I have a confession to make. I don’t always wear matching underwear. In fact increasingly, I find myself avoiding it.
Don’t get me wrong: I love a lingerie set as much as the next girl. I’ve been dropping birthday hints about the new Freya Nieve longline and matching wonderfully massive pants for months, and I’m writing this while rocking Alexa underneath my daggy working-from-home uniform.
But for me lingerie is about freedom and empowerment, and dogmatic adherence to someone else’s rules (the fear of that mysterious bus so determined to run you over, those judgemental paramedics cutting you from your clothes…) seems to me to be the antithesis of that. I do believe that if you give a girl a cracking set of undercrackers she’ll walk taller, feel stronger, and fight harder – but does that set have to match?
Matching underwear makes me feel grown up and put together in a way that my signature chipped nail varnish and shaggy fringe never do. But as well as never letting your inability to get on top of the laundry prevent you wearing the perfect bra for your outfit, being playful with colours and styles is fun too. And it’s sexy: not sexy in a conventional pin-up style sexy, but sexy in a not-tried-too-hard kind of way. In fact, the only time Mr B4J ever shows any interest in my lingerie is when I mix up things that shouldn’t be together. (Oh, the difficult life of a lingerie blogger’s boyfriend: blind to the every day tedium of amazing underwear and not a greying granny pant in sight… Feel for him, ladies.)
One part of me feels like this is a controversial admission for a lingerie blogger to be making. But on the other, I feel like this might be the beginning of a brand new trend. Mr B4J’s enthusiasm for the practice aside, some of this season’s swimwear – such as the Freya Venetian bikini and the Princess Gingham bikini by Faubourg – have had a playful mix-and-matchy vibe to them, and the pink Freya Pier and the Freya Eden (above) were almost certainly made to be mixed. And with key basics like Freya Jolie, Freya Deco, Bravissimo Alana and Panache Tango gathering more colour options by the season, how can a girl resist a little experimentation with all these beautiful hues?
And this is before the fun’s really started. Once you’ve embraced the mix-and-match, suddenly the whole world is your lingerie cabinet. The world once denied to your F+ cups – Agent Provocateur, Aubade, Harlette… – all of these gorgeous luxe knickers are suddenly within reach. What better way to do your Deco-enhanced killer cleavage justice than by matching it with an ostentatiously flamboyant pair of AP smalls? Why shouldn’t your knickers have pom poms just because your own pom poms need scaffolding to stop them hitting your knees? And in a world where Hanky Panky exists, making luxuriously comfortable knickers in every colour under the sun, why restrict yourself to one matching co-ordinate for one much loved bra?
Having big boobs – even getting dressed some days – is challenging enough without more rules dictating what we can and cannot do. Sod it. Be it swimwear, lingerie, colour, fabric or style: freedom to mix and match is freedom to be spontaneous, sexy and supported on our own terms. May the two-piece stand aside and let the new school through: mix and matchers are rewriting the rules for themselves.