Inspiration behind solution-vention this week:
This solution-vention story starts with a visit to the Meetup.com office restrooms. Strange place to start, I know, but you should see their ladies restrooms. On my visit, I was blown away by the color and quantity of products that filled those walls. They had everything you could ever imagine in that place, including a whole shelf stacked with pantyliners. It was like lady heaven.
Call me crazy, but before that moment, in all my years on this planet as a female, no one ever told me that women wear pantyliners on like, a regular basis. Sometimes I really feel like I missed the whole “this is what happens in a female body” class.
I am getting personal here, but when I have my period, I use tampons. When my period ends, I stop using tampons. The end. Anything else that happens in between, before or after, I just ignore, and wear clean undies every day. Simple.
But after my visit, I was intrigued – maybe I should be wearing pantyliners… A few days later, I discovered that yes, they are pretty awesome – they make you feel “fresh” for longer. You can change them throughout the day, so your undies are always clean. It’s amazing.
But then they started causing other problems. I won’t go into details but lets just say lots of air and ventilation is good for that part of the anatomy, and with pantyliners, you are creating a happy place for all sorts of bacteria. Not surprisingly, I promptly quit my pantyliner fetish, and didn’t think about them again.
A year later, I found myself in a tiny campsite toilet, attempting the monumental task of taking off my leggings so I could change my undies.
Why? Because my period came at an unexpected time, and I hadn’t noticed it in my black undies until it was too late.
So I was leaning forward, balancing on one leg, trying to hold one empty legging leg off the wet bathroom floor, while removing the other, my foot perched on top of my open, unlaced converse.
This sort of thing seems to happen to me all the time. I hope I am one of the minority, but I highly doubt it. Whether my period comes early, or a tampon leaks because the flow is too heavy… I always find myself at one stage or another, wishing I could change my undies when I’m already dressed.
Most of the time, I’m in an office somewhere, or some public place, so I have to just dry them off as best I can, ick, pull them back on, wet and sticky, and go back to whatever I was doing. If I happen to be in my pyjamas, like at the campsite, needing to sleep in my undies, then I have no choice but to attempt the impossible: putting on a clean pair of undies when I’m already dressed.
Solution-vention idea this week
I don’t know why, but all of a sudden, in a random airport somewhere, these two female biological experiences converged, and the anger hit me –
Why the hell do I have to take off my leggings to change my undies?”
This led me to my unusually random, but fun, solution-vention this week: I wanted to invent a pair of undies that you could take on and off, without taking off your pants.
Then I could change them easily, and I would get all the benefits of pantyliners, without the horrible side effects.
I was unsurprised to find at least 3 companies had gotten there first. I think it’s amazing how many people are out there creating and inventing. I guess that’s why Dragons Den/Shark Tank is so popular.
I looked further to see why they aren’t in the mass market – why don’t I own these? Why am I not wearing them right now?
The first thing I came across made me grateful that I suffer from this problem – #peopleWithTwoLegsProblem.
Then I found what I was looking for: Claspies
It was like they were watching me that evening in the campsite toilet:
Needing to change your underwear while traveling can often be a hassle, especially in small bathrooms. There just isn’t enough room for you to take off your pants and shoes without them touching the dirty, germ-filled floor of a public restroom.
That’s where Claspies comes in. This amazing underwear looks and feels just like normal underwear, but have clasps on the side. These allow you to easily slide off and on a pair, just by opening and closing the clasp… You won’t have to balance on one leg anymore just to put on underwear… For travelers, it gives you an option to easily change into a new, clean pair of underwear after sitting for hours on a plane.
Next I found undounderwear:
Their website leaves a lot to be desired, but their design actually seems pretty nifty.
I realised there’s more to a good pair of undies than meets the eye. There’s preventing VPL for one – visible panty line – a big no-no apparently. Yet another female rule to follow.
Thongs solve VPL, but I hate thongs. I wore them for most of my early twenties and now I put them on and wonder what the hell I was thinking – why did I put myself through so much discomfort? Ah yes, now I remember. Boys.
*Sigh* Being a women is hard – that’s why they never gave us that “this is what happens in a female body” class – they were too scared we would quit being women at an early age.
My point is, they need to be seamless to prevent VPL.
To go a step further, the PERFECT undies, would also be quick dry, like these Give-n-go briefs which seem to be pretty popular for travelers – but any non cotton material will do the same job.
So my perfect undies need to satisfy 4 requirements:
a. you can change them without taking off your pants
b. seamless to prevent VPL
c. quick dry
d. better than the competition
I knew my perfect undies would cost a lot to manufacture, so to be honest, I hit a bit of a wall at this stage – but then I reminded myself that I am solution-venting – the goal is not to make the next biggest thing, but to experiment, and fail, and see what other people have done, and see if I can challenge my brain to come up with a better solution. All while having fun.
The design idea was that you didn’t have to remove ALL the undies – just the middle portion, like a pantyliner. Then you could mix and match inner pieces of fabric, which could be colorful and bright. You could easily carry one in your pocket, all rolled up like a cute package, and it would make the undies cheaper as you could sell packets of the inner piece separately, like refills.
The positioning of the clasps in the center, as opposed to the side, also meant that they would be less likely to just snap off. People have been wearing leotards with popper fasteners – except only on one side – for centuries now.
I got to work. I hacked up an old pair of undies so that I could have a detachable middle piece.
Then I bought some popper fastenings. They were really expensive at 3 USD but that’s because everything is expensive in Santiago.
I’m sure my mother will be shocked to know I knew these existed – turns out I learned a thing or two from watching her. That and those horrible Home Economics classes. [Don’t ask why I decided to learn how to cook, sew and balance the house budget like a proper little wife, instead of doing art, woodwork or music at school. ]
Then I started to sew on the popper fastenings.
I made some mistakes along the way, like sewing a fastening in the wrong way, cutting the panties in a bad position so I had to sew the fastener into a lumpy seam, and deciding to use black thread… but all in all, they still turned out ok – not pretty, but finished!
Now for the moment of truth: wearing them. I’ll save you the pictures of this part, but let me tell you – putting them on was such a cool feeling 🙂 My home-made, innovative panties. I went salsa dancing in them with no adverse side effects 😉
So my review?
Comfort level? High. Not in quick dry fabric, or seamless, but they proved the point.
Appearance: I felt I had two little bumps on my bum cheeks from the fastenings, but no one would have noticed – and with better positioning that can be improved.
Complaints: I forgot I was wearing *special* undies, so once I pulled them up too fast and one of the poppers popped open. I managed to close it back up that second, so it didn’t affect my day but it is something to consider.
All in all, I’m pretty impressed with my little panty invention. I wanted to have another pair so I could mix and match inner pieces. I will have to get my sewing needle out again, but I would prefer if someone else just made them instead… any offers?
What do you think? Want a pair? What should they be called?
Thanks for reading all the way to the end – I wish I could give you some undies as a reward. I promise let you know when they are getting manufactured 😉 Subscribe to my blog here.