U is for Unmentionables: Underpants

Nearly every woman wears underpants*. Yet many of us behave as if they are (or should be) unmentionables. While underpants are only for the wearer’s eyes and for those very few to whom she chooses to reveal them, there are underpants issues worth mentioning. (Bras and other undergarments too, but those are different posts.) Lingerie affects a woman’s mood. A new bra and pants feel wonderful. Lingerie, including underpants, also affect the look of a woman’s clothing. If they’re visible either because of fit or because the colour or pattern can be seen through our clothing, then we might as well put our underpants on view for all to see.

A woman I knew complained about having VPL.** A friend and I suggested she wear thongs. She complained they gave her wedgies. We told her to try a larger size because when thongs give wedgies, it’s usually means a woman is wearing the wrong size. (Like Homer Simpson.)

“But where will I get support?!” she finally demanded.

After much laughter, we explained that support comes from shapewear.***¬†Underpants don’t provide it.

And they don’t. In general, underpants provide a layer that protects a woman’s clothing from bodily fluids and stains and protects her skin from uncomfortable fabrics. They’re utilitarian and can be pretty. So, unless her faith prescribes certain undergarments, each woman can wear the underpants that work for her without concern that she might be immodest. It is not more virtuous to wear large pants nor less to wear thongs or any other style.

U is for Unmentionables: UnderpantsFit is the important issue with underpants. Like all clothing, on models, underpants look great.

In reality, our underpants tend to look quite different because we’re not models, we don’t have seamstresses slashing and sewing and photographers posing us to get the best shot, and we each have different body shapes. A woman with a flat, heavy bum and hips will probably want a different style than a woman with a higher, smaller bum even if both women have cellulite.

It’s wisest to identify what is personally most important (no VPL, no wedgies, etc.) and then try a variety of styles until you find those you like. Try seamless pants, stretch boy briefs, thongs, tanga pants, bikinis and every other available style until you find ones that work. Sometimes try-ons over underpants are allowed. Other times it will be necessary to buy a style at a discount shop or on sale. If they’re not great, they can always be saved for emergencies. (You do have emergency underpants, don’t you?) And remember to have a few pairs of beige or flesh coloured underpants to wear under white and pastels. Also, it’s wise to have black underpants that won’t be seen under dark coloured clothing.

Underpants are like every other garment. There’s no standard sizing so one manufacturer’s small will be bigger than another’s size 3. One thong will fit while another will droop and yet a third will cause an endless wedgie. Building a wardrobe is a bit of an adventure even when buying underpants. Go forth and conquer.

  • In England, underpants are called pants.
    ** Visible Panty Lines
    *** To avoid yeast and other infections, don’t wear shapewear (including control top tights) everyday.

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