Time to put on the big girl panties.
August 25, 2011 7:00 PM   Subscribe

Ladies undergarments filter: I want to invest in good quality lady's undies that are not too frilly but also well made and will be comfortable. Do these exist?

I usually get my underwear at Target and the Hanes just aren't cutting it anymore. Can you recommend some good brands or stores that carry comfortable yet attractive undies that will not start fraying in a year. Bonus points for cute girly stuff that is also comfy. Cost is not as much of an object if they are well made and will last a while.
posted by Leezie to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (47 answers total) 52 users marked this as a favorite
I have a feeling this answer will get booed down in about fourteen seconds, but: Victoria's Secret? That's where I went after I "graduated" from the generic box-o-white-panties my mom deemed acceptable for a growing daughter.

They're relatively cheap, come in about a million color (pink toile? yes!) and style choices, and (in my experience, YMMV) have held up just fine and are plenty comfortable. If you're looking for something a little more fancypants, you could try a variety of VS styles 'til you find something you like, then buy the same/similar cut in a more luxe brand.
posted by phunniemee at 7:09 PM on August 25, 2011

Victoria's Secret Pink. I've been wearing these exclusively since I found out about them several years ago. They are cotton and very comfortable, but also cute, girly and fun. They also have some that are a bit sexier -- lace and such, but not over the top. They are always 5/$25 -- bonus!! Actually, anything at VS would be good. They make good quality and good looking products.
posted by DoubleLune at 7:10 PM on August 25, 2011

i like gap body lately- tending to be a bit more subdued than VS on the whole, but still cute. Also, the lasting of the underwear is related to the gentleness of the wash.
posted by abirdinthehand at 7:18 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Hanky Panky brand, available on Zappos. Their Signature Lace Retro Thong is so sturdy and great that I reordered it in several colors. It's also extremely sassy, nay, sexy, but also very practical-- it smooths out mah belly.
posted by cymru_j at 7:22 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

After Target and Hanes, I agree that Victoria's Secret is a good step up. I've "graduated" from VS, but they are my go to period panties.
posted by spec80 at 7:28 PM on August 25, 2011

I love DKNY for underwear. But also a second like for Gap Body.
posted by Marinara at 7:30 PM on August 25, 2011

I love these girlie briefs from American Apparel. Super comfy, and the worst wear my oldest pair of them (threeish years old) has is a little bit of frayed elastic - otherwise they don't look ratty at all. They made their sizing smaller some time within the last couple years though - annoying.
posted by bubukaba at 7:34 PM on August 25, 2011

spec80 - what have you graduated to from VS?
posted by Leezie at 7:40 PM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]

Be careful with Victoria's Secret. The current stuff in their Pink line, specifically the stuff with the lacy material in it, is really delicate. Suddenly it seems most of the ones they're making now have lacy stuff either around the entire top or bottom of the panty, or in a couple places in the front. It just randomly stretches out or rips in the process of wearing them normally, making them not practical for daily use. I was really disappointed with the latest batch I purchased. They were very cute and flattering, but they have not stood the test of time. Even the regular VS signature stuff now has some weird frilly thing going around the edges that renders those more delicate also.

Though I would still recommend the VS Pink line stuff that doesn't contain lace.
posted by wondermouse at 7:40 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Sometimes Victoria's Secret Pink is OK, but sometimes it's impossible for me to find anything that isn't in some totally ridiculous pattern or color combination - the 5/$25 deal is pretty good but sometimes it's a crapshoot to find 5 panties that aren't insane. Also, I've found that the crotches on some of their panties are really narrow and can be uncomfortable for everyday undies.

Aerie, which is American Eagle's underwear brand, is a little better in my opinion. They are similar to Victoria's Secret except they don't have as ridiculous patterns and colors, and they frequently have a 7/$25 deal. Nice cotton with cute trims, very comfortable, and a normal-width crotch as far as I'm concerned!
posted by illenion at 7:41 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Mrs. wears a lot of Calvin Klein. They're probably her main day-to-day wear, hold up well in the regular wash, and she says she finds them comfortable.
posted by Gilbert at 7:42 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

I think VS quality is terrible. Ugh. Don't waste your money.

Brands I like that I find to hold up very well are Hanky Panky, OnGossamer, Cosabella, Chantelle, Eberjey. These can be found at nice lingerie stores, some department stores, or online (personally I like to order from Zappos, because then I get my nice underwear quickly).
posted by telegraph at 7:45 PM on August 25, 2011 [11 favorites]

Seconding Gap Body. I just bought some panties at Gap for the first time and they're super adorable and made out of the softest material ever. Unfortunately they're pretty new so I can't say how they'll stand the test of time, but I think they're more attractive (in an understatedly feminine way) than the usual VS offerings.
posted by ootandaboot at 7:50 PM on August 25, 2011

Quality is Hanro.
posted by pickypicky at 8:03 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

These might not be young and hip enough for some, but I like Vanity Fair undies from Macy's.
posted by calgirl at 8:04 PM on August 25, 2011

Seconding Aerie. I find them to be more comfortable and higher quality than Victoria's Secret, but still inexpensive. (Their bras are pretty reliable, too.) And they tend to have fun patterns like lobsters and bugs!

I also really like Gilly Hicks for everyday undies. They're an Abercrombie & Fitch brand, so I feel a little weird shopping there, but out of all the 5/$25 mall-store underwear brands, their stuff seems the nicest.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:06 PM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]

I wore VS pink for a long time too. Until I found a style I like at target that fits me just a bit better. Target has some bins of underwear for I think 5/$20 in cute prints and colors. I like the classic cut style they have. Shop for a few at a time in until you find a style that fits your body and then invest in a bunch of them. And never be afraid of branching out to try a new style or store or brand.
posted by HMSSM at 8:10 PM on August 25, 2011

What about American Apparel underwear in general? They are a weird and controversial company, but one can argue that most corporations are gross and at least AA doesn't use terrible labor practice. Their undies hold up really well, but often run small, so order a size up.
posted by zoomorphic at 8:11 PM on August 25, 2011

I love Warner's underwear, because while I don't care for a variety of colour choices for my gotchies, I do like all the styles and fabric choices they come in, and they do tend keep their promise to be wedgie-free. Their bras are also pretty great. They're not fancy, but sleek and sometimes almost retro-looking, which works for us. I mean, me. They're sold in department stores, where it's good to find out when there's going to be a sale and to get fitted properly if someone's working and on the ball; but I also find them at TJ Maxx and Winners-type stores. And that's where I find I like Triumph's stuff, because it's just a little bit more fun.
posted by peagood at 8:14 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Patagonia undies are awesome and 50% off right now.
posted by k8t at 8:15 PM on August 25, 2011

Hanky Panky thongs are great. They are expensive at retail price, but I always buy them at Loehmann's or Ruelala for about $9/pair and they are worth every penny. I also agree with telegraph's recommendations of OnGossamer and Cosabella.

For comfy normal undies, I have been from brand to brand to brand... and nowadays I'm back to Hanes. VS just doesn't fit me properly - small is too small, and medium is baggy in the butt. Hanes fit exactly like they are supposed to. Both dissolve in the washing machine at about the same rate, too, and Hanes is cheaper to replace.
posted by gatorae at 8:16 PM on August 25, 2011

I will second the Calvin Klein suggestion. Simple, well-made, comfortable, and widely available. Although there aren't usually a whole lot of prints and what-nots so if you like that they may not be for you.
posted by grapesaresour at 8:40 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

I love Jockey "no panty-line promise" stuff. It holds up and is so comfortable. Once you figure out your size you can get it all online. I go for the plain, black, modal bikinis
posted by bendy at 8:45 PM on August 25, 2011

I've bee super-impressed with Jockey's plain black cotton. They are chic looking and high quality; better fit and last longer than fruit of the loom.
posted by jb at 8:49 PM on August 25, 2011

I like VS too. This one in particular. No line, solids, looks nice. So far, so good.

In the end, don't be shy about buying different lines and cuts to find what you like. Then what you do, once you've settled on one you like, is to buy a shitton of them so you don't have to think about it again for a very long time.

I like the above panty to consider buying about 10-15 more to rotate-in over the next few years. I assume by the time they die out in about 10 years, a better panty will be out. Or not and then I'll have to start searching again.
posted by jlunar at 8:52 PM on August 25, 2011

I prefer Aerie to VS for cuteness and quality (the latter, by a smidge) but cannot recommend their bras at all, so if you like matchy matchy, these are not the droids you're looking for.

All the very best underwear I've ever had has come from places like Ross, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Nordstrom Rack--you can't walk in saying "I'm going to buy me a nude bra and three pairs of nude panties" and then walk out satisfied, but if you go in with an open mind toward whatever's there and in your size, you can, over time, build a pretty great and high quality underwardrobe for pennies on the dollar.
posted by padraigin at 8:56 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

I second or third the Jockey bikini cuts. They're great and you can get them for a reasonable price at outlet shops. It depends on what you like.... VS is more multicolor/pattern and lacy stuff, Jockey is generally single color and sleek stretchy material. I have had both brands for years, the leg elastics wear out on the VS pairs, and the Jockey pairs start getting tiny white elastic threads coming from them (we're talking after 5 years, not 1 year).
posted by treehorn+bunny at 9:21 PM on August 25, 2011

You really have to find a style that fits your body type, and that might take some exploration (Victoria's Secret, for instance, fit me poorly, rise uncomfortably, and fall apart.). I like Jockey's cotton (but beware of anything with a seam down the center front. Why? WHY?/) have had good luck with Aerie, Maidenform, and some other department store brands. I pick a cut I like (the "modern brief" stlye seems to suit me best.)

Check out department store clearance racks, and discount stores like Marshall's and Nordstrom's Rack if you want to check out a few different brands on the cheap. I have found that fit and construction can vary even within a brand - the name matters less than fit. Nobody will see the tag on your panties, and nobody ever wants a Poor Choice of Undergarment day.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:06 AM on August 26, 2011

For travel, sports, and incredible daily comfort, you can't go wrong with Patagonia's underwear line. They're not exactly sexy, but so comfortable and so easy to wash overnight if you're traveling.
posted by charmcityblues at 4:17 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh, and they're really durable, too. Definitely in the 3-5 year range.
posted by charmcityblues at 4:18 AM on August 26, 2011

while not frilly or fancy, the underpants from decent exposures is really reliable and solid and well made.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:42 AM on August 26, 2011

I wear Mary Green and FleurT boy shorts now.
posted by spec80 at 6:09 AM on August 26, 2011

I actually really love DKNYs line of underwear. They have both sporty and frilly but in cuts that are really comfortable and the price is not crazy, either. I get mine at Nordstrom and there's usually a buy two, get three thing going on or a discount for three. I have a few similar to this with lace at the edges. I think it helps hide lines as well.
posted by amanda at 7:52 AM on August 26, 2011

For my everyday, go-to underwear, it's Calvin Klein all the way. Like the above posters said, it's widely available, well-made, and you can get it on sale at most department stores in the States, anyway. Even though I have fancier lingerie, my boyfriend seems to like the black cotton panties the best.
posted by Concordia at 10:08 AM on August 26, 2011

Patagonia, for real. That stuff will last you forever and keep you cool. I think these are cute.
posted by desjardins at 11:18 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

I get a lot of my undies from etsy and sweetskins.com

I've never bought from this seller, but I've been lusting some of 'em


I like this seller a lot; the stuff I got from her is super cute and has held up well (and it's made of recycled tee shirts) but it looks like she's not selling right now.


I also found some surprisingly cute! boxer briefs from Hanes--they look like dude boxer briefs, but in a cute tomboy hipster girlie way. I got 'em at Target.
posted by hotelechozulu at 11:33 AM on August 26, 2011

um, woops on the links. Sorz.
posted by hotelechozulu at 11:33 AM on August 26, 2011

I'm loving ABS intimates; they are the best underwear I've owned hands down. They are a bit lacy, but super comfy. I have bikinis, thongs, boyshorts, etc. from this brand. I also like Gap body (own both lace and cotton), as an earlier poster mentioned - the GAP body undies have held up for YEARS and I wear 'em all the time. ABS are holding strong after 5 months.

Underwear that didn't serve me well (stretched out or frayed almost immediately): Victoria's secret (cotton boyshorts an d lace thongs), La Senza (lace thongs and lace boyshorts), Calvin Klein (cotton thong and lace boyshorts)
posted by Acer_saccharum at 1:55 PM on August 26, 2011

I'm going to whatever-th Aerie. I was using Target's for a while, then a pair fell down while I was walking (thank god I was wearing pants so they got caught up, otherwise they would have been on the floor) and I realized I no longer trusted their elasticity.

I moved onto VS but they were never quite comfortable.

I moved onto Aerie, never looked back.
posted by magnetsphere at 2:57 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Felina, from Nordstrom.
posted by echo0720 at 8:27 PM on August 26, 2011

I love American Apparel underwear. I get the boy shorts because I like a lot of coverage. They are sooo comfortable, and the elastic is sewn into the fabric, so it doesn't dig in which I love. They hold up really well, too.
posted by sweetkid at 9:42 PM on August 26, 2011

Oh also: I always think Aerie underwear is so cute and then it falls apart on me. I think women's underwear is like cold remedies -- people's preferences and recommendations are so personal and "the best" usually comes down to personal taste and experience.
posted by sweetkid at 9:44 PM on August 26, 2011

Another vote for Aerie here. I thought it was a store for the young people, but their 7 for $25 sign drew me in. The prices are comparable to VS and VS-Pink, but the fit is SO much better. And the service at my local store was really helpful, but not in-your-face.

For some reason, VS and Pink are really obsessing about "cheeky" underpants lately. Which means for a wide-load lady like me, instant wedgie city. The Aerie "boybrief" cut gives me the best rear coverage I've ever had in any underwear, and they're really comfy.

They also have a surprising variety of bras in my weird size (32C). Whereas Pink doesn't have my size at all, and VS carries two or three bras in that size (either white or nude), Aerie had 8 styles to choose from (and that wasn't even including the pushups).
posted by themissy at 11:39 AM on August 27, 2011

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned H&M. Their stuff is hit or miss in general, but the underwear is excellent, cheap, and comes in so many styles you are bound to find the perfect one for you. Mine last me years and I love that they recognize not everyone needs a high-rise panty.
posted by Dragonness at 6:27 AM on August 29, 2011

I will go back and forth between Jockey and Victoria's Secret, but I just wanted to note a couple of things.

First, if you feel like your underwear is wearing out / falling apart too quickly, you might try buying some cheap net lingerie bags and washing them in those.

Second, I guess this is just me being consumerist, but I was always under the impression that undies were as cheap as they are because they are, well, basically disposable. I'm shocked to see that ladies expect to get 3-5 YEARS (what?!) worth of use out of them? Because, seriously, ew. I buy mine by the half dozen on a pretty much quarterly basis, always have new fresh ones in the rotation and I doubt I ever keep even a favorite pair beyond about 18 months.

Sorry if that comes off as wasteful or whatever, but life is just too damn short to ever wear ratty underwear.
posted by lonefrontranger at 10:30 AM on August 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

Adding my nomination for Jockey's No Pantyline Promise.
posted by kmel at 4:23 AM on September 29, 2011

Maybe this falls under the Target umbrella which you are trying to get away from, but for the past year I've been going through a big Gilligan O'Malley cotton underwear phase. This is one of the Target in-store brands and usually the panties are being sold for like 4 or 5 for $20 in a free standing rack with a bunch of compartments. I love them and they have held up very well for me, maybe a tiny bit of stretching out. They make basic cute cotton kinds in colors and patterns, which is what I like, but also frillier or shinier "sexy" kinds which I can't speak to as much. I tried a couple pairs with lace and they were not as good.
posted by dahliachewswell at 12:44 PM on September 30, 2011

« Older What is this painless bump on my lip?   |   She liked the movie Constantine, but to me John... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.