My knicker drawer is a state. Everything gets flung in there without care or consequence and this is the reason that one day I will be in such a rush and so depleted-of-smalls that I’ll end up wearing my harness briefs to the office because I cannot find sensible pants in all the disarray; a black mass of elastic and lace, where a lucky-dip approach means the likelihood is, as long as you avoid the back where the dangerous pants lurk, you’ll end up with a pair of the favourites in your hand.
At last count (I don’t count my pants, I’m not that kind of person) I had at least half a dozen of these black beauties, not quite enough for a full week but enough for them to be classed as every day, despite the appearance of them being anything but when I’ve got them on.
Bras are a law unto themselves, with cups and back sizes to battle through, even before you get to the brands that skip doubles, or even begin to wonder why doubles exist in the first place, but pants are a constant, much like goths are constant. Little pockets of pitch black certainty in an ever-changing world. Thong, Brazilian and feminised boxers all have their places, and generally by eye you can tell whether you need to size up or down or stick without much beating around the bush (you should not beat around your bush or anyone else’s in Marks & Spencer’s, or indeed any other public spaces.)
Long since discontinued, I fell in love with them half a decade ago, and owned them in several colours, but nothing looks as good on me as black lace, with my pasty white thighs bulging underneath.
They’re one of those M&S staples that look nothing on the hanger – nice, but functional. A bit 80’s and mumsy. Often incorrectly referred to as a French knicker when they’re actually a short; a clingy full-lace dream. High waisted and almost as long-legged, you’d see them in a Good Housekeeping editorial applauded for ‘keeping bums and tums in check’ and they do, but they’re so much more than that.
Because yes, it’s hard to find good clothing of any kind when you’re a plus size, even moreso the garments that make you feel wanton, elated or desirable. So when you do find them, you buy in every colour (or, in the one colour which makes you feel like a powerful sex witch). They cling and capture and display in every single right way. But they aren’t sexy because you see less of me, because they squeeze an abundance into a smaller space. They’re sexy, because I am fucking sexy.
So I wear them when I’m feeling explicitly delicious. I wear them when I want to crush the patriarchy. I wear them when in bed because I need a barrier between my bits and the duvet (don’t look at me like that!) I grab them on office days, or when I need to see the GP, or head to the gym.
I attribute power to them but that doesn’t make me pause before slipping them on. They haven’t the aura of terrifying glamour that my French knickers did; all sliding silky fabric, opaque, schoolmarm-ish. Miss Hardbroom in pants form. They’re whatever I need them to be. I’d call them a good all-rounder if that didn’t make them sound like so much less than they are, which is so much more than the sum of their parts.
These knickers are quiet in their sexiness; they don’t shout like red satin, or flirt like pink organza, only cling obediently, quietly accentuating the curves of my slightly magnificent arse, until I turn, bend over, and then suddenly. Suddenly.
All bets are off.
And that’s why they’re my favourites.