A soigné way of dressing: the bodysuit

“Clothes can and should be beautiful, but they only work if you want to wear them in your everyday life.”—Donna Karan, My Journey. New York: Ballantine Books (2015)

Donna Karan did not invent the bodysuit, but she did teach a generation of American women that a good bodysuit is the foundation of elegant and easy dressing.

Hanky Panky BARE Bodysuit

From the design studio to the board room, our new BARE bodysuit is the perfect concealer under sheer shirts. $72 on hankypanky.com. Budding designer Anna McCann wears the BARE bodysuit in Taupe under a vintage Hanky Panky sheer mesh embroidered tank, and a vintage Hanky Panky purple mesh mock turtleneck.

Karan’s first collection as an independent designer, in 1985, wowed the fashion industry and consumers alike. Karan’s idea was that, with “seven easy pieces,” all of which worked together interchangeably to create multiple outfits, professional women could dress without stress in outfits that worked equally well in the office and at the theater. As the New York Times’ renowned fashion writer, Carrie Donovan, said at the time, “It is a soigne way of dressing.” The bodysuit was the foundation of Karan’s collection. When she showed her first line to industry mavens and department store buyers in May 1985, Karan dressed the models in bodysuits and heels:

Inspired by an interactive exhibit by Jonathan Borofsky at the Whitney Museum, I had all the models lounging on different platforms in nothing but bodysuits. When everyone was seated, the girls started getting dressed, adding layer upon layer. The clothes came alive right in front of the audience. Donna Karan, My Journey

Hanky Panky Love Me Back Bodysuit

A creative girl can get “day to night” looks from Hanky Panky’s new Love Me Back bodysuit, which is made of mesh and “wet look” jersey. $84 on hankypanky.com

The tricky thing about bodysuits, in my experience, is that they are rarely comfortable below the belt. When I was 14 years old, I “borrowed” a Donna Karan bodysuit from my mother’s wardrobe, ready to take the 8th grade by storm. Unfortunately, I spent the day picking my wedgie, ruining my attempt at adult sophistication.

Who better to solve this dilemma than Hanky Panky, makers of The World’s Most Comfortable Thong®? This year, we introduced two new bodysuits to the line—the Classic Bodysuit in Signature Lace and the BARE Bodysuit—both of which have low leg openings to ensure they stay put (read: no wedgie). Senior Designer Larissa notes that these bodysuits also avoid panty lines and protect the wearer’s modesty under both short skirts and low rise pants. And all Hanky Panky bodysuits have Supima® cotton gusset linings, making them healthy, as well as comfortable, to wear without underwear.


About Hanky Panky

In 1977, designer Gale Epstein created a hand-made lingerie set for her friend, Lida Orzeck, crafted out of embroidered handkerchiefs. The original designs were the inspiration for the company name, Hanky Panky. Blending traditional with modern glam looks, Hanky Panky is a fashion favorite of countless celebrities.
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