Monday, 1 October 2012

What it Means to be a Newly Single Lingerie Lover

Bra and briefs by Myla. Girdle by Kiss Me Deadly
Warning - this is a highly self-indulgent, personal break up post! 
My boyfriend of 4 years and I decided to part ways recently. Almost my childhood sweetheart - we met when I was 16. Now, at the age of 20, I feel like I have a great journey of personal growth ahead of me and I'm feeling fragile, excited, upset, relieved, at a loss and invigorated all at once. You're probably reading this and thinking, 'what on earth has this got to do with me and my panties?!' I don't blame you and I promise I'm not usually one to air my smalls on the internet - well, the proverbial ones anyway - but I wanted to share this because it's actually so relevant to my love affair with lingerie. From the initial spark of, 'well I guess I'd better start buying big-girl panties now that I've got a boyfriend and all...' to the shocking realisation, 'oh my knickers, lingerie shopping is actually damn cool!', my private relationship with - let's just call him Handsome Boy - coincided perfectly with my relationship with undies.

Now it's all well and good making bold, slightly feminist, empowering statements like, 'your lingerie should be for you and nobody else maaaan, peace out, girl power etc etc' (which I fully admit I have done) but being a single adult for the first time in my 20 short years of existence, I only now fully know what that means. So, if self-discovery stories are your jam, read on! If not, please ignore this and wait patiently for normal T&B goodness to resume - I won't be offended.

An extremely old picture of one of my first proper lingerie purchases - The What Katie Did Corselette
I always liked to think my lingerie was solely for me but, as is often the way with relationships, I'm aware that I've been conscious of not wearing certain items because the boyfriend might not find them sexy or seeking approval on a new bra to confirm its beauty. This is generally a bad attitude to have towards anything, not just undies, because at the time you never realise how loosely you're placing your self-confidence into the hands of someone else.

I'm sure anyone can relate to that horrible confidence drop when a relationship eventually has to come to an end. I know this sounds shallow and simplistic, but good undies really do help with that! I'm a firm believer in the correlation between making yourself feel good on the inside and the outside. This is an entirely personal process and I'm not guaranteeing that knickers will make you happy or anything similarly presumptuous and unfounded, I just know that when I start my day with a pretty, well-fitting bra/knicker/girdle/suspender belt, I definitely walk with a way cockier strut than usual!

Bodysuit by Nearer The Moon
Furthermore, it's a comfort to me that I have some way of feeling great about my big thighs or my gigantic arse that is generated by me, for me and I'm not obliged to share it with anyone unless I really want to (which I often do - I have no shame).
Moreover, I can now be entirely self-indulgent about my little lingerie treasure chest as it's no longer just a collection of garments designed to make me sexy. It's an area of my life that fills me with a lot of passion, interest and appreciation for beauty and above all, art. My lingerie has the same effect on me that one of my favourite Elvgren pin-ups might, that of pure admiration for a beautifully crafted piece of art. A symbol of feminine glamour that I seek in most of my hobbies, passions and endeavours - be they burlesque, retro fashion or classic movie icons. And it comes alive when I, or anyone, wears it regardless of shape, size, colour, height etc.

I am beginning to see myself as a real lingerie fanatic, not just a mannequin. And that's just awesome.

- Booty x

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