Underwear is a peculiar thing. Most people wear it – often out of habit – but it isn’t essential, by any means. Without it, our outer garments would require more frequent washing and women’s breasts would have less support, but most people can ‘go commando’ without shocking or offending anyone. There is, however, a rather large market for this clothing that most people don’t see, so why on earth do we spend so much money on it?
In my 20s I owned hardly any sets of ‘pretty’ underwear. Most of the lingerie in my drawers consisted of basic black or white plain items, with a couple of brighter pieces bought in the sale somewhere because it was eye catching. However, in my late 30s I have become almost addicted to underwear in a way I never previously thought possible. My burlesque adventures started it, and soon my need for stage costumes turned into a genuine love of beautiful lingerie. When you rummage through so many cheap items, you soon realise that wearing them for 5 minutes on stage is the most you’d ever want to do, and they certainly don’t withstand the harsher scrutiny of the pin-up photoshoot.
Since writing an open letter to the Creative Director of Agent Provocateur last September to complain about their models being too thin, I have been on a constant look out for brands who design for more than one body type and whose collections are well worth the price tag. So far I have a fantastic list of alternatives to Agent Provocateur: Kiss Me Deadly for the femme fatale, Dirty Pretty Things for the sultry rock chick, Fred and Ginger for 50s Hollywood glamour, Ayten Gasson for silk and vintage lace, Playful Promises for dirty flirty girls, and What Katie Did for classic reproduction vintage.
Who cares if no one else gets to see it? Wearing beautiful lingerie should be something a woman does for herself, as a confidence boost to her day. So, when I find something that’s beautiful and comfortable… that’s when I can’t help but spend.