Friday, November 16, 2007

T.M.I. Friday: Money, Thongs, and Full Frontal Savings

This may cross the line a bit into too-much-information territory, but aren't you dying to know how a thong can save someone money? (Or perhaps make them spend it...)

I haven't noticed if any of our male blogging friends have done a financial analysis of their preference for boxers vs. briefs, but in the spirit of full openness, I'll admit that I have always tended to favor pretty boring underwear. No longer the rib-high baggy cotton ones with bumble bees on them that I had to wear in 4th grade, but I have stayed a bit closer to that end of the spectrum than to the little lacy racy things you see at Victoria's Secret. For years, my favorites were Calvin Klein cotton bikinis bought on sale or at an outlet store. More recently, I've been trawling the $3.99 bins at the Gap. My main concerns were that my underwear be cheap, comfortable, and not something that would embarrass me if I was hit by a bus and taken to the hospital, a worry instilled in me by my mother. (Hmm, in that case why did she make me wear those bumble bee ones???)

When various women in my life, including my sister, aunt, cousin, and a friend or two said they often wore thongs, I said no way, not for me. Not only did the concept strike me as uncomfortable, I thought it was a big rip-off, some clothing designer's scam to make women pay more money for less fabric.
Anyway, someone finally clued me into the main reason to wear these things, which is only indirectly related to sex appeal: no more panty lines!!! Once that little lightbulb went off in my head, (yes, female readers, perhaps this is a bit sad given that I'm almost 40... but hey, better late than never...) I raided those $3.99 bins at the Gap again to actually try this exotic undergarment. And what further developed upon trying on certain items of clothing, was that the absence of all that extra undie fabric and its associated panty lines allows me to fit into smaller pants.
SO! At Ann Taylor, I am no longer painfully between sizes! And they're having a big sale lately! I proceed to have this big orgy of trying things on that actually fit me for a change. Then it gets even better: they were offering a deal where if you spent $100, you'd get a coupon worth $50 off your next $100. Immediately I start to strategize about how I can milk this deal for all it's worth. I have over $200 worth of clothes I want to buy. Can I buy $100 worth now and then use the $50 off coupon on the rest? Turns out the coupon won't be valid until a few days later. Should I buy some of the stuff and hope the rest is still there in a few days? Very risky, but I decide to try it. This decision is made on a lunchtime shopping trip, and by 2:30pm I'm convinced I've made a big mistake. At 5:15, I'm back in the store buying the items I'd left behind, none of which, luckily, have been snapped up by other shoppers. So now I've got 2 $50-off coupons.
My new plan was to see if I could wait, repurchase the same items using a coupon, and then return the original ones. Also, in the meantime I'd showed one of the sweaters I bought to a friend who tried it on, loved it and said she wanted one too. Great! I thought, now I know what to give her for Xmas. I had no doubt that I would walk back into Ann Taylor in a few days and have no trouble using my coupons.
But no such luck. Women in New York are real sale-stalkers. By the time I went back, those lovely sweaters were gone, vanished, vaporized. As was a lot of other stuff. At the nearest Ann Taylor store, I couldn't find $100 worth of stuff to buy. I ended up going to 2 more locations before I found anything I wanted. But when I finally did, it was great-- I got a suit that would have originally cost me $384 for only $130. I got a couple other things too.
All in all, I got a suit (jacket and pants), 4 pairs of pants, 2 sweaters, and 3 silk shirts, one of which will be returned. I spent just over $500. Of course I was already a bit over my clothing budget for the year, but as long as I don't gain any weight (please- god- please- god- please- god- I'm- going- to- swim- and- run- and- do- yoga- every- day- for- the- rest-of- my- life), these clothes should get me through a couple more fall seasons. I'd realized lately that I was really running out of professional-looking clothes-- I can dress fairly casually if I want to, but I've been a bit too lazy about it lately, and it was about time I got some grown-up garb back into my wardrobe! One must always remember to dress for one's next job, not the current one!

So how about that magical thong, huh? It made me go to a good sale, it made pants fit perfectly instead of ickily, and it made me spend $500 to look better and hopefully get a big promotion as a result! Does that really count as saving money? Well, I had hoped I would go home and find several pairs of pants in my closet that I'd given up on that would now fit by virtue of wearing a thong instead of regular undies-- you know, my theory of going shopping in one's own closet... but that didn't really happen. I think I had already given all those away to the Salvation Army! So much for trying to streamline one's wardrobe! And of course on top of the $500 spent at Ann Taylor, I had to go back to the Gap and buy several more thongs...

Yes, this is the blog where all financial issues get FULL COVERAGE... or less...

26 comments:

MegaDebt said...

This is a great post! Very funny. Have a great weekend.

Mrs. Micah said...

I discovered the magic of the world's most comfortable thongs just a few months ago. 3 for $10 at target. Soft, black, cotton. So comfy I forget they're there.

Of course, I have the advantage of having been a dancer for years--and most dancers don't wear panties at all (at least once they pass the early years). So it doesn't phase me that I don't have the familiar panty feeling.

Huzzah for (good) thongs! :)

Curtis Miller said...

*Fingers in Ears* La la la la "I'm not listening to this" :)

Seriously though, very good post. That's the reason my wife always gives as well.

I have to say, as a man, that I've never considered a specific type of undergarments to make my clothes fit better. Now, cheap white undershirts by the dozen. I'm in! They help keep my nice dress shirts from turning nasty. They can last for years easily while I don't mind tossing away (or using as rags) the cheap cotton undershirt that I bought for $1.

Single Ma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
T'Pol said...

Great TGIF post! Very funny.
Ever since I gave up being in a relationship with a man and decided that I would be alone all my life, I had switched from Victoria's Secret stuff to the real comfy cotton stuff. That allowed me to put on a lot of weight without even noticing and now thongs are not an option. Life...

Single Ma said...

Only YOU would write a personal finance post with the words THONG and ORGY in it. HA HA HA

Now all I want to know is what in the hell kind of GRANDMA BLOOMERS were you wearing that made you need a completely different pants size?!?!?! Lawd, I can't even imagine that. You are hilarious!

Cheers to discovering the secret of thongs! I take it you've never heard of Sisqo? :-)

Rob said...

Funny, and as a gay man, I can relate (but I suppose trendy straight guys have this issue too). Some jeans and pants are more form fitting in the rear, so what does one wear? Boxers, boxer briefs, regular briefs - all bunch up. Tight bikini briefs don't (and I dont want to freestyle like some guys might...).

Sharing is caring, right? :)

Mike said...

Amazing ... an almost-40-year-old woman who seems to buy a lot of clothing didn't know that's what thongs were for?? I'm a 25 y/o male and even I knew that =p

Madame X said...

SingleMa-- you gotta problem with polar fleece panties?

rob-- is the male issue with actual pantylines or just bunchy bulges (the kind you DON'T want)? I don't think I've ever seen a guy get pantylines the way women do... but I guess a lot of guys don't wear tight pants these days...

Anonymous said...

You should try Hanky Panky thongs. They are a little more expensive, but totally worth it!

mapgirl said...

Um. You have now given me the willies. As a granny-panty, i.e. bikini, wearing blogger, I shudder at the thought that someone's bare a$$ cheeks have been inside the pants I have just tried on.

eek. Must try to expunge that thought, or else I'll end up buying clothing from catalogs exclusively, in hopes that no else has ever put it on.

FWIW, there is a gentleman I know who swears by his UnderArmor boxers because they make a very nice clean line under his jeans. It's hot. So hot.

In Recovery said...

So really, the title of this post should be The $500 Thong:-)

I've been told to try 'em. I've tried 'em. Every pair has been donated (or in the case of unworn ones) given away to a thong-lover. Just can't do it.

Gotta love the Gap though for those $3.99 bins!

Anonymous said...

Bahaha! What a great Friday post.

I've been wearing thongs for the past 10 years and love them. The only time I wear full panties is when I go for a massage - they need something to tuck the sheet into;)

Anonymous said...

Am I the only 'guy' that doesn't over-think his underwear? (or clothing for that matter!)

I've always thought underwear served a functional (not aesthetic) purpose, but noticing the number of wedgie handles displayed ... I must be wrong?

frugal zeitgeist said...

Thongs feel like a permanent wedgie to me. I'm much happier with the 6 for $9.99 normal coverage type from Costco, with the occasional foray into what I call my Buicks.

I think my SO would vote for thongs given the opportunity, though.

Rob said...

Bunchy bulges are a problem. With low rise men's jeans, the waist of regular undies tend to be higher than the waist of low rise jeans. And, I do not think showing undies is a fashion statement. So, the bikinis lay just right and tight. But talk about a gay stereotypes...bikini briefs. :) Like a bad 80's flick.

May need to try those under armours too...

Girl in the Know said...

Well, the post resonated with me on two fronts. First I am with frugal zeitgeist that thongs would "feel" like a big wedgie....its been an ongoing debate if I want to even try them since those panty lines can be a bother. Secondly, dressing for the current job. My wardrobe needs a major overhaul!!! I am still wearing clothes I bought on my last year of college...sad thing is they are almost bursting at the seams now that I have gained some weight. So if I spend $1,000 to dress like a professional woman, would that be "saving" money or just indulging?!?!

Anonymous said...

Bronx Chica- girl you did some great shopping! Love the post!

Money Blue Book said...

And all this time I thought they were slingshots :)
-Raymond

Anonymous said...

Ugh. Thongs are so disgustingly unhygenic, I wouldn't wear one if you paid me to.

There are plenty of sleek, form fitting undies out there. And if you're showing panty lines under your skirt, do what our grandmothers did - wear a pretty, feminine petticoat. They give your skirts and dresses a nice line. Most good quality, well made garments usually have a built in lining.

Frankly I'd rather show a little panty line than have a cheese slicer up my butt.

Anonymous said...

OT: How about a post that asks your readers about their net worth (a la the salary ones)?

Anonymous said...

of course, one way that thongs do save you money is on laundry - they take a lot less space than normal underwear, so you can fit more of them in the washer/dryer. of course, this is only a valid point if you pay for your laundry with quarters.

mapgirl said...

Just found some laser cut undies. I bought a pair at $5.99 to try them out. Otherwise they were 3 for $15. I hear the are great for making a clean line.

FrugalBabe said...

This post cracked me up. I remember in college thinking that there was no way I'd ever wear a thong because how could it be comfortable? Then I bought one on a whim and have worn them ever since - turns out I don't even notice they're there. I still have my grannie panties for wearing under stuff that won't show lines, but with about half my pants, a thong is key.

Juliana said...

I love the title! I totally adore those books, and am right there with you on the thong-love as well. Such an improvement.

Ishtar said...

Go commando. It'll save you money and time.