“A newspaper reported that I spent $30,000 a year buying Paris clothes and that women hate me for it. I couldn’t spend that much unless I wore sable underwear.” – Jackie Kennedy

Do you ever feel that the rug was (metaphorically) pulled out from under you? That something that you considered to be pretty much set in stone has now changed and (potentially) you’re the last to know?

Well, it just happened to me.

As I looked at my Macy’s statement…a bill for basically the only thing that I buy there, Calvin Klein bras…I noticed that the line item said "Innerwear".

Innerwear? Surely, I thought, that’s some kind of corporate typo and they really meant to say underwear…but no, apparently innerwear is a legitimate word. And, according to an online dictionary that I rushed over to, it means "clothing, such as lingerie, designed to be worn next to the skin".

Confusingly, when I look up underwear on the same site I get "clothes worn next to the skin, beneath one’s outer clothing".

So, if I read this correctly, innerwear is something that has been created to be worn in direct contact with your flesh while underwear is something that you randomly thought "I wonder what this would feel like if I wore it under everything else?"

So now I’m wondering, did I miss something that the whole world knew eons ago? Have I been using the word underwear for years without realizing that I was committing a verbal fashion faux pas?

Were people sniggering as I walked away and saying, "poor girl, doesn’t know her inner from her under"?


Photos courtesy of the Fashion Spot forums.