I like properly covered butts and I cannot lie
August 28, 2013 8:04 AM   Subscribe

I guess it must be the season for questions about lady undies. I haven't bought underwear in, like, 8 years. Could someone clue me in on what's out there for breathability, value and invisibility?

I wear a size 18W in pants and am not particularly curvy in the hip area, but my stomach is on the larger side. I've been exclusively wearing black cotton underwear, most enjoyably Victoria's Secret XL bikinis (which, oddly, have lasted quite a while) and Barely There boyshorts in an 8 (I think). I tend toward very simple full coverage that doesn't make me feel like a grandma.

I start itching at the idea of paying more than 8 bucks per pair. Multipacks! Where can I get them? I emphatically do not want white, gray or beige.

What's the deal with nylon, microfiber, etc.? I tend to get fairly, um, warm down there, so the idea of synthetics has turned me off, but should it?

What kind of waist/leg band will be the least visible? I wear khakis all the time.

My parts thank you.
posted by Madamina to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (18 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I find microfiber to be the most airy, seamless, stretchy-but-never-stretched-out fabric. I wear Hanes Women's Body Creations Microfiber Hi-Cut in a size 10 (I wear US 22W), and they come in bikini and boy/hipster as well. They have cotton panels in the crotch, and overall I find them cooler than all-cotton.

I usually getthem at Target or Walmart, or Amazon. They always have one multipack of beige and black, but the other multis are usually really nice jewel tones and neat patterns. It seems to be really hard to find them online where you can see the non-beige ones, so brick-and-mortar may be your best bet there.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:14 AM on August 28, 2013 [2 favorites]

I don't know where you live, but I like the cotton undies I get at Lane Bryant. They do deals where they have 5 for $25. The cotton ones are comfy and they have cute stuff on them or you can get them in neutral colors.

The bonus is, you can try them on in the store (over your current undies).
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:40 AM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

I like Gap girl shorts. They have plain black in "ultra low rise", which doesn't actually seem that low to me, up to size XXL, and also prints and lace trimmed, etc in the regular low rise, up to size XL.

They are super comfortable, and cute. Right now it looks like they are $10 a pair if you buy 2 or more, but often they are $5 a pair if you buy 5 or more, and you can mix and match sizes and colors.

The only downside is that they do stretch out some after a while. And they run a little big in my opinion. So I think you would want to try the size L as well as XL, and XXL would probably be too big.
posted by treese at 8:51 AM on August 28, 2013

Oh, and I forgot to say, they are pretty full coverage, and are cotton/spandex.
posted by treese at 8:53 AM on August 28, 2013

Honestly, I go with the Hanes all-cotton things you can get three for a pack at Duane Reade drug stores here in New York. They do have them in cute colors, they make a bunch of different styles and cuts, and they are hella cheap.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:54 AM on August 28, 2013

The only thing I miss about being a size 18 is the chones at Lane Bryant. The string bikinis were the best underwear I've ever worn. I usually go with the VS bikinis now, but they're not as good.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:57 AM on August 28, 2013

Isn't Lane Bryant called Woman Within now?
posted by Cranberry at 10:07 AM on August 28, 2013

I can't say enough good things about Shimera seamless high cut panties. They are quite affordable during lingerie sales.
posted by bearwife at 10:07 AM on August 28, 2013

a) lane bryant is not woman within, 2 different places. woman within is lower end. b) it's now 5 for 32$ and sometimes 3 for 32$ if you're getting "fancy" panties. which is lame. c) i get their high cut briefs which are barely distinguishable from their regular or full coverage briefs. they are fine. except for the ones that have "sexy" sayings on them, which are stupid.


so. fucking. expensive. and why shop at lane bryant if you aren't fat enough to absolutely have to?

when i wasn't so damn fat and could get panties at not-lane bryant, i much preferred microfiber to all other fabrics. nice and soft, still breathable.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 10:29 AM on August 28, 2013

I bnought some underwear at Costco by French Dressing that are great. Apparently not at Costco anymore, but the company has them online now.

The good: 95% cotton, minimal seaming bulk for the elastic, durable. Amazon reviews. Reasonably priced 6-pack.

The bad: Looks like not all the styles are available in solid black.
posted by annsunny at 11:16 AM on August 28, 2013 [2 favorites]

I like the Traveler underwear from Soma. It looks like it's sold out online, but it's usually available at the free-standing stores. It's nice and stretchty and stands up to washing. The other brief styles from Soma have all been good to me and my very curvy belly and ass. They aren't cheap, but they often have coupons or buy 5/get 3 free sales that make the individual price come down.
posted by megancita at 12:44 PM on August 28, 2013

Oh, and as far as the "heat" issue, I'd say most microfiber panties have cotton crotches, which is what I would recommend.
posted by megancita at 12:45 PM on August 28, 2013

I really like these Gilligan & O'Malley lace-trimmed boy shorts from Target. Good coverage, the seams aren't bulky, and the lace trim keeps them pretty near invisible under everything. They don't ride up, don't slide down or fold over as the day goes on, and they're usually 4 or 5 for $20. I'm also a big fan of their lace hipster, (there's a cotton version, too) for similar reasons.
posted by ThatSomething at 1:01 PM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Gilligan & O'Malley (or, y'know, their sweatshoppy subvendors) made the undies I purchased in my last attempt to stock up, and to a one the leg bands disintegrated into string-trailing, holey messes. I don't think I'll be going with them, but the lace ones seem intriguing.
posted by Madamina at 2:05 PM on August 28, 2013

I second Lane Bryant; they have great plain cotton undies in different colors (as well as fancier ones I don't like); if you wait for a sale you can stock up. The ones I have purchased last for a long long time. Right now I think they will be having 40% off in the stores this weekend. (and no, I don't work for them!) I have also purchased breathable microfiber extremely expensive underwear at REI--they are good at sweat-wicking but not as comfortable; I only wear them for exercising.
posted by bessiemae at 3:35 PM on August 28, 2013

I like Jockey Elance. All cotton, 3-packs in all black, many cuts available, ~$5/pair. Bonus: they've been making them for 20 years, so unlikely to be discontinued.
posted by momus_window at 3:52 PM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

I swear by AE's Boybrief underpants. They have a lot of fun prints and come in sizes up to XXL. If you get a style with lace or the tiny elastic on the leg holes versus the thicker cotton trim, they're pretty good about not showing under pants.
posted by meggan at 4:49 PM on August 28, 2013

I'm your exact same size and I like the Jockey Elance, as noted above. They seem to last pretty well.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:02 PM on August 28, 2013

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