Roughly a million years ago when I was a very young child in downtown Chicago, I actually do remember being in a large department store. Instead of the escalators we see now in shopping malls, there were elevators. Each elevator had an official elevator operator who announced at each floor, the sorts of things one might shop for on that floor. "3rd floor, Ladies' Lingerie" When I typed those words above, that was the first thing that popped into my head.
Called it lingerie or underwear or the fancy french 'dishabille' or unmentionables, it's all the same thing and I'm going to mention it. Why? Because I have questions. So many questions. And perhaps you do too.
My first question is, why is it so dang expensive? Ok, yes, I am famously tightfisted with money. We all know that. But even so, the dollar amount they are charging for very little fabric (though often considerable engineering) seems excessive. And I am curious why this is so.
I gathered up every pair of underpants that I own and weighed them. Collectively it was still less than a pound in weight and while I admittedly do not know much about fabric, I do know that there is very little fabric involved in their creation. Because I am such a cheap arsed soul, I generally buy mine at the outlet store. The ones I prefer I can usually get as a batch of 2 or 3 for eight to ten dollars. I just looked them up on line. Turns out that if I bought them one at a time in a regular store they are twelve bucks each! EACH! So if you only do laundry once a week that means 7 pair which comes to $84 dollars! For Panties! That nobody sees! Don't you find that insane? So if my house caught fire and everything I owned was gone and I had to start over, the first thing I would need would be $84 bucks worth of fabric that together weighs mere ounces and I wear under my other clothes. What?
Bras are even worse. And by that I mean even more expensive and often not very comfortable. History tells us that the first brassieres existed way back in the 14th century. I'm sure they were even less comfortable than they are now. Especially when you consider the evolution to corsets. Torture devices. Glad those are long gone. (though I understand that some women are voluntarily wearing them again. To each her own I suppose). Still I will be among the first to admit that my clothes look better on me when I wear a properly fitting bra. But dang, it is just not very comfortable.
Starting with the permanent grooves on my shoulders from the straps and the underwires often breaking loose and stabbing me you would think that for the cost, they would be a heck of a lot more comfortable to wear. So I guess my second question is, why can't they be made to be more comfortable? Nobody yet has been able to answer that one for me. the Comfort to cost ratio is not good. And speaking of the cost (once again) holy cats!
I recently had to finally throw a few old bras away which means I now have to replace them. First I waited until there was a sale. Love a good sale. It was a BOGO, which is every better. The price still makes me crazy but buy one, get one makes it marginally more palatable. I think I got them for about $25 dollars each. But that means ordinarily it would have been Fifty dollars for one? One? What the actual hell?
Yeah, there are cheaper ones, but they either don't have decent support or they just don't last very long. I expect an article of clothing that I paid fifty bucks for to last more than two washings. As it is, I don't just throw an old bra away, willy nilly. Nope. As they start to stretch out, I move the hooks over and the straps up. I've been known to sew over a poking escaped underwire to lock that baby down. All in an effort to postpone the lingerie expenditure as long as possible.
Still, as it turns out, fifty dollars for a decent bra isn't a bad price. They kind of go up from there. There is a brand called La Perla that routinely charges hundreds (plural!) of dollars for one. ONE! And of course there are high end brand fancy schmancy bras that cost upwards of a grand. Each. I will not be owning any of those. Ever.
It is what it is I suppose. Nobody is forcing me to spend money on underwear. If I chose to go commando, who would know? If I refused to wear a bra ever again in my life, I don't think anyone would give a ratz patootie. I don't know if it's habit at this point in my life or what. I'm officially old now which means I'm fairly invisible. I can pretty much do as I please.
But you don't have to be old to fling your undies to the wind and say, Hell no! I remember back in the hippy dippy days when women were burning their bras in protest. They wanted freedom and a say so over their own lives and their own bodies! Yeah! Good for them! And since things in life are so cyclical, I'm reading again of famous women who are eschewing the wearing of a brassier in favour of comfort. Good on 'em I say!
It's a personal decision and I respect yours. But I will never understand why the heck underwear costs so much!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.