How Buying New Underwear Changed My Self-Perception

Jessica Schiffer

When I first started working in fashion, it was in PR for a well-known luxury lingerie company. I knew nothing about PR or lingerie, but that wasn’t going to stop me from pretending otherwise. I was in college at the time, and my underwear drawer held a mix of low-quality bras and panties, some downright boring and others “sexy” in the most cliché ways. I was still experimenting with my overall style, so to say I had an underwear “identity” would be a stretch.

During my time at the company, however, I lucked out by receiving a lot of free pieces—most of them probably a bit too mature for me (and my sophomoric romances) but nice nonetheless. And, because they were freebies, the sizes weren’t always ideal for my body (I have a butt but little to no chest).

I clung to these pieces and a few random additions for a long time, but to be honest, they never really felt like me. Whether undressing by myself or around someone else, I felt more uncomfortable than confident in what I had on. A lot of the pieces felt too racy, and the other ones I’d picked up along the way felt boring and meek. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that the ideal for me is somewhere in between.

More importantly, I was tired of wearing pieces that made me feel crappy about my body itself—something that I’ve struggled with enough already. It’s difficult not to feel inadequate when you’re always wearing things that don’t fit—in my case, too big in the chest or too tight in the butt. Instead, I wanted underwear that would empower me rather than bring me down.

So, I decided it was time to get rid of the old and try out some of my friends’ and co-workers’ favorite brands (Base Range, Cosabella, Eberjey, and Negative Underwear) instead. Not only did these new pieces fit me properly and, thus, were more flattering, but they also suited my personality better overall. Instead of feeling fraudulent and weird in what I had on underneath it all, I began to feel comfortable, wondering why it had taken me so long to switch it up in the first place. Perhaps it once seemed silly to focus so much on energy on an area of my wardrobe that few people would ever see, but what I’ve learned, instead, is that privileging your intimates is important for how it affects you, rather than anyone else.

Scroll down to shop the brands and pieces I ended up loving most!

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