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July 9, 2012 7:54 PM   Subscribe

Help A Girl Out: High-waisted Undies Edition

So, I have a slight paunch. I would venture to say that at its deepest, my belly-pouch protrudes about 1.75" from the rest of my abdomen. But here's the thing: I absolutely and utterly cannot stand the feeling of underwear elastic resting against the underside of said paunch (which makes me seriously question my ability to ever wear pregnancy clothes, but that's first-world problem for another day).

My solution, so to speak, is to buy high-waisted bikinis (sexxxy, I know). I'm not sure if my expectations of just what they mean by "high-waisted" are too, uh, "high," or if I have an abnormally long pelvic-zone, but invariably the elastic of my undies sits at the apex of my abdominal carry-all. I hate this.

If I buy a few sizes up, I get the length I need, but, obvs, I am swimming in excess underwear.

I just want something that will smooth me out without irritating me. I should note that it's not just the feeling of the elastic that's annoying, but also the sensation of not having my paunch fully "contained." It is such a weird problem, I realize, but I hope I'm conveying what I mean accurately.

Do you have any:
a) recommendations for brands of underwear that might be longer and might be suited to my particular pelvic geography
b) recommendations for styles of underwear that might make me less crazy (keeping in mind that I find most thongs to be, well..."insufficient" in the gusset)
c) miscellaneous coping mechanisms?
posted by anonymous to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (25 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Why not normal briefs?
posted by ocherdraco at 7:56 PM on July 9, 2012

I'm not a big fan of American Apparel, but I have some of their (low rise) undies and they are super comfy. According to the pictures on their website (NSFW - it's AA!), their high rise underwear go to the middle of the bellybutton. Might be worth a shot.
posted by insectosaurus at 7:58 PM on July 9, 2012

High-waisted bikinis--is that the same thing as French-cut briefs? I am also long-waisted (which is a special joy when you're short), and I wear Jockeys. Love them.
posted by smirkette at 7:58 PM on July 9, 2012

There are all sorts of styles of body shapers.
posted by vegartanipla at 7:59 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Jockey makes french cuts with a cotton covered waistband. Decent Exposures makes panties to order too.
posted by brujita at 8:01 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Perhaps one of these panties made by Spanx would give you the feeling of "containment" you're looking for?
posted by telegraph at 8:02 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Definitely Spanx! It comes in a variety of lengths and control. Better yet, they sell a budget line at Target.
posted by acidic at 8:06 PM on July 9, 2012

I know that feeling, I have a tummy as well and I for some reason that area is sensitive. I don't like it either. If you're not looking for control or "smoothing", I just want to note that plain old "Hanes Womens Briefs", the kind you buy at CVS when you forget to wash your underwear that week, go insanely high up my torso and I like it. It feels like wearing a slip, kind of.
posted by bleep at 8:10 PM on July 9, 2012

I like all of my waistbands to be at the same height, so with skirts or pants that fit at my natural waist I wear these. Incredibly comfortable, durable, well-made, come in interesting colors.

With lower-rise skirts, pants, and most of my jeans I wear these or similar styles from Gap and Target.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:13 PM on July 9, 2012

I totally freak out if my underpants waistband is lower or higher than my pants or skirt waistband. I seriously can't stop thinking about it. Oh, sensory processing issues, how tiresome you are! So I feel you about the "don't like anything under my tummy" because I imagine it's similar. Don't even get me started on the time I bought thong underpants and had to leave a professional conference to go buy underpants that wouldn't make me insane.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:15 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Hanes or Just My Size briefs, aka granny panties I feel this way too - hate that feeling of the band slipping under!
posted by Occula at 8:16 PM on July 9, 2012

This is why "mom jeans" exist - if/when your belly goes fluffy post-childbirth, many women find it more comfortable to contain everything around the middle.

Try Soma Intimates (which is owned by Chico's, whose market skews older): the "modern briefs", "high leg briefs", or the "vanishing tummy" lines - I'd say they're pretty blatantly pitched to women who have probably had children.

If you're less fancy then plain cotton Hanes briefs or hi-cuts, or Fruit of the Loom briefs or hi-cuts are usually cut generously enough where you need it (over the stomach, between the legs). Jockeys too, though I've less experience with their briefs. I don't like a brief that is simply an elastic waistband without fabric all the way around over the hips because I find it either rides uncomfortably high or the elastic cuts right around the poochy part.
posted by flex at 8:19 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

"Bikini" generally implies low-rise. Maybe not ultra-low-rise, but not what you're really wanting.
posted by gracedissolved at 8:28 PM on July 9, 2012

Seconding Hanes hi-cuts (in cotton)! I recommend the ones with the waistband that's covered in the same material as the panty (not the plain elastic that says "Hanes" on it every few inches). I usually buy mine at Target.
posted by argonauta at 8:59 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

I know how you feel. Worse, the brand I was coming here to recommend got discontinued. :(

I end up defaulting to Hanes Hi-Cut for containment when I can't find anything better. Having grabbed the wrong size more than once though, I can tell you the microfiber fabric is much more stretchy and forgiving than the cotton.
posted by Space Kitty at 9:48 PM on July 9, 2012

These are what I wear (Bali 803J, microfiber briefs). I used to wear BarelyThere, but they've phased them out with these new Bali briefs. They're comfortable, stay put and have good coverage. I purchase them at JCPenneys.
posted by deborah at 9:53 PM on July 9, 2012

The shame of recommending granny panties from Wal-mart is outweighed only by the awesome-ness of these granny panties from Wal-mart.
posted by Majorita at 10:24 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Hi-leg briefs are great if you have a short torso. They're the only kind of underwear that fit me properly. Yeah, they're not cute little dainty panties, but they're comfy, which is what really matters to me. :)
posted by luckynerd at 10:42 PM on July 9, 2012

At a certain level on the abdomen, it stops being your panties' responsibility and becomes your girdle's. Try a girdle with (optionally: tummy shaper) panties overtop; the elastic will be on the girdle rather than your bare skin and you'll be "contained".

Some girdles have garter suspenders for extra sexy. Make sure you put your panties on over your stockings after they are attached.
posted by windykites at 10:54 PM on July 9, 2012

I love Jockey - I usually wear their bikinis, but I've picked up their French Cuts and they were comfortable.
posted by Lt. Bunny Wigglesworth at 11:12 PM on July 9, 2012

I know exactly what you're talking about but I usually get these and they're comfy and don't make me feel too paunchy. (Looks a lot like Majorita's link, actually.) I am wearing them now and they are wonderful.

(Also, if/when you do get pregnant someday, I didn't have an actual sag line under my paunch until after I'd given birth but still, I wore these and it worked great. The waistband isn't so much an elastic band as just an extra section of fabric that can fold down, so it doesn't feel like paunch dividing zone.)
posted by agress at 3:20 AM on July 10, 2012

Post c section with similar needs, I wear hipsters from jcpenney. They are attractive enough to wear in front of a partner without laughter and cover the belly without annoying the scar or riding down.
posted by supercapitalist at 4:36 AM on July 10, 2012

Yep, the fit you're looking for is, hilariously, "hipster." These are my go-to everyday wear.
posted by JoanArkham at 6:23 AM on July 10, 2012

I'm going to second Majorita, but you can skip walmart and buy them direct: http://www.bestfittingpanty.com/about.asp

They really are the most amazingly comfortable underwear ever.
posted by Requiax at 6:41 AM on July 10, 2012

nthing the hipster. (I have similar issues.) Hanes makes them too, though they can be difficult to find at target. I find the hi-cuts to be a little too high, if you know what I mean.
posted by tuesdayschild at 8:55 AM on July 10, 2012

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