I'm not sure the day I decided that the granny panties had to go, but I did. Finding my curves again from working out definitely contributed, and my husband's hand finding elastic and cotton on the small of my back one evening had something to do with it. But I also think that I wanted to be a woman who even at 59 had not given up on looking and feeling "sexy". My body confidence was reappearing and so was my optimism about life in my 60's. The journey of reclaiming my sensuality was getting underway.
With hips that push a 40+ measurement, believe me when I say, this was NOT an easy assignment. My size fluctuates between a 12 to 14 and I weigh more than 140 pounds. Like the pastel paintings of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, I have a belly that is round and full and hips that are ample. Finding the right "fit" takes lots of time. The J.C. Penny's Lingerie Department has been my "go to" for fashion basics for several decades. It has provided for everything from my wedding trousseau to my pre and post pregnancy undergarments. With the comfort of familiarity and all the courage I could muster, I headed out to see just what a 50-something woman could find in a panty that was anything but "Granny". The choices were overwhelming: thongs, hipsters, boys shorts, jeesh! But I grabbed one of each and headed to confront the dressing room's dominatrix mirror. Braving the jungles of Africa in search of the tiger seemed easier than this but I was determined to slay the Granny Panty Syndrome.
And the hunt began.
ü A thong was just not an option for me. Yuck! I don't know what it is about that little string fastened strategically on my derriere but it just turns me off. (Sorry guys.)
ü Boy shorts, while they look so wonderful on Cameron Diaz are made to look best on boy-type bodies - definitely not me.
ü Hipsters seem to be the compromise. They cover up to below the navel and the full booty but they are cut high on the leg, giving a sexier line to the vision. These are dominated by cotton fabric and they ride high in the back - not good for low cut jeans and shorts.
ü Bikini's usually cover the bottom, but have little fabric on the side. The height on the front piece usually covers the Mons Pubis area (hairline). But this can vary, and depending on your body's girth and form, trying these on is paramount to comfort and visual sizzle.
I tried on many bikini's of varying labels and selected a beautiful little Japanese-like floral print: dark grey, pink, red, coral. They have a double string on each side - very sexy. The first time I wore them, I put on a tee-shirt that rides a little high, wondering if my DH would notice. To my surprise, he nonchalantly asked, "Do those match your t-shirt?" Wow! he noticed my panties. OK, I'm on to something now. I don't wear them all the time...sometimes there is nothing like a full, cotton hipster. But I've noticed that I feel bolder and a little sassy when I wear my bikinis, even around the house. And I've conquered one more cultural concession about getting older: I don't have to wear granny panties because I'm not a size 6. Getting older can be on my terms, including being a size 14 grandma who frequently wears bikini panties.
Tips for Success when buying sexier panties:
- Experiment: Notice what you like about the panties you wear now - take a good long look in the mirror. Notice where they land on your body, what they cover, what they don't cover. Cover and uncover areas of your lower body - what do you like best?
- Consider comfort versus: how you look, your vision of yourself, what is it that you don't like about the panties you're currently wearing, and how much you want to engage your partner sexually (we can all be turned on by "visuals").
- Imagine: Go to your favorite place to shop and take a tour. Don't buy this time. Just look and maybe take a photo or two. Hold them up and imagine where they would land on your body.
- Shop smartly: Panties can be expensive. The first time you buy, consider shopping at T.J. Max, Ross, and other discount stores. Buy one or two pairs, take them home and try them out. Often this is a trial and error process. (It definitely was for me.) It might take several "shops" before you find panties that fit the "look" you want. And some panties might be good for one occasion but not another. Lacey little numbers are great with a chemise but might be uncomfortable under jeans.
- Trial & Error: Wear them for a couple of hours at first. Unless you've got that "perfect" size 6 figure or very slim hips and belly, they can take time to get use to. If they don't work, they don't. Don't give up. Keep trying.
If you're like me, bikinis might not be for every single day. Once-in-a-while though you might find a real boost in body confidence and you just might capture that tiger. ;)
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