I didn’t get much sleep last night
thinking about underwear
Have you ever stopped to consider
underwear in the abstract
When you really dig into it
some shocking problems are raised
Underwear is something we all have to deal with
some kind of underwear
Even Indians wear underwear
The Pope wears underwear I hope
The Governor of Louisiana wears underwear
I saw him on TV
He must have had tight underwear
He squirmed a lot
Underwear can really get you in a bind
You have seen the underwear ads for men and women
so alike but so different
Women’s underwear holds things up
Men’s underwear holds things down
Underwear is one thing
men and women do have in common
Underwear is all we have between us
You have seen the three-color pictures
with crotches encircled
to show the areas of extra strength
with three-way stretch
promising full freedom of action
Don’t be deceived
It’s all based on the two-party system
which doesn’t allow much freedom of choice
the way things are set up
America in its Underwear
struggles thru the night
Underwear controls everything in the end
Take foundation garments for instance
They are really fascist forms
of underground government
making people believe
something but the truth
telling you what you can of can’t do
Did you ever try to get around a girdle
Perhaps Non-Violent Action
is the only answer
Did Gandhi wear a girdle?
Did Lady Macbeth wear a girdle?
Was that why Macbeth murdered sleep?
Underwear is the Adam of apparel.
We waddle around in it as infants, and it’s still the first thing most of us put on every day as adults. One of the great curiosities of the north American male under 40 is his inexplicable inability to fall asleep without his boxers on. Equally intriguing is the variety of assumptions made about the American female based on her own lingerie selections: Are you a black lace bra kind of woman, or a daisies on white cotton girl? Victoria’s Secret or American Apparel?
I took a rain check on the lingerie game at some point during the mid-90s. There was something deliciously radical about saying no to bras and panties, sort of like throwing a dinner party with nothing but a main course. With all the boys hot and heavy over Stephanie Seymour in a satin teddy, there was a lot of fun to be had as a teenage girl who read Susan Faludi. But at the end of the day, the bigger issue was that I couldn’t shake the suspicion that the entire women’s intimate apparel industry was nothing but one big racket.
News flash: women fluctuate in silhouette throughout their lives. Hormonal shifts change the shape of our bodies every month, and at every juncture from puberty to pregnancy to birth control to menopause — all of which can make or break the fit of any given bra, or create the dreaded “muffin top” effect on a pair of panties. There’s different underwear for running a race than there is for going to yoga, for nursing your baby or for titillating your lover. There are boy shorts and there are thongs; spandex and seams; lycra and lace; underwires, corsets, and everything in between. No wonder the average American woman spends a whopping $345 per year on lingerie. Which makes lingerie the ultimate indulgence.
Want — rather than need — is the stuff of which the zeitgeist is made of. Where would Madonna be without lingerie?
Last week, I decided that a new beginning was in order: I was going to make amends with the sort of stuff I could get skin-to-skin with. Armed with $100 and two of my fabulous girlfriends, these were my peregrinations through the East Village in search of the best in lingerie.