Lingerie shopping for that first date reminded me on my very first bra fitting in Paris. I was nearly 40, had had two children and had not changed bra sizes in a very, very long time. To be perfectly honest, I had not actually worn a bra in a very, very long time. Like an insect in metamorphosis, I was changing from a granola-munching, hairy-legged, commando-dressing Californian into me. I’d look at the moms picking up their kids at the girls’ school and, as a designer, I could not help noticing that having the proper under garments made a significant different to their lignes.
I was ready for some underwear. Remembering that my Mom had taught me to always purchase one bra for three matching panties (yes, my Mom was cool), I spent several hours strolling through the lingerie department looking for something I thought I could actually wear. I was finally ready to try on a few pretty, yet practical, everyday bras to see how they fit.
The woman at the changing room stopped me cold. “Are you sure you have the right size?”
“Oui, oui, madame.”
“Well, I’m not so sure,” she replied as she clinically took her hands and cupped them over my breast. I let out a startled squeak as my eyes popped out of my head and my feet left the ground in surprise. “You’re an A cup,” she announced loudly enough for anyone to hear. She then put her two hands on either side of my rib cage and declared me a 90. 90A. The bras in my hands were 85B, which confirms that I am an optimist.
It also confirms that I had not yet learned how important proper fitting underwear is for a chic Parisienne style. I started paying attention, and at the gym I noticed that even for a workout, the girls were all wearing properly fitting, matching underwear, just like my Mom had said. And it was not necessarily expensive, many of my Parisiennes get their Dim underwear at Monoprix for bras that give a great silhouette with a comfortable fit for everyday wear.
Since girls just wanna have fun, they also like the lacy stuff from time to time. Practical girls head to Orcanta, where they have a large selection of many different brands with a respectably diverse selection of ‘moods’ in a variety of price ranges. When I am feeling particularly up-scale and naughty, I like Marlies Dekkers, for her flattering, extra-odinarily comfortable designs that are hot enough for a girl like Fergie from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. When I am looking for luxurious fabrics with that silky feel, I head to Princesse Tam Tam. Sometimes I get so carried away that I have to remind myself that I am there to look lovely when I am dressed and need to think about how the garments flatter me and my outfits (or not). For that, Aubade has the “cheater’s panty” which I will not picture here because my Dad and my kids read this blog. Not to mention Mr French’s assistant! If I really want to splurge, and I don’t care about what I’ll be wearing on top, I look at Eres for sumptuous silks in girlie not-frilly designs that have been proven to drive men wild.