I asked a male what he thought of lingerie and his response was "I don't know why women buy lingerie when it just ends up coming off anyway". While I know many men think the same as this, I know that it isn't the case.
When starting Bras By S, I, of course, wanted to sell lingerie to women of all sizes (hence my plus size lingerie range) but I knew that wearing lingerie boosts self-confidence, self-love and empowers a woman. I had no idea how to explain this to my male friend so I decided to ask some women why they wore lingerie.
I am truly shocked at the responses I got and I am so proud to be a part of an industry which could make anybody feel like these women.
A lot of my wonderful contributors have decided to stay anonymous due to the privacy of their past and future.
"It accentuates my natural features which help boosts my self-confidence. Feeling sexy on the outside can translate to how I feel on the inside. A way to celebrate my sexuality and femininity! It's not something I do for my partner it’s a treat for myself. Some people get their hair or nails done for me it’s lingerie! It feels good to pamper yourself!" - Nadia Bleach
"My reasons for wearing/buying lingerie are mostly for aesthetic. I like the way it looks and have a casual interest in styling and using lingerie as a form of self-expression??? I also like challenging general attitudes toward (traditionally feminine) provocative clothing, because pffffft society and its prejudices 😋."
"Prepare for a relatively invasive wall of text, ha. I grew up in a family, that, for cultural reasons, was very sexist in how sons and daughters should be raised to be. Expectations of my future involved obedience and complacency, whereas the hierarchy in my family was favoured towards men. For instance, when my father left my mother, she was not seen as the head of the household — my older brother was. I grew up despising my femininity, I remember vividly that I refused to wear dresses until my mid-teens. I would always form closer bonds with males in school even from primary school. I now understand that this was out of desperation to be a boy, because of all the doors I thought it would open for me — because I associated it with freedom.
Due to this intense sense of a lack of control within my own self, I developed a serious eating disorder in my late teens. This is when my love for lingerie began, as I was exposed to feminism and began understanding that being a woman wasn't something I needed to be ashamed of, that I deserved, as a woman, as much as I'd seen men in my life have. But due to the ongoing nature of my eating disorder, and the lack of self-esteem I had, I told myself that I didn't have a body worthy of wearing such beautiful, decadent pieces as I'd seen on hangers and models. I lusted after the thought of feeling beautiful, sensual and feminine, yet I didn't allow myself to ever wear or buy any lingerie because I knew I'd be disgusted once I saw my body ruining these gorgeous pieces.
Once I recovered, this all changed. I walked into a lingerie store and tried on something that I'd had my eye on for so long. I wasn't content with the body I had, having gained a lot of weight in rapid succession had left me with stretch marks and a bloated stomach. But god, I felt amazing. I felt beautiful for the first time in so long. Most of all, I felt powerful, like I was cradling the world in the palm of my hand. That's why I wear lingerie, it makes me feel strong and unstoppable. It reminds me that a woman is whatever she allows herself to be and that I am the only one allowed to tell myself what I am capable of."
"It simply makes me feel good about myself. A little thing that makes a big difference."
"Sexual confidence, body confidence, to see my partner see me in awe, it helps me to love my body myself. I also find it incredibly aesthetically appealing; I love the fabrics and designs. I think it is often the most beautiful clothing can be"
"After a 10yr relationship that beat down my self-esteem, it was a powerful way to reclaim myself. And I just feel bloody awesome in [lingerie], so it's stuck I now wear it every day. It's like a [little] secret weapon I have on all day.
"For me, my lingerie is my motivation. I will push harder at the gym, stay in that pole move longer and try harder and harder things each week because my reward is my body in that lingerie. Nothing has motivated me to be fit more than looking absolutely banging in [lingerie]."
"I wear it for myself because it makes me feel sexy and confident. It gives me a higher self-esteem. Something I'm not used to"
"Having an anxiety disorder and generally growing up as the short frumpy girl, I never felt like clothes looked good on me. They were always too long, tight or flashy. Everyone can judge you on your outward appearance but not your undies. I found with lingerie I could feel extremely comfortable with my partner because the material was amazing, the fit was essentially made for me (arguably not all sets), and I felt like a woman for once. Not an insecure little girl, but a grown-ass adult who has the confidence to wear that back seam, pair it with platforms and carry on with the day with my own little secret under my clothes."
"Me myself, I am naturally a very sexual person hence my fascination with lingerie and bondage. I feel it not only excites me and creates passion and arousal in my sexual life but like most women, helps boost confidence and makes me feel sexy, no matter what I may think of my body itself. I find lingerie almost therapeutic... where some women may binge eat when depressed or mad... or buy clothes or shoes, I turn to lingerie, sex toys and bondage. It relaxes me." - Gabrielle L. E. Aird
"It's just like normal clothes for me. It's pretty and I like it, so I buy it 😂 I don't need no man to wear it for 😂"
"As a personal confidence booster if I have a big meeting, or if I’m going on a date with my boyfriend and want to surprise him."
"I love wearing lingerie because it helps me feel sexy, empowered, and sensual. As someone with multiple chronic illnesses that often leave me needing to just wear pjs or sweats it’s empowering to put on lingerie underneath, helping me feel sexy, without the need for dressing up. Before my current relationship, I had never put on lingerie and felt so body-conscious and ashamed, my chronic illnesses making it difficult to get enough nutrition and keep a healthy weight. Now I have a collection of lingerie and every time I put some on, my self-consciousness just disappears. I used to do it for my partner, but now I do it for myself." - Jess Cathryn Brown
"I like pretty things. I never ever wear boring underwear (apart from needing a nude bra so it's not seen under work shirts) I have a lot of expensive lingerie because why not, it's not even to impress a partner it impresses me, and it also keeps my boobs in place which is important when you're an F cup 😂 Life is too short to not feel fabulous at any given moment lol."
"It makes me feel sexy and a little bit naughty when I go out wearing work clothes or to a family event. My partner and I know what I'm wearing under my clothes but the rest of the world doesn't. They don't know that I'm wearing something luxurious and fun under my plain jeans and a T-shirt. I also work in a sales/commission job and the gorgeous sets motivate me to do well and then even better when at work so I can afford my HB. Also at the moment, my partner is using my want for [a sex toy] to get me to exercise to the point where I'm happy with my blush."
"Because it makes me feel good about myself. I feel sexy when I wear a cute bra and like a powerful warrior woman when I wear a matching set. It's like modern-day armour for my confidence. Especially since I work in health where getting slobbered on and feeling gross happens every day."
"For me, it's not about the price, it's about the feel of the fabric against my skin, it's about feeling sexy for me, not for someone else. When I wear my [lingerie] I feel strong and capable to face whatever the world throws at me."
"I only regularly wear lingerie during the exam period, someone who's got matching expensive underwear is someone who has their life together. And someone who has their life together is going to pass that exam. My partner doesn't really care, it's only for me and my confidence"
"I was bullied my whole life, came home with broken bones, lived in an abusive household, my mum was an alcoholic, her boyfriends were assholes, I succeeded in sport and kinda just got average grades all throughout school, bar English, I was fantastic at reading and writing. Mum’s husband always told me I was dumb and thick so I’d get average grades and come home convinced I really was dumb and thick. I got into my teenage years, my grandparents raised me for the most part, with my mum being such a trainwreck, and when I was 12 my grandfather died in a helicopter accident, which was literally the worst thing that ever happened, I’d basically lost my dad and the person I was closest to in the world, who did everything for me, netball every Saturday. I modelled, he took me to my shoots and auditions, everything. He held me when I cried when I got my period for the first time. Within a year of that, my mum moved country and dumped my sisters and I on my grandmother indefinitely. I was sexually assaulted walking home from school only 8 months later and ended up moving with my mum overseas to get that support from her.
I went through my teens pretty unhappy and hating myself, my life and my body at that point. I used to wear a lot of big clothes, dark clothes, I refused to wear anything with patterns. I had a massive anger problem, everything had messed me up at that point, bullying, death, sexual assault, I remember getting furious with my mum on my 18th birthday for buying me a red dress and basically throwing it at her. Because I thought I’d look like a massive whore in it. I had this stupid belief that if I didn’t have big boobs and wasn’t walking in my schoolgirl outfit I wouldn’t have fitted that porn star/schoolgirl fantasy.
Fast forward a bit, I’m married, pregnant. I’m sick, my skin was going grey, I was excessively swollen and holding so much fluid, I was getting severe headaches, indigestion so bad I would vomit. Morning sickness the entire pregnancy, high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, low in iron, borderline gestational diabetic and I had started losing my eyesight. On my due date, I saw my midwife, who’d only ever seen me in long pants, who asked me to take them off for an internal examination and saw my body for the first time, got the shock of her life at the way I was swelling and holding fluid and started questioning the crap out of me. I had blood and urine samples taken on the spot as well as an ultrasound to be sure my baby was still alive.
Turned out I’d had undetected Pre Eclampsia and if you don’t give birth immediately it can become fatal for mother and baby. I was induced that evening and labour went fine and well, I was actually really happy and coping perfectly without pain medication but after 18 hours my heart stopped and all the sirens in the hospital went off. They removed my son via emergency cesarean but I continued to bleed out in theatre for maybe 3 hours after his birth. I needed blood transfusions. I never actually asked how many I got. I get icky about blood. The day after I got back from the hospital my husband flew out to work for 2 weeks and I was completely alone with a newborn baby, no family and friends in my city and recovering from major surgery. I could hardly walk. I couldn’t lift anything, even holding my baby was extreme pain and to make shit worse I was on morphine which made me feel like I was hallucinating. So I stopped taking my pain meds and decided to cold turkey it, I figured if I went into the pharmacy and got something it wouldn’t do shit all in comparison to the morphine. Panadol? Codeine? Yeah right. I noticed after two months my cesarean scar smelt funny. I was super pale and weak and feeling really unwell so I went to the hospital to get them to look at it and they discovered that they’d stitched my stomach with muscle hanging out and that I was rotting. They burnt it off and I had to wait for the muscle/tissue to drop off like when you wait for a baby’s belly button to dry out. It was foul. Because I was still feeling unwell, I flew with my husband to work as his family home was in that next town and we stayed with his parents for support while I was feeling crap. Got a phone call from my mum and was told the hospital had been calling all my emergency contacts and that I needed to get to the hospital straight away. When they found out I wasn’t in Adelaide the called the hospital local to me and told me I was coming straight in to be treated. Stupid me never asked what was wrong but whatever had come back from the swab they took of my stomach tissue before they burnt it needed urgent treatment. I assume I must have had some kind of blood poisoning because that medication returned me to normal, as well as my skin colour. By the time this was all over my pregnancy had caused me to gain 50 whole kilos, literally double my body weight to begin with. My stomach and stomach muscle never healed properly and my stomach has a whole extra flap of skin that hangs over everything. My scar is also just a complete mess from the botched stitching they gave me. I fluctuate in weight and it took me years to really lose it all.
Once I got to normal size, not plus size, and into the healthy weight range, I looked at my body and all the damage and realised that I had literally spent my entire life since puberty hating it for what it was like, for one reason or another. I had lost so much weight and needed new bras so I went to the place with the really nice ones. The girl convinced me to try on the whole set, which I thought was ridiculous because I absolutely would never wear that. And the first time I ever put [lingerie] on was the first time I ever let another person who wasn’t my husband see my body and it was the first time I’d seen myself nearly naked in the mirror and not completely hated myself. I actually thought it looked pretty good.
After that, it became an addiction, not one I can afford but whenever I can, I do. The only time I’m cool with my body and just being in my skin is when I’m wearing their stuff. It makes me feel okay to be the woman that I am."
"Much like the other ladies, I use it as a tool of self-empowerment. I used to enjoy my boyfriend or customers buying it for me, but now I only buy it for myself. I feel like it's an easy, powerful - albeit, expensive - means to reward myself for being strong, independent and capable to not only make the money to purchase these items, but to wear them with pride (even if I'm the only one who knows on any given day)." - Crystal Rae
"I love how it gives me a little boost - both literally (boob wise) and metaphorically (confidence-wise). It makes me feel good about myself and my body, regardless of whether I choose to allow anyone to gaze upon me in it that day or not. Also as someone who was raised in an environment that communicated the message that sex was not meant to be about me - or for my pleasure, putting on sexy af lingerie and taking control of my body in that way feels empowering. It has helped me in my quest to "take back" and "own" my sexuality." - Samantha LeStrange
"To make me feel good. I live with depression and one of my coping mechanisms to get through the workday is to wear pretty lingerie. It makes me smile that in a male-dominated industry it's like me secret... Plus my hubby likes it. Lol. It helps me feel a little less worthless and a little more powerful, even if for an hour or two... Because some days all you can do is make it through the next minute, or 10 mins etc"
"I lost myself when I was with my ex, I forgot that I was not only a sexual being but a woman. Not long after I left him, I found my way back to myself and part of that journey was wearing good quality lingerie. It reminds me that I am sexual, I am sexy, and that I am a woman."
Whatever your reason for wearing lingerie is, I am sure you look and feel incredible.
Bras By S is an Australian Lingerie Boutique, offering sizes 6-30 with more than 500+ styles available in plus size.