Waistbands & Social Constructs

Waistbands & Social Constructs

How’s that for an opening line? How could this possibly be a blog post for X-Dress? Watching the responses on the blogs as they come in, I thought that this might an interesting topic to discuss. (By the way, thank you to everyone who is contributing to the blogs, as they make them so much richer, and give more readers the permission to do the same.)

So, let’s discuss the how the look, feel, design of underwear directly relates to social constructs.

Let’s break this down. If we look at typical men’s underwear, not just tighty whitey’s, but typical brand name off the shelf style kinds.  The waist band is wider, tougher elastic, and creates a rather sturdy appeal.  There are no frills, and are made of classic cotton, and come in a wide assortment of color selection, being black, white, navy blue, and the every so sexy grey.  Around the legs, the elastic is turned inwards in order to provide greater support and a no slip surface.  Men’s underwear should be made with solid construction. Sound about right? 

Now, let’s look at women’s underwear, or in this case, the underwear from XDress. The waistband is lighter, and sometimes not even clearly visible as it is usually covered by lace or other materials. With panties, the material is softer, lighter, smoother, and usually made from silk, satin, or fine cottons, or finer fabrics.  There is often more frills and design such as picot elastic, lace trim, and the use of multiple fabrics together such as a satin and lace combination. The cut is usually higher up in the leg rather than around the thigh, and lower in the torso. Sometimes even using more of a see through material, or something a little more revealing. Women’s underwear is made with a delicate construction, to the point of having a lingerie bag to wash them in so that they don’t get damaged. Now, colors, you can get pretty much any color under the sun, from bright, to softer hues, to pastels, to bright and bold. Even having multiple colors together to catch the eye. Sound about right?

Now, what does this have to do with social constructs?  Well, if you see how men’s underwear is made and sold, it defines the manly man.  Rugged, strong, supportive, no frills, well constructed, get the job done, and know what you are going to get.  Let’s also look at the color component from a social construct, blue is for boys, and pink is for girls. For most men’s underwear choices as I mentioned, you can get white, black, navy blue, or the ever so sexy grey.  Why would a manly man care what color he wore, as long as it worked? What about dress in general, men’s clothes can be loose and baggy, doesn’t have to really match, and as long as it is functional, who really cares? Let’s also look at haircuts just for fun, short hair for boy’s, long hair for girls.  Boy’s don’t cry, girls don’t get mad. 

Let’s look at women’s underwear, and compare it to social constructs.  Women’s underwear is softer, finer, delicate, gentle and graceful. Lot’s of frills,  finer materials, revealing, and always wearing it to feel sexy and even a bit risqué. Go into a brick and mortar store, and with XDress, look at the color selection, especially the new glow line such as the Glow Popover Lace Bra in aqua. Bright, fun, risqué, and pushing limits a bit.  How does society like to see women dressed?  Tight, form fitting, show of what you got, and lower cut lines, and leave something to the imagination.  The colors are often matching weather that be with a bra and panties, or accessorizing.  

Would a women, or those like us who wear XDress worry about it’s function, or it is more about how it looks and feels?

Social constructs have clearly drawn the lines between males and females. How we are to behave, how we look, what we wear.  As I have mentioned in the past, if a woman wears men’s clothing loose and baggy, it is considered ok. If I wore a bra, panties, a form fitting dress in public, imagine that.  Society has a long way to go. 

I want to thank XDress for being bold and creative enough to provide the platform and clothing for people like us who like to break society norms. It gives us a place to be ourselves, and also have a place of understanding when we question these “norms”.

What are your thoughts on waistbands and societal constructs?

WB

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10 comments

Thanks PJ. I love the comments and the open toe sandals! I haven’t been bold enough to do that yet but hope to one day I have a man bag! People tease me man purse i laugh it off I actually have 5 to match my outfits Lets keep pressing the issue

Stevie

Interesting blog. Thanks for writing it and each of the responses. Specifically, regarding underwear, from my experience, you’ve expressed the general ethos of gender defined under garments, at least in the Western culture. The invitation long open to me, and only recognized and embraced in my recent years is to “live beyond the gender binary”. In all manor of likes. For example, I’ve long perceived a small purse or a clutch to be not only fasionable, but also very practical for carry essentials while out running errands, traveling or goin out………so years ago i bought and began using clutchs! Yup, i still receive the mindless comment, and it’s more important to me and for me to live the day to day life i desire and not someone else’s expectations. Alot of other social constructs are projected upon us as well, and though I try to be mindful of not slipping into such constructs, and I do make gaffes: One time mistaking a husband for earning a Ph,d when in fact it was the wife. 🫢 As for under garments: i love pastel colors and lace. In fact I’m wearing an XDress pink valentina lace bra now, under a hoody as i write. I enjoy cotton camisoles. And well fitted and delicate thongs. Other areas where i push back against the social constructs is when i use my favorite jasmine fragrance oil or wear open toe sandals with my toenails painted Just some personal experiences and examples of beyond the gender binary. Cheers PJ 🦄💕

PJ

I agree! Lets get more responses. We have social constructs to define roles which can be beneficial to society. However, putting people in boxes is never a good thing! We come in all shapes sizes colors and styles. Hard touch itchy plain uncomfortable = traditional male styles. Soft pretty sexy beautiful floral fabrics = women’s styles. Now go figure nature where the male is usually the more colorful flamboyant one. We need to adapt some of nature’s lessons It doesn’t make you anything what you aren’t already I like what i like

Stevie

Only 6 responses so far? Let’s get this conversation going! I would appreciate your thoughts on the constructs out there. I really enjoy writing these blog posts, but even greater than that, I love reading the responses. We can all learn and support each other through this forum. What do you all have to say?? WB

WB

Who knew that the cut, color, and shape of a fabric could wield so much power? ;) What’s allowed fashion-wise under the umbrella of masculinity is so very limited. This is why it’s inspiring to see this being challenged and expanded by people such as Mark Bryan wearing skirts and Alok V. Menon who wears whatever the hell they want. Both look fantastic. For me it comes to this: wearing pretty underwear is fun. It makes me feel good. I enjoy it. It’s great that Xdress is here providing us with alternatives that allow us to express ourselves more fully.

R

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