What are the lingerie options for a mature woman who wants to undress or appear in the bedroom already changed into lingerie? Thinking back to my youth, garter belts, see-through babydolls, thongs, or even bikini underwear seem ridiculous or don’t flatter me anymore. But I like beautiful underwear and I don’t want to give up this pleasure. Thoughts? —Barbara, New York
Lingerie has been a particularly hot topic ever since the #MeToo movement, a lightning rod in the debate over objectification and female empowerment – how exactly that is expressed and who decides what she looks like. See, for example, the setbacks of Victoria’s Secret, the unique embodiment of lingerie dreams. At least the old stereotypes of men’s lingerie dreams.
Yet if true empowerment lies, as I believe, in the emotions of the individual – in wearing what makes you feel good – then it starts with the first and last thing you wear: lingerie. As Christian Dior said: “True elegance is everywhere. Especially in things that cannot be seen.
How you define elegance in this context is up to you and should have nothing to do with birthdays, size or shape. “If you like wearing garter belts, sheer babydolls, thongs, and bikini underwear, you should keep wearing those things!” Cora Harrington, author of “In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear and Love Lingerie,” told me when I asked. “There’s no age limit, and it’s not ridiculous at all to continue enjoying these items.”
When it comes to lingerie, however, there’s a universe of other options to choose from, she noted. Just consider the concept of the “slip dress,” which is enjoying a renaissance on designer catwalks around the world. It’s basically an item of clothing straight out of bedroom glamor – where it really never goes out of style.
Think Elizabeth Taylor in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “BUTterfield 8.” These white silk shirts are as seductive today as they were when the movies came out.
Indeed, Ms Harrington said: ‘I love a long silk nightgown with a deep v-neck and lush lace detailing.’ She suggests you check out Christine Lingerie, “a Canadian brand famous for its silk nightgowns,” and Julianna Rae. At the more affordable level, there’s this midi dress from SilkSilky and this babydoll from Dita Von Teese.
Josie Natori, lingerie guru and founder of Natori, recommends a bralette and pajama pants, as Gwyneth Paltrow recently wore at an event for her Goop beauty line. Look for wire-free bras (Intimissimi has some good options, as does Cosabella) and pair them with comfortable but still form-fitting bottoms.
Finally, it’s impossible not to feel chic while lounging (or coming out) of a silk bathrobe. These scorching days provide another meaning to the whole concept of ‘hot’.
Answers to your style questions
Every week on Open Thread, Vanessa will answer a reader’s fashion question, which you can send her anytime via E-mail Where Twitter. Questions are edited and condensed.