I’m finding underwear really inspiring today

Chris has to get a short haircut for an acting role. We had a little chat, over lemonade, about haircuts and vanity and self-esteem and so on.

We both sounded a little disappointed that identity could get so tied up in haircuts; it seems like a confident person should be able to transcend something as trivial as a haircut, and yet here we are worrying about our ‘dos.

Possible ways to weasle out of this:

  • call it style, or personal expression
  • point out that hair has a big impact on faces, and faces are a primal staging ground for identity
  • turnabout is fair play: sure it’s trivial, so who cares if I care about my hair?

But yeah, weaseling about vanity is hard to do effectively. Once you start pointing out all the things that humans do out of vanity, it gets to be a bit of a sandpit, caving in on you whenever you try to build a way out. If I were still my 16-year-old self, I’d be willing to spin you a reductionist path to the conclusion that everything is vain. Doing nice things for other people? Oh, I guess you just want them to like you so you’re manipulating them with kindness.

Later this evening I realized that I have a similar relationship with underwear as I do to haircuts. I hate wearing boring or ugly underwear, and I sometimes like an outfit better just because I have, e.g., ruffly-backed hipsters underneath. My panty salad contains many colourful frills. This is silly, and yet… I get a lot out of fancy panties.

I’m not in the mood to tie this into the power of costumes, or ornament as communication, or a confession of my own vanity, or any of those angles, but I will happily point out that admiring these overpriced panties is inspiring a lot of jellyfish couture in my head.

This model (meaning the garment) is the most like a jellyfish, with folds and sheer ruffles. It could use some streamers.

Frilled net undies.

These are giving me ideas about new places to add gathers to garments.

Gathered undies

This is only conceptually like a jellyfish, and I admit I had already considered gathers in this location…

Pink, ruched undies.

I’m not sure lace is necessarily jellyfish-esque (too structured, too vertebrate?), but this particular lace arrangement does evoke a muff peeking out, so it gets points from me.

Lace-edged underwear

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