Friday, February 15, 2008


Ah, the perfect Friday night: some wine, some McAdams and Gosling via the Notebook, and some online

shopping for lingerie.

Now, Valentine's Day is over, and unless you're planning to reunite with your former lover despite being engaged to James Marsden (aka Mr. Cuckold-- sidenote, I really wish more of my guy friends had girlfriends who were cheating on them so I could use the word cuckold in everyday life), then you don't really need a corset with matching garters.

But for everyday wear, you can easily upgrade your under-wardrobe with a few good slips.

I used to strongly associate slips with old women, like my grandma. They were like slacks, or stockings, or other totally antiquated pieces of clothing. You wore thin beige slips under your Sunday suit and then came home and make dinner in your Crock Pot.

But then I started wearing more dresses, and I realized that a slip could be very practical-- I'm so into jersey, which isn't the sturdiest fabric, and it rarely hurts to have an extra thin layer between your body and the outside world. And then, over winter break, I bought a simple black, cotton slip with lace trim at the cups, and I fell in love.

Not only do I wear that slip almost every time I wear a dress (it's especially helpful in the winter-- you think it wouldn't make any difference but I really do feel warmer wearing a slip), and sometimes even when I'm just hanging around my dorm room and want to feel cute. I feel like I'm gradually making a transition into having a wardrobe that is 100% cute-- first I decided I wanted some nice things to wear to class, and then some nice things for going out, and nice things to sleep in, and now some nice things that almost no one will ever see to wear under my clothes, and eventually I want some nice things to wear to work out. It's a gradual transition, but one day I hope to have like one outfit to wear when I paint the spare bedroom-- not 20 different paint-appropriate shirts and sweats.

Anyway, I hope I've convinced you that a slip will make a worthy addition to your lingerie drawer. If I haven't, then maybe one Miss Elizabeth Taylor will. Don't you want to be like Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, all lace and curves? Yeah, I thought so.

It's hard to argue that in some cases with slips, you get what you pay for. Is a slip from Target going to compare with something from Spanx, like this Hide and Sleek full slip, $74.

I don't have one, but I totally believe the hype and want to get one so I look like Eva Longoria next time I put on a frock.

Another, less practical option is this Eberjay India straight lace chemise, $72. With the scalloped trim and ribbon under the bust, you'd make the perfect pure virgin maiden waiting to be defiled by a handsome yet carnal prince (I'm sorry I sound like a romance novel, this is what watching the Notebook does to me). But you could still wear this under a dress, and it'd be your little secret that underneath your serious-minded suit is a sweet little slip.

One last high price slip: from Betsey Johnson, who can do no wrong in the lingerie department, is the Ribbons Rosettees Knit Slip, $68. (I have to confess that instead of using the full photo on the website, I took a screen capture so I could cut out of the photo the model's face and most of her stringy, greasy hair. She looked like a bitch, and this is a happy place.) The best parts of this slip are the little-girl details, like the pink straps, little fabric flowers, and babydoll waist. Some people (Mindy Kaling) hate clothes that infantalize women, but I have to admit that sometimes I'm into that. Only Liz Taylor can be a sexpot 100% of the time, ok! Leave me alone, it's been less than a decade since I could have worn a nightie like this and have it been totally age-appropriate.

But let's say you don't want to invest a lot of money into a piece of clothing that a) no one will ever see, and b) doesn't accomplish an important function like holding your boobs up or protecting your lady parts from the elements. That's ok, because there are some really cute, cheap slips at Urban Outfitters! UO is totally not where you'd think to look for slips, but it's where I got mine! I was wandering around the store with an armful of dresses (none of those faux-hipster bitches would start me a fitting room), and I wandered past the lingerie section on the way to draw everything on. I'd never bought any underwear from UO, but that black slip caught my eye and I decided it might be smart to grab it, since I didn't have a cami on and there were some low-cut dresses in my pile that could use some additional fabric. But then I fell in love with how cute and hot the slip made me feel, and the seed for this post started gestating. Unfortunately I can't find it on the UO website, but I did find a bunch of other slips, none of which are unreasonably priced.

Let's start really simple: the Damsel Strappy Knit Slip, on sale for $11.99. No frilliness, just simple, soft knit fabric in a bunch of fun colors, with some cinching at the bust in case your little black dress cuts down too low and you want to reveal something a little interesting and unexpected. I want it in "navy," which is really a light, greyish blue, and "gold," which is more like a slightly yellow ivory. Oh, plus, this slip is machine washable! Yay!

Another practical slip is this Underwire Babydoll Slip by Sparkle and Fade, $19.99. It also comes in a super, super tacky leopard print, but we're going to ignore that. If this slip has done a good enough job with the top that you don't have to wear a bra underneath it, then I know who this year's Noble Prize for Underthings is going to.

I can't decide if this silk chiffon slip is deliciously silly or just kind of stupid: it's a slip so see-through you'd have to wear another slip under it. I guess if you had a really cute white slip, and were appropriately waif-ish, you could wear this slip out in public as a dress and look pretty cute. It's obviously a great color, and I like the triangle top trimmed with lace. And it reminds me of Season 1 of Project Runway when Andrae was flouncing around the workroom going, "Where the hell is my chiffon?" and it was classic. But not really enough to get the Sparkle and Fade silk chiffon slip, $19.99.

Lest you think UO is all practical cotton-poly blends, here's the Valentine Slip, $24.99. (Ignore the V-word, there are no pink hearts on this that I can see.) I'm not sure if this color is awesomely old-Hollywood glamour or too beige Grandma... but it also comes in black, so there you go. I love the shininess of the fabric; it makes me think that I could be dancing at Studio 54, get overheated from too much X and not enough water, and then ditch my dress and dance around in my slip and still look totally hot (until I pass out from dehydration).

This is the awesomely named Lulu in Hollywood slip, $19.99. And look, it's yellow! But check out the details, as seen on the black version to the right: tiny accordion pleats in the skirt! I have no idea how this would look underneath a regular dress, or what would happen when you washed it, but it's fabulous enough to spend $19.99 and find out.

So: go forth, buy a slip, and be a classy lady.

Spanx Hide and Sleek full slip, $74
Eberjay India straight lace chemise, $72
Betsey Johnson Ribbons Rosettees Knit Slip, $68
Damsel Strappy Knit Slip, $11.99
Underwire Babydoll Slip by Sparkle and Fade, $19.99
Sparkle and Fade silk chiffon slip, $19.99
Valentine Slip, $24.99
Lulu in Hollywood slip, $19.99

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