THE cost of living crisis has meant many of us have had to strip back on luxuries to help save money, but Emmerald Barwise has taken this literally – by ditching underwear.
Admin manager Emmerald, 29, has stopped wearing knickers and bras as part of a radical plan to help save money.
Emmerald, from Chester, Cheshire says ditching pricey lingerie as part of her ‘commando cost-saving’ plan has not only improved her finances but made her feel super sexy and body positive too.
She says: “I’ve ditched my knickers and bras as a radical cost-saving measure.
“Not only is my decision saving me hundreds of pounds, but I love the way it makes me feel.
“It may sound wacky and weird but it’s the best decision I have ever made.”
Emmerald first decided to completely ditch her pants last summer after noticing her monthly costs were spiralling.
She says: “Like almost everyone, the cost of living crisis started hitting me in summer.
“I watched with horror as grocery prices started rising and my weekly shop of £50 suddenly hit £80.
“I have to drive to work meetings and I was paying an extra £30 a week to fill up my car as petrol prices hit new highs too.
“Then, with gas and electric prices rising I knew I’d have to start thinking outside the box to save money.”
While she didn’t know where to begin to make savings initially, her creative way to ‘strip back’ costs and make savings came to her one day in July.
She says: “I’d been swimming and didn’t have dry knickers or bra to put on.
“So I simply pulled the maxi skirt and tight fit T-shirt I had with me to go home.
“By the time I went to bed that night I realised I’d spent the whole day bra and underwear free. I loved the feeling of going commando.
“I’d never felt so sexy and empowered, and that’s when I had my lightbulb moment.
“Why bother with knickers and bras, forking out cash on special laundry detergent and softener, paying for electricity to run the washing machine and dryer, and gas for the hot water if I didn’t need to?”
All or nothing
Working out she spent up to £50 a pop on bras and knickers, Emmerald realised she could make a real difference to her finances.
As well as saving on the cost of buying lingerie, Emmerald says she’s cutting laundry costs too.
She says: “I’m a 32DD and my underwire bras regularly needed regularly replacing, trashed by the spin cycle on my washing machine.
“My bras can cost anything from £20 to £50, and my knickers used to cost fifteen quid for a pack of two.
“Now I am using the money to pay the heating bill instead.”
While Emmerald has kept her collection of vintage lingerie and expensive bras and knickers for “special occasions”, she has even managed to make money by selling the rest of her unwanted bras and knickers.
She says: “My old bra and knickers I sold on eBay and Vinted, and it turns out there is a demand for items like that.
“I made £20 for one pair of well-worn underpants bought by a ‘trashed underwear’ fan.
“Most of my basic wear knickers and bras sold for 99p to a fiver.
“Now my daily knicker and bra draw is empty, and I go commando all the time.
Not everyone is a fan of Emmerald’s novel money-saving approach, however.
She says: “When I tell people they often turn up their noses and I reckon a lot of people will call my plan completely weird.
“Other people assume being knickerless is smelly, but it isn’t, and some worry I’ll flash people if a gust of wind gets me wearing a skirt or dress at the wrong moment, but I haven’t experienced that.
“Most days I wear leggings and a vest top and jacket, tracksuits, or tight-fitting gym kit.
“My vests and T-shirts are all slim fit and do the job of a bra, so under baggy sweatshirts a vest keeps my boobs in place, or I let my ‘girls’ be free.”
New-found commando confidence
As well as gaining money, Emmerald also says she’s noticed a huge increase in confidence.
She says: “My commando cash-saving plan means I don’t get those unflattering lumpy bumpy panty lines or have unsightly bra straps sticking out or ruining the fit of my top.
“After being bullied for weight gains and big boobs when I was in my teens and early twenties, I now feel more empowered, sexier, and hotter than I ever have.
“Ditching my undies and tossing my bras has given me a confidence I never used to have and I feel like a new woman.
“I look better in my tight-fitting clothes; my curves can properly be displayed and because I am saving money I feel financially in control.”