Come on underwear, you have one job: keep our lady bits comfortably covered. So why is it so hard to find a pair that does just that without riding up (hello, wedgies!), causing the dreaded visible panty lines (a.k.a. ruining that perfectly good loungewear look), or looking like something our grandmas would wear (sorry, Mom-mom!)?
To help you shop for the perfect pair of underwear (which can feel as impossible as shopping for a comfortable t-shirt bra), we rounded up some of the most popular styles from some of the most popular intimates brands, including Aerie, ThirdLove, Hanky Panky, and On Gossamer. Whether it’s a seamless boy short—ideal for pajama time—or a lacy thong—it’s your personal choice—these are the pieces that women around here swear by.
But before you click “add to cart,” how often should you be replacing your underwear? And what’s the best way to take care of all those new panties? We asked Erin Collins Rittling, Aerie Manager of Styling, for a few pointers. “Replace your undies about every 6-9 months and sooner if you wear them frequently and if they are getting a lot of wear and tear from your washer and dryer,” she recommends. “If your undies are losing their elasticity and fit, they need to go!” And as for washing your underwear? “Cold water and a delicate detergent and try to use a mesh bag or wash separately,” Erin says, adding that you should avoid the dryer if possible (or use a lower heat setting if you must!).
Unlike your 21-year-old college self, “sexy” isn’t exactly at the top of your priority list when you’re shopping for clothes these days—you’re more interested in comfortable, practical, and durable. But what if you could get the best of both worlds when it comes to your underwear? I.e. a pair of panties that are comfy enough to wear while you’re chasing the kiddos around but also sexy enough that they could incite some much-needed passion in the bedroom after said kiddos are fast asleep. That’s what you’ll get with these On Gossamer mesh bikini panties. The lightweight fabric feels like a second skin while the delicate lace edge and sheer mesh add that “wow” factor you miss out on with your basic no frills cotton underwear.
Underwear made by Amazon?! While your initial reaction might be skepticism (we see that side eye!), don’t knock it ’til you try it. After all, these panties from the retailer’s Amazon Essentials line have over 4,000 reviews and are about as budget-friendly as it gets, with a 10-pack costing just $20 (that’s $2 a pair for you non-mathematicians). The high-cut briefs are made with a cotton blend that has just the right amount of stretch to hug your body without cutting into your skin or, worse, riding up during the day. As for colors and prints, you can choose from assorted variety packs— basic black to muted neutrals to colorful patterns.
Comfortable thongs are one of those things you never thought existed (along with husbands who don’t snore and kids who eat broccoli with zero complaints). And while we can’t help you with the latter, Hanky Panky can help you with the former. The lingerie brand is famous for creating “The World’s Most Comfortable Thong” which has won so many awards it has been banned from winning any more. Not only that, but the one-size-fits-all thong—which is made of a soft stretchy lace that doesn’t pinch or chafe—is worn by celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Rihanna, and Cameron Diaz. And if it’s good enough for those leading ladies, it’s certainly good enough for us.
The muffin top you ordered at Panera last weekend was great. But the muffin top you get from that too-tight 10-year-old pair of underwear you refuse to get rid of? Not so much. Enter “no muffin top” hipster panties, which have a wide stretch-lace waistband that’s specifically designed to reduce the appearance of said muffin top by lying flat and smoothly against your skin. The lace stretches with you, instead of digging into your skin (relief!). If you aren’t sure how well the underwear actually does what it claims to, just take it from the 6,500+ (!!) reviewers. One woman says, “These underwear stay exactly where you put them. Seriously! You can wear pants that are two sizes too small and – gasp! – NO CAMEL TOE! I can do yoga and they stay out of the places they shouldn’t be. The top doesn’t roll down—the “no muffin top” really works! These have changed my life.”
If 2019 was the year of the granny panty, 2020 is the year of the sexier granny panty. A.k.a. we want the comfort but we also want the mom-turned-Victoria’s-Secret-model vibe. And you can find both of those in this popular bikini from Aerie. With a high waist, super-soft lace and a scalloped edge, it’s exactly what your lingerie drawer—and your everyday life—are missing. Wondering why they’re called “cheetah lace”? Take a close look and you’ll see.
Erin, for one, is a big fan. “I love the Aerie high rise styles,” she says. “Both the bikini and thong are super trendy and very flattering with a high cut leg.” What more could you want out of a pair of underwear?!
People are obsessed with ThirdLove bras but the trendy retailer has another secret up their sleeve (or rather, up their shorts): some of the most comfortable underwear you can buy. Their best-selling Comfort Stretch Brief—which has over 1,200 glowing reviews—boasts a no-stitch design along with super lightweight nylon fabric so you don’t have to worry about seams bunching up or panty lines showing. Available in a rainbow of pretty earth tones from nude to mocha to burnt sienna, these are the nudes every woman can wear under her white jeans this summer. One reviewer gushes that the briefs are so soft and smooth that they hardly even notice that they’re wearing underwear. And as for how they look? Let’s just say one woman reported that her hubby was very pleased…
Wedgies, camel toes, and muffin tops are all cardinal underwear sins. But there’s one that is even worse than all of the above: VPL (visible panty lines, in case you didn’t know). Fortunately, you’ll never have to experience that embarrassing struggle again with a pair of seamless underwear from Commando. One of the most popular styles from the brand is these classic girl shorts, which have a near-perfect rating from happy customers. What makes them so special (and ensures no one will see your underwear underneath those yoga pants again)? The combination of Commando’s signature raw-cut edges, seamless design, and silky smooth European microfiber. We’ll take a pair in every color, please and thank you.
Think Tommy John is just for your husband? Think again. The wildly popular men’s underwear brand recently launched its first-ever women’s line—and according to reviewers, everything from the bikinis to the thongs is every bit worth the price. Of all the styles, however, the Second Skin Briefs are the highest-rated, with over 1,500 shoppers giving the pair a thumbs up. Silky soft to the touch (hence their name) and made with fabric that won’t pill in the wash (praise be!), the briefs are perfect for day-to-day life as they actually stay put and have a cotton gusset for all the breathability. And thanks to the high quality that Tommy John is known for, you can expect your pair (or pairs) to last for plenty of wears.
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