I am a mom who owns a lingerie store. I have always loved lingerie, the sexy beauty of it all, and the way it made me feel. I purchased Bellefleur Lingerie Boutique when I was 28 and my life looked very different through my first years of ownership than it does today – I’m 37 now.
I bought a LOT of lingerie for myself before becoming a mom. Having drawers overflowing with panties, and having to separate out my garter belts into a separate bag because they needed their own section. My bralettes wouldn’t fit in the drawer with my 30 or more underwire bras, so those were in a different box. My chemises wouldn’t fit into the drawer either so I started hanging them up with my regular clothes. Of course bustiers and specialty items had to go somewhere too, so they were hung.
Everything was worn in regular rotation, with many lingerie or lingerie-inspired items being incorporated into my wardrobe as outerwear. Fishnet stockings, and tops with integrated garter-belt attachments were the norm under my everyday work clothes.
I felt very ‘outward’, projecting confidence. Acquiring lingerie as a result of how I felt, and wearing it, pushing myself to the edge of what I could wear in a professional setting, and feeling as damn sexy as I could.
ADJUSTING TO CHANGE
Through pregnancy, I was able to incorporate the items that allowed for my growing belly. A soft chemise with a more empire waist, a stretchy camisole. My regular bras got too small quickly, but I was able to take out some of the removable padding in several, which gave me the room I needed in the cup.
There were some great bodysuits with stretchy soft fabric that I could incorporate with my looser-waisted flowy pants that looked great with my bigger boobs. After giving birth, most things got blood on them for quite a long time. My black soft boyshorts were everything as they didn’t show stains. Breastfeeding presented a whole new challenge.
“Through pregnancy, I was able to incorporate the items that allowed for my growing belly.”
Many tops, bras, dresses, and bodysuits were just out of the question. I rediscovered my bralettes that had a stretchy top, and that was all I could wear. I had a couple official “nursing bras” but they were all non-wire at this point as that’s what seemed to work best for me.
BABY’S FIRST BIRTHDAY
Breastfeeding being over around my son’s first birthday was a big deal for me as far as wardrobe and lingerie wardrobe is concerned. I slowly started to get back to my regular size, and the ability to wear certain items was given back to me.
But… not ALL items. Now, I am worried about peanut butter getting onto my crappy sweatshirts and rice getting stuck to the bottom of my feet. Snot (not mine) getting on my shirt, and major spills of water and milk everywhere.
My hottest outfits haven’t been seen in quite some time. Throughout this process from birth to today (my son is now 19 months old), there has been a slow re-emergence of my lingerie in my life, but it looks and feels different now.
I have found now that my most beautiful lingerie matching sets are still there for me, and instead of me choosing them as an outward projection of how I feel, my sets are actually invoking an inward reflection, providing a sense of comfort and caring for me.
When I’m just flat exhausted, and have zero energy, and am getting woken up multiple times per night, then I reach into my drawer in the morning, and my favorite embroidered multi-colored matching bra and panty set is right there; putting it on may be the only thing that makes me feel pretty for the majority of the day. (I have always purchased 3 to 4 panties to match for every bra which makes wearing the matching set so much easier.)
“…my sets are actually invoking an inward reflection, providing a sense of comfort and caring for me.”
When I’m changing at the end of the day, I wear my favorite bralettes through the evening and it helps me feel good under the shirt that may or may not be getting food thrown at it. My cute, super soft PJ sets that have been there from before my pregnancy, are still there, and make running around the house washing sour milk stains off things feel just a little bit less ugly.
LINGERIE FOR LIFE
We recently moved and that is always a great opportunity to go through your stuff. I took some time off work to dig out everything that I had boxed up during my pregnancy and breastfeeding times, and I went through everything I owned.
A lot went to Goodwill – stuff I never really liked that much, or never really fit me correctly. I got really honest about what I would wear and what I wouldn’t. I also created a “maybe” box under my bed, as well as a “love it but just slightly too small still” box that will get revisited at some point.
I still own a LOT of lingerie, but I have narrowed it down quite a bit. I have also added some new pieces, more of the soft pajama-pant variety. 🙂 But most of what I bought in the first 8 years of owning Bellefleur is still there, and I still wear it.
High quality lingerie lasts a long time and stays looking good if you take care of it. Which I did. And now it’s taking care of me. Looking at it all in front of me I realized that my lingerie has been with me through so much life. I purchased it with one frame of mind, but it has carried me through to another chapter.
Lindsey Runyon is mother to Charlie and the owner of Bellefleur Lingerie Boutique, with storefronts in Seattle, WA and Bellevue, WA, as well as a robust online selection. As a business owner, she is always looking for the best combination of beauty, quality, and consciousness, and is passionate about bringing the very best products to her clients. When she’s not helping customers on the shop floor, working on displays, or meeting with Bellefleur’s many wonderful vendors, she is creating interior spaces with her other business, Lindsey Runyon Design.★