By Adam Welsch
If you’re like a lot of women, you probably own a lot of intimate apparel. But how much do you know about bras, panties, and shapewear? Want to find out? Here’s a test to measure your general knowledge of these fashion categories. Use the answer key at the end to calculate your score and determine your intimates quotient (IQ).
1. Which of the following statements about the torsette is NOT true?
a. It can function as a “soft underwire” for extra bust support.
b. You don’t need to wear your own bra with one.
c. It controls back fat.
d. Some styles fasten in the front, across the midriff.
2. The sports bra was invented
a. In 1973 by a University of Maryland student after hearing about the bust discomfort of a woman playing tennis.
b. In 1980 by a University of Kentucky student after hearing about the bust discomfort of a woman playing softball.
c. In 1977 by a University of Vermont student after hearing about the bust discomfort of a woman jogging.
d. In 1976 by a University of Connecticut student after hearing about the bust discomfort of a woman playing basketball.
3. Japanese speed skater Miho Takagi created a stir at this year’s Winter Olympics when her see-through speed-skating outfit revealed that
a. She was wearing a G-string.
b. She was wearing men’s underwear.
c. She wasn’t wearing any underwear.
d. She was wearing underwear featuring the Japanese flag.
4. In which country are lingerie shops staffed entirely by men?
d. Saudi Arabia
5. All of the following shapewear silhouettes eliminate “muffin tops” EXCEPT:
a. Light Control Hi-Waist Thigh Slimmers
b. Extra Firm Control Bodybriefers
c. Firm Control Waistline Briefs
d. Comfortable Firm Control Torsettes
6. When the proper-sized bra is worn, how much of the workload should the straps be shouldering to support the breasts?
7. Which of these terms is the name of a panty silhouette?
8. Which acronym is the name of the non-profit organization that helps ensure that ethical labor practices are followed in factories manufacturing intimate apparel?
9. Which statement about body shaping camis is NOT true?
a. Some styles are made with underwires.
b. Women with short torsos find them to be great shapewear solutions.
c. They tend to slow you down when nature calls.
d. Styles are available that provide extra firm control.
10. Which of the following is NOT a sign that you’re wearing the wrong-sized bra?
a. The band doesn’t lie parallel to the ground.
b. The fabric connecting the two cups lies flatly against your sternum.
c. The straps occasionally slide off your shoulders.
d. The band can be pulled four inches away from your back.
11. With which of the following intimate-apparel merchandising tactics would retailing-environment expert Paco Underhill likely agree?
a. Panties should be displayed below waist level, at the approximate height at which they’re worn.
b. Shapewear should be displayed sideways on hangers to maximize display space.
c. Signs for bra displays should contain a lot of verbiage, since the abundance of brands and styles available makes product differentiation difficult for consumers.
d. The intimate apparel department in stores should be located next to the sporting goods section.
12. What’s the name of the awards presented annually to members of the intimate apparel industry for their career achievements?
a. The Undies
b. The Femmys
c. The Stretchies
d. The Aphrodities
13. Who helped develop the concept of cup sizes for use in bras?
a. Socialite Mary Phelps Jacobs
b. Inventor Otto Titzling
c. Dressmaker Olivia Flynt
d. Seamstress Ida Rosenthal
14. Which material is the principal component of the breathable, finished edges found on some brands of intimate apparel that prevent garments from riding up and showing through?
15. The myth of bra burning as a form of organized, social protest was born during which event in 1968?
a. The Democratic National Convention.
b. The Miss America Pageant.
c. The Summer Olympics.
d. The Republican National Convention.
16. What’s the first thing you should do after buying a piece of shapewear and deciding to keep it?
a. Wash it.
b. Stretch it out with your hands for a few minutes.
c. Iron it to lock in its control performance.
d. Read its care label.
17. What’s the average bust size in America today?
18. Which tip should you follow when trying on intimates in store?
a. Bring a nightgown into the dressing room when trying on shapewear.
b. After finding your size according to the manufacturer’s tag, purchase the shapewear garment in the next larger size.
c. Fasten bras at the tightest hook setting, as they’ll stretch out over time.
d. Limit the number of shapewear pieces you try on.
19. Which designer gave the world underwear as outerwear in the form of Madonna’s iconic pointy bra?
a. Christian Lacroix
b. Sonia Rykiel
c. Jean-Paul Gaultier
d. Christopher Decarnin
20. Which artist recorded the song “Who Put the Turtle in Myrtle’s Girdle” in 1954?
a. Otis Williams and the Charms
b. The Western Melody Makers
c. Buddy Holly and the Crickets
d. The Big Bopper
So, how do you think you did? Here’s the answer key to figure out your intimates quotient.
1b; 2c; 3a; 4d; 5c; 6a; 7a; 8d; 9c; 10b; 11d; 12b; 13d; 14a; 15b; 16d; 17c; 18a; 19c; 20b.
0-5 Correct: Sorry. You’re an Intimates Wannabe.
6-10 Correct: Not bad. You’re an Intimates Consumer.
11-15 Correct: Very good. You Could Be an Intimates Mentor.
16-20 Correct: Outstanding! You Must Be an Intimates Genius.