I hate “panties”. The word, not the undergarment. It gives me the willies. I don’t know why. I will go to great lengths to avoid saying it. I do, however, want to draw your attention to an underwear exhibition in London. I see London, I see France, I see ladies’ underpants. It’s at the Victoria and Albert Museum, if you don’t mind. The exhibit features underwear worn by Kate Moss, Dita Von Teese and Queen Victoria’s mother.. Visitors will also learn that women didn’t tend to wear drawers – or knickers in modern parlance – until around 1810. I don’t know what happened then, but it must have been quite dramatic.
True story: In France, they sometimes refer to lady ginch as “slips”. I was visiting my suster there several years ago, and went shopping for lingerie. I was totally intimidated by the saleswoman, who very politely made me feel like a savage who didn’t know the first thing about undergarments. After pinching and pulling me around, and adjusting the girls in a very familiar manner, she asked me – in French – if I needed the matching slip. I thought she meant what we think of as a slip – sort of an underdress, and told her I already had. One. Which I hardly ever wore. She just raised her eyebrow and sniffed. Because in the land of France, they really don’t wear underpants.