What’s Going on Under There?

You know how sometimes you just start thinking about something, and even though you have no idea what made you start thinking about it, you get a little bit fixated on it? Well, today that happened to me. And the something I got fixated on was quirky habits when it comes to underwear. And yes, I realize that might require some explanation; I will provide it presently.

My underwear drawer in my dresser is chock full of articles. You’d think that I’d never run out of underwear with all those pairs just sitting there. But I run out all the time. The reason? I have specific pairs for specific purposes. Picking a pair of underwear is not a question of just blindly pulling them out of the drawer; the choice is dictated by a variety of factors, and requires thought and careful calculation.

For the work week, I can choose from what I consider to be my favorites, although the style depends on whether I’m wearing pants or a skirt or dress. I have an entirely different set for the weekend, my “casual” underwear. For the sake of being thorough, I’ll also mention here that I also have workday bras and weekend bras. In the case of both underwear and bras, I might wear a workday pair on a weekend, but doing the opposite is an absolute no-no. I can’t even imagine what sort of breach of standards that would be.

Above and beyond the day-of-the-week distinction, there are underwear rules that apply to more specific situations. When I have my period, for instance, I’ll wear my workday or weekend (depending on the day, obviously) selection during the day, but a different pair at night. This has nothing to do with leakage, I just believe that some pairs are better for that time of the month than others. During the other 24 or so days of my cycle, I wear a clean pair of my fiancé’s boxer briefs to bed. They’re the most comfortable pajama bottoms ever. When I run, I give myself up to the liner in my shorts (this is a fairly recent development, but I can say in all honesty that I will never go back to wearing both underwear and lined running shorts together).

It didn’t occur to me until today that I might be the only one who has rules about her undergarments. I do have a friend who always matches her bra to the color of her shirt, though, so I suspect I’m not entirely alone in my quirkiness.

So it’s time to ‘fess up: are you with me on this one, or am I flattering myself in thinking that I might not be totally weird when it comes to what’s going on beneath my clothes?

By Emilie

Runner, yogini, knitter, Manhattanite in spite of myself. Also blogging at

6 replies on “What’s Going on Under There?”

your system is pretty much the same as mine. i have plenty, but i also run out because of my workday vs weekend vs time-of-the-month rules. i also have shirts and pants that are tighter or loser, a little bit see-thru or totally non-see-thru.. that requires extra rules. it’s complicated, but somehow it makes sense in my head.

I am a devotee of Honeydew mesh lacy boy shorts (with a cotton crotch to ward off any YI’s) and cotton thongs, which I am thankfully always able to find at Ross for under $3, since they are $12 a pair full price, which I just won’t pay. I have amassed enough now that I could probably get rid of all others, but I have the hardest time culling my underwear collection. I always feel like I will have a use for them, even though there are pairs with the tags on them that I have had for YEARS.

I also prefer going commando when I work out, which is fine 99% of the time, except the day I wore a pair of thin cotton pants I had never worn before. I was on the bike, about 30 minutes into my work out, when I looked down to an array of pubes poking through the fabric. Totally f-ing embarrassing, but I don’t think (hope) anyone noticed, and even if they did, the peeps at my gym are used to me looking like a hot mess when I workout, so I can take comfort in that, I suppose.

Three types of underwear, really; gorgeous+expensive that I barely ever wear because it’s too pretty to be used, cute but normal, and simple boring stuff for exercising/period time.
I don’t wear underwear to sleep, I fuss about what goes under which pants/shorts/dress because I’m paranoid about VPL, and I’d rather match my bra to my shirt than to my underwear. Except when the shirt is white, in which case I wear a beige bra purchased exclusively for this purpose because I hate beige, but I love white shirts.

Let’s see…I have the “period/not-going-out-in-public/only hanging with family” underwear that’s all the ones that are frayed/faded/whatever. Then I have the “nice but not TOO nice” which is what gets worn most often – to work, hanging out with friends, etc. Then I have the “I would like to get laid underwear” (thongs, see-through, etc.) Not that I wear the “I would like to get laid” underwear a lot when I don’t actually expect sex, but that’s how I label it. That’s for going out, hanging out with somebody I’m attracted to (EVEN if I don’t expect to get laid,) parties, and yes, when I expect sex. I generally wear whatever underwear I slept in/wore for the day for running, except the “I would like to get laid” underwear.

There’s overlap though, for the most part. Except for the “period/staying in/hanging with family and no-one else” underwear. That NEVER gets worn in any other situations.

My bras aren’t nearly as complicated. Just nicer ones and less nice ones, as the situation and/or chance of boob sweat warrants.

I don’t really have rules about underwear so much as, “don’t wear it whenever you can get away without it.” In skirts/dresses, loose pants, workout clothes, etc., I just find it much more comfortable to go without, so I basically never wear it on the weekend. (When I wear it, though, a good amount of calculation goes into my choice.) And I do have select period underwear – my placebo week is the only time I wear underwear to bed, and it’s always the bigger, older pairs because there will inevitably be leakage. I also have lucky underwear, which I tend to reserve for job interviews, big presentations, etc.

And I enjoy when I can match my underwear and my bra, but all my bras are the same (besides my “only wear them for sex because they look weird under clothes” bras), so I don’t have any rules about those.

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