Sophie McCook

BBC Scriptwriter & Author of New Book Thinkless

5 things about Lady Pants

Google ads seems to want us to talk to our children about their pants, which is all good and proper. I guess. I don’t want to detract from all the good work these pantie aware campaigners are doing. Pants are an essential aspect of the British life. The intimate day-to-day routine of lady pants is not well enough documented. They play a close and vital role: when all that remains of your pelvic floor is shielded by marks and spencer cotton, you learn to be grateful for all the support you can get.

1: gussets. The person who tried to invent a seamed gusset did not get enough wedgies at school. Mono gussets are the only way – and, sorry – you thought you’d experiment with a man-made fibre? It’s not called ‘man-made’ for nothing, despite trying to trick us with lady names like Polly-Esther. A plasticky gusset seeds a Borneo-like quagmire of thrush – and yet, all bloke pants are cotton. Maybe we should fight back with a new material: Garry-Arnold y- fronts, anyone?

2. From strings to spanx, we have dabbled with non-standard underwear. Even with those stupid teddies from the 90s (who, apart from Sadé, ever thought a button-up gusset was the answer? Even babies hate them) The only pant in a proper knicker. Probably in black. If black has run out, we grudgingly turn to white. Then off-grey. Then we steal our partner’s pants.

3. Most women have a pair of lucky pants somewhere. Why on earth they were ever named ‘lucky’ is now a half remembered myth with a faded m&s label. This pair is holed, the elastic may well be on a new trajectory from the pant majority, but we haul them on for job interviews, plane journeys and games of poker. But this does mean they are more likely to be….

4. …Seen by doctors. If you’re telling me you have never put on a second-rate pair of knickers while calculating the likelihood of you later having to have them glimpsed by emergency medical staff, you are lying. Every lady has thought …’Would I really want to have a car crash in these???’

5. Microwaving works. It dries your newly laundered pants in under five minutes. They look really great when turning around and under a spotlight. Somehow I feel it’s how we imagined all knickers of the future would look. It also (according to my mother) removes the quagmire-type seedlings that my mother believes lurk in lady pants *. You do have to take the pants out every thirty seconds and shake them to stop the elastic turning into bacon rind, and also have to make sure that any taint of last night’s chilli is gone . Also, if you press your ear to the microwave air vents, you can actually hear individual icebergs shearing and calving in Newfoundland while you catastrophically warm your pants.

I’m sure more pants facts remain. After all, I have not even started on either Anne Summers OR the Innovations catalogue, which both take lady pants to extreme journeys of discovery. However, I hope I’ve taken the hard sloggy out of pant choice in the future.

*NB. I believe my mother.image

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