Now, from the title, you might think that I spend my life in my underwear, parading around for profit. Sadly, I would not profit very much from such a venture at the moment. I gained a huge about of weight in the past few years, so no-one would spend any money to see that. (They might, however pay me to put back on my clothes! There's a thought!).
No, this is about a realization I had when I walked into a room to see two sheets drying on a radiator, only to realize that it was actually two pairs of my knickers (that means "underwear" for you Yanks). I never thought my knickers would come to the white, granny, volumious version that I once considered the depths of knicker hell (and swore to foreswear). However, I got to thinking how one's underwear choice changes over the years and how your knickers say a lot about where you are in life. So I mapped my life back in my knickers, as a little exercise in self-understanding.
Growing up in Ireland, spending a lot of time in an orphanage, we used to wear these ugly, cheap, white cotton (or nylon -itchy), high-waisted underwear like this:
Yeah, I know. They went up almost to the armpits of the skinny kids.
They most common (probably the cheapest) ones were usually made of a kind of woven cotton fabric with holes in, that looked like they were made from the same stuff they use to make tea bags.
Tea-bag knickers, we used to call them. Because were were imaginative that way. There were vests (that's undershirts to you Yanks) to match, and if you had the full get-up under your school uniform, you looked like a reject out of the Barry's tea factory.
There was just no good way to wear them, either. The knickers were ridiculously long in the body. If you kept the waistband at your waist, the bum would sag halfway to your knees. You could try rolling the waistband, but that didn't usually work too well under clothes. The vests usually came below your bum and flared at the bottom, so looked awful if left out. If you tried to tuck the vest into the knickers, then you'd have the waistband up under your armpits and lumpy bits where the vest was bunched. You could pull the vest out through the legs for a TOTALLY ridiculous look. (One advantage of living in a large dormitory, we got to experiment with this shit with lots of different sized prepubescent kids with different body types. Trust me. there was no good way to wear it on anyone.)
These were a bit easier to wear, because they weren't as bulky and they stretched. Therefore you could buy a size or two smaller so they fit without having bindy bits. The downside was they were itchy and sweaty. Sitting on a hard plastic school chair all day with that fabric on your arse is a sure recipe for an itchy bum. Yes. That is experience talking.
The Bay City Rollers were a very popular knicker-print subject at one point. If you were really fancy, you might have the matching vest. And if you were really, really fancy, Bay city Roller socks as well!. Bay City Rollers underwear trifectas such as this were rare out in the field, because they involved having a Ma that could manage to get all your Bay City Rollers stuff washed and dried at the same time (in the days of very few automatic washing machines and virtually NO tumble dryers in the home. And this was in Ireland. Where it rains a lot). Because if you had clean Bay City Rollers socks, there is no way you'd wait for the vest and pants to be clean and dry before you wore the socks out.
With Your Bay City Rollers, T-shirt, Of course.
The real problem with this in the convent, was if you allowed your Bay City Roller knickers to enter the Convent Laundry System, (Mrs. Fox eschewed the normal rules of the universe in favor of many of the lesser known and used principles thereof), you weren't guaranteed to get them back (ever). Someone else may get your Bay City roller knickers. This would reult in a screaming rampage throughout the dormitories demanding to know who was in posession of the undies, complete with demand to show what knickers each girl was wearing, and the contents of her drawers (not underwear. Storage facilities -I know where your mind is going! This is a clean discussion.) The fights we used to have over knickers and socks! And with kids starving in Biafra! We didn't know how lucky we were! -That last part is what the nuns used to tell us. Nevermind that the Biafran war ended in 1970. They kept that line well into the 80's; -until the Eithopian famine, in fact. Then it changed to "starving children in Ethiopia". By then, of course we had switched to fighting over makeup, hairbrushes, records, and clothes as opposed to Bay City Rollers knickers.)
As I entered my teenage years, the ratty floral knickers were exchanged for what I thought (at the time) were very fetching little shiny hipster nylon numbers in various colours. I still have an outline of one of them on my hip from an Unfortunate Burning Incident when I was about 18.
Then, moving into my 20s I had a twofold problem of weight gain and needing to Dress Nice For Business (i.e. no VPL). I switched to French knickers -which I must
say, are very comfy, but a bitch to organize under tights (that's pantyhose, (Americans). Now, I know some people advocate wearing nothing under pantyhose, but I say
A: WHAT IF YOU ARE HIT BY A BUS?
B: I couldn't handle the sweatiness.
I'm not sure if it was my best friend's mother or the transvestite with whom I was cohabiting at the time who suggested a thong (/g-string/whatever the kids are calling it these days). Maybe it was both of them, but it was a genius suggestion. No panty line, pretty comfortable (if you bought a decnt brand), didn't bunch under hose. But it didn't keep your bumcheeks warm. Nevermind. That's what pantyhose are for.
As an aside, I have to mention that it is a real pain in the ass to live with a transvestite who is the same dress size as you. He used to buy lovely knickers for "me", which he would then wear himself, making them all stretched out and saggy in the front. he also used to stretch the waistband of my skirts. This is not my former man in this picture, but I found this image in a "70s bri-Nylon" search and couldn't resist using it:
My love-affair with the thong lasted many years. It was perfectly practical, took hardly any space in storage/laundry, and was always popular with my partners (although only one of them actually wore them. 'Nother aside: Whatever about regular knickers, thongs are REALLY not suited for holding junk. That's just ...No). The only time thongs were impractical was when I was pregnant.
I rolled along happily for years, comfortable in my underwear track, seeing no need to change. All was well in my knickers.
And then I had my first seizure and ambulance ride and I realised that uless you have a perfect ass AND are a total exhibistionist, a thong is a REALLY bad combination with a backless hospital gown. This was confirmed during my first hospitalization, and I realized; -because you can never quite control when someone will call 911 on your seizing self- that I would have to change my entire knicker wardrobe.
Eventually, I settled for boyshorts. Practical, cotton, provided full ass coverge, available in a range of colours, but still cute (and holy shit! Is that photo shopped to within an inch of its life, or what?).
I would have been all over these stripy ones had I known about them at the time, let me tell you. They don't look like they will get all baggy in the leg, which is a big disadvantage of boyshorts. Or that the waistband would cut in and create a muffintop -another regular boyshort disadvantage. Neither do they look like they would ride up your asscrack, which many of the "boyshorts" which are really thinly disguised hipster panties) will do in a single stride.
You have to think of these things, you know. Especially if you might be spending any time in a backless hospital gown.
So boyshorts, yes. I invested heavily in those for awhile. All was well until relatively recently, when all the dicking around with my diet in an attempt to remain seizure free, plastered an extra 60lbs onto my already-short and struggling frame.
They don't MAKE boyshorts in size huge! Waaah! (and they probably shouldn't).
So back to the knicker drawingboard for me. This time around, I was shopping in the "larger lady" section of the department store, and OMFG, there are so few choices for the fat woman who wants no panty line, no nylon and full coverage. Most of the knickers in this section of the store looked a bit like this.
..only not as nice.
The alternative was to go to the specialist fatlady store and peruse (heh. Originally wrote that as "preuse" -ugh!) their selection, many of which included affirming messages, like "Sexy" "One of a Kind" or "I'm a damn sight more woman than you're ever be, more than you'll ever get and WAY more than you deserve" written across the arse.
But most of the viable options looked a bit more like this:
...and I feel like I have come full circle
I bet my Da would have thought this hilarious.