Fear and clothing: Life in the bosom of the racing family
A weekly reverie on the vagaries and charms of fashion
Going to the races. The phrase is laden with portent. I went once. We wore little hats and flatform shoes so we wouldn’t get that sinking feeling on all that grass. It didn’t work. I had a flutter, but no luck and I found myself channelling Joan Rivers on a particularly scathing episode of Fashion Police. That is never a good look. Because aren’t we all wearing rubber bands on our wrists these days so that we can stop ourselves with a little sting on the wrist before the sting of nasty commentary leaves our lips? (Thanks Darryl.)
I am taking bets on the Met situation this weekend. If people aren’t going dressed up as if en route to a Halloween party or as extras on RuPaul’s Drag Race, they are sure as dammit going to be sporting their bras. This briefest of looks was a heavy hitter at a racing event in January.
I am with the next person when it comes to underwear as outerwear. I mean, who doesn’t like a well formed pair of breastesses trussed up for display purposes in all their glory? I say yes, it is empowering to make your sartorial choices and to stick with them. And there is a long history of people telling women what to wear and when to wear it . So if bras are your thing, go for it.
But as I gazed on the twin be-laced orbs going to the races, I thought about all the bra debates happening of late. Not the burning ones – those are sorely outdated; we have new bra issues for our own time. Apparently sales of push-up bras with lots of wire and trussing are going the way of the eyeballs on the Victoria’s Secret shows. Down. South. Those superannuated boobs, and briefest of briefs, are sadly falling into the diminishing returns that are part of the profit/loss equation. Why?
Seems that women are seeking comfort over sex appeal in their underwear. They want garments that feel like they were made for them in mind as opposed to some vicarious viewer who needs to be titillated by what they are seeing. Also, size matters, and for better or worse not all women look like Victoria’s Secret models – and so may want underwear that reflects this diversity in body shape. Sports bras are having a moment in this brave new world.
Rihanna, whose fashion company is apparently in the process of being underwritten by LVMH, has created the ultimate lingerie of the moment. Savage X Fenty straddles the sexy yet comfortable divide in sizes for everyone. It transpires she is a marketing genius. Who knew? Her finger ever on the pulse, she has managed to make ye old brassiere sassy and independent and empowering in one fell swoop. To be worn, inside or outside or to the races, as you damn well please.