My Life in Panties

A National Underwear Day skivvy retrospective

From the moment Adam covered up his little snake with an oversized leaf to the day The Naked Cowboy woke up and thought to himself, “Yeah, playing guitar in my tightie whities in Times Square sounds like an awesome idea!,” underwear has been a part of our everyday experience. The fabric of our lives, one (cotton conglomerate) might say.  Though eschewed by starlets, bastardized by Borat and exploited by American Apparel,  the majority of us who aren’t Olympic swimmers or porn stars start our day by pulling on a fresh pair of clean, dry undies.

That’s why has been celebrating National Underwear Day for the past eight years. Every August 5, the underthings company rejoices in the bounty of cotton, silk and spandex housing the crotches of women, men and children across the land. According to their newest research, 36 percent of women prefer bikini briefs, 21 percent rock thongs and 18 percent sport boy shorts. Sadly, they found that 80 percent of Americans never change the type of unmentionables they wear (Note: they didn’t say "never change their underwear") and 60 percent of that underwear doesn’t even fit properly.

No one should have to suffer from the dreaded Thong Strangle or Visible Panty Line. We need to adapt and change, tossing out busted bloomers and experimenting with new designs. Do you think Darwin was just talking to hear himself speak? There's a reason I packed granny panties suitable for an Amish butter churner when I left for my freshman year of college but graduated whistling along to Sisqo's "That thong, th-thong, thong, thong." That's why I’ve decided to take a trip back through my own timeline of tap pants and examine how my choice of undergarments through the years has influenced and reflected my evolving sense of self. Let’s linger in the lingerie, shall we?

Age: Infancy
Underwear of choice: Diapers
Benefits: Moisture-wicking crotch; disposable; now available in go-anywhere denim.  
Drawbacks: Stain easily; environmentally murderous.

Age: Early childhood
Underwear of choice: Wonder Woman Underoos
Benefits: Emotional empowerment via red-and-yellow cami and blue-with-white-stars briefs.
Drawbacks: My childhood superhero uniform has since been ruined by modern day hypersexualization of women’s Halloween costumes.

Age: High school
Underwear of choice: Jockey cotton briefs
Benefits: Full back coverage -- essential for awkward locker room undressing; packaged in triplicate in cool plastic tubes.
Drawbacks: Large enough to wash cars with.

Age: Early college
Underwear of choice: Silky string bikinis
Benefits: Made me feel feminine and sexy.
Drawbacks: Cheap elastic leg-holes led to massive bunching-up of the butt.

Age: Late college
Underwear of choice: Thongs
Benefits: Sexy; no visible panty line; available in with a wide array of sassy/bizarre designs and mottos, including a pink frilly pair from H&M that read, in inexplicable cursive, “But I love you.” But my favorite was a black g-string with a Rubik’s Cube that said, “I play mind games.”
Drawbacks: Negligible breathing room.

Age: Current (34)
Underwear of choice: hanky panky-style thongs
Benefits: Wider lace sides don’t pinch and pull skin into mini Muffin Top; comfortable; little luxury feel.
Drawbacks: Pricey; failed to provide any sort of meaningful coverage when my sundress blew up into my face last week as I walked over a subway grate while texting.

What are your favorite kind of undies? Chime in below.

Love this? Read these:
- Why Victoria’s Secret Has My Panties in a Bunch 
- Why Naomi Campbell Isn't The Only One Suffering for Fashion
- Isaac Mizrahi Says It's All About the Right Underwear

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