This is a weird thought I had last night as I got undressed ready for bed. My underwear is boring: tights, pants, bra. That’s it. No lace, no buttons, no poppers, no bones, no frilly bits, no wafty parts, no Egyptian cotton and no pure silk.
If I had been born in 1850 it might have taken me a lot longer to get ready for bed but the underwear would have been far more complicated and exciting.
So where has the underwear excitement gone? I blame the 1970s. Before then, underwear was at least a little bit exciting. Then women wanted to break free of the constraints of bras and corsets and threw it all away. This is all well and good and equal rights for women was what we needed but now we have equal rights (at least to the main) we are lumbered with boring two-pieces (that rarely match) which are at best slightly decorative, at worst, purely functional.
Victorian underwear even sounds exciting: bloomers, chamese, bodice, corset. Twenty-first century underwear sounds somewhere between functional and tacky: pants or knickers, bra, tights. It certainly isn’t sexy. I love the word bloomers. It makes me think of flowing air. The word corset has so much potential. It is a womanly word. A chamese shimmers and flows with sophistication. A bodice is there to be ripped. Knickers don’t do anything for me. It isn’t a pleasant word. Pants is a word that is almost as nauseating as slacks. Underwear should not be monosyllabic. And tights will never, ever have sex appeal. Bra feels like a lazy word. If it were a brassiere it would be better.
All the underwear I am wearing right now came from Marks & Spencers. It isn’t matching. It isn’t new. It isn’t at all exciting. There is no lace, no thrills, no flowers. It is really boring. I want to wear some Victorian underwear, even just for one day. I think that would be nice. I’d like to be able to flap my bloomers and shimmy in my chamese.
At the very least, I need to make sure I have reasonable-quality underwear on for when the cats take over the world. Nobody wants to succumb to a cat dictatorship in tatty pants.