A Tale of Custom Underwear: Upitees Meet Vulvodynia

Drea's first ever bespoke undies. She and I discovered that a lot of organic cotton tshirts are chocolate brown... :)


Do you have a pretty predictable fit challenge?  Like you can pretty much count on something usually being too long, too short, too anything?  For my client Drea, there was one fit challenge with underwear in particular that she could absolutely count on (until she met me :)).  Let's actually start at the end, with her delighted testimonial:

I am a very picky customer. Kori worked with me tirelessly and very graciously to create a set of undies that are absolutely perfect for me. They fit me perfectly and are perfectly comfortable. And I do mean PERFECT! I have dealt with the pain of Vulvodynia for many years and up until I found Kori, I had never worn a pair of underwear that did not cause me pain. Those days are over. It’s Kori and her bespoke undies forevermore!

Can I tell you what an honor it has been to work with her?  After back-and-forthing for months and several iterations of "this works, let's tweak that," I couldn't have been more tickled to hear that we finally got her perfect pair of underwear right! Before Drea messaged me, I hadn't heard of Vulvodynia

I learned quickly.

It's a condition of chronic pain in Ladytown with no known cause. Degrees of pain vary among women who suffer from the condition, but wearing underwear poses a serious challenge. 

Like Drea said,
she had never worn a pair of underwear before that did not cause her pain.  Never!  It totally hurts my heart. So, cautiously optimistic, we embarked together on a journey to craft the perfect pair of underwear.

She was excited about mine because the boy-cut's center panel was fully lined to the waist (no uncomfortable ridges where the lining ended in a sensitive area). We talked about fabrics, and I found some soft organic cotton tshirts (best to avoid anything that might have been treated with a harsh or unnatural pesticide). I emailed her photos of some different options, and moved forward with the one she chose. I made a pair with a little higher rise, per her specifications, and sent them her way. 
I waited anxiously. She got back to me after a few wears. They were good, but she needed to cut the lining out, and the elastic bunched uncomfortably around the front part of the legholes. Did I have any ideas? 

Drea bought another pair. This time, no lining, and with extra care paid to how the elastic was put in. Better. But something was still off. And then! (I always have my best ideas while running or in the shower.  Never running in the shower, but one or the other.  :)) I realized we could pre-shrink the elastic and then sew it in so that it didn't bunch around the front half of the leg hole. 
Drea loved the idea, so she bought another pair. And could I cut the waist a little bit lower on these? Of course. And maybe shave off a little bit of the fullness from the buns? Definitely.  And guess what? They were perfect! 
Finally! Eureka! 
Working on so many pairs, Drea and I developed some new prints for the shop, like this bumblebee!
Shortly thereafter, she mailed me back the previous pairs. This week I'm taking them apart to put the elastic back in and take the waist down just a tad. 

And with that, Drea will have a drawerful of undies that fit her perfectly and don't cause her pain. Glorious. This has meant so much more to both Drea and I than than just a few pairs of underwear. 
For her, I know, it's something she's never had. For me it's this incredible opportunity to  be a part of that joy and gratitude. To craft something special for one woman and her specific needs (no lining, higher waist, less curvaceous bottom and all).

I feel honored by her having shared such an intimate part of her life with me. And the more I learn about other fit challenges— wide hips, narrow hips, extreme petiteness, curvy girl-ness, big booty, no booty, front pouch, strong thighs— the more committed I am to providing a super high quality product, and a safe space to explore what works best for a woman's unique and beautiful-in-every-shape body.

I love the process, the relationships, and the opportunity to create underwear as unique and cheeky as the women who wear them. 

For more about what I do and why, check out my malleable manifesto.  :) 

So. If you've ever had a pair (or a drawer full) of undies that haven't fit you the way you would like, I'd love to hear from you. Comment below with a horror (or less horrific) story. Or send an email my way if you're curious about embarking on your own bespoke underwear journey :) 

4 Responses


July 22, 2016

Sandra, Thank you so much for taking a moment to comment! I replied to your email- I so hope we can work together! Sending lots of warm fuzzies your way! xoxo


July 21, 2016

I too have been suffering from vulvodynia now for two years and would be thrilled to get some underwear that will not cause me pain!


June 06, 2016

Hello Shannon! I’m so happy you found me :) I’m on the road right now (moving from Seattle to Detroit), but I will be back to making orders in a few weeks (late July). Send me an email (koriel [dot] jock [at] gmail [dot] com) and we can talk about how to get some of these mythical delights in your hands :) xo Kori


June 06, 2016

I am in tears right now reading about a possible solution to my volvadynia/underpants situation. I have tried every thing as mentioned in Drea’s story. Please help me. How can I get my hands on some of these (as yet) mythical delights. Shannon

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