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What I Discovered About Lingerie in My 60s

The styles that will spark romance at every age.

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photo collage of different lingerie and red roses
Elena Lacey
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Four years ago, when I was 64, I met and fell in love all over again with a man I had dated in my 20s. That’s an interesting story, but not the one I want to tell right now.

Here is the tale I want to share: We promised each other this second-time relationship would be fun and exciting, even as we age. So we travel, go out to hear dynamite R&B and make time for romance.

Last year, I surprised him with a Sex Weekend. This involved one night in a fancy hotel, a bottle of champagne, and — gulp — lingerie. I had never worn sexy lingerie, even in my 20s, when I was thin and wrinkle-free, so prepping for this intimate getaway was quite a leap.

I spent more hours than I cared to recount on websites, and that search yielded some results that made me blush. But I finally found a black lace baby doll top from Bare Necessities which I ordered online for less than $50. It obscured what needed to be hidden, and pushed up my assets.

What I discovered is there’s a lot out there for women my age, including reasonably priced items from Target, such as this Deep-V Unlined Lace Lingerie Bodysuit for $25, and, for plus-sized women, this lace baby doll with thong for $30.

For women — and the men who love them — who can afford a more boutique experience, check out Town Shop in Manhattan and Flirt in suburban Minneapolis.

When owner Danny Koch took over Town Shop from his father, he was surprised that women as old as 70 were shopping for cut-out bras, garters and crotchless panties. He says they come in knowing what they want — they don’t need a lot of guidance. "It’s a thrill to see," Koch said. "For women to not have a closed mind at that age is very exciting."

His older clientele gravitates toward smoother, supportive and uplifting styles, such as Wacoal and Anita, some of which are reasonably priced. Wacoal's Embrace Lace Chemise, for example, can be had for as $41, depending upon the color, Can’t get to Manhattan? Order online from the store’s extensive selection at townshop.com, where you can find lingerie to fit all budgets.

Jessica Gerard knew the market was out there when she opened Flirt, her boutique in suburban Minneapolis. Women of all body types want to look sexy, and that included her: "I'm a 34A so there's not a whole lot going on in the boobs area." That was 15 years ago, and she says older women make up a good portion of her clientele, including octogenarians.

"Victoria’s Secret is for young girls," she says. "Older women get pushed aside. I wanted to appeal to women who are older and more comfortable with their bodies, who have enough money to buy something elegant."

Gerard also recommends a waist cincher that can be worn with or without garters and stockings. "But why would you not want to wear a garter belt and stockings?" she asks. "Men love them. I sell to men all of the time." Her store even hosts a shopping night for men just before the holidays, when they can buy for the women in their lives. And of course, women can surprise the important women in their own lives with gifts of silky, sexy lingerie.

Lisa Daniels, 68, a Virginia hairdresser, has worn sexy lingerie for years. She does most of her shopping online at establishments such as Frederick’s of HollywoodThere, a teddy can be purchased for as low as $15. She also wears Hanky Panky thongs, which, unlike other thongs, are "strong and super comfortable."

She likes to wear fishnet body stockings and bodices made of feathers or fur. Tap pants are also sexy, but don’t show too much, she says, adding "I don’t want to look ludicrous, with my old body. I want to be age-appropriate."

What’s the most important factor in being sexy? "Confidence," Gerard says. "Find someone to work with you who will help you find what looks best, to help you feel confident."

Daniels points out that wearing sexy lingerie can be a part of self-care for older women. "Feeling that fabric next to your skin, it’s like your little secret as you walk down the street. We still have sexual feelings, even if the world doesn’t see us that way."

Before this new relationship, I was a T-shirt and flannel kind of gal. Now, I still only pull out the baby doll lingerie for special occasions. But I pay more attention to the kind of underwear I wear daily. I got professionally fitted for a sexy-yet-comfortable bra and underwear I can wear every day. I can look in the mirror and feel good about what I see.

How will you know if your own purchase was successful? My partner was initially stunned and speechless. But since then, he keeps asking when I'm going to wear it again. My perspective is that there's nothing like the element of surprise.

But the best immediate feedback I got was this: After I put on the lingerie, I wasn’t wearing it for very long.

 
Do you still wear sexy lingerie? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below.

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