By Caroline Brelin
Every day I, along with millions of women put on a bra, usually beige but sometimes black. Its sensible, satisfactory, and comfortable. Then soon after moving to France I became more and more hypnotized by all the French woman wearing assorted colored bra straps that were peeking out of their sundresses and T-shirts. Every day I would survey bra straps; the clear bra straps the young girls were wearing with tank tops, the gingham check with lace on the grocer’s wife, the green ivory the neighbor wore, the purple with roses on a friend, elegant black at night, and silky pink under a rose colored dress. Rarely, if ever did I see a plain white bra strap.
The insurance agent wearing a red sleeveless dress had a matching fire engine red bra strap sidle outside the sleeve glancing up at me as to say: “Aren’t I beautiful?”
Wow I thought that bra strap really does have something to say.
A comfortable bra to wear under white T-Shirts or work suits. No imagination and definitely no mystery. Being tantalized to find out more about French women and lingerie especially the bra, I began my own personal investigation.
Frenchwomen spend nearly twenty percent of their annual clothing budget on lingerie. In the U.S. the average clothing budget is about $1800 a year. Twenty percent means that an average American woman should be spending $360 a year on lingerie. I personally am falling way below the average. Why is that I wonder. A product of the 70s when we were burning our bras? It was now thirty years later and I wanted something more, something these French women secretly knew and loved.
My various interviews with French women, proved my instincts right, every French woman believed with her heart and soul that wearing a beautiful lace or satin bra with matching underwear was the essence of looking and feeling good. It isn’t about the man (which some say it is), but about how they feel wearing cool silk on their warm skin, and a demi-cup where their cleavage glistens in the summer heat. After all the bra was invented in 1889 by a French woman who cut the midriff off her corset to allow for more waist movement. The French should know.
For the next week I wore each bra under a T-shirt, tank, and summer dress taking time to match the bra with the color top. I felt different somehow; more put together, more elegant, more French.
Slowly, I found myself falling in love with satin bra and panty set and I decided this time I want to a just a little bit naughty. I decided to go for a wilder style. I searched on the web (many women do this nowadays) and came across a sensational and playful piece of satin peek-a-boo bra and panty set of the brand “Rose Secret” from a website. Before buying that, I was looking at the product picture. It made me feel jubilant and impish. “My boy friend will definitely like me wearing this” I was talking to myself. So I took out my credit card and clicked on the “buy” button without second thought.
Satin lace crop Valentine’s Peek-a-boo Bikini Set
To my surprise, this sensational piece of bra and panty set totally transformed me into a younger person and I admitted this type of bra set was the most beautiful on me. I realize how a matching and playful underwear can add funs to my life. It is not so much about the man but it is how you feel within.
I like the fact that French would no longer wear underwear that didn’t match the bra that’s why they always buy a wholesale complete set that comes with panty. For the next week, I thought a g-string would be fun too so I tried a string bikini. I could never get the hang of it even though I read recently that it is not the breast that is getting the most attention these days but the fessé, otherwise known as the buttock. Was it more important to feel elegant and sexy than to be sensible? Evidentially the British are thinking so ever since Bridget Jones. One report stated that the British are now spending more than the French, Germans, Italians, and Spanish on lingerie and definitely more than the Americans.
Wearing sexy lingerie became a fun for me. I walked on the street I was concentrating on how it felt; soft, silky, playful, and sexy. I swayed to miss a dog and danced around a tree whistling a song I just heard on the radio. I then realized I was smiling at everyone I met. Bonjour monsieur, Bonjour Madame. They smiled back, and I wondered if just possible they knew my secret of the matching satin bra and underwear.