Underwire: June 2021 Mom’s Gone Viral

“Amazing, joyful, unbelievable”
“…had me going into a Wikipedia spiral at 7am”
“What in the world?”
“This has layers”
“If you come at the (bra) queen, you best not miss.”

Whee! Twitter is fun! I haven’t had notices like this since the ‘80s. If you’ve an hour or so for rabbit-hole exploration, please feel free to click on this tweet from the very funny Josh Frulinger. Otherwise you can just jump to my summary below.

So this is what ...continued

Underwire: May 2021

Happy May everyone! I’ve been enjoying maskless post-vax hikes & distanced outdoor gatherings in the perfect Georgia spring, and I hope similar blessings have befallen yourselves. You may note, however, that my portrait to the left is still firmly masked.

Jenette Bras remains an indoor experience, so until outdoor public bra fitting becomes a trend or the CDC guidelines change, we will require masks during your appointment regardless of your vaccination status. With ...continued

Underwire: April 2021

As we approach the final night of Passover and Easter Sunday, my mind turns to the overcoming of tyrants and plagues, the wandering towards freedom, and the miracle of resurrection – in other words, the past year. This year’s little Atlanta backyard Seder with fully and partly vaccinated attendees was a vast improvement over last year’s Zoom view of Bubbe’s elbow filling the middle square as I poured myself a fifth glass of wine. Dayenu.

You might imagine ...continued

Underwire: March 2021

I’m feeling a tiny bit sunny! Los Angeles infection rates have come down, more vaccine is on the way, hints of the beautiful Georgia spring are starting to emerge.

The past three weeks, for the first time in a year, I’ve been attending large in-door gatherings of hundreds of people. Super-spreader events, you ask, darkly?

Well, sort of — spouse and self have been volunteering one day a week at Atlanta vaccination centers, super-spreading ...continued

Underwire: February 2021

Running a successful business is a trait that runs counter to the Goldstein Family tradition. In fact, growing up, my relatives gleefully one-upped each other with stories about failed ideas, missed opportunities, and cursed concoctions that poked a finger into the eye of the rheumy cliche of “Jews are good with money.” Well, we showed them!

My favorite was my grandfather’s attempt at the haberdashery trade. With a loan from his boss, Mr. Dutch Schultz ...continued

Underwire: January 2021

Last month in this column I lost a few customers by chiding anti-maskers, supporting the Democratic Senatorial candidates from GA, and suggesting that the Republican Party was unfit to lead us through the pandemic. One former client said she never received messages like that from successful businesses like Kohls or Nordstrom, as though ass-covering corporation speak was the standard I should aspire to.

As promised, my husband and I did a little vote canvassing in ...continued

Underwire: December 2020

There’s a meme-y thing going around that says “A mask is not a political statement—it’s an IQ test.” I concur, and I would add that it’s also a moral test. The solipsism it takes to say, in effect, “it’s my right to risk your life” is hard to fathom. The fact that this attitude has been endorsed at the highest levels of government is what my people call a shanda: a shame, a disgrace. A deadly one.

When this winter is done, we will have lost more Americans ...continued

Underwire: November 2020 Georgia on My Mind

I began writing this the day before the election, assuming I would need to revise and then possibly revise again. Now, as I write, it’s two days after the election. Vote counting continues in several states, including Georgia. The tally appears to be running against the incumbent, who, as promised, will not accept the results. Instead he is spreading conspiracy theories, filing frivolous legal challenges, dividing the nation, and doubling down on his deployment of schoolboy rhetorical tricks. What is left to say about the lowness of his character? I have a craving for decency. The radio, tuned to NPR because I’m a blue-state liberal, drones from the bedroom as I listen to my podcasts, scroll and refresh my Twitter feed, and swing wildly from anxiety and dread to mania and fury to (now and then) hope. I try to turn my focus away from our trembling democracy and on to the work of buying, selling, and marketing fine brassieres, sexy garters, elegant harnesses, and fancy stockings.

My husband and partner, Aaron, went back to LA last month to put some finishing touches on the Burbank store, take care of our random cat assortment and, quite unreasonably, get some time away from me to paint in his studio. I’ve been living in Atlanta, unplanned, for almost a year now and am surrounded by the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement, not just the murals, churches, and street names, but the actual men and women who lived through that vital struggle and now are passing on–notably the great John Lewis, Congressional Representative of Georgia’s 5th district (my district now!–both house and store) for 33 years. The facts of his life can only inspire awe. Already a seasoned activist and Baptist Minister, at the age of 21 he became one of the original 13 Freedom Riders. Two years later he became chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and in that capacity was one of the organizers of the 1963 March on Washington, where he was the last to speak, save Martin Luther King. In 1965 he and Hosea Williams led the first of three Selma to Montgomery marches across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. On the far side of the bridge, Lewis’ skull was fractured by Alabama State Troopers in the incident which became known as Bloody Sunday.

It’s worth remembering that the Selma to Montgomery Marches were demonstrations for the right to vote, and ultimately led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act, which protected Americans from Vote Suppression until it was compromised by the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder decision in 2013. In the last few years of his life, Lewis was still working tirelessly to get the Voting Rights Advancement Act enacted into law as a way to guarantee every American’s right to vote. He died this past July 17. We were fortunate to be with a group of friends and alongside hundreds of mourners lining the streets of Montgomery, Alabama as his hearse passed by on its final tour of the stations of his life.

“Ours is not the struggle of one day, one week, or one year. Ours is not the struggle of one judicial appointment or presidential term. Ours is the struggle of a lifetime, or maybe even many lifetimes, and each one of us in every generation must do our part.”
― John Lewis on movement building in Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America

Underwire: October 2020 The Clothes Make the Woman

I assume many of you know that this CEO did not go to Business School, but instead went to Drama School. Two years at Circle in the Square in New York, then another year at Webber Douglas Academy in London, where little or no time was spent on analyzing Profit and Loss Statements, distinguishing between gross profit margin and operating profit margin or assessing market penetration. Instead my days and nights were filled with analysis of Shakespeare’s meter, voice and dialect ...continued

Underwire: September 2020 Fashion vs Fascism

There are certainly days, these days, when I come up for air, look at the state of the nation, and think—“bras, bras, lacy panties, waist cinchers, garters and bras… really? Does my life have a meaningful shape? Or only my torso?” But then I tell myself, “Hush, Jenette. Your profession is a worthy one.”
I’ve told this story before about one of our lingerie vendors, Andrés Sardá, but it bears repeating. It was in March of 1962 when photographs of Jackie Kennedy ...continued