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Every year around around Valentine’s Day, your lingerie throws a party. This is its chance to climb out of the doldrums of your drawer where, let’s face it, you’ve probably wadded it under your socks and forgotten about it for a year. It’s all too easy, even for lingerie addicts, to slip into boring black leggings and t-shirts that came free with a kitchen appliance, rather than bother with the sexy teddies and cute bralettes we spend our time obsessively acquiring.
But NOW is the time to celebrate sexy. I think of Valentine’s Day as a call to duty to do right by my beloved lingerie collection. It’s the month to put my money where my mouth is and to indulge in buying and wearing things that celebrate passion and good times.
Naysayers decry Valentine’s Day as the Love Industrial Complex’s cynical oppression of our freedom as lovers or non-lovers. I see their point. It’s not especially pleasant to be told when and how we should express love, and to feel guilty if we don’t join all the others skulking through chocolate aisles this time of year. We shouldn’t have to compare ourselves with gorgeous couples in tv ads rolling around in champagne and diamonds and their impossible happiness. BUT—rather than feeling guilty or sad or un-champagned or mis-diamonded, I choose to enjoy the rolling around and the chocolate.
For me, this is not an occasion for subtlety, nor for luxury. It is a commercial event that is by nature crass. If you feel that true love or beauty are best revealed naturally and spontaneously, then Valentine’s Day should not be saddled with unfair expectations for such revelations. Therefore, it is best enjoyed with a wink and swan dive into its swimming pool of fun delights.
This is why I like the heart icon for Valentine’s Day. I normally don’t enjoy a decorative heart if it is earnest. I think it’s the tritest symbol for the most ineffable of feelings. But if, instead, a decorative heart shouts, “I, like, LOVE you! Let’s go skinny dipping!” then I am won over.
It is in this spirit of celebrating Valentine’s fun that I bring you 15 heart lingerie pieces to roll around in this month.
But first, a quick look into the history of this well-worn symbol. I found a lot of theories circulating on the internet about how the heart came to be. Who knows where credibility lies, but I figure a PBS article is somewhat more likely than Wikipedia:
The heart symbol, the popular icon for the heart, can be traced to before the last Ice Age. Cro-Magnon hunters in Europe use the symbol in pictograms, though it remains a mystery exactly what meaning it held for them. The symbol will not become universal until the Middle Ages.
Ancient Greeks hold the heart to be the center of the soul and the source of heat within the body. They also make some clever medical assertions.
The image of the heart becomes very important in Christian theology. The Sacred Heart, which is usually seen emitting ethereal light and suffering from wounds, is seen as a symbol for Jesus Christ and his love. Devotion to the Sacred Heart reaches a high point in the Middle Ages, where it is seen in works of art and is mentioned constantly in prayers and doctrine. It remains an icon even today.”
An explanation by Cracked.com is more entertaining. Purportedly, the classic heart icon is the same shape as the seedpod of the silphium plant, which was prized in Ancient Rome as a form birth control. Apparently, some salacious devil in the Roman mint even imprinted the symbol onto Roman coins. If this connection between the silphium symbol and our modern heart is real, then the little icon must have had a long and surprising ride from worry-free sallies to enduring love two thousand years later.
Whatever the origin of the heart, here are some ways to enjoy it while lounging, prancing or rolling your way through Valentine’s month.
I found some gems on Etsy. This “Queen of Hearts” costume is three separate pieces, a ruffled panty, bra, and tutu. I love the frothiness and fantasy. This is lingerie for showing off, not to hide under clothes or blankets.
I may be partial to Old Navy loungewear from my long ago days of designing it, but I just love the sweetness and comfort of these pj’s. Plus who can argue with such good value. I could even imagine a youthful soul layering these under a skirt, leg warmers, and long sweater to wear out.
Let’s go extreme this Valentine’s Day. Remember the gravity-defying burlesque move from the movie, “The Graduate?” Let’s be THAT lady instead of everyday Elaine.
Nice work, Victoria’s Secret. The strategically placed hearts here are sexy and playful, while the black color keeps the whole thing classic. I may not personally be partial to cutouts over the belly, but if you got it, flaunt it. And by “it,” I mean a badass attitude.
Practicality in a cute package. That’s basically my mantra. And though I keep resisting the thong in favor of more forward-looking trends like high-waist briefs, the shape and stretch lace fabric of Hanky Panky’s bestseller below remains one of the most practical undies on the market.
I like the is-it-or-isn’t-it? approach to heart motifs on display in this catchy Toro & Naoko set below. It’s innocuous enough to look like an allover geometric pattern; only upon intimate inspection is it revealed to be adorable scattered hearts..
Moms to be: embrace the natural confluence of pregnancy, lingerie, valentines and hearts! After all, it won’t be for long that you’ll have quite so many bumps to show off.
Another Etsy find, this maker has a range of made-to-order vintage inspired panties. They look authentic from the high-waist to the ultra shiny satin to the wide zig-zag stitch technique of elastic attachment..
This bralette from For Love & Lemons manages to be chic while featuring nip hearts, which is quite a feat. Unlike the model featured here, I will be giggling and galavanting in this cute sheer bralette
I love Alex, not Jeff, and I’m excited for the chance to proclaim it on my underwear. Since, in wearing these, I would obviously be submitting to full girliness, I would choose red on pink with white lettering.
This lady is not wasting her time with subtlety. And why should she when she has the opportunity to be glamorously restrained by hearts and lace and satin. This would be a fun one to wear under a conservative LBD and then — surprise!
Cute scattered heart print on an equally cute lounge set. The top could work as ready to wear, which is a nice added value. This feels like a fresh take on the iconic heart.
I like the diva statement of showing up to the party flawlessly decked out in stockings and garter. This silhouette is modern and spare while still being delicate. I love the detail of the heart shaped garter clip.
And sweetest of all, heart underwear to spike your blood sugar and get you energized.
What are you wearing for Valentine’s Day? What’s your favorite heart lingerie?