Sunday, 21 July 2013

The Great Paris Knicker Crisis

Recently, I went in search of a supply of lace knickers to take with me to London and was shocked at what I found: a terrible dearth of the right sort of knickers is plaguing the underwear sections of department stores. For some time I have left the selection of my underwear to my lover: he knows what he likes and I like to wear it. But now, the only available underwear turns out to be of a chastity belt type more like a girdle than a saucy pantie. Thanks to most women wearing their leggings daily, knickers are now designed to rise to the waist so as not to leave a wrinkle or a line in the smooth cut of skin tight black lycra or denim. Not only do knickers look like corsets but apparently they are intended to act as corsets, with tough elastic panels over belly and butt. Leggings and tight jeans are a demanding fashion that does not go with fast food habits--also increasing. Bulges abound and the rear view of many a legging wearer on the street is far from titillating. Thus, the underwear racks have been invaded by something that had its genesis in the pantie girdle of the 1950’s.
This has now turned into a big crisis for anyone wanting to cheer up her fella by showing a cute culotte under her skirt. (Culotte is the French word for knickers and really it means something that covers the ass or “cul”. Some of the early revolutionaries were “sans culottes”. Heaven knows what they actually wore to cover their credentials!).
Once upon a time there were “French Knickers” made of silk and lace. More like a dainty pair of shorts they were called ‘French’ because they allowed a naughty hand to slide easily into them. Lycra and the jeans habit put paid to those.
The ass coverings of present day Parisian females being the aforesaid black lycra leggings or sometimes skin tight jeans or jeggins, any kind of naughty knickers seem to have had their day. Even the new long line skirts, also clinging to buttock and thigh must pose a threat to the lace bikini briefs that please our men folk. One solution may be to wear no knickers at all. But men seem to enjoy ripping off their dates’ panties. In fact its almost a ritual with my lover that when we are walking home after dinner he makes sure he pushes me into a doorway and relieves me of my knickers. If one is wearing leggings or tight jeans, this very notion becomes a contortion. But then that may be one of the perverse reasons for the popularity among women for leggings over skirt. The more dangerous suburbs are replete with “types” of the more menacing kind and rape on the way home from a late evening in the city centre is a hazard that leggings and jeans help to prevent.
Parisian business women prefer to wear trouser suits for the same reason: avoidance of desktop seduction. That apart, many French women make a set at their boss in order to keep their job and earn a promotion or turn else him into a husband. The trousers are for keeping the other guys away.
I’m not sure how men are coping. Some bright young feminist should enroll for a PhD on the subject. The French government‘s Minister for female matters would possibly like to get involved. Grants could be offered. The matter requires serious study.
As for the bedroom? The upmarket lingerie specialist Chantal Thomas is still showing seductive lace underwear in her Rue St HonorĂ© boutique. Bras, brief panties and real corsets, boned and provocatively trimmed with swansdown adorn her windows. Even there the panties show a tendency to the more robust designs of the day but they come nowhere near the waist high horrors of those in the budget stores patronized by legging wearing office workers. But, Chantal’s offerings don’t have to be worn under any clothing at all. You just stalk around in them chez toi in five inch heels and lace topped stockings held up by suspenders.
Your lover brings the obligatory bottle of champagne and a gourmet picnic, and for the moment at least you can forget leggings or jeans and the wrong kind of male attention at work. The real Paris knickers have just gone underground until fashions change again: I hope.
Meanwhile I’ve put my lover onto the job of tracking down something worth taking off of an evening after dinner.