Monday, 15 October 2012

{Thriving in Winter} Day 15: Drawers

Today I need to talk about a very important issue. Probably the most foundational item in your entire life. It is so foundational that I guarantee it is the closest thing to you at all times, every day. It is.....

your underwear. 

(new pj's tonight!)

When I consider my underwear selection I also include socks, hose, thermal wear, bra's and pajamas. These items are generally not very expensive, but they can make a HUGE difference in your wardrobe.  Here is my list of foundation pieces to make sure you have in your wardrobe. Of course this is my personal list and it works for my climate, so take your lifestyle and climate into consideration when considering your own wardrobe. Also not included are all my old, slightly worn t-shirts I no longer want to wear in public as "fashion". The clothes I clean in, do homework in and lay around the house in. Just make sure you only have about 5 of these. There can be too much of a good thing in this case. 

  1. 7-10 pairs basic underwear
  2. 7-10 pairs basic socks
  3. 2 pairs dark dress socks
  4. wool socks
  5. black bra & seamless underwear
  6. white bra & seamless underwear
  7. nude bra (or second white)
  8. summer pj's (eg. shorts & tank, pj dress)
  9. winter pj's (eg. longsleeve & pants)
  10. warm sweater or sweatshirt to wear over pj's in public
  11. housecoat
  12. sports bra
  13. white camisole
  14. black camisole
  15. long underwear
  16. thermal shirt
  17. white camisole
  18. black camisole

Can we all please agree to one thing before we keep going? 

Do not keep anything with holes in it. No socks, pj's, or underwear. This is especially important for the men in your life. Get rid of anything hole-y. There is nothing worse than worn socks, and nothing better than new socks. Plus, I think guys kind of love not having to shop for stuff like this. 

Both Charming & I have fairly small feet, so we actually share packages of the largest boys socks available. As in, from the kids department. No more droopy socks, and they are actually cheaper. We also avoid coloured socks and go for plain white or grey. We also have extra warm socks for camping, and of course dark dress socks. Socks are not our fashion statement, but they might be yours, so go wild! 

I also like to get packages of several pairs of underwear. So what I have done is memorized a brand and size that fit me, and just always go back and get those same ones. I also like to keep several pairs of plain white, so that they can be easily bleached (I think you get my point). Since these ones are so cheap I do not feel bad throwing them away. These kind of cotton underwear work really well under jeans and most kinds of pants. But if I am glamming it up, and wearing a dress or form-fitting pants then I like to wear seamless underwear. Honestly, nothing will bring down an outfit faster than panty lines. This is a good place to spend a bit of money. I also like to wear a matching bra when I am a bit dressed up. It makes me feel good all the way through. Also make sure you keep either a strapless or convertible bra around. I usually end up with another white t-shirt bra, but it isn't essential. 

I like to keep my pj's updated, and feeling fresh. This is for two reasons: 
1) all the specific pj's that I have must be wearable in public. 
2) I often wear just an oversized shirt or athletic pants and top to bed, so I don't actually need enough specific "pj's" to wear every night. They are more for pj parties and relaxed weekend visits. 

I have just realized (and added to my list) that having an over piece that is relaxed enough to wear with pj's, but covering and appropriate for wearing in public is a great addition to a wardrobe. Make sure your pj's can tone in with this piece. It also should be fairly warm and easy to curl up in. 

Of course if you are truly trying to relax a push-up bra isn't going to work for most of us, but some of can't get away without a bra in public. Enter the cheap cotton sports bra. Just do it. (wink!)

A super soft housecoat and pair of slippers is great. Bonus points if they match!

Lastly we get to thermal wear. Even if your climate only gets cold enough to wear long johns 1 or 2 days a year, go get some! These are like emergency plans. You might not use them often (or ever), but when you need them, you really want them now. Also if you already have long john's consider the way they fit. Are they bunchy under most of your pants? Are they so high-waisted they would show over top of your pants? Are they too tight? If you say yes to any of these, then replace them. I also like to get a white thermal shirt, which are tight-fitting and can be worn under most t-shirts and blouses. These are very useful on a very cold day. 

Don't discount camisoles as wardrobe helpers! They can help skim over lingerie lines, even some extra curves we don't want to show off, plus they can add fabric to the top or bottom of too low-cut and too midriff-baring shirts. Plus they help keep you warm by adding another layer to your core. I like to look for fairly tight fitting camisoles, with a decent amount of stretch in them. I also prefer adjustable straps (since I am pretty short) and some come with built-in shelf bras, which can be great for relaxing. 

Add slips, shape-wear, and nylons or hose to this mix as your personal style dictates. But pay attention to these items as cheaping out, or forgetting in these area's can really make a great outfit look sad. I personally like to wear exercise shorts under dresses, especially in hot weather, and find that this really increases my likelihood to wearing a dress, and just makes me feel more secure. If you aren't really a dress-wearer, try it out!

Just before you shut your underwear drawer take a minute to organize it a bit. Try using some boxes, which could be bought from places like Ikea, or just use shoeboxes. I labelled mine because sometimes other people in my house put away the laundry, and they aren't always sure where things are supposed to go (or even what things are). Simple paper labels attached with scotch tape make it easier for everybody!

I hope you will be inspired to look through your underwear selection and make sure that everything is fresh, has NO HOLES, and is there. Start doing this regularly and hopefully you won't have to frantically rush to the store, or buy a new bra every time you need to go to a wedding. You will be ready! 

What do you make to keep stocked in your underwear drawer?


  1. Your list puts my list to shame:
    10 pairs regular underwear
    2 regular nursing bras (1 nudes, 1black)
    1 sleeping nursing bra
    1 pair PJ pants

    Maybe this year I should add thermal wear?