I was at the opera recently and at the very end, on cue, our heroine collapsed and the curtain came in. No, no, not the soprano onstage. Me! Yes, me with the severe vasovagal syncope. As you may or may not know, it is traditional in the opera for the director of the production to bow opening night and in my rush to get backstage to take my curtain call at Pittsburgh Opera’s “La Boheme,” I slipped and fell in the house. Rising quickly, thinking I was fine and just a little woozy, I made my way backstage and was standing in the wings waiting for my big moment. I remember moving over to the proscenium wall to brace myself against some dizziness and next thing I know, I wake up on the floor with my legs over my head. Apparently, my co-director, a former medic in the Israeli army (lucky for me, you say), saw the birdies circling over my head and lowered me to the floor, lifting my legs in the process. Lucky, you say? When I opened my eyes and my dress was over my head, all I could think of was THANK GOD I’M NOT WEARING CONTROL TOP!
My purpose here is not to elicit your sympathy or concern for my arterial health (though I do appreciate it and I’m fine, thank you very much) but to point out what our mothers stressed back when we were learning to drive: BE SURE TO WEAR NICE UNDERWEAR, since you never know who is going to see it! Personally, I am somewhat obsessed with this. I can’t wear a bra and panties that don’t match, or at the very least, coordinate. JZ says it tells you a lot about who I am and I would say it borders on the pathological except that my friend, the Broadway actor, Judy Blazer, I was delighted to discover, feels the same way. We belong to a club of two called The Panty Patrol. Now I grant you that we are the extreme, but every woman, as well as you men out there, should give serious consideration to the condition of your underpants. Especially as we get older, more weird stuff happens, no? And since we can’t prevent all the indignities of unexpected accidents, why not at least try to prevent some of the humiliation?
Undies aren’t meant to last forever or even more than a couple of seasons. Got a favorite brand? Stock up and dole them out a couple pair at a time as they wear out. You don’t need to spend a lot of dough. Target (I know, I know, my favorite…) has a really nice line called Gilligan and O’Malley. Their mesh lace hipster is really comfortable, no VPL*, comes in great colors (I prefer the “Mochachino”) and is only five dollars. Five dollars! Gap is another great place to pick up unmentionables-that-are-here-being-mentioned. They make great bras that are very reasonable, especially if you take advantage of the thirty or forty percent off often offered on line. And with their free shipping/free returns policy you can be assured of the right fit in the comfort of your boudoir. Want a real treat? Go to Saks Fifth Avenue and ask the lingerie salesperson to do a bra fitting. She’ll bring you the correct size, (chances are you are not currently wearing it) in an array of styles that may be pricey, but you’ll feel like an opera star.
As for the aforementioned pantyhose, obviously, if you’re wearing knits, control top is the way to go. Calvin Klein makes my favorite, the Infinite Sheer. Look for the denier number on the back of the package. The lower the number, the sheerer the hose, i.e. a forty would be opaque, a twelve, very sheer. Their Infinite Sheer is a seven denier and they’re practically invisible. I apply some hand cream before I put them on to avoid snags.
If you’re not wearing a knit skirt you can wear the control just on top with a long leg look with Nordstrom’s new French Cut, or Donna Karan’s The Nudes, or Hue’s So Sexy French Lace Sheers. BareNecessities.com is a great site with lots of brands and styles that offers discounts. Nordstrom’s private label is made by a big-time hosiery company and offers a price break when you buy three pair at a time.
But PLEASE, no reinforced toe. Ever. And if you’re wearing open toed shoes or sandals, forget the hose. Buy some tan-in-a-can instead. But’s that’s a whole other blog. Meantime, let’s drink to lovely lingerie!
*Visible Panty Line