True confession: I’m a matching-underwear fanatic. It’s a little out of control, but I have it down to a science. When I shop for underwear, I look for a color I like first, and then a cut and fabric, and I always buy one bra and three matching panties: The one bra is because I don’t always wash them after every wear, and the three panties are so I can have one pair sized up one from what I usually wear for the bloaty time of the month, and the other two for whenever.
And if I can’t find three matching panties in stock, I move on to the next bra.
I’m not sure why I do this. It’s not out of allegiance to personal style, or any one color; or any one maker of underwear. And, as my friends who know about this particular affliction of mine regularly say, “It’s not like anyone sees your underwear.” “But I know,” I say back to them, but that’s such a weak rejoinder, automatic, something right out of a self-help book from the mid-90s, or Dr. Phil.
Anyway, when I first started the whole matching-underwear thing, I was dating a lot. Hey, I was in my mid-20s! It was New York City! Other people were definitely seeing my underwear.
But there was something else that was going on: I was feeling pretty good about life. I was meeting a lot of people, living in a fantastic place, experiencing and seeing new things every single day. I didn’t love my job, but I didn’t hate it, either. I think I was in what some people call the prime of life.
Plus, most of my clothes were black and I actually had two or three three-piece suits in my wardrobe from my day job. Yep, I was put together, but I also probably needed something to liven up my closet.
You know, in some circles, underwear is referred to as “foundation garments.” I know, doesn’t it sound so clunky, for something that can be frivolous, and fun, and frisky? But I like this idea, for something that’s so basically a part of your daily dress, for the thing you put on first.
But I like it even better for the idea that I first started wearing matching underwear during a specific period in my life—that it was a good time in my life that made me go in search of foundation garments that matched my state of mind.
Because, let’s face it. I’m in my 40s now, and I don’t live in New York anymore. I go out maybe once a week, and my wardrobe has divested itself of black suits and somber colors and seems to entirely comprise colors (Melon! Teal!) and jeans.
Maybe that’s why I keep on buying matching underwear. Because even if it is just me, my husband and my dog knowing what I’m wearing, well, at least I know that somewhere deep below, only as far away as my tank top and jeans, is the firm bedrock of someone who likes what she’s made of herself.
What’s your go-to, feel-good piece of clothing? Tell us in the comments below.