Behind closed lingerie drawers, even the chicest among us sometimes have messy little secrets. Nothing matches. Your bra is yellow, your panties are pink, and you hope you won't get hit by a taxi anytime soon. Nothing works. Yep, that's a black bra under your white shirt. And your pencil skirt needs panty-line rehab...

There's a reason they're called foundation garments: Clothes look better because you're lifted or sleeked in the right places, and your spirit is nourished by cute, stylish, seductive stuff. "People say, 'I've been married 20 years; I don't need that' or 'I'm not dating anybody now; I don't need that,'" says Sandra Saffle, national lingerie stylist for Nordstrom. "But when they put on beautiful lingerie, their faces light up and their whole posture changes."

So here it is—an intimate wardrobe able to negotiate all of life's occasions: basics that work overtime, solutions for strapless/backless dresses and gowns, practical gym gear, glamorous little bits.

Let the undercover operation begin


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