I gave up on underwired bras years ago. Terrible things, so uncomfortable. I replaced them swiftly with super-stretchy crop-tops, which give complete and seamless support. With all the bending and stretching, scampering, hefting and heavy-duty wiping and weeping that goes with small children, it was the practical choice.
But my kids are older now, and it’s not such a bun fight. When we go out locally we don’t take the buggy. I folded it up a few months ago to make space for something else and I just haven’t had to unfold it since. My kids tear ahead of me on scooter and balance bike, and I saunter along behind them, carrying my tote bag on one shoulder (which anyone can tell you is the mark of new-phase parenting – up until recently it’s been a cross-body bag or rucksack or you risk emptying all your shit on the ground as you bend over for the 4,000th time to do something. Also, try pushing a buggy with a shoulder bag. Doesn’t work).
So parenting isn’t quite the active task it used to be. But my underwear is still all really, really practical. Not all of it grubby and depressing, but some of it, yes, a bit discoloured I guess. And the other night as I was getting undressed for bed my husband looked up from where he was reading something (Twitter, probably) and said: “You could wear nice underwear, you know.”
Normally I would scream “FUCK YOU, FOUR-EYES!” and not speak to him for a month for saying something like that – but I didn’t. Because he’s right and he knows he’s right and I know he’s right. I could wear nice underwear.
If I get sick of the sight of my husband’s pants, for example, I simply buy him some new ones, which are to my liking. Ditto all of his clothes, his haircut, his swimwear, his shoes and his luggage. I’ll just get him something different and present it to him as a fait accompli and he takes it, wordlessly.
But he can’t do that to me. And he wouldn’t try because I’d be annoyed and, also, he is a true feminist where I fail (q.v.) If he were a girl Christ we’d all have to hide. He’d be outside Parliament with blood on his pants, screaming SEXIST FUCKER! at builders and stuff. We all ought to be grateful.
Anyway so he doesn’t tell me what to wear. He sometimes does a little pretend sick at some of my more directional shoes, (“Do you need me to rescue you from those things that have attached themselves to your feet?”), but mainly keeps quiet.
And I’m grateful for that. So when I wandered past a Victoria’s Secret the other day, I went in. I do sort of think that Victoria’s Secret, particularly that ghastly bra-and-knicker catwalk show they do, is maybe the root of all evil. Even that the stores are possibly active hell mouths. But I have had luck in VS before and really couldn’t face the sucked-in Dignitas air of the M&S or John Lewis lingerie department. (See? Shit Feminist.)
And I found a good thing, which is this wireless plunge “bralette” (sad emotion face), which was really actually not uncomfortable, so I bought three and the matching pants and to hell with it.
I am a C-cup and got these in M and one in an S, which fits if you let the catch at the back all the way out. I can’t imagine you’d want to wear one of these for long if you’ve got really seriously massive tits and normally have to wear bras made especially for you by NASA, (we’ve all been there), but for a C cup or under, they are a terrific mid-ground between the sexless sports bra and the padded plunge underwired torture device.