All The Knickers We've Known by The Midult>
The Days of the Week Pants>
Oh, how we wanted these when we were little, knowing instinctively, even then, that all our sense of how the day would go would start with our pants. Were we ever able to wear them on the right day? How we tried! But now we wear Days of The Week pants on whatever the day of the week we want: Friday on Monday? That’s how we roll. It is these tiny acts of anarchy that see us through.
The Ill-Advised Thong>
Those cruel floss situations. We wore them in our 20s to be sexy but we were so self-conscious that -counter-intuitively - we refused to show anyone that we were wearing them. They’d come off in the darkened room, go on in the bathroom. They were so uncomfortable, largely because we’d bought them a size down for which we naturally blame the patriarchy. We spent hideous evenings picking, squirming and longing to take them off. And our evenings lasted much longer in those days.
The Trusty Old Pant>
Your trustiest oldest pair of knickers tucked in the back of the drawer for that day of the month when only love-in-a-pant will do. They have been washed so many times that they are cloud-soft – every time we wear them, we worry that we are going to put our thumb through the gossamer cotton. Maybe that has already happened but we continue to wear them holes and all...
The Sex Pant>
Everyone has a pair. For display purposes only. Not for leaving the house in. To be worn only for a moment. Just to signal an intention. Or to create an atmosphere. They are the most uncomfortable pants in the world. 65% of the time, they work every time. We rarely get them out.
The Polyester Pant>
We wanted lace. We wanted silk cami knickers, like the French girls wore (although clearly those French starlets were wearing thongs, which is why they looked so moody. Also has anyone tried to stuff a French knicker into a pair of jeans? It’s not pretty). We dreamed of lace teddys. Do they even make teddys anymore? Instead, we had polyester pants with no personality that delivered only a faint fear of thrush. Scratchy and bobbly after one wash. Les miserables.
The Support Pant>
The wriggling, the peeling, the panic that we might never get out of them. The way that bits of us would spring out of unexpected places in a kind of revenge for the squeezed sausage situation: the universe reminding us what goes in must come out. THE VERY INDIGNITY OF IT.
The Support Cycling Short Pant>
But worse was to come. The cycling short pant. The thing to end chafing apparently, as well as the promise of a thigh gap alongside the other shapewear insinuations. Once on, we couldn’t drink because going to the loo was not an option. We couldn’t really sit down because they were so, erm, sturdy. We stood in the middle of parties, sober, pretending to be thin. Thanks a lot, size zero Noughties. You were swell.
The No-Pants Pant>
We tried this once. This was not for us. Not for us at all. We have never felt so vulnerable. So in imperilled. What if we were hit by a bus and in the ambulance, they discovered we were wearing NO KNICKERS? We are far too anxious for this… *HAS PANIC ATTACK* Going commando sounds brave, exactly because it is. Insanely brave *BREATHES INTO BAG*
The Last Resort Pants>
When everything else is in the wash, and there’s clearly no going commando (SEE ABOVE), we reach for the last resort pants. And spend the day with them twisting and catching and practically turning themselves inside out – we have no idea where these pants came from. We hate wearing these pants. They are terrible pants. Last resort day is a terrible day. Why don’t we throw them away?
The Lucky Pant>
From our incredibly non-scientific, non-forensic survey, lucky pants mean different things to different people. Some are about getting actually lucky and others are about imbuing the wearer with luck. Annabel’s were black lacy boy shorts – sounds improbable, were improbable – and she doesn’t know where they are now. Emilie’s are for when she needs a boost, to gather her together for a meeting or a big moment. They are MASSIVE. Which leads us nicely on to our last pair. Our favourite, past, present and future…
The Big Girl Pant>
Sometimes circumstances call for full focus and a drawing together of self. This requires carrot, not stick. This requires inspiration, not degradation. This requires…big girl pants. Metaphorical and magical. Big girl pants are a reminder that we are beautifully qualified, that imposter syndrome will take up no space in our heads. They are a wearable signpost towards good sense, good humour and clear sightedness. Big girl pants are comfortable because they are truly ours, truly deserved. We don’t flounce in big girl pants; we don’t feel the need to make people sorry; we don’t create nutty narratives; we don’t tailor reality. This is power. The right pant is power.
I’m Absolutely Fine, The Podcast>
“Annabel Rivkin and Emilie McMeekan are the funny, free-swearing founders of the platform The Midult: Their podcast, a mixture of catch-up and guest interviews, examines the indignity, anxiety and occasional glamour of being a grown-up." - The Sunday Times