Nearly every store was selling yellow underwear — solid yellow underwear of all shapes and sizes. There were a lot of thongs.
I was 16 years old, and it was my first time visiting my family in Colombia. We were home for the Christmas holidays, and instead of seeing green and red adorning the streets, a sea of yellow undergarments spilled out of storefronts to color the commercial landscape.
My mom promptly told me that in Colombia, people wear yellow underwear on New Year's Eve for "buena suerte," good luck. I wondered why I'd never seen her bust out yellow underwear every 31st of December. Maybe she did but kept it private, or perhaps assimilating to life in the U.S. left little time for hunting down solid yellow underwear amid an American Christmas.
Of course, I bought a pair of yellow underwear to wear that NYE, and I think I had a pretty good new year. I know for sure that I enjoyed participating in the tradition. The intention and action of buying, then wearing something symbolic of buena suerte, gave me a jolt of excitement and hope. I enjoyed the fact that something as simple and tangible as new underwear could influence how I felt ... influence my outlook.
The trip and tradition stayed with me even though I never bought yellow underwear again. Until now.
I was shopping at one of our favorite independent stores in Adelaide called Heirloom, and I couldn't resist picking up this pair to wear on NYE:
This pair of underwear not only met the standard requirments of yellow and new (yes, they must be new and clean on the day you wear them), but they also added fun cultural touchpoints for me. Fox in jocks is a small South Australian undergarments brand that uses Liberty cotton fabric — a fabric brand that I came to love after living in London. The combination of a Colombian tradition with undwear made in my new home country, using fabric from a past home, was all too good to pass up. So good that I'm wondering just how lucky 2024 will be?!
Without getting ahead of myself, I know that every year brings new gifts, struggles, joys, and lessons. The last two years have been such a big transition for my family and me personally that I'm all-in on my new yellow underwear's supposed superpowers. And why the hell not? I'm gonna wear underwear anyway ;)
Did I entice you to find your perfect yellow pair? Let me know and we can bring on la buena suerte, together.