Brassiere or brasserie?

Haute Couture Fashion Week is wrapping up here in Paris and I haven’t seen a single starlet traipsing around in high fashion. But I did find myself at the Salon International de Lingerie, where I saw many women (and one man) walking around in their underwear.

This annual convention of undergarments is primarily geared towards industry folks looking for the latest in spandex and lace. I snagged a seat for the fashion show, and set to work pretending it was Bryant Park, with more skin.

Now, it seems to me that the French must take their lingerie very seriously. I was with a group of older women who could not stop oohing and ahhing over every balconnet bra and garter set that came down the catwalk. I was the only one that giggled when a pregnant model strutted her stuff in a line of racy nursing bras called Hot Milk. I started to suspect that everyone around me was most definitely wearing a pair of silky knickers that actually matched their bra.

It made me feel a little insecure about my own comparably grannyish underpinnings (imagine that! A bunch of french models in thongs made me feel super lame!). And the US/French size conversion doesn’t help matters much – let’s just say there are A LOT more centimeters than inches.

But still, I feel compelled to step up my game. So I’m going to visit some lingerie shops. I’m going to try on some fancy french underoos. I am most definitely going to make a complete arse out of myself with the french salesladies. And of course I’ll let you know how it goes. What are friends for after all!

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3 thoughts on “Brassiere or brasserie?

  1. Nice! That’s so fun that you would check this out.
    Whatever you do, don’t ask the saleslady for a “brassiere” . That translates as either a baby garment or a crop top. Bra is actually soutien gorge. which literally translates as breast support. Gorge, depending on the context, can mean throat or breast. As for the petiteness of the models, the ideal breast is supposed to fit into a champagne glass – not a very American aesthetic, that’s for sure!

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