Metro Girl Notes


Underwear Musings

April 17, 2013

By Tess Mangiardi

Hello all! A lot has happened since my last post, and for some reason the most complex thing on my mind concerning the world of lingerie is underwear. Now, I don’t just sit in cafes and ponder existentially about underwear, but honestly it’s a weird thing for me. I have a mountain of underwear in my closet, somewhere close to the Island of Forgotten Bras that I mentioned a few posts ago. It’s not because I need that much underwear, because honestly I don’t, but before I moved away from home I was spoiled with the advantage of having a washer and dryer in my apartment. Now, there isn’t even a washer and dryer in my building and if I want to do my laundry I have to lug all my clothes in my arms for five blocks and pray to the Laundromat gods that the ATM isn’t broken so I can, you know, actually pay for it. I know this sounds like the ultimate first world problem, but it’s a hassle and not something I enjoy doing. So, for a while, I just decided it was easier to buy new underwear instead of being a normal person and lugging my laundry bag down the street. I just have too much schoolwork and too much going on in my head to think about rolling myself down the street with a pile of underwear in my hands. Plus, I’ve always just enjoyed buying underwear. It’s a guilty pleasure that I can’t seem to shake. I know, I know, I’m the worst. However, I’ve talked to other girls my age and I’m not the only one.

original_personalised-girls-laundry-bag-by-cat-and-mouse-designs on Lingerie Briefs

Anyway, I have a tendency to pop into Forever 21 or Kmart or whatever is most accessible at the moment and just pick out a few pairs of underwear that I know I wouldn’t mind having around. Let’s take a moment to talk about Kmart underwear. It’s honestly really strange. Joe Boxer or Hanes rolls their underwear up like deli meat and stuffs them in plastic bags that makes me feel like I’m buying a four pack of something I should be ashamed of. The plastic bags are adorned with overly happy women in her underwear, staring you down, pleading you with big, smiling eyes to just put the pack down and run away as fast as you can. Not only does buying them make me feel like I’m buying porn, the sizing never really makes any sense so I have to stand there for a ridiculously long time and stare at these uniform bags in constant wonder because I have absolutely no freaking idea what size I’m supposed to be. I don’t think the manufacturer does either, because they come in sizes as if they were jeans except 6 is supposed to be small, 7 medium, etc. I think someone got hired to pick up a pack, pick a number between 1 and 10, and hope for the best.  I’m a medium, which I guess means 7, but sometimes I’ll grab a pack of size 7’s, take them home, and realize that I could pass for an 80 year old women because they’re underwear attempting to transform themselves into high -wasted shorts. I’ve dubbed those ineffective purchases my “Mid Life Crisis Panties” and they’re stuffed somewhere deep beneath the mountain that is my underwear drawer.

Nancy-Denommee on Lingerie Briefs

I’m not sure what it is that makes me want to purchase more underwear than I need. Is it some sort of deep seeded need for consumerism? Or is it just because I’m lazy where it counts? This is something the world may never know, but until then, you can find me in an aisle in Kmart staring shamefully at packages of underwear, hanging like curtains off the wall.



Mirror Mirror On The Wall. . .

February 24, 2013

I Am The Fairest of Them All!

Struggling with body image is something that I’ve always felt I had to battle. It’s a war with my self and the mirror, a war with my clothes, a war with magazines.  In high school, I lost 76 pounds from healthy diet and exercise and never before had I been able to look in the mirror and truly find things that I found beautiful. Before, it was nothing but avoiding mirrors and dreading buying new clothes. It was nothing but comparing myself to the small petite girls that walked alongside me in their uniforms. I’m not petite  and I never will be. I’m a whopping 6 feet tall with hips that never seem to go away. I know I’ll never be petite, but before I lost all that weight, I felt like I would never really ever be anything but “fat”.

It’s now two years later and I’m still keeping off those pounds that, like any enemy of war, are always fighting and fighting and fighting. Even now, I want to lose more. I find problems in myself that no one else sees. Body image is difficult for someone who is almost 20. I’m still coming into myself, still finding out who the hell I even am. I really do love who I am, I love who I’ve become, but finding harmony with the mirror is still something that I’m battling. I’m sure I’m not the only one, I’m sure there are girls my age all over the world struggling to find a piece of themselves that isn’t judged harshly by the people around them.

My boyfriend tells me everyday that I’m beautiful, as do construction workers that I’m forced to walk by to get to the train. I just joined a local gym and hopefully that will help me completely believe them. There are so many things I can’t control, but getting in shape and eating well is mine. It’s all mine and no one can take that away.  So here is my goal, set before you so  at least I can say I have it in writing. I’m going to work out and eat well and stop stress eating and I’m going to put down my guards and make peace with the way I see myself. We are all beautiful, we are all fighting, and the best thing in the world is knowing that I’m not alone. I am going to practice feeling good about my body!

Since Lingerie is a great way for a woman to feel good about herself, here is my Feel Good Lingerie Pick of The Week From GAP: 100%  cotton  printed panties because they are cute, comfortable and most of all, affordable on my budget!







A College Girl’s Bra Budget ~ The VSS Sale

January 31, 2013

By Tess Mangiardi

At almost 20, I’ve always felt like buying lingerie was more of a luxury than anything. I mean, let’s be real here. When you’re living on your own and going to college, working part-time somewhere where you’d always rather be somewhere else, lingerie is not really the first thing that pops into my mind when my paycheck rolls around every Friday. Call me crazy, but I think: “groceries” or “dinner at The Smith because it’s been over a week and I can’t stop thinking about their tuna tar-tare and blue cheese covered potato chips.

Okay, well maybe you can call me crazy but that’s not my point. My point is, buying lingerie at 19 is sometimes unheard of. I don’t know too many people my age with see-through nightgowns sitting in their closets and bras that cost just as much as I make in a day sitting in their dresser drawers. So, college girls like me turn to the one thing we consider reliable:  The Victoria’s Secret Semi-Annual Sale. Judge me all you want, but it’s normally a highlight of my day when I pass by the VS near my apartment on my way to the train and see the pink glittery sign blowing in the wind. “50% all bras, all underwear 2 for 1!” It speaks to me the way a poem does. I can feel the $10 bra underneath my sweater sinking with shame, it knows it is soon to be replaced– thrown into the Island of Discarded Bras,  tucked far away into the abyss of my closet. It’s always a good day, and this year wasn’t any different.

I bought a beautiful neon pink bra that makes my boobs feel brand new (if boobs can feel brand new).  It’s silky and the first time I put it on I could hear a chorus of angels singing loudly on my head. Not only did it look like it was born out of a Pepto Bismol bottle (juxtaposing the drabby grey bra I’d been wearing for months) but it actually fit. I actually knew my bra size for once and this neon pink phenomenon actually fit me perfectly. I pictured myself walking down the street, smiling because I knew my bra straps weren’t trying to escape my shoulders. It was a happy day indeed.

For any other girls my age who happen to come across this post, the next time you’re feeling luxurious go grab this bra and see for yourself. Though I suggest waiting for the next Semi-Annual sale because, well, let’s be honest, who wants to pay $36 for a bra?



I’m Just Me ~ I’m a New Yorker

January 11, 2013

By Tess Mangiardi ~ Metro Girl Notes

I’ve found that people tend to sit in awe when I tell them that I live alone in New York City at 19 years old and haven’t lost my mind yet. It’s almost as if they expect me to explode at any minute or break down and beg them for a dollar so I can buy 99 cent pizza from the place near my apartment. There are two kinds of people in this world: the ones who expect me to combust right in front of them and the ones who think my life is an episode of Gossip Girl. It’s true that supporting yourself in a big city has it’s downsides and it’s also true that living in New York City at 19 is sometimes all sorts of glamorous. However, I still haven’t lost my mind and I’m still not famous. Despite the fact that I live in a studio apartment all alone and have never once been to a real frat party, I am simply the average 19 year old girl. I just happen to live in the best city in the world. I’m not any different, my life isn’t a reality TV show (though sometimes I wish it was), and I’m definitely not about have a mental breakdown at any moment.

I’m just me. Tess Mangiardi, a 19 year old girl, a writer. Me.

However, I’d be lying to you if I said my life was normal. I’m sure you’ve figured that out by now though. I don’t really think you can make it in NYC if you lead a normal life. Everyone here has their own set of quirks, their own “I-wish-my-life-was-filmed-by-MTV” moments that people who lived elsewhere could never understand. No one really ever understands, not until they live here. New York City is filled with connections, and that is why I moved here from Orlando two years ago. I want to be a writer and I knew that unless I liked writing my manuscripts on cardboard boxes, I had to move here. I had to immerse myself in this strange, quirky, other-worldly culture and I knew I had to call it home. Now, here I am. I have my own set of quirks. I’m exploring what it means to be a writer, body image, lingerie and self-love. I am a New Yorker. I am 19. And I haven’t lost my mind yet.



Retail Briefs

RETAIL BRIEFS is your resource for understanding the lingerie industry’s best practices for retail. From Authoritative Buying Campaigns to Holiday & Year-end Zeal. This is a place for intimate apparel retailers to explore business ideas, emerging trends, marketing tips, merchandising examples, share best practices and much more. Feel free to make suggestions or ask questions… or even share your success stories with fellow retailers around the globe!
Ali Cudby and other guest retail experts give you weekly inspiration and advice on running successful lingerie shops & boutiques.


ALI CUDBY, internationally known for her work with lingerie retailers, manufacturers and consumers. Ali’s bestselling book, Busted! The Fab Foundations® Guide to Bras That Fit, Flatter and Feel Fantastic remained on the bestseller for several months after publication.
Ali’s company, Fab Foundations®, features a worldwide lingerie boutique directory, bra fit information based on her trademarked FabFit Formula, and a blog that features the latest industry news and trends.
Ali marries her expertise in lingerie with a deep background in strategic marketing. She holds an MBA from Wharton School of Business and has led marketing teams at companies ranging from Animal Planet TV Network to The New York Times Company.
Fab Foundations® understands that all women deserve to look and feel amazing in their unique bodies at every size, and that starts with fab foundations.





Ellen Lewis, editor/publisher of Lingerie Briefs