A Load of Old Pants
Bloomers, drawers, knickers, keks...
One of my favourite talks to deliver is ‘Are Your Pants Affecting Your Confidence’. I talk about the various types of metaphorical pants you need to wear as a woman in business – big girl’s pants, fancy pants, smarty pants, sassy pants and even times when you need to go commando! It’s light-hearted look at the serious topic of how your self-worth, self-esteem and confidence can all be affected by your attitude to your undies and in turn how that can affect your bottom line – see what I did there?
However, this week I've been inspired to talk to you about the more practical element of knickers.
Let’s start with what you call them. In Lancashire, where I'm from, pants are trousers (like in America), and you wear knickers as underwear. Having lived in Nottingham for most of my adult life I've gone native and now call knickers pants (and trousers are trousers). There are a lot of names for pants - bloomers, drawers, apple catchers, undies, briefs, knickers, keks, grundies all of these are ok....But please don’t ever say panties, that just sounds so sleazy to me.
Let me ask you a question about your undies
How many pairs of knickers do you own and how many of them do you actually wear? A friend of mine put a note in our chat group the other day saying she’d thrown 49 pairs away! She still had about the same number left too! I could relate. I used to have a drawer crammed full and I probably only wore a quarter of them if that. I think I ended up with so because you don't really have the opportunity to try them on before purchase. I used to buy them and think they are similar to comfy ones I've already got, only to be sorely disappointed once I wear them. Some I'd never worn; I just tried them on and put them straight back in the drawer never to see the light of day. I seriously don't know why I just didn’t throw them out. I had a thing about throwing them away because it seemed a waste of money and you can't really send pants to the charity shop, can you? A few years ago I resolved this issue by throwing them all out (trying not to feel guilty) and buying a few multi packs so all my pants are exactly the same. Gamechanger.
Wedgie? No thanks
It's ALWAYS about comfort for me. Always full backside coverage, I get my money's worth in the fabric department. I don't like pegging mine on the line. I have a running joke with my best friends regarding how many pegs they need. Big, comfy pants are "ten peggers". I’m a firm believer that if your pants are not comfy, digging in or going up your bum or flashing your mum apron overhang(or whatever) then it can affect your whole day. How can you focus with a wedgie or if all of a sudden, they roll down under your belly? I’ve actually been in a networking meeting where I had a wardrobe malfunction with a pair of tights. Needless to say I certainly wasn’t paying attention to whatever Colin the Accountant was saying by the coffee machine. All I could think about was excusing myself to the toilets and sorting my Nora Batty’s out. Same in meetings, you can’t properly concentrate if your bra is digging in etc.
I think your underwear can affect how you feel. If you get the foundations right and your clothes hang better, you'll look and feel the business. There are so many shapes and types of knickers, how do you choose what type you prefer? Does it depend on what you are wearing on top? Thongs, g-strings, boy shorts, Brazilian, high leg, midi, mini, waist whopper armpit warmers. Then there is shapewear, that's another story. There are all kinds of styles of shapewear designed to support and control our areas of insecurity. Belly stoppers that lessen the wobble, padded pants to give you a curvier bum, cycling shorts that hold it all in and smooth It all out.
The thing with shapewear is that it doesn't often look very sexy. So there's the Bridget Jones dilemma... You have a hot date; do you wear the big granny pants or the skimpy bit of lace. If you remember she's weighing up her options , thinking that she'll look better with her clothes on with the big pants but wouldn't want her prospective lover to be aware of them. This could also be a confidence situation, solution- wear sexy pants underneath big pants then whip big pants off before you get amorous.
Lingerie - everyday wear or for special occasions?
Is there a difference between your day-to-day pants and date pants? Do you feel sexier if you are wearing nice undies? Have you ever refused or avoided intimacy because you are wearing scronky pants? Apparently, it's very common. I saw a meme on Facebook recently that said something like if she's wearing matching underwear, you are not the one who decided sex was on the cards. I bet you had pulling pants in your dating days. Do you even bother to wear matching sets? I buy separates but tend to match up using colour. (I would love to have gorgeous matching but they're a struggle for me to source because of bra/pants size combo.)
Through the keyhole
If you are pulling on saggy, greying granny pants each day how it makes you feel. Are you loving how they look and make you feel and twirling admiringly as you look at yourself in the mirror? No? Thought not. Do you remember Keith Lemon presenting ‘Through the Keyhole’? Or Gok Wan on ‘How to Look Good Naked’? How would you feel if they went through your knicker drawer. Would you be ashamed because most of them have seen better days? If you answered yes to that question, then you need to have a word with yourself. You have got to love yourself enough to not wear this stuff, even if no one but you is going to see it - think about the message are you giving to yourself.
Top tips for getting it right in the underwear department
Don't get your knickers in a twist about seeing your undies through your clothes. Did you know that skin tone underwear is best under white if you don't want to show the world what you are wearing. I thought everyone knew that until I was having a conversation with some women the other day who didn't realise that white under white shows up more. VPL is avoidable too by buying specially designed pants that don't have any stitching around the leg holes.
Anyway, my advice to you this week is , if you are feeling like you could do with a shake up in the pants department pull up your big girl knickers and deal with it. You're worth it, if you start the day feeling good when you put your underwear on it's got to be better than not caring what goes underneath your carefully chosen outfit.
Finally, I will leave you with this knicker fact -did you know that we say 'pair' of knickers because they used to be two separate legs joined at the waist, the crotch was open. Before this people just didn't really wear anything specific to cover the nether regions. They just wore a chemise next to the skin and that was it until the turn of the 18th century - bit draughty I say.
Hit reply and let me know if you feel compelled to sort out your drawers after reading this.
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