Tuesday 19th January 2021
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Anatomy of a core wardrobe part 3: what lies beneath

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Some women approach the acquisition of lingerie with the unfettered, obsessive glee that others reserve for shoes or bags—it’s their thing, and they love putting something so beautiful, feminine, and secret on every day as they get dressed. I am totally and boringly the opposite, preferring instead to return to the same short list of tried-and-true pieces again and again. They’re nice tried-and-true pieces, though: this very basic mesh bra from Cosabella has been a mainstay for years: it conforms to your natural shape instead of trying to mold it into something else entirely, which I appreciate. And it comes in a delightful array of colors, which is good for those of us who might otherwise default to black.

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Once, several years ago, I asked an editor to do a short piece on the prettiest T-back bras, because I feared that none existed and it was getting on tank top season. She came back with this sexy little option, and I have loved it ever since.

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No underwear I have ever worn has proven less likely to show even a hint of panty line than On Gossamer. They are feather-light and insanely comfortable, and why the entire world isn’t obsessed with them is a mystery to me.

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A good silk cami is essential—they render all sorts of otherwise too-sheer tops completely within your reach, and make whatever you’re wearing hang just that more nicely that it might if you had on a cotton cami.

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Your slip is the last place you want lace or frippery or even really seams, if you can help it: everything should be in the service of creating a nice, clean line. Commando’s is the best I’ve seen.



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Posted on May 6th, 2013 11 Comments

11 Responses

  1. Selina says:

    I am obsessed with slips. I read an interview with the costumier from Downton Abbey, who said that the ladies all wore cheap plain viscose slips from Marks & Spencers underneath all those flapper dresses, and they were so comfy and made the clothes hang so well, that all the actresses had gone out and bought some for themselves.

    You know who needs to start wearing them? Kate Middleton. She wears very short dresses in a very blustery country, and I don’t know how we haven’t all had an eyeful of her knickers by now.

    • KimFrance says:

      All the royals have eensy weights sewn into their hems to avoid exactly this fate. This is what I’ve always heard.

      • Selina says:

        Not her! Even recently, when she went to the Harry Potter tour, her dress flew right up behind her!

  2. susanjane says:

    I don’t like Commando slips. They run very large and tend to show under all but the most modest dresses.

  3. Sarah says:

    I appreciate the V-neck silk cami tip. This might be the solution I’ve been looking for — because all I ever seem to encounter are scoopneck knits that are too thick, bunchy, and clingy.

  4. Joanna aka Alexa (@alexa11221) says:

    I like Fantasie bras and Freya panties! I guess there’s just something about English lingerie.

  5. Viajera says:

    My vote for underserved bra market would be that for non-padded but nipple-hiding bras. The only company I know who makes one is VS, and I couldn’t find one that was the right size and felt supportive. I am going to keep trying though. I tried one of those expensive brands and it was padded all over and I felt like a house and I wore it maybe twice. Waste of money. Meanwhile I wear Bali and am very happy with it, except that the one I really like shows under any clingy or light-colored tops. It is lace. Super comfy though and holds everything up. I will be toast if they ever stop making it. Please no!

    • ljchicago says:

      I’m late getting to this post. What is the name or style of the Victoria’s Secret bra you mentioned? I’d love to check it out. Thanks!

  6. RebeccaNYC says:

    On Gossamer are the best undies, hands down. I originally bought them for travel, and thought they would only hold up to gentle hand washing, but I have been sending them to the laundry where they get washed and dried in industrial machines and in two years, they have not torn, (or melted) yet! Love them.

  7. akgb says:

    I am a big fan of Uniglo innerwear – they have one version for warm weather and another for cold weather and they both really work to keep you cool or warm respectively. Plus you can’t beat the price.