As of last week I have worn matching underwear every single day for two years, which is 734 days if anyone is counting (which clearly I am).
That’s two years of my bra matching my knickers, which according to Cosmpolitan and Pinterest should be a pretty big confidence boost for little old me.
Why did I start? Well the date was easy to remember because I made the conscious decision to start counting when I flew out to Abu Dhabi to begin university, and in general I’d tried to wear matching sets before that. After five months of backpacking, when underwear was about practicality rather than prettiness, I had looked to revolutionise my knicker-wearing ways and a new phase in life seemed as good a time as any to begin. Did I buy into the gossip magazine view that matching underwear is the key to success and that I would feel instantly fabulous? I’m not entirely sure, but it was almost an experiment to myself.
So two years later here are the things I’ve learnt:
You raise the bar: Now the thought of not wearing matching underwear makes me feel horrendous. I just can’t do it okay? I just can’t.
Buying into a societal standard of success and beauty won't actually make you feel better: Sure when I did it on random days and was conscious of the choice, stepping outside the house in a pretty matching set made me feel great. I had a spring in my step, bouncier hair, hell I pretty much Carrie-d my way down steps. But when it became a daily thing I still had times where I felt rubbish, and the cotton covering me in those areas wasn’t going to change that.
Which lead me to realise..
Self confidence comes from within: That extra boost that I was feeling before was essentially a placebo. In paying to attention to the underwear I put on, I was telling myself that I deserved the boost. Sure buying co-ordinating undergarments is one way of doing that, but so is wearing that daring red lipstick, or spending a little extra on a pair of shoes. They are all ways in which we externalise a message that says ‘I am worth making an effort for myself’ and that’s where that bubbly feeling of confidence is coming from. On some of my more miserable days (see: feeling unattractive) I’ve learnt that staring myself down and saying ‘you deserve to feel good about yourself’ goes someway towards giving me that buzz. If that doesn’t work then at least my MAC ‘Ruby Woo’ is great (although don’t do it every time you feel rubbish because now the boyfriend tends to ask me what’s wrong whenever I rock a red lip.. whoops).
So where do I go from here? Well I’m definitely going to continue with matching because it’s a lot easier than I expected and see point one. But I’m also going to take note of the other things I expressed in this post: I deserve to feel that confidence boost because of who I am, not what I wear, and I hope you’ll embrace that for yourselves. What do you think?