Boxers or Briefs?

As I was deciding what to wear this morning, searching for exactly the right undergarment for my chosen outfit (a lovely new dress), it occurred to me that men have it easy. At whatever age they answer the cosmic Boxers vs. Briefs debate, they’re good to go, like, forever. We are faced with a vast sea of daily options, from the thong - that doesn't work for everyone...If you’re under 22, you might pull this one off. For some of us, it’s an all-day wedgie and looks like dental floss wrapped around the bottom of a Weeble, the French-cut brief (okay, if you don’t mind panty lines rippling diagonally across your backside like a geographical fault line), the full brief (the most flattering under your clothes, but in the laundry pile, look like Grandma Bertha’s undies. I fold my own), or finally, Spanx. 

When I started my first IVF cycle in May 2011 I bought my first and only Spanx in the anticipation of the bloat I was told was coming. I also had a wedding to attend in the midst of cycling so I thought the Spanx might come in handy. I must say...they come in a dizzying variety of lengths and mission statements, these puppies can stuff your body into an otherwise out-of-the-question ensemble like nobody’s business. They take some time to master, but once you’re in, you’ll be strutting the catwalk like you own it.

As with all great ideas, however, Spanx are not without their design flaws. For Spanx to work, they need to be tight. The whole point is that they make you look firmer and smaller than you really are. If you can slip them on like drug store control top pantyhose, they can’t do their job. Having said that, there is, for unfathomable reasons, No pee snap. Seriously?

Hey, Spanx people! In the entire design process, not one of you obviously - male and will never have to wear one - geniuses thought...

“Gee, given the basic concept here (shoehorning X size body into Y size dress), we might have a logistics problem if she ever has to pee. Maybe we should put in a snap”?

But, alas, not to be. My advice? Pee before you get dressed, and go easy on the liquids for the rest of the day.

I was getting dressed, mentally noting that as the “bloom of youth” is wearing off and repeated fertility treatments, my undergarments have become less frivolous and more functional. Less about “Hey, sailor” lace and more about lifting, stuffing, and otherwise coaxing recalcitrant areas into clothes I used to wear with ease. Finally selecting the most suitable Spanx style, I spent the next several minutes wriggling, cramming, and yanking it into place, until, exhausted, sweaty, and triumphant, I was in.

As I was standing in the bathroom in my full-coverage, thigh length, waist to hips, bounce a quarter off your backside Spanx model #327, I promptly burst into unrestrained laughter, choking out to myself, “What the HELL are you wearing, woman?!?”

I spent the next 10 minutes wiggling my way out of those Spanx and went to work sporting a thong under that sweet new dress.


  1. They can call it Spanx all they want, but it's a girdle. And at least girdles only went around your waist so you could pee. Not that I'm old enough to have ever owned one :)

    A corset and drawers would solve both your panty lines and having to pee issues, and with garters and stockings they're down right sexy. There aren't a lot of places you can get 19th century underthings, though.

  2. Being a girl is tough stuff! Have you noticed that the spanx have a "pee slit" though? I had a friend who on drunken nights would just pull that slit open and pee right through it. I can barely pee in a cup correctly, forget not pissing all over my hands and the spanx!

  3. I don't yet own any Spanx, but I fear it's only a matter of time. But still-- half my morning is spent figuring out the proper undergarments for my outfit, and what a hassle! Sometimes my ACTUAL clothes are determined based on how comfy of undies I feel like wearing, ha!

  4. that's the spirit!! i have never tried spanx before. some of my friends swear by them. they don't sound comfy to me in any way but i've seen the wonders they produce.
    i admit it, i'm a thong girl. i look hilarious right now sportin' 'em but they are so comfy. but i also love the "grandma bertha" undies every now and then too. :)


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