Sunday, 12 November 2006

"Undies" published November 12, 2006

There was a lot of talk about muffin tops a few years ago when Kath and Kim used the term to describe the layer of flesh which lives above the low-waisted jeans and below your belly button. It was something I never gave much thought to, being the proud owner of several cream buns myself. Until I shed some pounds and started fitting into muffin top creating jeans. Since then I’ve been obsessed with how to wear a low waister, because not only does it come with the muffin top issue but it throws in a butt cleavage problem as well. Suddenly you are walking around perilously close to exposing either your mid-section or your bottom at any given moment. The only time you are really safe from indecent exposure is after you’ve a) hitched the jeans up and b) stood stock still in one spot without moving a muscle. All because the people who design jeans make the nice slim legged well cut ones with low waists, saving the high waisters for their junior designers who can’t seem to see past wide legs, an abundance of pockets and that cheap denim which is crying out for a decent blue and a bit of a fade.
Most women have had a few years to adjust to the low waister and work out how you sit at a bar without displaying your gulf of endless possibilities. I have only had two weeks.
I spent one long agonising night with friends over for dinner, trying to work out how to retrieve stuff from the oven without exposing my guests to my pearly white arse. As they made their way home down my perilously slimy front steps I was in the bedroom whipping those bloody low waisters off as fast as you could say jami bottoms. As I drifted off to sleep I calculated I had hitched and wriggled those jeans back into place 50 times in one night.
Emergency advice was sought from adult daughters and it soon became all about suitable underwear. One daughter advised cotton underwear not satin, to stop the determined slide south by the low waist. She also suggested granny undies which come all the way up to the waist, because at least that way people might think it’s the bottom end of a T shirt when you bend over, and you’re sparing them from the sight of your bum. The other daughter advised tucking long T shirts well in, like right down to your front bottom to disguise the rampant flesh.
The same daughter told a harrowing tale of dropping some books and simply having to keep walking past without picking them up for fear of a bottom flash. And I tried going without undies, figuring that the skin is more likely to grab hold of a bit of denim and keep it in place than any layer of cloth. That, I was told by my husband was just asking for it.
So I rattle around Grey Lynn, hitching up my jeans every two minutes, wearing a granny undie/ long T shirt tuck-in combo and just to make sure I top it all off with my favourite long cardi, which has the unfortunate effect of cancelling out any good looks my favourite jeans had in the first place. As you slide up my leg, admiring the cut of the jeans you hit the long nana butt-cleavage-hiding cardi and think: "mmmm Grey Lynn mum off to check the near dead cat at the vets, pop into Foodtown for some Bolognese ingredients and off home for a cuddle in front of Coro St.” This is sadly accurate.
But the good thing about my discovery of low waisters is the chance it’s given me to discuss the current trends in underwear with my daughters. Apparently a woman who wears comfy cotton from Farmers is a confident woman. If you take her clothes you are looking at a woman who says: “I like myself. Take me and these 100 percent cotton, not an ounce of slimming lycra in them, not even high cut undies and be damned.” However a woman who wears a slip of ass itching man-made fibre lace is trying too hard. She’s saying: “Okay so on the outside I look alike everyone else, but get my clothes off and I’m somebody. So somebody that I’ve walked around for the last 12 hours in the equivalent of a cilice like that albino in the Da Vinci Code. Just ignore the rash and get on with it.”
And my other daughter who at 8 really didn’t have much to say about undies has informed me that low waisters are so over. It’s all high waist next season…can’t wait.

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