Lingerie was never a priority for me. I guess I always thought of it as uncomfortable, expensive and wasteful. Something you bought for a special occasion, injured yourself with a garter belt and and inevitably threw away.
However, it’s IMPORTANT for women to feel sexy and lingerie, whether you’re putting it on for someone else or just yourself, can be very liberating in this way.
Enter Nénés. A Parisian brand mastering the art of wearable lingerie, that is both comfortable and conscious, so that we can feel good in it and about it.
With two curated collections a year, made entirely from recycled material, Nénés is contributing to a circular fashion industry where new goods are produced from existing materials, minimizing waste on both ends of the production chain.
I have slept in it, worked in it, drank in it, danced in it (I’ll just interject here to realign your mental image – Elaine Benes not Beyoncé) and I can attest to its comfort level being on par with that pair of oversize Fruit de la Looms I’ve had since 2010.
So, if your underwear drawer or body image could use a pick me up, Nénés is your girl.
When I was seven my mother put me in a floral dress for a day of sightseeing while on a family holiday in the Saskatchewan Prairies. It was forty-odd degrees out, no breeze, no cloud in sight, just heatwaves radiating from the dry, flat land. My Uncle had rented an 11-seater van from a budget company called Wheat Country Van Rentals. The air conditioning didn’t work, the radio was patchy, and the windows opened outwards instead of down. Every seat was accounted for between our two families and our grandmother – who, despite the Saharan heat levels inside that vehicle, sat with her trench coat on and complained.
In retrospect my mother’s outfit choice for me was purely practical, an act of heat survival really. I however felt victimized.
How could she force me to wear this? She knew I had a ‘pants only’ policy. Coerced to conform to the female gender role I so adamantly rejected there was only one thing I could do. Protest.
After four stifling hours in the van we pulled up to a park for lunch. My ten family members scampered out to freedom but I, anchored by my own morals, would not budge. I would stay in that miserable vehicle until they worried for my safety. I would show them how they had compromised my identity and ruined my day. I would make them pay for the floral nightmare I’d been straight jacketed into.
Unsurprisingly this protest wasn’t the success I’d imagined. My mother simply shrugged her shoulders, popped a window and left me there, in the hell of my own making.
I’ve thought about this day a lot over the years. How upset that dress made me. I think it’s my first real memory of outwardly acknowledging that I didn’t want to be ‘a girl’. Not from an anatomical standpoint, but rather a systemic one. As far as I understood, being a girl was synonymous with sacrifice. It meant being cut from the boy’s hockey team, not because I wasn’t good enough but because I was taking a spot away from someone’s son. It meant staying in to help my Mum wash dishes while my brothers got to help Dad in the yard. It meant being called ‘obstinate’ by my teacher for standing up to him in class while my male classmate was referred to as ‘confident’.
I wanted to dress, act and look like a boy so that perhaps I may be treated like one. One time I even tried peeing standing up, which quickly backfired and showed me there were practical limitations to my efforts. Nonetheless, I stayed the course.
When I’ve told this story to friends I’ve been asked when it was that I stopped wanting to be a boy. But I guess thats not the right question… I haven’t ‘stopped’ wanting to be a boy. Instead I’ve learned to define my own gender identity. What I was rejecting as a child was not the floral dress, not my gender but the social constructs surrounding them.
It’s crazy to think that at the age of seven I had such a deep impression of male privilege within society and that I so strongly associated that floral dress with female oppression. I think about what it will mean to one day put my own daughter in a dress and I can only hope that she will look down and simply see clothing.
I’m lucky to have a job that allows me to travel so much, but that also means I’m always on the move – and sometimes in uncomfortable places. From airports to airplanes to Ubers to hotel rooms there’s one thing that remains constant – I have to be comfortable.
As the new year begins and we set our sights on new goals, I’ve once again partnered with Hanes and our friends at Kohl’s to spread the Comfydence message that “confidence starts with comfort”. Hanes wants to help give you the confidence you need to achieve these goals by providing the most comfortable foundation for your looks. Whether your goal is career-related, social life-oriented, or smashing an entire pizza from the comfort of your own couch — Hanes has you covered. Here, I’m feeling confident wearing the Hanes Ultimate Cotton Stretch Cool Comfort in the Bikini cut and the Hipster cut the Soft Natural Lift Foam T-Shirt Bra, all available at Kohls.com. The Nano-T T-shirt I’m wearing is available at Hanes.com.
For me, if I’m in front of the camera or networking at events it’s important that I feel my best in order to look my best. I find that what I’m wearing seriously dictates my mood and energy throughout the day. So whether I’m dressed up, dressed down or barely dressed at all, Hanes keeps me comfortable and confident from the inside out.
I work for myself in an ever-evolving industry that didn’t exist a decade ago. No two days are the same, no two projects alike, and that’s one of my favourite things about this career.
By no means am I alone in this. There are more entrepreneurs now than ever before, more people building their empires, carving their own path, living their best life… I’m really throwing out the metaphors here but you know, such is the millennial dream. And with this comes a huge range of different lifestyles, which our friends over at Hanes are working hard to support.
Hanes, and myself, believe that comfortable pieces are the basis of an always reliable “ootd”, and a reliable outfit is a big contributor to your daily confidence. We all know that when you feel good, you do well.
My life consists of shooting campaigns, creating content, going to events, networking and of course travelling wherever and whenever this job takes me. On top of that, I’m trying to learn how to cook, get my workouts in, actually date and sustain a social life. Oh and read (cause I joined a book club and it’s so great). Needless to say, comfort is everything.
Hanes meshes comfort and confidence to give you all the “comfydence” you need to tackle the day whether you’re dropping the kids off at school, running your own business or taking over the world. They’ve got you covered for life inside and out.
Feeling inspired? I’m excited to share that from now until 11/28/18 you can get $10 off your $60 purchase of comfy Hanes pieces on Hanes.com with my code LFTEN.*
* $10 off $60 or more excludes Donated Styles, Champion Life, Europe, and Limited Edition Collections. These products do not count towards the qualifier. Will not stack with other promos. U.S. deliveries only. Valid 11/16 – 11/28.
A girlfriend of mine recently told me she’s given up wearing thongs for good which not only deepened my respect for her but directly resulted in a feng shui attack on my own underwear drawer. Obviously there is a time and place for certain styles, but day to day I’m on her same page – comfort FTW.
Fortunately for us, we live in a time where comfortable underwear is not synonymous with parachute pants. Where cute cotton briefs are actually cute and wire-free bras are not just for sport. We’re in an era of active wear being worn to nightclubs, so why on earth would one subject themselves to anything less when it comes to their underwear? As Hanessays, “Comydence starts from the inside out – literally.”
In continuing my partnership with Hanes, we’re again focusing on more of their pieces that start your day off right, are made to live in and that make a difference in how you feel.