If you can see through it or if it scratches your skin, if it's fall or winter, or if mom's in a particularly bad mood that day...you wear a slip. That's it and that's all.Yesterday, I was sitting in the student center on campus chatting with coworkers when a middle-aged woman of small stature walked by in a (likely unbeknownst to her) navy blue SHEER summer dress. I could see her bright orange underpants without a hint of overexerted staring. They were all, "look at me! I'm orange underpants!" THEN this morning, as we were pulling out of the coffee shop parking lot, I saw a woman wearing a white sundress and the white triangle positioned at the nexus of her ample ass cheeks made it very clear that she had gone to the trouble of wearing thong underwear that matched the dress. Aren't thongs designed to conceal pantylines and not reveal them?** That is not really my point, though. I don't bemoan anyone their right to let it all hang out...I am gay, I have spent a number of years in various gay bars (including leather bars, where people are always in various states of undress), I am not afraid of or made uncomfortable by nudity (or anything between it and a nun's habit). Shiny happy naked people holding hands, or whatever.
The overarching issue for me is that...well...I can see your underpants! Did you want me to see your underpants? Did you care? Why wear a dress, in that case? I realize that, even approaching the ripe old age of 31, I am still shirking off the modesty that was ingrained in me from a young age. I still don't know precisely how to be feminine; I don't know how to wear make up without step-by-step instruction, I wear utilitarian undergarments, I don't cross my legs, skirts make me feel naked and I still have no idea how to style my hair despite numerous lessons and even more teachers. Sexy is also not something that comes naturally to me. But if I do find myself in a dress, leaving the house and going to a function where I will have to move and interact with people, with a cacophony of weather elements in the realm of possibility, I wear a slip. It allows my dress/skirt to move easily, it doesn't get caught in my ass crack or crotch, and if the wind blows there's only a 50% chance that you'll really see my underpants. I consider this my gift to the world, but I wonder...why doesn't the modern woman default to wearing a slip?
** This is something I've struggled with for years, with friends and internally, as no one can convince me why: a) avoiding panty lines is important (why would you want to keep your underwear a secret, especially when most folks wear them too?); and b) exposing your private bits to a "bacteria sling" isn't something you'd want to avoid.
[Image: Vintage 1940s Simplicity Full Slip pattern from sandritocat - $22]