Kellie K Blog

Top Drawer Translations April 15 2016

“Are these more sweet and innocent or more porn star?” I held the eye-patch sized, turquoise thongs up like a Stanley Cup, the sheer mesh glowing as the light shone through.

“Porn Star,” Alyson said decisively, “But I’d wear ’em if I knew I was gettin’ fucked.”

“Thanks!” I said as I ambled out of the room.

Shortly thereafter, inspiration struck: How do we make these decisions? What was it about this particular pair of underwear that said, “porn star” as opposed to “Daddy’s little girl?” They did have an innocent element to them, with tiny bows lining the back and frilly edging around the waist and hip seams. With the exception of the style, (note that toddlers rarely wear thongs) they looked as if a mother might dress her newly potty-trained daughter in them. But somehow they were interpreted as, well, slutty.

I suddenly realized the power of the panty, the ability to say so much about a person’s character with a brief flash (pun intended, the charm of an intimate statement, spoken only to the privileged. I had participated in this system for years without prior knowledge or any particular critique, the realization leading to an urgent need to decode the messages I’d been sending. I’ll begin the translations by breaking them down into categories: there are five basic styles of women’s underwear, those being granny panties, bikinis, thongs, boy cut and a new breed, a hybrid of the wildly successful boy cuts and the slightly more established thong. Each of these categories foster several variations, but serve as a basic structure/template for the design of undergarments. The descriptions are as complete as I could muster without pictures and the messages are merely broad basis of classification, not a complete illustration of context. Every woman brings her own to the panty itself; it’s what fills the knickers, not the knickers themselves. Most importantly, I am not favoring any one style, but informing about each. A woman’s delicates should be as multifaceted as she is.

The Defiant Granny Panty

Image by Cynthia on her Marcy Very Much blog

They sag from our rears, adding a solid ten pounds to even the most sculpted form. The panty lines of these tried and trues are the dullest of the dull, but serve to remind us of the determined human spirit: our grandparents and great-grandparents so on and so forth, procreated for many, many, many years with only these as eye-candy. Thank God for progress, aye boys? We all own a few pairs of these, whether we admit it or not. Usually we keep them as backup undies, fillers for the stints when all the cute pairs are dirty. We wear them strategically, on days we are certain we won’t undress in front of anyone, later burying them in the laundry basket, taking care to wash them ourselves, but under close scrutiny, our top drawer would divulge our frumpy secrets. They are oversized, under-colored, high waisted, stripped of personality and full of rebellion. They are a feminist’s answer to society’s beauty guidelines, spitting in the face of the Jenna Jameson style, just-for-show skivvies we often wear on expectant dates. They are practically mandatory pieces of a sweatpants and ponytail uniform reserved for the days our sleep and sanity set above showering on our priority lists.

The Bikini Bottom Line

Photo of Brenna Glazebrook via

The sexy cousin of the granny panty, the bikini, is the evolutionary step between your ancestors’ underwear and your own. They have a basic shape with a skimpier, more fitted cut. They come in a few varieties, mostly variations of the waistband (e.g. string bikinis, rio cut, etc.), but also venture into low-rise as well as Brazilian which means minimal coverage on the hiney. They are usually the most versatile purchase to place next to a sachet, having a cut to flatter all shapes and sizes, materials to satisfy everyone from a pauper (basic cotton), to a princess (luxurious satin), and colors for every skin tone. With all of these choices available and the combination of comfort and class, this is indisputably the most popular choice of bloomers on the market. They are the underwear of being understatedly sexy. Slightly traditional, but nonetheless individual, they’re great for the first exposure to someone new, not too naughty but not too nice. Also, you can usually have a favorite that fills you with confidence, which is always a good thing during naked time.

From here on out, these are not your mommy’s panties.

Barely There Thong

Image of Nicki Minaj in Anaconda

Scandalously famous, the thong is a pop-culture icon. The thong is the solution to panty lines and those smothering full-coverage deals we were so sick of. This barely there hotness has sexified a generation, making the bum a centerpiece as they became a highly visible accessory for dangerously low jeans. Variations include g-strings and traditional thongs, the difference between the two being the width of the back string. This knowledge may be valuable to those who primarily seek comfort as many women dislike thongs due to the way they feel. It may be helpful to know that several women report that g-strings, those with very thin back strings, are an easier wear than traditional thick back strings, as g-strings feel less… invasive during extended wear.

Boy Cut Cute

Photo courtesy of

The movement of the tighty-whities for women has been around a few years now and has seen much growth, possibly due to a famous appearance. Cameron Diaz played Natalie in the 2000 film Charlie’s Angels, dancing around in a T-shirt and what appeared to be little boys’ briefs. The trend spread like wildfire, spawning grown up versions and a cartoon craze. The cut mimics that of a little man’s first pair of big boy underwear, covering more in the back and along the sides but maintaining a formfitting, sexy flavor. A more sophisticated way of wearing this extra coverage is the tanga short (think daisy dukes with less booty material, or old fashioned hot pants), which are most commonly seen in exquisite laces or silky microfibers. Often more expensive than those of less fabric, they are most flattering on curvy women (therefore a personal favorite) and maintain a classy feel even if they display the Care Bears or the Playboy Bunny. The popularity could be a backlash to the thong; a modest, innocent, playful sexy as opposed to the let-it-all-hang-out philosophy. Much like the bikini, they are understated, but have a slightly “pamper/baby me” feel. They’re not for hard-asses or ice princesses but work well for those who don’t take themselves too seriously or who just want to show off a shapely rump minus the stripper undertones.

Slightly baffling, perhaps overwhelming…

…such is the power of the panty. Think “Raiders of the Lost Arc” here, the sought after treasure inspiring caution and intent; each style speaking volumes about yourself and your objectives and can be found in infinite colors and deviations to suit every mood/partner. My Grandma used to tell me that I should always wear clean underwear because if I got hit by a bus I wouldn’t want the E.M.T.s to see me in dirty drawers. She had quite the morbid sense of humor, but a point nonetheless. And if they must be clean, why not go all out and make ’em sexy too? So change it up every day, even if no one sees them but you. Variety is the spice of life!

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Bra Cups November 04 2015

Recently a friend of mine came to me for help. She was interested in our strapless bras, but had problems finding a bra that fit her well. She had been for a fitting, but the band felt too tight and cups weren’t comfortable. When she went up a band size she found that she had problems with the cups not fitting. I measured her while we discussed her fit preferences. I sent a quick text to our designer to double check my math then told her she measured 30E.

Her response, “There’s no way I could be an E cup. That’s huge!”

My response, “Right now you’re an E cup and an A cup and ever letter in between.”

She was confused. So I explained cup sizes aren’t consistent by letter, they’re consistent by band size. The larger the band size the larger the cup. Intuitive, no! Confusing, yes!

Let’s try some examples to clarify. You wear a 34D, but you think the band is too tight. If you try on a 36D, the cups will most likely be too big. You’ll see gaping at the top or feel unsupported. To get the same cup volume as your 34D bra, you’ll need a 36C. Let’s say the band in the 34D is too loose, a 32D would have cups that are too small. You’d need a 32E to keep the same cup size as the 34D. This is called the sister size. A sister size is when cups have the same volume, but different band sizes. It’s also how you could fit into the cups of a 40A, 38B, 36C, 34D, 32E, 30F.