Today’s post starts with a bit of that childhood game, Telephone. It was inspired by what a friend overheard one of my clients say to another woman.
My client was excitedly talking about her new bras that I’d made for her with a group of women. One of these women, hearing the price of the bras, scoffed and said something along the lines of “I’d never pay that for a bra.”
(Never mind that just because something is out of your price range, doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth what it costs. To quote Cora Harrington, the Lingerie Addict, “You can’t argue for fairer wages for yourself, and then throw that notion completely out the window when it comes to fairer wages for the people who make our clothes.” But that’s a whole other post.)
Bless my clients. They are my greatest ambassadors and advocates.
My client responded with something I’ve felt, but never really articulated so clearly. To paraphrase her: You spend money regularly at the salon to get your hair and nails done and don’t think twice about that expense, which adds up quickly. Buying underwear that fits you is just another form of self-care.
Buying underwear and lingerie is a form of self-care.
That’s worth repeating, in bold.
Buying lingerie that fits us, makes us feel confident, that is comfortable, is truly an act of self-care. These are so often the last articles of clothing we replace, and the ones we are least likely to spend time and money on quality, ethical products. We often see it as a luxury purchase.
Part of that is availability. Many of us, particularly those outside of large urban areas, have limited or no access to lingerie stores, indie designers, or ethical lingerie that we can see or try on in person.
Part of it is the large retail/box store industry, whose marketing is aimed to objectify, sell sex and sexiness, not self confidence or comfort, but for men to take off. An industry that mass produces for profit and not to truly serve the needs of its customers. Whose sizes vary between product lines and manufacturers to the point where most women give up trying to determine what size they wear and leave the store frustrated, with the wrong products.
Yes, a custom fit bra might seem like a luxurious purchase. And it is not within everyone’s budget. But, like having your nails done regularly, keeping your ‘do looking perfect, eating healthy food, or getting a massage, custom fit lingerie is also about how you treat and care for your own body. It is an investment in yourself.
So think beyond the bra, to all of lingerie, from utility to luxury. To soft nighties and silk lounge pants, sports bras to soft dressing gowns and that pair of underwear that makes you feel like you could take down the world when you wear them. Think of them not as nuisances or pain points or frivolous seduction tools, but as a part of your self-care.
If you’ve ever thought “I’d never pay that much for a bra,” think deeper about the reason why. (note, this is different than “I can’t afford to pay that much for a bra.”) It’s probably equivalent to 2 hairstyle/colour appointments. Why don’t your breasts deserve the same care and attention you spend on what is outwardly visible?
To quote Cora again, “Reclaim your lingerie. Own it. Buy what makes you feel amazing. And let’s stop acting like lingerie is just something for the bedroom when it can be so much more.”