I’ve never been very shy in front of the camera, as this series of photos obviously state. I’ve always looked up to women who are comfortable with their bodies, whatever shape or size, and remember being amazed at the beaches in France where the women would swan about topless or in thong bikinis- not giving a thought to nudity or how they might be perceived. I felt like a little Amish girl wearing my Roxy tank top and jean shorts as they floated in the ocean, bodies bared, nothing hidden. I was only 12, but I felt the freeness they experienced that came with letting it all out once in a while!
I’ve done a variety of photoshoots in various states of undress, never fully nude, but in all of them: good lingerie is key. In Phnom Penh, as many women have come to me complaining about, it can be difficult to find. Anything found at the markets is either
1. packed with enough scaffolding to make a small pillow out of a bra (or even the underwear with padded booties…)
2. shady…because who wants to purchase a pair of knickers next to a stall selling dried squid?
3. TEENY. It’s difficult for most Western women to imagine fitting their assets into what looks like a training bra.
4. horrific looking. Whether covered in glitter, sequins, or teddy bears- I have yet to have come across anything that resembles something an adult, stylish woman would want to wear.
Luckily there’s one place you can turn to for lingerie, and now introducing basics, in the city: Promesses. As I had written in a previous post, it’s my go-to place for swimwear for a reason! Up until recently for the lingerie styles, the boutique really only carried Aubade- the high end French lingerie brand but were lacking in every day basics. So when I found out they were stocking Princesse tam.tam I was thrilled. From candy colored sleepwear and underwear sets, fanciful swimsuits, to simple quality bras and bottoms it’s what the expat women of Phnom Penh have been asking for.
Take a gander at the offerings that continue to rotate depending on season and finally feel comfortable shopping and wearing something without having to fly to your nearest Victoria’s Secret. Statistically, most women own around nine bras but only wear four to six on a regular basis. Your underwear is something to invest in. You wear it every day, it should fit well, and if taken care of well- can last for years. Hand washing in the best for your delicates (they’re called that for a reason!), especially your bras, and using a detergent specifically made for your intimates will make their shelf life last much longer.
A few tips for washing your bras?
1. It’s best to wash after about every 2 wears, especially in the grime and sweat living in PP! Cold water is especially good for sports bras.
2. Hand washing is especially helpful for underwire or padded bras to help maintain their shape.
3. If you do use a machine to wash, clasp the bra before washing on delicate mode. It helps from the straps and/or wire getting twisted.
4. When washing in a machine, only wash with a light load. Anything like towels, sheets, or jeans can crush or change the integrity of the bra’s shape.
#20, Street 282 12202 Phnom Penh
Photos: C. Nation Studio
Lingerie: Princesse tam.tam