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What is it about the word ‘lingerie’?

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What is it about the word ‘lingerie’? When I started Vee Pretty, making lingerie cases, I had no idea that this word would evoke such deep emotions in women and even more in surprisingly in men!

To me ‘lingerie’ is just a stolen French word for women’s underclothing (it’s actually derived from the French word linge, meaning linen). It sounds much more glamorous and chic than the clumsy word ‘underwear’ that is often mouthed silently. Why? Embarrassment? Fear of the ‘underwear interrogation‘ – “I wonder what she is wearing”?  I never thought about the connotation of the word being that it is only, ‘on one minute and off the next’ attire.

I have learned that women have very different ideas about the sort of underwear worn and what it says about them.  And they can be judgemental about women who wear a ‘different’ type of underwear to them  – that poses a question: If you like pretty undies, does that make you a scarlet woman? I am surprised how many women have implied this to me. Pretty lingerie makes some women feel good and gives them confidence about their day, which is no different from how you might feel about your outer garments, so why do under garments have to be linked to a stereotype woman? After all they do exist for to fulfil a practical function, the rest is just design and fashion.

I make lingerie cases for women to have something pretty in the drawer, at home or when travelling, which is useful and brightens their day. A ‘hyacinth to feed the soul’ which you can put your ‘type’ of lingerie in, or tights or anything else you want to, its up to you and only you. I didn’t expect the word ‘lingerie’ to provoke the nudge nudge, wink wink reactions, nor confessions of ‘I don’t have…,’ ‘I don’t want to encourage’, ‘I am too old’ from women and ‘Phworr’ or smirks from men!

I don’t think women should judge or be judged by anyone, male or female for wearing pretty undies and hey, if it’s a big knickers or shape wear day so what? If you look around, lots of designers are making stunning lingerie in all shapes and sizes, both plain and fancy styles. Perhaps inherited views, sniggering and hang-ups about the word ‘lingerie’ should be reconsidered - surely ladies it really is time to move on?

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  1. G Morris

    I agree with you, I work in an underwear shop and I find many women have the 'I could never wear that!' attitude. It's a shame because I ask myself 'what are these women saying about me?'. I believe that nice underwear makes you feel good, even if no one sees it- but should having some special underwear in your drawer to hide away for a special occasion be frowned upon? I don't think so!

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