My Life in Lingerie
As a little girl I had a deep obsession with lingerie. My family and I would be off on some vacation and when my brothers voiced interest in popping over to a toy store, I would drag my mom, babysitter, or mom’s friend to the closest lingerie shop.
I wouldn’t necessarily try things on (though, with some proper stuffing materials, I wasn’t opposed to playing dress up in my mom’s bras and underwear), but would run my hands through the racks of silky negligees, lacy camisoles, and I’m sure a number of crotchless panties that were a mystery to this little 6 year-old.
Now, before you start thinking that I was one perverse little girl, allow me to clarify that this had nothing to do with the sensuality of lingerie — I guarantee I had no idea what that was. My obsession was because of the shiny fabrics, feminine laces, and well, every girls dream to one day have a pair of boobs to fill one of those over the top bras that are so lumpy and lacy it’s impossible to wear them under any sort of shirt.
Fast forward many years later to the day I got my first bra, a day that was as disappointing for me as a messed up sandwich order. My mom and I were in the shopping mall doing some damage at Limited Too, when I decided it was time I told her that my AAA cups needed some support. We walked over to the closest Nordstrom and made our way up the escalators to what I was hoping would be the lingerie floor. The lacy bras were calling my name and my nipples were hard just thinking about it.
But as we got off the escalator on the 4th floor, my mom circled around to go up another level to the “tweens” section. I was too embarrassed to ask why we weren’t stopping on the floor with the mannequins bursting out of their balconette bras — bra shopping for the first time with mom is awkward enough — so I reluctantly stepped onto the escalator and followed her up.
As we approached the “girls and boys” section, my mom walked right up to a saleswoman and asked where we could find the training bras. I had no idea what a training bra was, but it sounded insulting and my budding breasts and I could feel the zing.
The saleswoman walked us over to a revolving rack of itsy bitsy white cotton sports bras, handing me a “bra” that looked more like the top of a leotard. My shock must have been visible all across my face as my mom said to me “this is just to get you started.” For the first time in…ever…I said nothing. I wasn’t about to start a hissy fit infront of this lady in the girls and boys section while getting my “training bra,” this was mortifying enough. We bought the bra and I wore it for two years out of fear that my next bra-cident would be a repeat.
My first “training bra”
Fast forward five years and I was living the dream. Lacy bras filled my underwear drawers and I was shopping everywhere from Victoria’s Secret to the boutique underwear store in my neighborhood. Each day was a new day complete with a different bra and matching underwear and there was no “training” about it.
It was around this time that I tried on lingerie for real. I went to the mall alone and grabbed a number of silky pieces that my 6 year-old self would have drooled over. I bashfully went into the fitting room and tried on the first sexy little item.
Oh my god I looked like an idiot. I thought I would turn to face the mirror and see myself looking as hot as Adriana Lima, but I looked like a foolish teenager trying to be Mrs. Robinson. I ran out of there faster than the captain of a cross country team and swore I’d never go back.
The high school bra pile
It’s been 10 years since then, and while I’ve gotten over my fear of the lingerie dressing room, I don’t flock to the stores like I did when I was a walking surfboard. And as for my bras, well, let’s just say hot pink and neon orange aren’t the first colors I grab off the sale rack.