Why what we wear underneath matters more than what the world sees
The age of social media has given birth to an interesting phenomena called "doing it for the 'gram". Whenever we post something - because surely we have to post something - we do it with one eye on how good it will look like on our various feeds. It doesn't matter how uncomfortable or miserable we may be at that time. If the post looks great, and 50 other likes agree with us, then we feel good. We feel important.
I'm not a stranger to this feeling. I've been living most of my adult life online and as a blogger to boot, so I feel very conscious of how I appear on the Internet and off! There was a point some years back when this pressure was ruling how I lived; I would do things just for a cool, likable post online. But that didn't make me happy. I thought it would at least bring me more work or friends, but that didn't happen either.
It was no way to live. Eventually, I realized that I had to live a life I can be truly proud of whether or not it's worth a 'gram. I had to pursue my passions, play sports, meet new friends, learn new things, and just have a more well-balanced life outside of the Internet so that I can be the best version of myself. I still love posting on my Instagram (and yes I'm human so I do care still about what others think), but now I post because I have something wonderful to share - not because I HAVE to share something wonderful!
What's inside matters more than what's outside. This may sound trite though it is true. It doesn't appear to just posting things on social media. It also applies to what we wear everyday. If you have great foundation, then you'll have a great makeup look. If you have great undies, then your outfit will follow!
Women's underwear in particular is so important because it's the first thing that touches our skin. If it fits poorly, it results to more than just discomfort for the rest of the day. It will cause poor posture, an irritated mood, and a lumpy-looking silhouette. No one else might see what our underwear really looks like, but we know how it feels. At the end of the day it's us who has to deal with suboptimal choices and not the ones we want to impress.
Recently, I was privileged to be invited to Kyoto, Japan, to explore more about Wacoal. Camille Co, Shari Macainag, Kath Rivera, Rochelle Rivera and I were part of the Philippine delegation as we joined our South East Asian counterparts in visiting Wacoal. I've documented my experience on Instagram @projectvanitycom and @lizlanuzo , so today I'm just here to give you a recap about the amazing things I learned during the trip!
Wacoal is a heritage brand from Japan. Yes, Japan! I always thought it was a US or European brand, but it was born here in Asia. It was founded in 1947 first as an accessories brand (as in hair accessories, trinkets) but then pivoted to being a lingerie brand a few years later. It was the end of World War II and Japanese women were wearing more modern clothing that required brassieres. And so, the Wacoal as we know it today was born, bringing forward innovations in underwear technology and manufacturing to women decade after decade.
We got to tour the Hokuriku Wacoal Sewing Factory in Fukui. This is where prototypes are made, as well as Wacoal's higher end products. Each piece is visually inspected by hand before it is sent out for delivery. We also visited Takeda Lace Co., which is one of Wacoal's lace suppliers. They showed us how each lace design is painstakingly drafted on a computer, how threads are created, and the massive looms that weave the final product together. They even have a 100-year old album of all their lace designs!
Back in Kyoto, we got to visit the Wacoal store in Takashimaya. It was spacious and stylish, and carries all of their main lines. We also dropped by the Salute By Wacoal Store. This is where one of their most expensive lines are sold, so we were greeted with explosions of color, luscious lace, and ultra chic designs! At the new Wacoal office, we got to speak with some of Wacoal's designers and their process. They said it's especially tough to design lingerie as so many aspects need to be taken to account - the fit, comfort, delicate lace, the tiny appliques - all of these details need to be mastered in order to be a successful lingerie designer.
The Wacoal team also brought us to the Museum Of Beauty, where Wacoal's history is beautifully displayed with their vintage pieces as well as old print ads. It also holds the Human Science Research Center, where they study the bodies of women of all changes to see how they change over time. To date, they have gathered data on over 40,000 people. This is so that each product for each stage of a woman's life fits her needs perfectly.
We also got to visit another research center, but this one is for product development. There is one room just full of robots that tests how bras can stand pressure, force, and friction. Another room is full of just washing machines; this is where they wash Wacoal products for up to 200 hours, with different speed settings, to see how long they can last. There's another room that has dozens of electric fans inside so they can test how the prototypes dry. Amazing, right? You can see the videos in the @projectvanitycom IG highlights if you're curious!
I am so lucky to have witnessed Wacoal's passion for their products. Their extreme attention to detail shows how truly committed they are in helping women feel, move, and look beautiful! From creating lace, designing, researching, and testing, each step of the process shows respect for the female form and their own craft. Wacoal underwear can be pricey but seeing what goes into each item convinced me that the price is more than worth it. I'm looking forward to adding more to my wardrobe! You should check them out too if you're tired of flimsy, cutting bras and ready for the ones you will love to use for years.
Before I go, I'd like to thank Ms. Ann Palisoc and Mr. Masaki Kasuga of Wacoal for taking care of us during the trip in Kyoto. It was an honor traveling with and learning from you both! My thanks to Sir Gerry Baclogan as well for the wonderful photos.