It took me ages to heed my traditionalist-with-a-twist grandmother’s advice about undergarments.
“Starre,” she told me, “Whatever kind of work you do or whatever ridiculous outfits you wear, make sure that you have pretty underwear on.” Staring at me with her green eyes that had seen The Great Depression, World War 2, the end of two marriages, and the raising of two sons in a time when single mothers were scarce, she added, “Not for anybody else- for yourself.”
This advice was extended in the mid-90’s when I had taken to wearing men’s boxer shorts under some comically voluminous JNCO pants and the plainest bras and camisoles beneath reams of flannel, having decided this was way cooler than lace. But I always remembered what she said and now my drawers are filled with lingerie in pretty prints, with bows, ribbons and lined in silks and super-soft cottons.
Being the Eco Chick, I try to keep in mind how all my purchases (even the dainty ones) affect the environment, and this summer there are enough lingerie looks (and bra straps peeking through diaphanous fabrics) to justify getting some fresh eco-undies. These are my top picks:
Makool’s Pantalette set is just too adorable. You could hang out at home in this, or wear it out, but follow the advice on the Makool site: “This set hits you at your natural waist, so you won’t want to wear it with your low riders. I prefer to wear mine under my wrap dress, but any dress will work fine. You could also pair this with a high waist skirt, and allow the lace to peek out a bit.”
Greenknickers.org has all sorts of undies, from practical organic cotton and bamboo versions in three-packs to these gorgeous, one-of-a-kind Low Carbon Africa Knickers which are made from recycled fabrics with an organic cotton gusset.
The French (surprise, surprise!) company g=9.8 has the first underwire bra that’s made from recycled pine fibers, so you can be sustainably stacked!
I’m loving the intimates from Enamore, who I’ve written about before, which range from camisoles and knickers made from organic silk to garters and chemises in cozy soy and organic cotton mixes, and they even have non-cheesy wedding night ensembles and bridal lingerie (including organic silk garters!).
American Apparel has been Fair-trade since it began (all AA stuff is American-made in LA) and they have been ever-so-slowly moving in a more organic direction. Their latest offerings include an organic thong, and organic boy’s briefs, which DO look cute on girls too.