I have a drawer full of lusty-busty lingerie, as I like to call it. Being a newly married woman, there was a party thrown in my honor to outfit me with all sorts of racy and lacy unmentionables to ensure a long happy marriage filled with mad, passionate love-making sessions. But, since this is real life and not the pages of a lingerie magazine, my lumpy, disproportioned goosebumped body doesn’t ever seem to look right when strapped into a contraption made of lace, silk, wire, and little else … and I just don’t feel right.
I try very hard to work these items into my nighttime seduction routine, but time and time again, I reach past the padded satins and the feathery frou frou for what feels good—the white cotton tank top and black cotton underwear. Luckily, my husband and I tend to agree that not only does it feel good, but it really looks good too.
I love wandering through the lingerie section of Barneys New York or Neiman Marcus as much as the next woman. I enjoy looking at gorgeous bras and underwear that cost so much I’d have to work them on the streets to pay my rent. The craftsmanship, design, and intricate detail that blends to form these wearable works of art call out to me, telling me I need to wear them and strut around my apartment wearing high heels, thing-high stockings, and vampy red lipstick to seduce my gawking husband. As I’m standing remembering all the articles I’ve read to the effect that we women are letting ourselves go if we don’t fork out the big bucks on our undergarments—and actually considering purchasing some self-esteem—the strap from my well-worn white cotton bra slips off my shoulder, snapping me back to reality. Back to the comfortable world of women’s lingerie that I live in.
Why is it that lacy lingerie is supposed to be the spice that keeps romance alive and cotton kills? Lace is a Brazilian supermodel, but cotton is your mom? Lacy and racy is for athletic bedtime endeavors but cotton is for snuggling? If you’ve ever spent any time in a feather-framed stringy thong or a lacey slip with garters then you know that being a Brazilian supermodel lookalike performing athletic sexual feats is more “fore-work” than foreplay. It can be difficult to focus on seducing your partner when you’re simultaneously worrying that the small band of lace between your legs is going to shift and chafe and that escaped tit is turning an unflattering shade of blue squished outside its underwire cup. Or worse still, you’re worrying that an overly tight garter belt is going to snap and slap you in the rear.
Even the daily task of wearing thong underwear tends to be more drama than I can handle. They shift too far forward or backward, or worse yet, cut off circulation altogether. If it must be a thong, I at least make sure that it’s a cotton thong.
When I look in the mirror and see myself wearing something resembling a Christina Aguilera video from her “Drrty” years, I know I should be giving myself the eye and a congratulatory speech on how good I look. Instead, I’m wondering who dressed me in this imposter Halloween costume. It’s actually when I’m in my favorite cotton boy-cut briefs and bra that I find myself throwing my mirror image a suggestive wink and a cat call.
For this average American female cotton does the job in accentuating my best features and it makes me feel comfortable in my own skin. It gets the job done, too, if you know what I mean. I feel comfortable in cotton, so I tend to, ahem, perform with more confidence than I do bound up in worrisome lace. My husband notices this too, so he naturally prefers the cotton couture to the lacy confusion.
Do brides-to-be a favor and buy them sexy undies that won’t make them feel that they have to be somebody else to be sexy. Think cute and comfy—for me that’s classic cotton. I will no longer subscribe to or perpetuate the myth that we have to truss ourselves up like over seasoned turkeys to have happy marriages or scintillating sex lives.
If you want to rediscover cotton, here are a few of my favorites for cute but comfy undies:
GAP Body 
I love the playful polka dots, pretty floral prints, and light lace-trim sets, and I can always rely on the little black set to make me feel pretty sexy and pretty comfy all day/night long.
Calvin Klein 365 collection 
Calvin knows underwear, and thanks to Marky Mark, we’re all very familiar with just how sexy cotton can be. How did we forget?
The DKNY Nouveau collection is to die for. So incredibly pleasing to the bottom and to the eye as well!
Forget everything you thought you knew about Hanes. These are not your average granny panties. Hanes got a makeover and a little celebrity attention, and voila—we have some nearly perfect undergarments.
BuenoStyle organic cotton panties are made with 96 percent organic cotton and 4 percent lycra so they keep their shape. The organic cotton is very soft to touch and the cut is designed to sit low on the hips in a better than “boy-cut” style. They feature a cute “eat organic” saying in front, so they are environmentally friendly but with a sense of humor! And what’s sexier than a sense of humor? (Maybe full bum coverage that won’t ride up!)
When it comes to cute, sexy, and sensible, I’m your girl. And cotton is my calling card. Sure, it’s not for everyone—and certainly not what everyone is doing—but it works for me, and I know how to work it. I’ll continue to admire the fancy intimates at Bloomies and Saks, but I’ll know that like a great work of art, they look better in the distance on a metal hanger than on my back.