does the carpet match the drapes?
I'm standing in front of a table full of panties with 15 of my newest best friends rummaging through the elastic and microfiber for thongs and briefs in my size and sexy colors. I had only wanted two or three new pairs but this is a great sale that ends today: Buy 7 Panties for $30! I have five in hand - three I like and two that aren't bad. I jockey for a new position at the large table in the massive mall store. I need two more to make the deal! This story always ends in one of two ways: I settle for an extra granny panty and a bright orange and teal (really?) g-string, or I throw my selections back on the table in disgust, annoyed I've wasted half an hour.
Sound familiar? Luckily for me I no longer get sucked into the digging-for-panty-gold trap thanks to a cue I've taken from French women and other stylish, elegant, sophisticated women around the world.
French women, at least I've heard, make it a point to match the carpet to the drapes (my fellow femmes américains, not so much). I'm of course talking bras and knickers here, not hair color and, well you know. While I don't exactly embody Parisian Chic --- breast implants and hair extensions are understandably not their thing -- French women and I unequivocally concur on our approach to underthings:
We tend to feel our sexiest and most confident when we're put together, starting with a matching bra and knicker.
I've learned that nearly everything is about intention. Since lingerie is the foundation for how we dress ourselves to face the world, what we choose to wear underneath our clothing sends a very powerful message both to ourselves and the world. I've noticed that when I know I have a strong, beautiful foundation that feeling gets conveyed as confidence... and maybe even a little mystique.
After I received my first luxury set (an expensive gift from my hubtographer that has paid him back in spades...) I noticed how it put a spring in my step on what would otherwise have been a slow day. It gave me confidence to know that if God forbid something happened and the world was staring at my current state of lingerie affairs I'd be rather proud (rather than rather mortified). But even when no one saw it, knowing that I’d taken the time and effort to adorn my body in matching beautiful lingerie affirmed my self-worth, ignited my feminine creativity and helped me take myself seriously. Because I struggle to take myself seriously wearing a bright orange and teal thong with a matronly nude bra...
Perhaps you think like I used to: "If it's not on show it doesn't matter". I would put a lot of effort into what I wore on the outside but grabbed whatever bra and knicker were clean and/or at the top of my undergarments drawers regardless if they matched (or were in good working order and made me feel great, for that matter). But that’s like saying I'm not going to clean my house because no one is coming over to visit. I live there. Don’t I matter? Um... YAS! It doesn't matter if you are single, in the first blooms of a blazing hot love affair, or in wedded bliss or misery, your unmentionables are sending a very powerful message to your psyche. Either you think you’re worth it, or you don’t.
Still not convinced? Think about it this way: Would you be delighted if your partner gifted you a gorgeous lingerie set? Oui, oui Monsieur. What if it was only the bra? Merci, mais... meh. Why not treat and honor yourself the same way you want your partner to? It may require a bit of advance planning, but you are worth it.
By advance planning I mean avoiding the massive sales of random non-matched pieces (which usually end in frustration and/or an overflowing drawer full mostly of unused, ugly undies). Instead buy three or more matching knickers (one thong, one g-string, and one hipster, for example) every time a new bra is purchased. Since bras (a) are more expensive than knickers, and (b) can be worn several times before washing, having multiple bottoms options to go with each bra makes practical sense. And if you're not into matchy-matchy but still want to coordinate, The Lingerie Addict has some tips on how to cleverly complement your separates by looking to details, trimming, and patterns for inspo.
If you're on a budget or strapped for time it may be slow going at first — very slow going. Finding and buying four or more pieces from a collection that all fit, flatter, and make you feel beautiful is time-consuming and may be expensive in the short term. But it’s not about having an extensive collection of lingerie — it’s about having a handful of the right pieces. I can’t tell you how nice it is to open that once overflowing unmentionables drawer and know that everything not only fits comfortably but has a matching partner. It makes getting dressed in the morning easier, faster, and more enjoyable and sets me off on the right foot for the day.
Of course there will be times matching isn't practical (say you're wearing a white blouse and a thin navy skirt; in such cases obviously wear whatever the outfit requires to create a polished, finished look). Or perhaps you revel in mismatching and feel great about that. Then by all means carry on, Sista! These tips work well for me, but we’re all different and it’s about finding what works for you. However, if you're like most of us and could use a self-confidence boost or are looking to up your slay-factor try wearing a complete set. The satisfaction you'll feel from donning well-coordinated pieces under your clothes might just inspire you to to show off your impeccable taste to a good friend or significant other (which just might inspire your friend and/or boost your sex life). Or if you're single and Prince Charming unexpectedly shows up on your doorstep I'm guessing you'd prefer not to greet him in your mismatched granny panties and holey, stretched out bra. At the very least, I guarantee you will just feel better about yourself knowing you're sufficiently put together and well-kept underneath it all, even if that stays our little secret. ;)
What I'm Wearing
Chantelle (Paris) - Vendôme Half-Cup Bra (32D) & Hipster (M) in 'Love Apple'
[Chantelle, being a Parisian brand, is sometimes a bit limited for selection in the US. Shopping online at French retailers will provide you with more options. I have shopped at and recommend Vogaine. They have exceptional customer service.]
Heels by Casadei
Where I'm At
Hotel Bernini Palace - Roma, Italia