Before I opened a lingerie store, my underwear drawer was a hodgepodge collection of “on sale” underwear which consisted of unique color combinations and prints well past their expiration date on the retail floor. Due to the local scarcity of cute options in my size, I bought beige bras only, and I never considered whether my bra and underwear could or should match. I viewed lingerie as a support item designed solely to supplement the clothes I wore for daily life. Every bra had a smooth and seamless cup, and all of my underwear was designed to never give a VPL even under the thinnest jersey. In short, my lingerie drawer was kind of boring. Then, a few customers touted how confident and sexy they felt wearing matching sets and encouraged me dive into the world of beautiful lingerie headfirst. A prudent shopper, I tested the waters by purchasing the matching shorts to my Freya Faye.
And my customers were right! The allure of waking up each morning and picking which lingerie set suits your personality that morning is as fun as deciding what to wear. Lingerie lets you create an outfit under an outfit that only you (and possibly a significant other) see and appreciate. It’s a secret pleasure that boosts your mood because you feel sexy in and out of your clothes.
Slowly, I built a collection of adorable sets ranging from the burlesque-inspired Curvy Kate Tease Me to the sweetly innocent Freya Pollyanna. Each set has a different vibe that perks my mood. The Freya Ellie brightens my day with its beautiful colors and artistic floral design while the Panache Andorra harkens back to Betty Paige and the other curvy pinups. However, over the last few months, I’ve ran into a few problems.
The matching shorts for all my Freya bras have a flouncy hem on the leg which reminded me fondly of tap pants—a detail that eliminates their wear under anything form-fitting or composed of a thinner weight fabric. Similarly, the rows of ruffles on the Tease Me shorts work only under jeans, a-line skirts, or heavy weight fabrics. As a result, I often need to turn to my stock of Natori Bliss Girl Briefs on days I want to wear those bras in conjunction with something that needs VPL-free underwear which defeats the purpose of the matching set. Because of my love for black, the combinations often match, and I even found a pair of lace briefs which pick up a latent color in the Freya Ellie. Nevertheless, my beautiful matching underwear sits alone in a drawer while the bras receive more wear and attention.
Furthermore, many of my bras are rapidly approaching their donate date with my Freya Faye relegated to weekend excursions only. When the donation pile beckons, I’ll have a matching bottom severed from its top. With items like the Faye, I can always reorder the bra, but some styles are fashion-oriented or discontinued in the case of the Pollyanna. Not to mention, the matching pants for these bras are ridiculously expensive ($29+) so purchasing a matching set becomes a pricey proposition especially when the pair will inevitably be separated.
Consequently, I’m revising my conditions for whether I purchase the matching bottom.
Rule 1: I absolutely love the bottom in its own right.
For example, my Curvy Kate Emily briefs are one of my favorite panties because they blend well under clothes, are incredibly flattering and sexy, and feel comfortable all day. I would definitely buy them again.
Rule 2: Basics do not need the matching bottom unless Rule 1 applies
My Freya Faye bra looks just as cute with my Natori undies (around $15) as it does with the matching shorts, and the same can be said of the Pollyanna and Andorra too.
Your turn to weigh in: Do you buy matching sets, or do you buy versatile undies to go with the bra? If you do buy matching sets, what do you do with the panties once the bra is ready to donate?