Panty Semiotics

(That title’s going to get some nice search engine hits…)

When I was in high school and college, I was deeply committed to plain, white, cotton underclothes. My senior year I bought a pretty bra, blue with tiny white flowers – not really pushing the envelope, but color. And then I started branching out – experimenting with different colors, fabrics, styles… I became enamored of the string bikini bottom, and tie-dyed all my plain whites purple. When they started to wear out, I actually patched them… with an old T-shirt… (I was a volunteer in Bolivia at the time, but really, that takes “simple living” to an excessive degree!)

Mind you, during all this time the only way anyone saw my undies was when they were hanging on the clothesline to dry.

A few years ago, when I was going through a period of depression, I got really into buying new underwear. Really into it. I got a card with a well-known women’s lingerie shop (the one that’s all pink everywhere, seems to hire only Brazilian and German models, and seems to be catering more and more to college students) and in six months accumulated about 30 pairs, all in different colors and patterns and styles. I now have about 60 pairs of undies; I keep half in NY and half in VA (favorites here). No two are alike, and I love seeing them hanging like so many fun flags to dry.

Recently, though, it occured to me that they kind of look like child’s undies. I don’t go for the lace and bows much, just fun colors. Like rainbow stripes. Hm…

So I’m wondering, am I getting too old for my underwear? Do I need to switch to more grown-up colors, like the traditional black/white/beige? Sad!

(T. really has nothing to say on the subject, other than “stuff that gets in the way: yes/no?”)

Do underwear choices relate to self-perception and identity? What do readers think?


3 Responses to “Panty Semiotics”

  1. Samantha Says:

    I go for comfort and a little fun–so always cotton, no bows or lace, but I do like a little color too. Don’t know really what this means, but it sounds like we’re in the same boat!

  2. Grad3 Says:

    I like comfort too but there is something about wearing underwear you like- sometimes it makes me feel pretty 🙂

    So I say if you feel prettier in it- then go for it!!

    L would probably say the same thing about them just getting in the way 😉

  3. niobe Says:

    What does it say about you if you almost always go commando? I’m just asking on behalf of a, um, friend.

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