Please choose my panties....
April 28, 2012 7:09 PM   Subscribe

What are the most amazing underthings you have worn or your lady has worn? Help me choose lingerie that will make me look and feel fabulous!

Let me start by saying - I am comfortable with my body and my looks. I have gotten very adept over the years at dressing my body to show off my assets and hide my less-perfect areas. I am generally confident and am happy in my own skin.

That being said, I would like to update my intimate apparel wardrobe, and I don't have a clue where to start. My main goal is to buy some nice bra/panty sets that are functional and comfortable. However, I'd also like things that I look good in when the situation ever arises for me to be prancing around in my underthings. I don't have a clue what kinds of cuts/colors will look best on me.

About me - I'm of average weight and fitness, about 5'7, 150 lbs. Most of my weight sits in my lower body a la Kim Kardashian, though I'm not nearly as toned as she is. I'm also ghostly white. Like, blinding white. My belly is less than toned but not awful, and my butt is quite...substantial? Also I am blessed with some rather large saddle bags. My legs are on the short side but shapely and toned. I wear a 36 C/D bra.

So ladies (or men), what things should I look for that will make a pale pear-shaped lady look amazing when I'm half-naked? Thongs, boyshorts, bikinis....I'm at a loss where to start. Would black make me look more pale, or would white make me look more tan? Do boyshorts make women look more 'hippy' (as in big hips, not flower childish)? Are padded push-up bras sexy or just false advertising?

I want to feel like a vixen, whether fully clothed or in a state of undress. Tips? Advice?
posted by tryniti to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Garter belt and stockings. Nothing quite like 'em. They make anything else look sexy too.
posted by TooFewShoes at 7:29 PM on April 28, 2012 [8 favorites]

Padded push-up bras are awesome. They can make dresses and tops look so much better - and unless you're actually buying the ridiculous ones that add so much padding that it's an extra cup size, by the time someone sees underneath them the comparison will be the last thing on their mind.

I know it will get poo-pooed down the line, but I really find Victorias Secret to have a nice range of comfy and pretty and affordable underthings. No they're not going to last years and years, but for me that's not important. The sexy little things underwear that leave part of your bum uncovered (I think they're called "cheekers") look really good on my body, which is similarly shaped. I don't think boyshorts are flattering on a more curvy body... IMHO they give shape to athletic types - which is not what we're looking for.

Coral, orange, and yellow would not be the best shades for you.
posted by sarahnicolesays at 7:30 PM on April 28, 2012

A higher-cut bikini style or, as sarahnicolesays mentioned, the V.S. "cheekie" panties (I love the Pink ones) would be good for you. I wouldn't do white or black... go with a pattern.

Also for padding... I like a thin layer (I wear VS Biofit), as it gives a nice shape and adds a little, but still looks natural. For bras, I like a thinner strap and a lower cut, as doesn't cover the girls up -- bras that cover everything just seem so pointless.
posted by DoubleLune at 8:06 PM on April 28, 2012

Yes, padded push-up bras as awesome. Personally, I think larger straps look better than tiny ones as they're a little bit more forgiving.

Boyshorts only look good if you've got completely straight thighs. Bikini style works well.

Red and black are the best sexy colors on pale skin. Deep green as well if you want something a little different.
posted by mleigh at 8:09 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm probably as pale as you are, and just bought a pair of neon peach lace underwear, and for some reason the colour works so well against really pale skin. It makes it look while not tan, because let's face it, super pale skin isn't going to look tan no matter what we wear, look creamier. I think going for colours that make your skin look even is more important. I'd look for colours that you get compliments on when you've worn them near your face as well.
posted by Sweetchrysanthemum at 8:13 PM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

No matter how large I feel-- they never pinch or bulge in the wrong place. They're sexy and you can get them in a million colors so you can match them with bras.
One size fits all and they really do fit perfectly. Not to mention, I wear them daily because they are so comfortable.
posted by dearest at 8:13 PM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

If you can afford a test run, go to one of the mall stores that sells 5/$25 mix-and-match undies (Victoria's Secret, Gap Body, Aerie, etc.) and buy a pair in each cut they offer. (Might as well skip the boyshorts. Boyshorts don't look good on too many people, and they tend to cause wedgies.) Wear each pair for a day and see which ones feel right, which ones ride up, etc.

You'll probably need/have more undies than bras, so once you find a style of everyday undies that work for you, stock up on them in either black or another color that coordinates with one of your favorite bras. (Black is generally a good go-to sexy lingerie color, because you can always find stuff in black and you can mix and match from different brands or lines. Plus black won't get dingy or show stains.)

As for other color suggestions: bright colors and jewel tones - classic red, bright pink, blue, purple, teal - will look great on you. Pale pinks and nudes, a little less so. However, you are going to need at least one good bra that approximately matches your skin tone, to wear under white or semi-sheer tops. And if you see a color that you love but aren't sure if it'll look good on you, get it anyway.

If you've never had a professional bra fitting (at Nordstrom or a higher-end lingerie shop, not Victoria's Secret), it wouldn't hurt to go, even if you're sure you already know your size. I thought I knew my bra size when I went to get fitted, but I was just a little bit off, and my new size fits considerably better. On top of that, the bra fitter will explain to you how to figure out if your bra fits, which will help when you shop for cheaper mall-store bras.

A good fit and a style that you really like will always make you feel sexy, even if the bra is totally utilitarian or the color doesn't necessarily work for your skin tone. Sexy is as sexy feels.

Might as well pick up a lounge/sleep item or two while you're shopping. You don't need anything complicated like a bustier, just something you'd feel comfortable sleeping in, like a nightgown or camisole and shorts in a soft fabric.

I've been pleasantly surprised by Gap Body lately. Their everyday cotton undies are reliably good, but they've been venturing into some fancier lingerie-type stuff that's still comfortable enough for everyday wear, and they have some good bright colors that will work well for you. Plus they have frequent sales.
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:13 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

One piece of advice about the bras from one woman with a D cup to another: do not get bras with teeny narrow straps. They may hurt your shoulders and over time will definitely leave divots. I abandoned Victoria's Secret bras for department store bras a few years back and my shoulders are much happier with me.

Wider straps are less glamorous, but for a busty woman, are a good choice for everyday bras. You have more leeway with special-event lingerie.
posted by immlass at 9:37 PM on April 28, 2012

As a man, and reading over these other suggestions, might I suggest some thigh high socks. Trust me on this one. Similar to garter belt and stockings, which I also recommend, but... different.

Also black with pale skin is fine. Red is also fine. Really, all colors are fine. But black is definitely cool with pale skin.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:39 PM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks for all the advice so far! I plan on doing my shopping at Macy's, mainly because a) I have a gift certificate there and b) it's probably not terrible quality but not super-expensive.

I looked at the "cheeky" panties, and I have to say, I would have NEVER gone with that if you gals hadn't suggested it. They make the VS models' asses look ENORMOUS, I can't help but think what they would do to mine. But I will give them a go!

As far as garter belts, I'm fine trying them, but I never wear hose to work at all. Maybe trying them out will make me feel ultra-sexy though, so I'll give it a go.

Regarding colors - black always gets the most compliments as far as clothes, but I'm pale with black hair. Naked is a different story. I'll try black and maybe also some colors that I wouldn't have considered.

Please, keep the advice coming!
posted by tryniti at 10:02 PM on April 28, 2012

They make the VS models' asses look ENORMOUS, I can't help but think what they would do to mine.

I believe that is what you would call a feature, not a bug. Ms F wears those, and I highly approve.

Another source for underthings that are cheap enough to order a bunch and figure out what works later is American Apparel. (Yes, the owner is supposedly big-time skeevy; how much worse he might be than an average business executive, I couldn't say.) Their sizing is odd and limited, but on the plus side they use much nicer and softer fabrics than a lot of other companies.

Thinking of which, as an "end user" or target audience of this stuff, I'd say pay some attention to how it feels to the fingertips. A lot of supposedly sexy lingerie is made to be looked at, not touched; they use fabrics that are not at all nice feeling, put seams in odd places, etc.
posted by Forktine at 10:25 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

I am also pale with black hair. (Like, you can see my veins pale, I am always the whitest person I know and I live in the pacific northwest pale, goth friends have used my everyday foundation for special occasions pale...) The best colors on me are my favorite colors, because they make me happy. "Yay! A purple bra!" I like jewel tones, things that are very rich in color. Pale pastels, muted neutrals, and ivories are all things I stay away from. Blacks look very nice on me because it's simple - it boils me down to three colors: Black, very pale skin tone, and any part of me that is blushing. You can imagine that this has, er, done the trick in the past. Bright colors like hot pinks, sapphire blues, and emerald greens are more playful, but can be equally effective depending on mood, but I find they are best if it's a solid color, not a pattern. It can look very nice if you have brightly colored panties matched with a different brightly colored bra, too. Neon colors have been in for a while now, and you might look good in one version and awful in another, they're very hit or miss but you should try them on anyway!

Thigh highs: they make these stay-up kinds with a lacy top that I think are much more comfortable than stockings, and make me feel pretty damn special for a reasonable price. They really stay up on me, too, no garter belt needed. If you do go the garter belt route (which I agree, is the tops in sexiness, but you need resilient thigh highs to put up with the clips), protip: panties go on OVER the garter belt.

For sleepwear, I suggest a big buttonable menswear styled shirt in a very touchable fabric. Works every time.
posted by Mizu at 10:34 PM on April 28, 2012

Seconding Gap Body. They've really been doing some nice things lately, with great, playful colors. I know you said you'll be shopping at Macy's, but if you happen to be near a Gap with a Body section, do go in and try a few things on. They are my go-to for attractive everyday bra/undies sets (I just bought a bright green set that makes all parts of me look fantastic, if I do say so myself).

Also, I'm sure black looks great on you, given your coloring, but seriously, try on brighter colors, like saturated jewel tones. It's just so much fun knowing you have, say, shamrock-green lace undies on underneath your regular clothes ;)
posted by JuliaIglesias at 11:02 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Everything looks great, don't worry- yes on the pushup bra- just wear what feels good.
posted by kettleoffish at 12:23 AM on April 29, 2012

I've also got dark hair and fair skin. Careful with the nude colors, makes us look washed out and just bleh. I love jewel tones (red, purple, fuchsia, turquoise, emerald green, burgundy, etc) for both my clothing and undergarments. Depending on my outfit (white, light colors), I do need light colors so I usually go with pastels like light blue, pink, white with some pink lace, etc.

I've also got a big bootie and I avoid thongs like the plague. They make me feel like my butt decided to grow and swallow up my panties. Cheekies are fun, though :) Bikinis and occasionally hipsters, but absolutely no boy shorts if you have an hour-glass figure.
posted by Neekee at 6:43 AM on April 29, 2012

There's not much love here for boy shorts and styles that fall lower on the front of the hip, but you can wear them if you like! I'm pear-shaped and while I don't like the feel of boy shorts, pants which look a little like shorts from the front look really nice (this lady is a lingerie model and therefore skinny, but pants like these look lovely on fuller figures too).

Repeat with Forktine: your ass is a feature, not a bug.
posted by pickingupsticks at 8:02 AM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Also steel/midnight blue looks really good with pale skin, especially if you have blue eyes.
posted by pickingupsticks at 8:03 AM on April 29, 2012

I'm not hippy, but I do have a big booty and underwear that cuts straight across the waist and the leg holes so you get a bandeau-for-your-bottom type effect, tends to be very, ahem, husband-approved. The contrast of straight lines vs. body curves tends to highlight said curves, so if that's what you want to do...

I also find balconette/demi bras pretty sexy, if less practical for everyday actually-worn-under-normal-clothing wear. Sort of the same principle as said underpants--the squared/straight line over the bust seems to accent the curves and cleavage.

And I'm forever a huge fan of thigh highs. Just putting them on can get me frisky 'cause they make me feel super sexy.

And it's not lingerie per se but conterintuitively maybe I find wearing those tailored men's-oxford-shir-style oversized sleep shirts for women with nothing else on underneath hotter than wearing frilly babydolls and whatnot. But tastes vary.
posted by ifjuly at 8:14 AM on April 29, 2012

I really like the stuff that Elise Olson makes by hand in Asheville, NC. Her stuff is all about accentuating the natural female form instead of molding it to look like a VS model. It's also very good quality (lasts for years without looking tired). Boyshorts look great on a moderately hip-y lady, and hers are the only ones I've found that didn't ride up.
posted by stinker at 9:15 AM on April 29, 2012

I am also very pale, but red-haired, so black doesn't suit me personally.

I really like Fauve and Aubade bras. You're lucky as you have a fairly average bra size - so you can look at high-end options like Agent Provocateur. (I really don;tt hink their sets are designed for being worn out of the bedroom much, though.) IF I was your bra size, I'd be all over What KAtie Did.
posted by mippy at 4:40 AM on April 30, 2012

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