By: The Scoutmaster
The Scoutmaster is a friend from my ward in Brooklyn and she has nothing to do with our scouting program.
I’ve been a garment wearer for nearly 10 years now and therefore consider myself an expert on the subject. From mesh to drisilque, I’ve sampled nearly every fabric and size option available—including men’s cotton tops. Although I’m committed to the sacred honor and responsibility of wearing the garment, I’m not above complaining wholeheartedly about them whenever given the opportunity. In these modern days it seems that temple-going members should enjoy better options than underwear that reaches our armpits and boob pockets that reach nothing because they are so massive. Given that the garment design and fabrics have been changed several times since being introduced, I say it’s time to evolve and change again.
What prompted this tirade, you might be wondering (course, if you’re currently sporting 2 feet of extra fabric around your mid-section, you probably aren’t wondering). I recently went to Target to purchase new underwear. Lest ye judge me, I’m an avid exerciser and working out in G’s is NOT an option. I ended up choosing these Hanes boy shorts and let me tell you, I am in love. My new panties consist of the coolest fabric I’ve ever felt. They appear tiny, but stretch like you wouldn’t believe. The fabric is extremely sheer, and when you’re wearing it you barely feel anything, except really slick and skinnier than normal. They are held up with a thick band of the same material around the waist and legs and don’t ride up or down AT ALL… no elastic or lace anywhere. I started to wonder…why can’t garments be made out of material like this? Lace free and non-rolling, with maybe a built in bra?
One look at my current typical outfit, and you’ll understand my desperation: cotton round-neck garment top, size 28, with cotton bottoms size 26 (petite… but the rise is still roughly 10 inches higher than it should be). Shade white t-shirt. Exterior shirt, either long or short sleeved depending on the season. Jeans… the highest waisted I can find, but still not high enough for me to be easily mistaken for a plumber. The shade shirt has become necessary since I hate that the lines of lace can be seen through every t-shirt in America, not to mention the obvious fact that I’m wearing my bra OVER this layer and everyone can tell. It also serves to camouflage the inevitable rolling of the garment bottom, which lands directly on my stomach where, after having two children, I really don’t need any more rolls of ANYTHING. I don’t mind this excessive amount of clothing during the brutal NYC winters, but come spring and summer, I am HOT.
Not to mention I feel fat. Even when I can find a shirt that allows me go Shade-less, the extra rolls of fabric everywhere, the double layers around my stomach…it’s too much to wear. Women in the church have a difficult time feeling sexy or slim—and garment-related wardrobe anxiety is a major contributor. If better alternatives are offered, the garment-wearing women of the church will experience a boost in both confidence AND comfort. Let’s get some underwear at actually FITS!
So what do we do?
According to Mormon legend, garment patterns exist that can be used to sew our own G’s in a fabric we prefer. I thought this was the answer to my problems (despite the fact that I can’t sew), until I received this response from LDScatalog on my inquiry: The church does not permit anyone to make their own garments, so there is no pattern available for that. Bummer. They also provided me with an email address, phone number, and mailing address for suggestions. But before you get all excited and start dashing off what you’d like to change, I’m going to make you read my ideas before I give you the goods.
1. Ask for more fabric options: I would LOVE to see a fabric like my new panties. Something sheer and sleek, that doesn’t make me sweat when the temperature breaks 55 degrees.
2. Create a women’s garment top with a built in bra: for those of us who want to cut down on the layers of clothing we must wear. This top would have to be fairly tight, since many of us currently rely on our bras to “hold our tops in place” so they don’t shift willy-nilly during the day.
3. NO LACE! NO LACE! NO LACE!
4. Shorten the rise, so it hits the waist at a reasonable height, like somewhere in the general vicinity of the belly button.
5. Allow outside vendors to provide garments: In the case of temple wear (i.e. white dresses), competition has greatly improved the choices available. If the Church would provide a list of requirements, then companies such as Shade could come up with alternative garments. Since Beehive clothing has the monopoly, there’s little motivation for improvement, innovation, or quality control… or attractive window displays.
Right now the only alternative—if you hate the fit of your garments—is to quit wearing them. My contention is that if people could find better garments, we just might have more garment wearers attending the temples.
Thanks for humoring me. Feel free to make your own suggestions, but if LDS catalog receives enough input, maybe in three short years I can only be wearing two shirts, instead of three and a bra. A girl can dream…
The contact for LDS catalog is as follows:
post: Distribution Services, 1999 West 1700 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84104