Panties: I have such a love/hate relationship with this particular undergarment. The right pair can you make you feel like the hot sexy goddess you are, but get the wrong pair, and you're waddling around in discomfort all day. Plus, different types of underwear require different occasions — because there's no way you're wearing your black boy shorts with that sheer skirt or putting in the effort of a thong only for it to get lost under some flowy dress. So, what's a girl to do? Get the 7 essential pairs of panties every woman should own, of course.
Since my opinion is only one and I've been known to go commando when underwear is too uncomfortable (shhh!), I made sure to source the opinions of real buyers to get their undie-related suggestions, as well. That way, you have the most thorough list possible for all different sizes, styles, and preferences. (Before you go out and snag your next pair, make sure you've also scanned this list of underwear mishaps to avoid. And if you're feeling particularly feminist fierce, don't miss these panty ideas as well!) Good luck — and may you live comfortably and wedgie-free.
Here are the 7 kinds of undies every woman should own.
Every girl just needs an honest-to-goodness pair of basic undies that feel comfy, light, and effortless. They're the pair that you can easily wear to the gym and work and happy hour and the weekend flea market. This pair from Hanky Panky is made from 96 percent Supima cotton and has a bit of spandex thrown in there for added stretch. It offers a medium rise and lower leg coverage to prevent discomfort, chafing, and panty lines. Get it in your choice of eight different colors.
- Available sizes: XS — L
These spandex shorts that double as underwear are a great option when you want basic coverage, but don't want an extra layer that's going to make you even more hot and sweaty. They're made from a blend of cotton, poly, and spandex for moisture-wicking, softness, and stretch — plus they come in a pack of three, so whether you're working out, looking for full coverage under a dress, or sleeping, you're as comfortable as possible. They're available in your choice of black or white.
- Available sizes: S — 3XL
Even though they're called the "Awareness Panty," they're specifically designed to go virtually undetected during wear. Nylon and spandex come together to create a weightless, ultra-breathable mesh fabric that comes in virtually every color, and the sheer elastic trim is lightweight and non-pinching. Finally, there's a cotton crotch lining for hygiene purposes. "Comfortable in the heat and humidity," one reviewer says, while another raves, "I love these. They're feather-light — almost like wearing nothing!"
- Available sizes: S — XL
When compared to cotton, silk is often softer, more breathable, and more cooling — which is why every woman should own a set of these silk thongs. They're made from real, pure silk and feature a lace fringe and a VPL-free G-string design. You can get them in two different sets of three (both neutral colors and bright shades), and reviewers say they're "well-made," "beautiful," and "discreet under clothing."
- Available sizes: S — XXL
These boxer briefs have all the most-loved features of a traditional pair — including a longer leg, a button-down front, a looser fit, and a cotton-spandex fabric. That said, they've got a few features that most don't offer: namely lace detailing, bright color options, and dual side pockets where you can hide all your valuables. (If you're a bigger fan of neutral colors, they've got those, too.)
- Available sizes: XS — XXL
There's absolutely nothing wrong with going commando. That said, for those days when you don't feel like wearing undies but deem it absolutely necessary (i.e., breezy days when wearing skirts), consider a seamless thong. You'll almost forget you're wearing anything at all. These five pairs from Mae are low-cut with a four-way stretch fabric for ultimate comfort. Best of all, they're made without seams, so you won't be able to see them or feel them. Get them in six different sets, from subtle neutrals to bright patterns — or even a mix of both.
- Available sizes: XS — XL
Just because you're a grown ass woman doesn't mean your underwear can't be fun. These cotton-spandex hipsters are shockingly comfortable as well as witty and playful. Of course, they come with seven different pairs, including Meh Monday, Throwback Thursday, and Sunday Funday, each in a different solid color. "Who doesn't love days of the week undies?" one reviewer raves. "Great underwear. One day, I had a dream it was almost the weekend and when I woke up I was convinced it was Friday. Looking down at my Tuesday underwear quickly crushed that dream."
- Available sizes: XS — XL
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.
This post was originally published on 6/10/2015. It was updated on 7/22/2019. Additional reporting by Maria Cassano.
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