Women spend an extraordinary amount of time and money on their wardrobes. We covet and collect, flaunt and fetter, all for the purposes of looking good. But so often one vital element is overlooked: your lingerie.
“Foundations” is really a better word because, let’s face it ladies, your underwear is the first thing you put on, the very architecture over which all your best loved clothes go over. Shouldn’t those things be as cherished as the rest of your wardrobe? Every woman deserves a basic collection of well-fitting, carefully selected underpinnings. They provide a platform for you to feel fabulous, while making the rest of your look flawless and flattering.
Lingerie, like many things in life, follows one unavoidable rule of the universe: you get what you pay for. Good lingerie is worth investing in, even if it’s only a few key pieces. That $20 bra that’s been through the wash 50+ times, well, ladies, that’s just not going to cut it. I’m not advocating spending a fortune on a whole new trousseau of lacy treasures, but every woman should carve out a little budget for some good essentials. Here are my top picks:
1. The T-Shirt Bra. Now ubiquitous by name, a t-shirt bra is one with smooth cup that almost disappears underneath even clingy knits, like t-shirts. Most you’ll find will have a little bit of lining for—eh-hem—“headlight” control. Go for a neutral color for the most versatility and be sure the fit is right. Clueless about a good fit? Head to a specialty store or a the lingerie department to find a fit specialist who can talk you through the basics and get you measured properly. (For an at-home guide to finding the right size check out: http://www.shop-underwear.com/sizeguide) You want a cup that doesn’t pinch in or gap too much, combined with a band that’s snug but comfortable. Once you’ve got your size, you can choose your unique style. You’ll find everything from the most basic to some with touches of lace or other embellishments.
2. The Seamless Panty. NOTHING is less flattering than VPL (visible panty lines, for the abbreviationally challenged). Really nothing ruins an outfit, that new pencil skirt or those fitted pants, like a glaring declaration of an ill-fitting panty. That’s why every girl absolutely needs a few pairs designed to be invisible. New technologies in fabrics have yielded an array of paper-thin, super-soft microfibers that lay smooth and flat. Plus, with the advancements of laser cutting, the edges are smooth too, ensuring a seamless look. The original and (in my personal opinion) the best version of these are from a line aptly named Commando. Go for at least a few pair in nude or black for the most versatility.
3. The Jaw-Dropper Set. Now this could fall under “indulgence” for some people, but in my mind it is an absolute necessity. Every woman, no matter her age or relationship status, should have one bra and panty that’s just drop-dead sexy. More importantly, one that makes YOU feel like a goddess. The go-to, easily found solution is usually black and lacy, but let your personal tastes be your guide. Maybe bright blue or pale pink is more your style? Go with it. Let yourself have a little fun at the lingerie store and try a few things on that may not have the most practical applications, but make your heart flutter when you look at them.
For those of you who must hold usefulness paramount, look for something that you would be able to wear underneath most of your wardrobe. Sometimes you will be surprised what actually doesn’t show underneath clothing at all, so be sure to try it on. All the better, because then it’s almost like a secret weapon: under wraps, but sure to pack a wallop once your favorite admirer catches a glimpse of you in it.
Even the most pragmatic of us can surely justify making a little room in the clothing budget for pieces like these: ones you’ll reach for almost every day that make you look amazing, help clothing fit better and, most importantly, make you feel like the feminine wonder that you are. After all, you deserve it!
Elizabeth Tigar is the owner of Austin, TX, lingerie boutique Underwear. Visit www.shop-underwear.com to upgrade your underwear.