How to wear lingerie like a tomboy
Everything about Italy makes you feel so much more a woman than anywhere else in the world. To one so determined to be a tomboy, as yours truly, however, it is a culture shock to say the least. Handsome Italian men in impeccable suits turn and stare deeply at you, and the more forward of them call after you, ‘Bella!’, often accompanied with a, ‘Where’re you from?’, in heavy Italian accents. As for those male friends more familiarly acquainted, they would have you believe that their whole purpose in life is to pull out your chair, open the door and pick up the check. A claim that ‘I could not sleep if I let a woman pay’ is one I have heard more than once. Yes, being treated as a delicate flower makes you feel so much a woman, or, I should add, like a woman should be. If you sense the sarcasm between the lines here, then it should not surprise you that, in many a conversation over a Campari, gone south, I have been accused of being a raving feminist. This tomboy can take care of herself, and her own share of the meal.
So what then, does a tomboy have need for beautiful (even sexy) underwear? But of course, a tomboy does want to be sexy, she just does so always on her own terms, which often makes her a walking contradiction. As much as I live in daggy denim, I choose styles easy on the derriere; I love a chunk knit that hides my figure, but I’ll wear it coyly off-shoulder – it’s a she-is-sexually-attractive-at-her-discretion kind of world view. As for underwear, I am drawn to the most elaborately frilly, the more feminine the better. And such beautiful pieces should not be banished to the bedroom.
How to wear lingerie like a tomboy? With an air of deliberate haphazardness, somewhere between careless and accidental – emphasising that this is absolutely not a wardrobe malfunction. The idea is that you did not care for it to be seen – because it’s a beautiful piece of clothing after all.
And having of course chosen lingerie with conversation-starting details throughout, these are perfect for peeking out from an off the shoulder knit or an unbuttoned men’s shirt (picture here ‘So Sweet’ bra by Gooseberry Intimates). An elaborately lacy black bra under a slouchy worn-in t-shirt (lace edges peeking from the stretched neckline) gets an A+ in my books, as do an ever-so-sheer silk shirt topped off with the silhouette of a cute triangle bralette underneath. And when the mood strikes, go for a bodysuit (like my Gooseberry Intimates number here) that, with its conservative connotations, juxtaposes perfectly a deliberate lack of decorum, when worn simply under a blazer or leather jacket.
Go ahead, feel like a woman, but absolutely, and always, on your terms.
Created in collaboration with Gooseberry Intimates. Shop their playful and oh-so-unique lingerie collection ahead of Valentine’s Day.
Location: Milan, Italy | Photography: Self-Portrait