Wedgies and Leaks

Bear with me as I muster the courage to post what I am about to post. I’ve been talking about body quite a bit lately.

Mine.

My daughters’.

Other women’s.

I inhale the words of other women about their bodies.

Why?

I think I do it because so much changes from day to day, but even as I grow wiser and more accepting, the nagging voice, as Rebecca Woolf says, lingers for decades whispering the same cruel refrain of not being good enough. I want to know if others have it, or if I am somehow defective.

This is why I want to post about underwear. They are an every day thing and there is no way to put them on without being naked. How they fit can color my feelings.

If you are a guy and this means nothing to you, I suggest you go and read this post, because it’s beautiful and important, but honestly, in a way it’s kind of about underwear too.

Have you ever slipped on a pair of underwear and spent the rest of the day wondering if you put them on backwards because of how they kept sneaking up in back? It’s one thing if you buy a boy short or a cheeky brief and you know they are going there, but if you grab a regular pair of everyday underwear and they try to play peek-a-boo in that maddening way that has you picking and fidgeting, well, it’s no good

I have found two brands that make underthings that fit—on the cheek and on the waist, no overflow, no riding up and a tank top that doesn’t roll up my torso to my armpits. I understand that we are all shaped differently, but for me, these have been wonderful. I have purchased things, very happily, from both companies and I have also received products as gifts. That being said, I am not being compensated for this post, I just really want to share something that has worked for me, also, both companies were founded by women. Roar!

To break the ice, here I am trying unsuccessfully to capture an image of myself in the tank top. Dazzling photography skills, no? I did it in the kitchen no less. Alas, much to Sean’s chagrin, I do not cook in my skivvies.

 

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Seriously though, Commando, located in beloved Vermont, makes underthings that feel as if they are made of gossamer and confidence. This tank top, which is called the Whisper Weight Tank Top, is divine. It is on the spendy side at $48, but it is more like a favorite bra than a knockabout tank top. I have worn it under dresses, see-through blouses, and cardigans that I  wanted to wear as shirts. It is nearly invisible, doesn’t bind or sneak up, and generally feels slinky and amazing. I have wildly muscular arms and shoulders and the arm holes are large enough; the neckline is just right. Every time I wear it, I genuinely consider it a treat because all day long it stretches against my skin in the most amazing way.

 

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I discovered Commando when my mom sent me a pair of stockings. I have, for as long as I can remember, been unable to wear tights and pantyhose without getting a stomach ache from the pressure on my waist. Now that just about all you can find on the shelves are super, control top, things have only gotten worse. I end up cutting the waist bands and then trimming off what I can so that they don’t create crazy lumps and bumps of shriveled, unraveling material under my dress. It doesn’t work. The pair my mom sent me went right up my waist and sat, no digging, no pinching, no mid-evening tummy ache and bloating. I was SOLD, I had no idea how amazing the underwear would be.

These black underwear defy description. Do you see how pretty they are?

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The scalloped front doesn’t roll down, the smooth back does not nip into my 40+ skin and make big lumps. I always though the muffin top thing was a lie, but that and bra band rolls are real things that happen as your skin gets inexplicably looser. I wore these underwear on the flights with Fin to the West Coast. They felt so good, I made sure they were clean for the flight home. It’s a rare pair of underwear that can go with you through three airports as you carry all the luggage and, at times, your 6 year old, a 2.5 hour drive, and that awkward pacing nightmare at the baggage claim without feeling like they ought to be thrown away when you finally get home. These did!

I have talked about Dear Kate products before. As I think back to when I started having my period, the idea that I might have been able to wear underwear intended to take care of the oops factor, makes me excited to share them with my girls. Now, having delivered three babies, the oops factor doesn’t come just once a month. When I first bought my Dear Kate underwear I kept them in a corner of my drawer for certain times of the month, now I understand how comfortable and unbulky they are, I wear them whenever I want to feel a little old school glamour. Is it just me that thinks pale lavender and black seems Marilyn Monroesque?

The night that I took this picture I also happened to be using my Spoonk. I love it so much. Sean says it brings out the fight or flight instinct in him and he doesn’t find it quite as relaxing. It does poke you, which is why you’ll note that I am sucking in my stomach, not to look skinny, it was actually a response to the way the little spikes shifted as I lifted my phone to snap this pic. I really need to enlist Sean’s help next time!

A Spoonk will unknot your tensed muscles as you let yourself melt into the pressure and in that moment when you take it out from behind you and lean back into the sheets, you’ll slip off to sleep with a warm feeling on your back and a whoosh as you exhale in the deepest way.

 

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At the end of the day (and the beginning) I think we all deserve the little things that make the day easier, make us feel more confident, or, on the low days, help us to not hate ourselves.

 

Do you have any things that are your secret weapon for feeling good? Will you share them here?

I'm not kidding when I ask you to tell me what you think.

  1. #1) I want those black underwear
    #2) I am fascinated by the Spoonk

    Things that make me happy are aviator sunglasses (cheap is fine,) 17 layers of mascara, fuzzy pink slippers after wearing my favorite heels.

  2. Really digging those black undies! There is probably nothing I loathe more clothing wise than underwear or tights that roll down while I am sitting. I’ll have to check them out–and love that they are from VT! My secret weapon/pick me up is giving myself a manicure (though less often during gardening season). Amazing how a $9 bottle of Essie polish can do wonders for the mindset. You look phenomenal, Amanda, Spoonk pose and all. xo

    • When Fin and I were in Washington last week I grabbed a bottle of polish as my sister painted her nails before the party, and I gave my nails a glorious coat of a sort of sparkly gold polish. They keep surprising and delighting me!

  3. What great recommendations, Amanda. You are so on point with relishing the little things. For me, when my hair works and those unexpected compliments (those make me feel good every single time)
    I echo Kristen, you look fabulous!

    • It’s funny, I try not to judge myself for it, but it does feel so nice when I am unexpectedly happy with how my hair looks.

  4. I’m outside their target age demographic, for sure, but I’m a big devotee of aerie’s boy brief underwear (the all lace ones are my faves) and bralettes. When I turned 30, I decided to admit to myself that I really really despise underwire bras, and I have run full speed into the soft, lightly supportive arms of the bralette. Bonus is that aerie is committed to not retouching their models, and use a slightly wider range of bodies than many, though they could def do better in that regard. Other thing that makes me happy? LIPSTICK. I love it. I wear it for me.

    • I bought a bunch of underwear from Gilly Hicks a couple of years ago. They were fun and flirty, but they lost their shape and I came to feel absurd wearing them. It’s awesome that Aerie works for you. I think bras are evil.

    • I too love the aerie underwear and I’m 37! They don’t roll, no wedgies, and are super comfortable. Love the lace and plain boy briefs the best — they aren’t booty-short boy briefs, just good, inexpensive undies (I got 10 for $30 and free shipping a few months ago).

  5. I had a girlfriend in highschool who would buy between 10 -15 pairs of black panties at a time. She would call them her “sexy-time” undies. which was code for “that time of the month…or so much longer”- undies. It was kinda brilliant because they were really pretty black ones that made her feel good but she didn’t worry about stains or anything else with them (much like your “Commando”…no pinch or fold, etc.) We still joke about #SexyTime especially now that she’s had her son & it’s even more of an ongoing phase.

  6. This inspires me to get out of a underwear (and socks!) rut. I’m weirdly cheap about both and you know what– it shows!! I think I deserve some nice under things!

  7. It wasn’t until I moved to France that I really understood what underwear is about. French women spend 20% of their clothing expenditures on lingerie. And it’s not just about seducing their lovers. It’s about self respect and care, being “put together” on every level, even the layers nobody (or only a few people) get to see. And it’s true. Sporting something with lace and ribbons — whether it’s pretty, soft, or sexy (or all three) — even under a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt, it makes me feel just right. Okay so I’m in Spain now, on the outside. Still French underneath…

    • It really just makes sense, doesn’t it? I mean what good are your favorite clothes if you wear them over a pair of underwear from Target that has a bit of the crotch elastic nipping at your tender skin?