Going Almost-Commando

The next best thing to being naked


As someone who crosses the street with the recklessness of blindfolded deer I’ve made it a priority to heed the advice of my late grandmother Mimi who once put the fear of God in me. Her words: always wear nice underwear just in case you suddenly die.

I used to take “nice” to mean pretty, lacy things. Anything scalloped and tied with a bow, slices of fabric so alarmingly demure that one might mistake them for anklets. My stupid “delicates” were so delicate that they had to air-dry on lavender-scented twine and be clipped with artisanal clothespins; prior to that they had to be hand washed in the Swiss Alps which required one hell of a dangerous hike and therefore one very fancy pair of underwear.

An endless cycle! It was so annoying.

It was also expensive. When you’re a lingerie shopper for the sake of morbidly circumstantial aesthetics, one begins to wonder where the line between “always be prepared” and “full blown insanity” is drawn. For me, I’d say it was somewhere around the time I nearly stabbed a surprise guest with a vintage letter opener — not because I was scared he was trying to murder me, but because I was scared to be found murdered in such an ugly bra.

The lightbulb finally went off when I came across the Instagram account of @tenundies. At first I was casually stalking photos of a wedding dress that came up on my “discover” feed. The woman in the dress was Daphne Javitch, and Daphne is a living Pinterest board. As I continued scrolling for potential pins, I realized that this was not just the account of my spirit guide but also for a brand of cool ass underwear.

It was every bit as pretty as those aforementioned lacy things, if not more. The brand, Ten Undies, opened my eyes to a whole world of simple cotton briefs that make even the word “panty” sound unnecessarily fussy. It’s kind of like better-than-normcore underwear for the deliberately low key, self-styled girl.

If Ten is for the woman who waits one day longer than she probably should to wash her hair, who looks like she skateboards and drinks a lot of fresh squeezed orange juice so her skin perpetually glows, then Skin is for the ideal version of yourself when you sleep: freshly showered, crisp white sheets, a simple tank top and the most simple pair of underwear.

Also for the perfect-sleepers/dangerous street crossers of the world: Morgan Lane. The pajamas can be worn as street clothes, and the dark mesh separates are beautifully appropriate for any potential emergency. (Even if you’re just going to the E.R. for a swollen tonsil, your doctor might be hot and appreciate a well-sewn two piece.)

Bodas makes nursing brassieres. Not exclusively — they also make lovely soft triangle tops and knickers for those who aren’t with child — but if there’s anything more dangerous than a baby, I’m all ears.

Finally, there’s Negative Underwear: underpinnings brainstormed by two young women who “get it,” made for the woman who would rather go commando. The elastic bands of the bras and bottoms lie flat, eliminating any errant fleshy bits that could possibly poke out and destroy a good outfit. The vibe is feminine, unprissy and cool.

All in all, a perfect solution for the paranoid hypochondriac who’s sick of lace but would rather die than be seen in a bad bra.

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  • Lynn

    The more of my ass that is covered in underwear, the happier I am, so hooray for this!

  • I have a Mimi!

  • ee_by_cc

    I discovered Ten Undies a couple of months ago and have been obsessed ever since. So much comfort, so much pretty.


  • MSCFBeeches

    What is it with old-timey folk and this don’t be struck down or drop dead in bad underwear business?? My mother used to give me the same finger-wag. I’m convinced there has to be some documented case of a woman that was found with ugly underwear by the EMTs who spread bad propaganda about her because of them. That has to be it.


    • I used to think this was a ridiculous idea, too. And I used to think gynecologists would NEVER EVER tell jokes about their … clients or their body parts. The clients’.
      After having found out the second idea was simply wrong and maybe naive, I sort of started believing in “proper underwear when going out”, too. Just in case. It is a hard world, after all.

      • MSCFBeeches

        Oh god, I think I just developed a whole new paranoia with that Gyno bit…

        • Amelia Diamond

          wait. same.

        • Sorry? 🙂

  • Haha, when I was younger I always assumed ‘nice’ underwear meant it had to match! So glad I realised this 😀

  • Angie

    Negative Underwear is my new favorite brand. Can’t recommend enough!

  • brunetteletters

    Ten Undies are the best!! I recently discovered them and love them!


  • All gorgeous–underwear definitely doesn’t have to be full-on boudoir style to be sexy. I’d go for a simple cotton thing in a cute color any day.

    Love, Gigi
    Dolce and Gabriella

  • Adrianna Grężak

    The best underwear I’ve come across is cotton izod briefs that don’t have any of the elastic that imprints into your skin. Super comfortable and come in “masculine” colors I prefer. I literally bought about 30 pairs when I saw them in TJ Maxxx once.

  • Abigail

    I am super excited to finally get something that is both comfortable and fashionable! I swear the items that keep to the K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Stupid) format are the best!


  • Misha Lobo

    I’ve recently discovered the joys of going commando….no more lines and the airy freedom of it all.

  • I think I read in American Girl magazine or something – seriously I was a baby, that you should always wear nice undies incase of an emergency or having to be hospitalized, that you should toss every pair you wouldn’t want someone to see you in – or maybe it was Gilmore Girls? I don’t know, but I do know that I love these cuts and colors and the feeling of tossing out old pairs to make room for new!

    Warm Regards,

    • Jessica


      I think I read that too!!

  • Dee

    Ten Undies: “Made in the USA from important Italian fabric” — sold!

  • charmystique

    These look so comfy that you don’t wanna tear them off the minute you’re home!! I might have to add these to my already overflowing lingerie collection…


  • It was just the other day that my friends and I were discussing how badass Ms. Daphne Javitch is. She makes great undies, too.

    Those boy short-y kinds are my favorite.

  • Hailey Dash

    Love this, will definitely be getting some! xx

  • Your description of your laundry method for lingerie is hilarious! You`re now my new favorite writer, Amelia.

    ROUGH & TOUGH☯ | I`m on Bloglovin!

  • Hajnalka Boglarka Erdelyi

    We’d have been best friends with grandma Mimi 😉

  • Nadine

    Hahah this is hilarious. I got the same advice from my granny, ‘always wear something you wouldn’t be ashamed getting cut out of after a car crash’

  • Elle

    Negative underwear sounds perfect! I love pretty, lacy and delicate underwear, yet a lot of times they’re not that comfortable.

    http://www.cherryblossomstreet.com – Swedish model and blogger in Tokyo

  • No one has ever warned me of the shame that comes from dying in hideous underwear! I guess I will have to invest in some fancy pants…



  • Krista Anna Lewis

    I’ve been obsessed with the Ten high waisted undies for tooooooo long now. Actually had a slightly drunken conversation with a model the other week about how grannie panties are the best.

  • Aubrey Green

    I have a friend who was hit by a car in the cross walk (she’s alive and well), the first thing she thought when the paramedics came, was “oh my g-d what underwear am I wearing and everyone is going to see them” – because they literally cut her clothes off right there in the cross walk with people just staring.

  • Love the freshness! You might like http://www.ophelialingerie.be

  • I am all for comfy cotton classics and tossing panties as soon they start getting frayed or holey, but $40 for undies and $300 for PJs? Call me crazy, but that’s, well, crazy.

    • Aly Clarke

      Agreed. Love the cute styling and downtown aesthetic of Ten undies branding – kudos to Daphne Javitch for doing such a great job – but $40 for a basic cotton bikini bottom?

      • amg

        Completely ludicrous –

  • brittany

    lol did someone just go shopping at steven alan?

  • something that my ass wont eat it while I m sleeping!G string double no at night!!

  • Love the simplicity of all of these pieces! Definitely the perfect underwear #SecondSkin … http://www.LEZU.com

  • amg

    $40 for a pair of cotton undies? I’ve been feeling guilty about $20 for Hanky Panky – that’s plain crazy – get real

  • Nadia Auton

    “Her words: always wear nice underwear just in case you suddenly die.”

    My mom an her mom before her, always said this!!!!

    One of the most important advice I have in mind every time I choose my everyday underwear. And to be honest, when I don’t match panties and bra, I feel weird and it is so funny!

    Kisses from Argentina!!!