***I’m not into labels, unless we’re talking about the inside tag of an "oh so soft" undergarment. My favorite line of intimate apparel is a brand called Natori. They are not, by any means, the most expensive line of lingerie. That would be a tie between Wolford and Hanro. Back in my days of frivolous, pamper me purchases, I’ve been known to acquire a pair or two. The average cost of a Hanro pantie is $58.00. A Wolford will run you anywhere from $60 to $120.00. That’s one hundred and twenty dollars for two panels, and a crotch. Sure, they’re comfortable, and oh so alluring, but unless we’re talking mink or a fine grade of Italian leather, I can no longer justify the cost. Imagine if you accidentally soiled a pair, or your pup ate the crotch (pugs will do that).
I stopped buying them the day I calculated how long I had to work to buy a pair of those fancy pants. I’ve tried the brand known as Hanky Panky, they were HUGE last year. Great name, fun colors, but they don’t hold up well in the wash - even if they never see the inside of a dryer. Mine only averaged 6 and a half delicate cycles before the seams starts to unravel.
My favorite style of panties is a low-rise, boy-cut brief, in a silky spandex blend with a soft-touch laced waistband. Pretty, sexy, in an understated sort of way. They fit my 50 year old frame and my personality. Typically, I wear a shade called “champagne” (a fancy way of saying beige). I have a hard time buying only one pair. “I‘ll take a bottle” I told the sales associate. She quickly shot back with, “don’t you mean a case.” I hate being out humored while shopping.
I lost my desire for the hot pink and chartreuse print panties somewhere in my late 30s. If I’m feeling wild, I’ll wear black. I own one, well fitted black bra, and 2 matching panties. Lets just say, that my “special occasion” days are limited.
I still have the slate blue sheer laced thong I wore on my wedding day - my “something blue.” Pretty to look at, but by far the most uncomfortable undergarment imaginable. They gave me a rash! (enough said) Note to the manufacturer…stiff ruffed lace on delicate skin is NEVER a good idea. When I hold them up, I can’t believe they once caressed both my legs and my waist. I suppose cheese and wine, and thong, don’t mix. I know I somehow, shimmied them past my thighs because I distinctly remember the uncomfortable ride.
I never understood the appeal of a “thong.” I don’t even like the word THONG. Which reminds me, my second husbands last name was Fong. Did I wear thongs back when I was a Fong? I doubt it. Too poetic for my taste.
Oh, and here is a secret for my male readers (if you’re out there) don’t think you’re doing your lady any favors when you shop at Victoria Secret. Lets just face it - its not for her, its for YOU. You want her to look just like those stiff, plastic manikins in the storefront window. You know the type - tall thin, never ending legs, long flowing hair and a mouth that doesn’t move.
If I want to shop locally for intimate apparel, I only have a few choices. Saks, Victoria Secret (not a chance) and a chic little boutique that is so welcoming even Mark (the husband) will walk in. The owner is, of all things, a MAN. Something I never, in my life, would have thought was a good idea. He’s knowledgeable in a way that doesn’t make sense, and not at all intimidating. He is an expert at woman's body’s. He knows what style of panties will fit you best, and, with both hands tied behind his back, will size you up for the perfecting fitting bra.
Sadly, I have been informed that he is no longer carrying the Natori brand. Something about a manufacturing meltdown. Out of sheer desperation I drove out of town in search of my favorite panties. The cold, cruel reality is that they are now, officially, extinct. Once again, I have fall in love and completely dependent upon an item that is discontinued.
I came home and googled Natori, hoping to find a close out discount website like Zappo’s or Direct Buy, for panties. I came up empty. I decided my only choice was to give up wearing panties all together. Its winter, so its easy to transition from panties to cotton crotch tights. But what do I do come spring?
Spanx tights are flattering, but when combine with dry, wintry skin, the comfort component is removed. Perhaps if I found the perfect moisturizer. Something that will allow the spandex to glide over my not so silky smooth legs. And again, for you men who are wonder what a “Spanx” is - sorry, I can’t tell you (and no, its not what you‘re thinking). It’s a middle aged woman’s best kept secret. Forget I mentioned it.
It was there, beside the ultra hydrating Lubriderm, and moisture masking Eucerin, that I spotted the drug store pantyhose. Did you know they still sell L’eggs but they’re no longer packaged in eggs? When exactly did that happen? Did the popularity of Spanx overcome the egg?
I studied the hosiery items - reading the fine print and inspecting the packaging as though I was standing in the mystery section at Barns and Nobel. There, next to the L’eggs, were the “not so fancy panties” - Hanes cotton briefs. They were labeled as being “soft, comfortable, underwear that feels good all day, every day with a superb fit, wash after wash.” As appealing as this sounded, I was completely turned off by the price tag. Three pairs for $6.75, that’s $2.25 per pair - a dollar per panel with a .25 cent crotch. There is no way I’m going to buy these, my ass is way too spoiled for practical panties!
Under further inspection I uncovered the “will stay in place or your money back” guarantee. Not sure what side of me found that appealing - probably the side that wished I had applied myself more and become a lawyer. However, as much as I enjoy a healthy debate, what would I do if they didn’t stay in place? Repackage them (after/before washing?) and ship them back to the manufacturer? After much deliberation, I decided I was up for the challenge. I casually tossed them in my basket, then hid them under a pile of moisturizers.
Two days passed before I decided to give them a try. I wore them under my “Not Your Daughters Jeans” (denim blended with spandex - a true miracle) sat in them at my desk, for almost 6 hours straight. Came home and recovered them with well worn sweats and ran (walked, trotted) in them for one and a half miles.
I’m here to report that these not so fancy pants are true to form. Comfortable, non- binding, AND they know their place better than any pantie I have ever owned.
I went back the next day and bought 3 more packs, this time in a crazy array of patterns and colors. If I am going to be fiscally sensible, I am going to need to step up my style!
Please don’t judge me by my practical panties, underneath, I am still an adventurous, free spirited, 50 year old - comforted by the soft touch of cotton.