The Rise of Utilitarian Underwear

Last week I put on a bra, and immediately had to photograph myself wearing it. Was it because this Agent Provocateur silk and eyelash lace number made me look so irresistible I needed to document it? No. It was because my areolas had escaped this 3cm of fabric, and were now perching above the aforementioned eyelash lace.

Blame me, if you will, for buying a bra online, but it was my size (if anything I was generous with the cup size to avoid four-boob syndrome) and who can be bothered to return things when they can just stand very still and hope nothing falls out instead?

This is often the problem with premium, fancy-ass lingerie. You buy with the idea in mind that you’ll suddenly be strutting around carefree in a suspender belt, glass of fine wine in one hand and Vogue cigarette in the other – at least this is the lie I tell myself. But the reality involves labia-chafing lace, bras clearly made by someone who’s never seen more than a c-cup, and impractical fasteners right when you really need a wee.

This might be part of the reason for the resurgence of the granny pant and bra combo. Only this time they’re not just period pants, and there is zero fucks given.

Let’s take MARIEYAT, a London Based brand that bridges the gap between comfort and playful touches. Made from 97% cotton, with a little bit of stretch, you can get away with wearing these while eating large quantities of halloumi, or while out on the prowl for someone who might want to share halloumi with you (amongst other things).

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The models are also really wide-ranging. Some have muscles and lithe, lean legs; some have lumps, bumps, and stretch marks, which is a big pull for me. I’ve learned by now that models will not usually look like me, which is very chill with them I’m sure, but it makes choosing things online way more difficult.

How will this item look with that weird crease on my stomach? I also need to know where this strap will sit on my butt so my trousers don’t bunch up in a very important client meeting.

These are the questions we must ask ourselves in normal life, and the ones being answered by brands who know women’s bodies, and what they do outside of the male gaze. Interestingly, I think most men could not give two fucks about whether you have a Brazilian thong or a silk teddy on. And, if you’re getting with a dude who’d kick you out of bed for donning some comfies then please get yourself out of there immediately.

Baserange is another name that’s synonymous with redefining sexy, with sustainable materials like bamboo jersey in sporty, minimalist shapes.Spanish label nude. have got a similar aesthetic but also added in some cheeky cut-outs and bodysuits to their collection for those who like a bit more detail.

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Kylie Jenner and the gang have even been getting in on the act, with Calvins as the brand of choice for a mirror selfie or two. I’m a huge fan, and the experience of accidentally wearing the same pants as a guy I was with was both humbling and hilarious. *Grey marl with the band, in case you’re wondering.*

There’s a time and place for La Perla, no doubt about it, and I’m not going to be throwing out my collection of frillies any time soon. Channeling Lana Del Rey in inappropriate knickers is one of life’s small pleasures after all. It just feels so liberating to not be bound by the padded nightmare of scratchy bras and pants. Dare I say it, it’s actually a pretty feminist thing to do. My mum always used to say "make sure you wear matching underwear, because you never know what will happen in your day". Well, thanks for the tip maw, but I can’t see myself running into a shag-hungry Noel Fielding at Lewisham market, and if I do maybe he’ll appreciate the rebellious notion of skin coloured grundies. For now, I’ll stick with not pulling a wedgie out of my butt 180 times a day.

Header image courtesy of the nude label

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