ and bought the most fun, lovely underthings. I remember a married friend of mine not getting it when I excitedly told her how my pretty underthings would ‘match’ my Easter dress that year! She didn’t see why it mattered for a single gal to have pretty underthings. I didn’t quite know how to explain it, because it surely was just for me. And it made me happy. I stuck mostly to fun floral cotton type things. Then a friend introduced me to more satin and lace type things. Around this time, I was engaged and was excited to have different kinds of lingerie. Over the years, the same friend has taken me on a ‘girl’s shopping day out’, usually ending up coming home with some kind of new lingerie. My husband totally approved. :) See, to put it in context, I so needed a friend like this. I was the gal that wore shapeless plaid jumpers before I was married, and wouldn’t step foot in VS! I very gradually found the fun of buying nice underthings, but my friend really helped me go a step farther, and get things I would never dream of! And ya know what…it’s been great!! It may require me to take a step out of my comfort zone, but it’s so worth it. We’re also pretty frugal, so spending a lot on good, nice lingerie was not a priority. After a few kiddos, and, well, aging, I am humbled by the changes in my body. I realize that I will probably look better in lingerie sooner than later, so I decided not to make excuses. I see it as an investment in my marriage. Although I like the high quality stuff, and get it when I can, you can get lots of stuff cheap on clearance racks, especially after holidays, or on ebay (lots of new items).
Sorry for the lengthy comment, but one last thought. For those that think that lingerie objectify women. We live in a fallen world, and sadly, in our culture, I can see that this is everywhere. However, I see these as just the tools, to use for good or evil, so to speak. I don’t like when companies use pretty undergarments to exploit a woman’s femininity. I, however, was extremely modest before I was married, and knew that once I was married, I would have the green light to actually use lingerie for it’s intended purpose! I wasn’t going to let a lot of women misusing it to prevent me from wearing it. Thank you ladies for all the great discussion points!

Anon May 29, 2012 at 1:31 pm

I’ve asked many times in our marriage, and my husband truly could care less what I wear (the exception is pink anything…he hates pink! lol.). He does love for me to feel lovely though, and encourages me to pick out underwear that will make me feel confident. For him, the confidence is beautiful…not the underthings.

sarah June 4, 2012 at 2:14 pm

A couple nonmarried people commented and I see this topic as irrelevent if unmarried, so I can see their confusion on topic. I don’t see the point for single people to wear anything that’s not for %100 functionality. If you are not married, it’s not the kind of attention you should be looking for. I think this post and other sexy underthings posts should be exclusively for married people. on a side note: I hate that Victoria Secrets advertises so aggresively to young girls. Totally inappopriate. My girls will wear ugly granny panties until the wedding night!

Maybe some people out there aren’t a fan of Dr. Popcack, but he wrote a fantastic book I recommend to everyone called Holy Sex. The point that I wish every good Catholic would understand is that it’s not the THINGS or even the sexual acts that make sex holy or sinful, it’s the intention in which they are used and the end result. I think to understand how amazingly sacred sex really is, we need to take ourselves out of the culture (as much as possible) which demeans it and objectifies it. In other words, stop watching tv (where adds VS ads frequently appear), stop watching R and PG13 movies with sex scenes and bad humor, stop talking with people who devalue sex. Read more on the holiness of the marriage act via Theology of the Body and most importantly, pray to the Holy Spirit for sexual healing. Without making the effort, we will never understand how Holy the sacrament of sex really is–no matter what our patties look like.

Me June 8, 2012 at 6:55 pm

I love pretty underthings that are flattering and comfortable. That means that I opt for cotton hip huggers in a cute print for daily use, and cotton or satiny “cheekers” for a night in w/ the hubby. I recently asked him to help me choose some items after almost 11 years of marriage and 6 children, and am happy to have gotten some nice and tasteful items. A pretty silky nighty with white and baby blue stripes, a cotton lavender one, and a cotton yellow “baby doll”. I would not have chosen yellow on my own, but it actually looks great and he loves it. These items have good coverage and are more like little comfy dresses, which I like. I can’t stand any of the lace and mech stuff! I used to think that those things were what was considered “sexy”, but my husband doesn’t like them either! I’m glad I finally asked him what he would like and recommend it to any wife. He was shy about it for a while, but I’m glad we opened up the communication and just talked about it. We’re now closer than ever before :)

Anon June 19, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I always choose comfort above all else, which means I like my cotton panties that fit well. I have other underwear but they either aren’t meant to be worn under clothes or they just aren’t comfortable. I wear the “sexier” stuff occasionally, but I still feel slightly uncomfortable in it. I’m not sure why but I think it has something to do with associating that kind of clothing with pornography. Clearly, that can be the case but as someone else said the misuse of it doesn’t automatically make it all bad. It’s all about intent. Definitely something I need to work on. As for my husband, he doesn’t seem to have a preference. Although, after reading all the comments you can bet we’ll be talking about this soon.

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