Friday, June 13, 2008


I had a very interesting day at the office yesterday. It stemmed from something which started out as a very minor and occasional nuissance but has since grown into a full-blown lingerie catastrophe.

Of course I'm talking about that annoying sensation when your underwear slices in to your bikini line and feels like cheese-wire that is on the verge of amputating your legs.

I have a couple pairs of knickers with inadequate leg elastic that tend to create this feeling. They annoy me and so I stopped wearing them (despite their being extremely cute and pretty). But lately ALL of my underwear has been doing this, even the old, saggy, stretched-out, cotton granny panties.

Yesterday it reached critical mass. They got so painful I had to take them off. In fact, so fed up was I with the whole dilemma that I got angry at the offending underwear and threw them away, right there in the office (well, in the sanitary disposal bin in the ladies' room) and went commando for the rest of the day.

Yes, I went commando at work.

(I was wearing a knee-lenght corduroy skirt, so it was ok. I didn't have any scary four-corners crotch seams in trousers to contend with, and the skirt was completely opaque, so there was no visible lack-of-panty line.)

It was quite nice, really.

Today I wore the most comfortable pair of knickers I could find, and they're driving me nuts. They're cutting it to my skin so badly it's like wearing pants made a dental floss. I don't know what to do. I can't spend the rest of my life commando, but right now the thought of having to wear underwear every day for the rest of my life is making me cringe. Surely there's a solution to this, and it probably involves replacing all my underwear with something more comfortable, but I can't imagine what that could be. Any suggestions?

ps. The current underwear is mostly low-rise bikini. I've worn them for decades without difficulty. I don't know why they're bothering me now.

pps. I've considered switching to high-leg bikini, but they ride up my ass and I spend my life attempting to subtly remove wedgies.

ppps. No, I haven't gained weight. Not an ounce. In fact I've lost a few pounds. So my legs haven't gotten any fatter if that's what you're thinking.


FirstNations said...

here's a whole page of them...

...TAP PANTS. the silkier and flouncier the better. you get so you never notice them.

Chaucer's Itch said...

Hmm. That's an interesting idea. I can see some situations where they wouldn't work (I doubt you can put a maxi pad in them, for instance, and they'd get all bunchy underneath spandex shorts), but for most day-to-day wear that could be a good solution. I've seen them sold at BHS (my source of cheap, pretty bras). I will get a couple pairs and try them out.

Any other ideas?

Red said...

Boy-short style. (They're kind of like really short boxer briefs, but made for women.) They avoid cutting into your bikini line because they go down below it. I love them for the gym and other physical exercise.

FirstNations said...

hell yeah, red has it. they work good. those have a gusset too for the maxi days. SOLVED!!!

Donn said...

Now I am trying to estimate how many people actually go commando..I mean how would you know?
Do you get an extra dose of subliminal pheremone twinges when you're standing beside someone who is 'oot n aboot' sans gitch?

I know next to nothing about feminine unmentionables other than every Wednesday and Sunday night I am allowed to carefully remove them ever so slowly and only after back and foot rubs have been completed...
and under no circumstances am I to just yank them off because they are very delicate and expensive and the sudden movement might wake her which is verboeten unless the house is on fire or the imminent threat of Nuclear War or an Astroid collison is at hand.

HA! I'm afraid that I haven't been much help.

Timorous Beastie said...

I was going to suggest boy-type shorts, too. Or old-fashioned French knickers. Or how about buying knickers a size or two too big to see if that makes them looser?

Gordie said...

I've had the experience of underwear behaving badly this week as well, but it sounds like you're much better appraised of the variables (like weight loss) than I am.

I think underwear does wear out, and sometimes I only notice there's a problem when the weather gets warmer. Garments become subtly and suddenly adhesive.

My game plan is to go to Asda or Tesco, where undies are cheap, and buy some different styles to experiment with.

Commando is fine, IMHO.

Anonymous said...

Dave said...

Too much information.

ziggi said...

those boy-short ones fall down so you might as well know this before you invest! (At least on me) I had on a new pair as I trotted up the road to wave me flag and I had to trot round the back of a tree step out of them. I don't think HM noticed.

helena said...

The problem could actually be that you've lost weight rather than gained it. Because there's less for the elastic to cling to this can make the garment shift and settle in uncomfortable places... ( I know, I know, lose weight, gain weight - you can't win!)

Gordies also right about the weather... so natural fibres - cotton or silk only

Try good old fashioned M&S high leg briefs (not bikini briefs). These are no longer the passion killers they used to be, leave no VPL and wash beautifully!

If you want something a bit prettier then FN's right about tap pants - (silk ones are best but check the label to make sure they're pure silk). You could try French knickers too - which I always thought were the same as tap pants (turns out that French knickers are more like boy shorts) whatever they're called I wear these under my floaty skirts in summer.

The problem is of course hipster and low rise trousers. The M&S cotton high leg briefs do come in hipster cut which is useful. It really depends on how hipster/low rise you wear your clothes (I've got a couple of pairs of jeans that are so low rise as to be practically knee level!)

The other thing is that when it comes to underwear you really do get what you pay for. Ridiculous really I know - given the amount of fabric in the damn things - but true. I've found that John Lewis tends to have a good range of (mostly) reasonably priced well made pretty underwear.

Magritte said...

I also find the boy short to be good, however beware because I have had several Calvin Klein pairs shrink to essentially a thong and then any comfort achieved is immediately vitiated by near-constant wedgies.

Chaucer's Itch said...

Wow, thanks for all the tips, guys.

As for boy-style shorts, i've never found a pair that fits around my thighs (I have really, really huge legs. That's not a self-image problem, it's just a fact), but I haven't really looked that hard. I will try some more on.

My jeans are only slightly low-rise. They sit below my waist, but I don't like really low ones that feel like they're falling down all the time or give me plumber-butt when viewed from the rear, so most briefs will not show.

Off to do some shopping now!

Gordie said...

This is what happens when you apply postgrad brains to a simple problem. Tis good... Oh well, back to structuration theory.

GreatSheElephant said...

I just got some of the M&S boyshorts (£6 multi pack). I'm pretty much the same shape as you, especially with regards to the thighs (although there's not an ounce of muscle in mine) and they seem fine and they aren't bumcreeping either.

Chaucer's Itch said...

geordie: the first 3 times i read your comment i thought it said "postcard brains," and I had no idea what you were on about. so much for brains, eh?

GSE: i was looking at their "no VPL" knickers the other day. there was no tight elastic around the legs and they looked quite nice, but were 5 pounds/pair. Have you tried them? Any thoughts?

GreatSheElephant said...

I couldn't get over the fact that they were raw edged. Plus they are synthetic. Only cotton or silk on my lady bits.

Chaucer's Itch said...

The raw edge was exactly what appealed - no elastic to cut in to the flesh. but the fabric put me off as well. still, i might buy 1 pair and give them a go. i'm getting desperate.

GreatSheElephant said...

OK, I tried a pair and they bum creep. Plus the top sort of rolls down into an unattractive ridge