My New Year’s Resolution: The 16 Piece Lingerie Challenge
As I mentioned just before the holiday break, my husband and I are recent transplants to Southern California. Though I feel like I should be used to moving by now, it’s always a source of major anxiety for me. Most other situations in life I feel like I can tackle with a list and a plan, but when it’s time to pack up and move, I’m practically paralyzed with stress.
One reason for that, I imagine, is because I work from home, so moving isn’t just about relocating where I live, it also means packing up my entire office, including the collection of samples I (sort of) jokingly call my editor’s closet.
Over the last seven years or so, I’ve amassed a substantial lingerie collection, but within the past year especially my lingerie wardrobe started looking more like a lingerie hoard. Every piece had a memory, a sentiment, and even when I tried to get rid of things, I’d feel distressed…like I was tossing out an old friend or trashing some integral part of my personal history. I don’t know. It’s weird.
Anyway, I used this most recent move as an opportunity to really and truly clear out a few things. Lots of donations were made to the local Goodwill, and one thing I noticed while itemizing and boxing things up was that so much of my lingerie was unworn. I’m talking tags on, still in the packaging, brand new items.
Of course, a lot of it was samples or gifts, but a good chunk of that donation pile was stuff I just bought (often on sale) and never wore. Some of them were what I’d call “legit” purchases (i.e. brands I bought to add to the body of knowledge for TLA), but other items were things I bought because I was feeling tired or burnt out or blah and thought a new bra would pick up my mood.
I don’t like that. Aside from feeling like I was drowning bras and panties (I just finished reading the Harry Potter series, and it was like that chapter in Gringotts where the treasure keeps multiplying until you’re buried by the thing you love), I also just felt wasteful. Incredibly, senselessly wasteful.
While there’s still a bit of sorting left to do, for 2016, I want to reframe my whole approach to buying lingerie. I tripped and fell, without even realizing it, into a kind of acquisitiveness…one that was all to easy to justify because yes, my actual job does involve buying lingerie. But this year I want to be a more conscious consumer, and I don’t mean “conscious” in terms of ethics in this particular case. Rather, I’m thinking conscious in terms of deliberate. In terms of valuing and appreciating every single piece I buy, rather than just adding more and more and more.
Years ago, I went through a lingerie diet of sorts, and, in retrospect, it was an inflection point for my appreciation of underwear. It marked a transition in how I saw intimate apparel; the simple act of delaying gratification made me seek out more interesting pieces to make the “sacrifice” worthwhile, and several of my first truly luxury lingerie purchases happened around this time. While I don’t expect a similar revelation here, I do want to feel more connected to what I’m buying, what I’m wearing, and what I’m sharing here with you.
So…I’m challenging myself to only buy 16 pieces of lingerie this year. I thought about doing 12, but that sounds like a very small number (I’m not trying not set myself up for failure here), then I thought about doing 24…but that’s quite a lot, isn’t it? And since it’s 2016, there’s a nice bit of symmetry with only choosing 16 pieces.
I have a couple of caveats, or rules for myself, for this challenge:
- matching bra and panty sets count as one piece
- the 16 includes all lingerie, from everyday bras and knickers to luxury items
- purchases can be made at any time (i.e. I don’t have to make a minimum of 1 per month or anything like that)
- once the 16 pieces are gone, they’re gone (this sounds like the hardest part, honestly, but also the most exciting)
- samples, gifts, and other items I receive gratis as part of running TLA don’t count towards the total
The images in this blog post are all of items I’d like to make of that 2016. I can already feel myself leaning towards those brands I’ve been wanting to try for ages, and I’m excited – really, genuinely excited – about the possibility of stretching beyond my lingerie comfort zone. I’d also like to do a blog post about each of the 16 purchases this year, just to keep everyone updated.
What do you think? Do you have any lingerie resolutions? Things you’re hoping to do more or less of this year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.