Recently stocked up on some basic underwear, and realised they're all in shades of grey. I was reminded of this thoughtful post on Notes by Naive on the beauty of grey underthings.
I've always liked my underwear plain and basic, but a few years ago I began to understand the allure of a lace trim here, a ribbon edge there, and the delicate beauty of colours like ecru, grey, navy and taupe. Growing up, I found the idea of lingerie - as opposed to my simple plain underthings - vaguely aggressive, all shiny satin with garish contrasting lace panels, padding and push-ups, constrictive underwires, skimpy thongs. I was (and am) not a vixen and none of it made sense to me.
It was years before I realised that there are people who use matte fabrics, that lace and mesh can in fact be used in an understated way, and for the flat-chested (ie, me), there are these magic things known as soft bras, or bra-lets.
I still like them simple and clean, but I now love a touch of playfulness and sensuality in what I buy. A delicate whisper of lace tracing my skin in contrast to the crisp cotton of my boyish shirts. Private, everyday pleasures.
100% cotton is a dream but where good quality pure cotton isn't available, I like a bit of elastane and viscose in the mix for smoothness and softness without compromising breath-ability. Triumph has a great eco-chic range selling feather-soft organic cotton things but the designs aren't always inspiring. Muji occasionally has some organic cotton ones on sale but their usual cotton-mix range is very nice as well. I don't like most designs at M&S but they make really good seamless lace knickers. For practical and pretty, I love Calvin Klein's lace Envy soft bras and the matching knickers. COS also makes surprisingly pretty and unique pieces, but the workmanship varies widely from piece to piece. Massimo Dutti used to make a nice range of lingerie, but they've shrunk their offerings in recent seasons, which is a pity. For a splurge on something unapologetically pretty but comfortable pieces, I like Eberjey and Bodas. Happily, all these can be washed in the machine if put in a net bag.
Your thoughts on lingerie?