By: Mary Fran Bontempo

It’s quite a sad state of affairs.

With fall upon us, we gals think about updating our wardrobes. How we look is important to us, and to other women. (Let’s face it, our guys couldn’t tell you what you wore yesterday, or ever, save your wedding day, when they’d say you wore a white dress, if their lives depended on it.) But we concentrate on things seen. What lies beneath is often neglected, to say the least.

And I’m guilty. I refer, embarrassingly enough, to my own undies drawer.

If you’ve been following us for a while now, you know we make a point of proudly claiming we’re Not Ready For Granny Panties—witness the title of the blog, as well as, hopefully, our fun-loving, spirited take on life. It’s a metaphor, in a sense. We’re young at heart, vibrant and not ready to be consigned to the images we all hold of our grandmas, regardless of our personal status in that department.

To that end, we try to dress fashionably, adapting trends to suit our station—in other words, trying to avoid looking like we’re ninety and at the same time not trying to delude ourselves into thinking we’re sixteen by dressing the part.

Unfortunately, my undies have not taken up the call to arms; they’ve given up the ghost. A recent inspection of my unmentionables revealed a selection of delicates falling into two distict categories: “Purchased at Kmart” and sporting labels like Joe Boxer, Hanes and Fruit of the Loom, and “Who the Heck Knows”, purchased who knows where and sporting no labels as they are so old the tags have fallen off or faded away completely.

And yes, there are granny panties. It’s not that I don’t want to wear pretty underthings. It’s more that the “Out of sight, out of mind” policy applies. The only one who gets a good look at my personals is me, and then it’s only a passing glance in the bathroom mirror after the morning shower. It’s not a pretty sight, so I spare myself undue pain by throwing on my clothes as quickly as possible.

Plus, the idea of going out of my comfort zone in this particular area is intimidating, not to mention possibly genuinely uncomfortable. Seriously, a thong? Is it me or does it seem akin to having a piece of dental floss permanently stuck between your teeth, but in this case, not your teeth?

Then, there’s the money thing. Good lingerie can be a bit pricey, and why spend the dough on something no one else sees, especially when Kmart carries the Joe Boxer brand? After all, at this point in life, does anyone really care what we’re wearing underneath our clothes?

But according to Patty Tilney, owner of Sweet Blossoms Lingerie Boutique in Doylestown, PA, now is exactly the right time for us ladies in the middle to splurge on lovely intimates, and even try a (gulp) thong.

“Certainly, it’s a personal preference, but there are very comfortable thongs available. We stock a brand called Hanky Panky that gets high marks from customers,” Patty says. “If the thong isn’t working, many bikinis and boy shorts are laser cut to give the no panty line effect with better coverage.”

Patty adds, “As for investing in nice under garments, it’s especially important for women, who are always busy taking care of others, to indulge in something nice for themselves. Our customers say they feel so good, like a new person after purchasing quality intimates. The first time they buy they may see it as an indulgence, but after that, they tell me it’s a necessity.”

Given that my drawer is home to bras that have been around since the Regan administration, Patty also tells me it’s time to move on, and especially, to get a fitting.

“Unfortunately, as with most women’s clothing, there’s no standardization in bras,” Patty tells me. “A good fitting is essential, as is knowing the merchandise. Sizes can vary even with the same manufacturer. The right bra makes everything look better.”

So perhaps it is time to put my sad unmentionables out of their misery and leave the Joe Boxers to guys named Joe, who actually wear boxers. After all, there’s nothing wrong with feeling pretty, even if I’m the only one who actually sees it. (Although new undies do open the door to possibilities….)

As for the thong? I think I’ll just stick to flossing my teeth.

Visit Sweet Blossoms at 65 S. Main Street, Doylestown, PA 18901. 215.345.5140