Point/Counterpoint: Who Has Time For Matching Underwear?


Welcome back to Point/Counterpoint—everybody's favorite, intermittent beauty debate column. Let's have the big conversations: how do you feel about underwear sets? On one side of the aisle we have our Editorial Assistant Ali Oshinsky, a self-professed lingerie hoarder. On the other is Glossier’s Head of Content Leah Chernikoff, who has better things to do on a Sunday night than organize her underwear drawer. This is Point/Counterpoint. Fists up, folks. We're about to sling some mud.

Point, from Ali: The thing that really gets me out of bed in the morning, aside from sunlight and an overwhelming need to urinate, is remembering that I get to get dressed. (Yippee!) Before I hop out of bed, I start going over things I might want to wear—I check the temperature on my phone, consider which pants are clean enough, which colors are speaking to me. Is it dress weather? Sweater weather? I don’t have a mirror in my room, so I dress with my gut. The probiotics must be working, because sometimes I land on a combo that’s just…chef’s kiss.

Underwear is nothing more than an outfit that you wear under your overwear outfit—the same rules of matching still apply. There’s certainly a perception that only women with their shit together have the mental bandwidth to worry about matching, but Leah, I am a mess. And also, isn’t it easier to buy sets? Like, you walk into a store, choose the bra you like and then get the matching underwear. One fell swoop. I like to get a few pairs of underwear for each bra, so I know I’ll have a few days of both matching and bra usage. Of course, if exact matching is not an option, you could also just get a bra you like and find something else in the same color.

Actually, you know what? Matching my underwear does make me feel like I have my shit together, even when I don’t. I would like to know that feeling more intimately. It’s a good one. The shortlist of people who have seen me in a state of undress have marveled at my coordinated sets, and as happy as that may make them, I promise you that no one is happier about it than me. And so every day, under whatever’s going on, I harbor a secret: my bra and my underwear match each other. What a simple, lovely thought!

Counterpoint, from Leah: My counterpoint is not so much the case against matching sets, as much as it is total and utter bewilderment that anyone has the time, wherewithal, money and general shit-together-ness to wear a matching bra and underwear set every day. On any given day I couldn’t even tell you what bra or pair of underwear I have on.

Though the things that rouse us from our beds differ (for you, Ali, it is daylight light and the pressing need to pee; for me it is my two-year old yelling “Mama, I pooped!” from her crib) we both delight in getting dressed. I worked in fashion and media for nearly 15 years before starting this job, and came out of that experience, finally, with a confidence in my style. (I say finally because I didn’t at first. It took time and frankly, just getting older, to get comfortable in my skin and, consequently, my style.) I love how the pair of navy pleat-front Celine pants I splurged on years ago makes me feel ineffably cool and put together, or how a good trench with a stiff collar can make a t-shirt and jeans look like an outfit. I’m in a lot of meetings and my clothes make me feel more powerful in them. So the logic should follow that I’d start dressing with my underwear, first—another secret layer that I’ve carefully picked out, made more special because only I know about it. But I just can’t do it.

Wearing matching underwear, for me, is akin to always being at inbox zero. It’s the provenance of incredibly organized people, and I’m just not one of them. I’m OK with that. I’m not totally together all the time, but I prioritize well! And I’d rather prioritize buying a beautiful coat that everyone sees over buying matching bras and underwear. The sharp coat makes people think I’ve got it together, that I could be the type of person who might be wearing a nice matching bra and underwear set, and isn’t that the great trick of fashion?

Photo via ITG.