can't believe I'm using an AskMe for this but...
November 7, 2016 8:14 AM   Subscribe

Mefites, none of my underwear fits me properly and it's very strange. Can you please help me with this problem.

I'm a cis female, if it's relavant.

All of my underwear (meaning panties) fall down. ALL OF THEM.

I know what you're thinking. "thereemix," you're thinking, "you silly person, this just means your underwear is too big. Buy smaller underwear and you will be fine!"


I have bought underwear of all sizes and they all fall down. I've sized up, I've sized down, I've sized down some more. I have bought underwear of all shapes - boyshort, bikini, string bikini, brief, high waisted brief, high leg brief, even the dreaded granny panty. All failures.

I have a bit of a muffin top (of doom, it's smaller than it used to be but this has been a problem no matter the size of the muffin) and what ends up happening is that no matter how high I hoist the underwear the tops of it end up rolling down the muffin top and then continue to slide down. Lower and lower. And lower.

When wearing pants, this usually results in the underwear gradually sinking to the bottom of my butt, where they remain, causing very attractive bunching in the posterior region of my pants, until I go to the ladies room and yank them back up. The cycle then repeats ad nauseum all day.

When wearing dresses or skirts, this is even worse, because there is no pant leg to block the underwear from just continuing it's journey on downwards and I'm sure you can see the inevitable and unacceptable conclusion to this scenario. I end up yanking my underwear up so high on these days in hopes of mitigating the issue that I give myself a wedgie and still that is not enough.

When wearing tights even this can become an issue. Some of my newer tights are snug enough to keep everything in the right place, but my older stretchier ones cannot withstand the determination of my underwear to travel and then I have a variation of the abovementioned pants bulging conundrum. I also cannot wear tights year round where I live lest I die of heat.

The only underwear I have found that does not have this problem is thong underwear, but I find thongs very uncomfortable so this is not a long-term solution either.

Lately I've taken to not wearing underwear at all, but this is a slightly gross option that requires me to launder my pants more often than usual and also cannot be executed safely unless the dress or skirt is knee length or longer and unlikely to fly upwards in the wind. I'd prefer not to go this route forever as inevitably someday I will accidentally flash someone and that's not optimal.

I have bought underwear from the following stores with the same sinking results:

Victoria's Secret
Lane Bryant
Old Navy

What am I doing wrong? Why is this happening? Is this a question of bad elastic on the waistband or am I doomed to sagging underwear forever because of my body shape? Is there a retailer somewhere where I can find underwear that will stay put? Should I give up on underwear forever and just be that hot mess who occasionally flashes people and hope I don't get arrested?


posted by thereemix to Shopping (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
boyshort, bikini, string bikini, brief, high waisted brief, high leg brief, even the dreaded granny panty

I have not seen on this list low rise hipster underpants. If the waistband is rolling off your belly, get underpants that sit below your waist. You know where a c-section scar typically is? Find underwear that is designed to ride below that line.

Also, consider that your underpants might not be big enough. If the waistband is rolling down off of you, that means its elastic is seeking out smaller ground. If your butt doesn't have enough padding to make up for a size large enough to fit your waist (droopy drawers effect), try something in a "cheekies" style that's intentionally cut shorter around the cheeks. Less material = less stuff to bunch up.
posted by phunniemee at 8:23 AM on November 7, 2016 [4 favorites]

I'm sure you've probably tried this already, but have you tried underwear that is supposed to sit under your muffin top? A low rise style? I have a large stomach as well and my underwear refuses to sit up any higher than my hip underneath my belly. It always slides down there. If you fit to that area, you might have better luck.

I don't know what size you wear, but I buy Lane Bryant string bikini style and they don't fall down if I fit them at my hip.

As a temporary or emergency measure, maybe try using fashion tape to attach the sides of your underwear to your skin? Tape it in place!
posted by possibilityleft at 8:23 AM on November 7, 2016

An option to consider... this is very popular with ladies who are athletes or are on the larger side. Tomboy makes boxer-briefs for ladies, and they are longer as men's are. They don't fall down, the elastic doesn't shift, and nothing rides up. The thin ones look fine even under thin pants. Under skirts they feel almost like bloomers. Some ladies also appropriate men's boxer briefs as their own.
posted by answergrape at 8:24 AM on November 7, 2016 [3 favorites]

Thirding low-rise bikini cheekies. And don't keep underwear so long that the elastic starts to give out (I am guilty of this), and buy national or pricier brands when possible. If you haven't tried Me Undies yet, do try them. Comfortable, wide enough elastic to take some squishing, look great under pretty much anything.
posted by pammeke at 8:28 AM on November 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Do you have this problem with tights, Spanx, etc. also, or is it just panties? That might clue us in to what is happening.

Also I wanted to second the notion that rolling usually means too tight.

These Jockey Skimmies are like a lady boxer brief, if you like answergrape's idea.
posted by cabingirl at 8:29 AM on November 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

In my experience, the Jockey Skimmies roll up and slip down a lot, and they don't hold their shape very well.
posted by answergrape at 8:42 AM on November 7, 2016

I just bought some maternity panties in a style called "roll down". They are perfect, I usually have terrible luck finding underwear that doesn't just feel terrible and something about the non binding top is just perfect.
posted by stormygrey at 8:54 AM on November 7, 2016

What materials are your underwear --- not the style, what fabrics? A natural fabric like cotton might hold in place better than something slick like nylon.
posted by easily confused at 8:58 AM on November 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've had the same issue. I've found that it's definitely related to style, and that the lower the cut, the more slippage/rolling there is. I've had good luck with Lane Bryant's cotton high leg and full brief undies. The top elastic hits high enough that there is minimal downward drift.
posted by jenny76 at 9:42 AM on November 7, 2016

Something you might try, in the mean time to finding undies that don't do this - try sock glue. It's made to keep thigh highs and such up on the leg without garters.

Just don't stick it anywhere near your hooha. I suggest your hips and back area.
posted by INFJ at 9:42 AM on November 7, 2016

You could always do the nuclear option of sewing suspenders (in the form of thin elastics that go over your shoulders, or maybe a garter belt that sits on your waist and clips on) onto your underwear... or getting very high-waisted Spanx that go above your waist.

It seems likely that you'll need to find underwear whose top edge ends either way below your muffin top or way above.
posted by danceswithlight at 9:47 AM on November 7, 2016

Random question but relevant do you have a lot padding the back? Typically underwear are made so that your but can fill the back out and keep it from sliding down.If you have a big butt, you'll be prone to wedges and all your underwear will be cheekies. If have a small or flat butt you'll have sag and sliding down, especially if a muffin top is involved. if it's the latter I would suggested high-waisted spanx like underwear. They'll smooth the muffin and stay up.
posted by CosmicSeeker42 at 9:54 AM on November 7, 2016

CosmicSeeker42 I have the flattest butt ever, which I'm certain is contributing to this problem...

Thanks for the suggestions so far!
posted by thereemix at 10:19 AM on November 7, 2016

This happens to me also! It is the WORST. I too have a flat bum, and I think that is the issue more than any muffin top thing (because I don't have a muffin top but this also happens to me with regularity and I think it's because my butt isn't helping to hold stuff up). I have solved this via "cheekies" as well. What is meant to be sexily scanty on ladies with more butt just is sort of normal on me, but it stays up.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 11:15 AM on November 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

Another vote for low rise. Aerie cheekies and especially string bikinis are really low cut.
posted by Neekee at 2:28 PM on November 7, 2016

As elastic ages, it loses its grip. If you put the undies on a drying rack, not in a hot dryer, the elastic will hold up much better.
posted by theora55 at 2:46 PM on November 7, 2016

Also have a flat butt. A few years ago I said the final eff you to underwear almost all the time, and switched to wearing plain black cotton leggings pretty much every day. Since I only wear dresses and skirts to work, and shorts over leggings on weekends, works well for me. I launder the leggings after every wear, just as I would undies. Also bonus no more waist pinchy-tightness-ouch after a long day.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 2:50 PM on November 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

This may be impractical for everyday wear, but how about trying leotards with snap crotches? You can wear them under blouses just like you would an undershirt, and they can also work with skirts.
posted by Miss T.Horn at 8:09 PM on November 7, 2016

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