My Top Picks for the Best Everyday Panties

Hello Everyone,

While bra fitting is my primary field of expertise, I frequently field questions from customers about which everyday panties I personally recommend, and I realized I have enough opinions on the subject for an entire blog post.  Ages ago on the blog, I referenced the Great Underwear Quest of 2009.  At the time, I recently finished losing weight and had purchased some lovely dresses and pencil skirts which showcased every seam, elasticized waist, and all manner of decorative feature adorning my current underwear.  Whenever I tried new clothes on in the fitting room, I mistakenly believed I had underwear at home which would disappear with nary a visible line in sight.  Nothing worked.  Ultimately, I began scooping up miscellaneous knickers from retailers ranging from Walmart to Nordstrom, but if I could find a discreet pair, they would roll, move, or creep upward—to say nothing of scratchy materials or fraying edges.  Eventually, I wondered if my only choice was to buy thongs or simply go commando, but I did not want to risk flashing cheek (or more) when I moved or sat.  Just as my frustration peaked, a friendly sales rep in the Nordstrom lingerie department recommended On Gossamer.  They were perfect!  They did not show under even my least forgiving bottoms, were fairly comfortable, and reasonably durable.  And so the Great Panty Quest ended.

One of the benefits of opening our store was how much exposure I had to new brands and styles in the intimates world, and I also had access to a large collection of guinea pigs (*waves at customers*) to gather data.  Not to mention, a few amazing sales reps and fabulous fellow store-owners weighed in with recommendations based on what worked well across other demographics and locations.  As a result, today I want to showcase a variety of great everyday panties, many of which are part of money-saving panty programs that give customers discounts for purchasing multiples.  Since the focus today is on basic underwear, I am not considering matching set underwear, luxury or high-end pieces, or hand-made specialty pieces as those truly deserve a separate discussion.  Instead, I am focusing on high quality, affordable everyday underwear for the average consumer.

Full Briefs

Full briefs offer more coverage than most knickers, in some cases earning them the unflattering title of “Granny Panties”, and usually sport a higher rise and fully enclosed hip, tummy, and rear.  Recent years have seen more interest in unique fashion twists on the brief, especially high waist versions, but most longtime fans love the style for the incredible comfort and ease-of-wear.

  • Wacoal Bodysuede Brief: Made from a thinner, lightweight fabric, the Bodyseude series from Wacoal has amassed a legion of devotees because of the complete coverage and excellent fit.
  • Vanity Fair Perfectly Yours Brief:  Composed of a soft nylon/spandex blend, the Vanity Fair Perfectly Yours brief is available in a cornucopia of colors and utilizes an elasticized waist and leg opening to keep the style in place as you move.
  • Le Mystere Perfect Pair Brief:  While both the Bodysuede and Perfectly Yours briefs have longevity and customer loyalty on their side, my personal pick for the category is the Perfect Pair brief from Le Mystere.  Not only is the fabric just as dreamy, but the Perfect Pair sports a stretch lace top panel to discreetly show some skin, making the design ideal for anyone wanting the coverage of a brief with added frill.

Hi-Cut Briefs

Hi-Cut briefs are a classic variation of the original brief and typically consist of a mid to high rise and an angled leg opening to expose the lower hip.  While the higher rise controls the tummy in the front, the higher cut leg offers a flattering silhouette, and the full brief back provides coverage without excess material or drooping

  • Wacoal Bodysuede Lace Hi-Cut Brief:  Capturing the feminine lingerie of the 70s and 80s, the Bodysuede Lace Hi-Cut brief contrasts the silky nylon fabric with a beautiful floral lace on the leg openings for panties as uncomfortable as they are lovely.  In fact, I have seen matching set underwear retailing for $30+ which do not feel this silky.
  • Wacoal B-Smooth Hi-Cut Brief:  Made from a heavier, stretchy fabric, the B-Smooth series from Wacoal is a great everyday brief for customers wanting a classic shape with less frills.  They are not completely VPL-proof, but the fit and longevity of the series is fantastic.
  • Natori Bliss Girl French Cut Brief:  Featuring a lower rise than the other picks, the Natori Bliss French Cut briefs make a lovely compromise for the person wanting a traditional hi-cut styling with slightly less tummy and rear coverage.  Made from a pima Cotton with stretch lace on the waist and leg openings, the Bliss French briefs are available in a plethora of colors every year, giving you a chance to stock up.

Bikini Briefs & Hipsters

In the exciting world of underwear terminology, recent years has seen a considerable and quite confusing overlap in what insiders, manufacturers, and retailers classify as a hipster, a bikini brief, and a short.  For the purposes of this post, bikini briefs and hipsters will be knicker cousins, characterized by a lower rise than a classic brief or hi-cut but still offering moderate to full rear coverage.  Fabric across the hip can either be thinner (as with a traditional bikini) or slightly thicker (as with a hipster).  Shorts will be underwear with wider, straighter cuts across the hip and either full or moderate rear coverage.

  • Natori Bliss Girl Briefs:  Without question, the Natori Bliss Girl briefs are my favorite underwear, and I am not shy about telling everyone and anyone about how wonderful they are.  These luxurious pima cotton concoctions from Natori use stretch lace on the waist and leg opening to prevent digging or riding throughout the day.  Personally, I prefer the classic shape to the French cut because the higher back rise looks awkward on me, and the hipster shape here seems to stop at just the right spot.
  • Le Mystere Safari Smoother:  An incredibly lightweight nylon panty with a hint of animal print at the waist, the Safari Smoother bikini from Le Mystere have quickly become a favorite and are perfect for days when I need or want a silkier feeling fabric than my Bliss collection.
  • b.tempt’d Fits Me, Fits You bikini:  I would never have believed I could like a “One Size” panty, particularly because most similar items either fit smaller or stretch out quickly.  This inexpensive bikini from b.tempt’d not only accommodates between a size 4 bottom and a size 14, but they also wear well.  Visible lines do pop up with some bottoms because of the stitching, but they are perfect for jeans or heavier fabrics.

Shorts

Boy or Girl Shorts (renamed “Shorts” to be more inclusive) range in rise but tend to be a distinctive short shape, sometimes with more hip coverage than a hipster or bikini but less than a traditional brief.  For me, a good short offers a nice compromise between coverage in the front but a cheeky look in the back although not all shorts are designed to expose a lot of skin.

  • Hanky Panky Signature Lace Short:  Made here in the US, Hanky Panky enjoys a wonderful reputation in the lingerie industry and is the single most-requested underwear brand from our customers.  Their Signature Lace collection (another entry of which will appear soon) is a crowning jewel because of the super soft stretchy laces and perfect fit.  Their short channels the ideal coverage for a flattering, fun everyday pant.
  • Maidenform Hip Fit:  A stylish bridge between a full brief and a hipster, the Maidenform Hip Fit uses soft fabrics and stretch lace on the leg and waist band to prevent panty lines while still offering coverage.
  • Wacoal Halo Lace Short:  Lovely Helanca lace adorns this versatile short for a tastefully sheer everyday knicker.  The contrast direction of the waist band breaks up the feel of the coverage, and the higher, fitted rise prevents rolling in the front while contouring beautifully in the back.  I recently acquired a pair of these and am already in love.

Thongs

I should have entitled this section “The Least Popular Underwear in the Shop” because it’s a rare day indeed when I am asked if we carry thongs.  Ultimately, I discontinued them and their cousin the Tanga (often a thong with more coverage toward the waist) because they hung glumly on the racks never finding a home.  While I am not a personal fan, I scoured the market for some lovely options to include here.

  • Hanky Panky Signature Lace Thong:  My friend Kat who owns the boutique Luxury on the Outer Banks recommended the Hanky Panky Thong series, and she is not the only one.  Store owners, customers, and other industry professionals have nothing but glowing praise for the Hanky Panky thongs, noting that they are the most comfortable pieces available.
  • Commando Low Rise Thong:  Commando is another company with a great reputation for comfortable underwear, and their low rise thong boasts a smoother fabric than Hanky Panky for a sleeker overall look.
  • Cosabella Never Say Never Lovelie Lace Thong:  Another well-respected company, Cosabella has a higher price point than some other brands, but the quality and fit are worth the splurge!

Plus-Size Bonuses

While many of the options showcased above are plus-size friendly, I wanted to include a few additional recommendations in a variety of styles since certain items stopped at a Large or X-Large.  Furthermore, many of the options here also work for people needing smaller sizes too.

  • Jockey No Line Bikini:  Jockey, like Hanky Panky, is another highly requested brand in the shop, particularly from plus-size customers wanting affordable everyday panties. Most prefer their fuller brief, but since plus-size underwear seems focused on options with maximum coverage (a topic Holly covers well on the Lingerie Addict), I am recommending the No Panty Line Bikini to break up the monotony.  The mid-rise and microfiber fabric combine for a comfortable and invisible brief, ideal for anyone of any size wanting a lower coverage everyday knicker.
  • Curvy Couture Luxe Hipster:  Made from a cotton/bamboo blend, the Luxe Hipster from Curvy Couture not only feels fabulous against the skin but fits beautifully too.  The lace accents keep the brief from being too plain, and the tummy-friendly mid-rise and full rear coverage are perfect for anyone wanting a classic hipster-style brief.
  • QT All Over Lace Short:  Wide lace waist band and leg openings add frill to this classic short style from QT.  Available up to a 4xL, the All Over Lace Short uses a soft nylon/spandex blend for the perfect fit and feel.
  • Curvy Couture Essential Short: Super smooth microfiber finish and a hip-hugging design elevate the Curvy Couture Essential short among competitors.  Double-lined midsection offers tummy control while bonded back leg openings and a clean finish prevent the shorts from riding up or showing through clothes.
  • Valmont Embroidered Lace Hi-Cut Brief:  A gorgeous twist on a classic style, the Valmon Embroidered Hi-Cut Lace brief eschews a traditional solid fabric design in favor of embroidered mesh cut outs extending up to the waist for a flattering design.  Vertical floral blooms expose skin while still providing coverage on the side and rear, and the impressive Small to 7X-Large size range means more people can enjoy the design comfortably.
  • Olga Secret Hug Nylon Scoop Briefs:  Another classic full cut nylon brief for the list, the Olga Secret Hug use small geometric lace bands at the top and bottom to add flair to the full coverage design.

Your turn:  What are you favorite everyday underwear?  Have you tried any from the list?

Erica

My Top Picks for the Best Everyday Panties
Erica
Erica is a lover all things lingerie and is passionate about helping people find the bra which fits and flatters. Side passions include reading, writing, hiking, dairy-free food, walking her Jack Russell terrorists, and dying her hair everything from black to red.
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22 thoughts on “My Top Picks for the Best Everyday Panties

  • November 19, 2015 at 5:20 pm
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    Depressing topic! Every time I find a style I love that fits beautifully, it gets discontinued. I prefer a style you didn’t mention, which is the modern brief. Jockey had one (not high cut) that is perfect for me but, yeah, discontinued. I even fell for a slightly more expensive (and not particularly well made) JNY modern brief that, yes, has been discontinued. The list is quite long, but I have to stop now as I stare into the distance, thinking fondly of those I loved and lost.

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    • Erica
      November 20, 2015 at 12:26 pm
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      I think I know exactly what style you liked, Argie! I had a customer come into the shop last week who was talking about a strikingly similar pair of discontinued Jockey undies that she can’t find anymore. In some ways, I think finding the right underwear can be as challenging (if not more so) than bras! If you find something closer to the original Jockey, I’d love to know so I can pass it onto my customer.

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  • November 19, 2015 at 8:04 pm
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    My faves are the string bikini. the reduced fabric on the sides leaves nothing to bunch up under jeans. Haven’t found one I can wear without panty lines, though, so when I wear slacks or skirt that highlights them, it’s back to the thong. They’re quite comfie if done well and worn a bit larger and lower than one would normally put a panty.

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    • Erica
      November 20, 2015 at 12:27 pm
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      Interesting, Tami! I didn’t even have any of those in the list. Who makes your favorite pair?

      Reply
  • November 19, 2015 at 10:15 pm
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    I didn’t think anything would ever get me to wear anying that wasn’t either a soft cotton/spandex or a soft ribbed-knit fabric. Preferably with a gentle banded, higher cut leg, and mid-rise. I really hate the feel of satin and microfibre that came out the last 5 years or so. Like being wrapped in plastic. Yuck. But after my fave was discontinued & nothing else was comfy, I tripped over these: Yummie by Heather Thomson® Joline High-Cut Outlast Briefs. A Tencel blend. And one-size. I was really shocked to love them. And that they were affordable at 3 for $36. Nice lower rise waist too. Great for travel, very breathable, minimal lines. I haven’t tried the cami’s – not sure of the difference in styles. But I was impressed ny the brand.

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    • Erica
      November 20, 2015 at 12:31 pm
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      Alicia, I have a pair of the Jolene and love them too! I was going to include them because that fabric is dreamy, but I had to start cutting down styles to make the post more manageable. If you like those, you have to try the Stephanie tanks from Yummie. It’s a similar fabric to the panties and extremely comfortable. Plus, they regulate body temperature throughout the year! They also came out with a cami version (name escapes me at the moment) that we’ve contemplated carrying. In all honesty, I haven’t found a single Yummie product I did not like, and their shapers like Cleo and Cameo are also big here. Have you tried the Nici brief? It’s for holding in the lower tummy under tighter clothes (it rolls on me with looser stuff) and makes for a good alternative to traditional shapwear pieces.

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      • November 23, 2015 at 10:46 am
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        I do remember your review of the Natori Bliss line, and the hi-cut briefs look just perfect (reallly like the soft lace as an alternative to biting elastic, a real pet peeve); I am a big fan of their bras, which I sister-size into. Sadly, no way to do that with the bottoms, & I haven’t seen the Bliss in larger sizes. i’m an hourglass shape, so my hips are about the same circumference as my bust. It confounds me why so many brands do not allow for that pretty obvious scaling, i.e., if your boobs are big, you may well have the curvy hips to match. Are hourglasses & pears reallly in the minority…?

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        • Erica
          November 24, 2015 at 6:27 pm
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          Alicia, I would love to see Natori offer those panties in more sizes! They expanded their regular ones to go to the XL, but they have not done so yet on the French cuts. They do have some new panties as part of their Plus Support line which goes to 44 bands, but I haven’t checked sizing yet. The Bliss design lends itself to sizes bigger than L I think because of the cotton and lace. Your concerns about full-bust lines not going higher in the underwear are definitely ones my customers share too. In store, we rarely sell smalls or x-smalls, so it’s typically Mediums or higher. We’ve fielded requests lately for more panties in 2X or higher too, so the demand definitely exists!

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  • November 20, 2015 at 9:30 am
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    The Jockey Elance French Cut brief. The best fitting knickers I’ve ever found for women with long rises. In fact, when I found them I started tossing my others… If Jockey made a swimsuit in that cut I’d wear a two piece. Seriously.

    I can *only* wear French cut unless I want to cut off circulation to my legs. Bikinis are unflattering, don’t cover my bottom, shift around when I sit (and cut off circulation). Low rise briefs literally fall/roll off of my body…

    There need to be more French cut/higher rise briefs. Some women *can’t* wear bikini or brief cuts. When is the last time you saw a big bust bra brand make a coordinating French cut panty? Exactly.

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    • Erica
      November 20, 2015 at 12:36 pm
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      That is an excellent point about the full-bust market and hi-cut briefs, Wide Curves! I honestly can’t think of any company which offers a French cut off the top of my head. Perhaps one of the upscale lines like Prima Donna or Marie Jo? To be honest, I have a panty post brewing talking about what’s wrong with manufacturers’ matching set programs in large part because I do think they only offer limited options at a much higher price than the garment is worth. One of my reps (who has since retired) told me Eveden only did expensive underwear because they are “known for their bras, not the pants, so when a pant is designed, it has to be special.” I feel like those big full-bust brands would benefit from doing panty programs like Natori, Wacoal, and Le Mystere. Freya is trying with their Fancies, but still, that’s not a whole lot of selection compared to other companies. We try to do faux-matches in store if we can to give people a semi-matching set, and I know the full-bust market could really pad their bottom line by following suit.

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      • November 20, 2015 at 12:56 pm
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        But full bust brand panties are *not* special, IMO. They’re cookie cutter designs with different fabrics and embellishments.

        So, if the cookie cutter doesn’t fit you, it *never* will.

        They really do need a coordinated program…. And more cuts!!!!!

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    • November 23, 2015 at 1:56 am
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      I remember that cut of Jockeys from the 80s & 90s, when the French cut reigned supreme. Also the horrid thick seams on the sides that were raised ridges. Seamfree was like a miracle. I do still like higher cut leg though; hate that digging in feeling.

      Reply
  • November 20, 2015 at 12:00 pm
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    I’m a big fan of the Bali Skimp Skamp Cool cotton brief. It is high waisted, cotton and spandex and works fabulously with my highwaist jeans and vintage dresses. They are granny panties but my spouse actually loves them on me, I think they’re very flattering (I kinda hate that word tho) on a small waist, big bum person like myself. And I love the seamed back and gentle elastic around the legs that prevents creep. I tried a bunch of nice ones from etsy and find them unwearable due to wedgie issues, so it was nice to find $6 pairs, although I do wish I could purchase the same style with “greener” fabrics.

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    • Erica
      November 20, 2015 at 12:39 pm
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      Thanks for the suggestion! I’ve tried some nicer underwear and had the creep issue because of the booty. Of course I also get that as soon as the elastic wears out in all of my underwear too. In theory, I love the elasticized leg, and for comfort, my Anna Pardal Hibiscus brief and my Inner Truth Panties are as comfy as Natori. But, then I run into issues because my skirts/dresses seem to highlight the seaming easily. It’s not like these are tissue weight bottoms either, so it totally baffles me why a seam is so prevalent!

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    • July 25, 2017 at 6:02 pm
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      Where can you purchase the Bali Skimp Skamp Cool cotton brief.

      Reply
  • October 27, 2016 at 1:49 pm
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    I finally bought a couple of pair of Gossamer panties on your recommendation. They are so very lightweight, but alas, while I am sure I am in the right size, the leg openings are a teench too big and they try to ride up. And they don’t slide down at the top but they somehow feel like they are. I kind of prefer, right now, the JC Penney Ambrielle. But the search continues for true perfection.

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    • Erica
      October 27, 2016 at 2:31 pm
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      What a shame! Panties really are a pain in the butt. 🙁 I’m excited to try the new Natori Bliss Fuller Brief. Since I gained weight, some of the mid-rise underwear is rolling downward. Until I lose it, I was thinking a higher rise may help, and now that Natori has one, I’m doing a happy dance.

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  • January 17, 2018 at 11:48 pm
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    I really like the Olga Without a Stitch full brief and Hi-Cuts very comfortable. I’m a Guy that wears them every day. I also love the lace at the waist they are really cool.

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    • Erica
      January 26, 2018 at 12:39 pm
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      Thanks for weighing in! I’ve heard good things about Olga!

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  • March 16, 2018 at 9:35 am
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    Any advice for guys that wear knickers on a day to day basis?
    Oh, and I’m a bit concerned that you enjoy walking your “Jack Russell terrorists”

    Reply
    • Erica
      March 23, 2018 at 1:59 pm
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      Hi Steve! I’m actually going to be working on some articles this year on lingerie for men, including some ideas for everyday underwear. Many of these suggestions will work too though, but I think part of it comes down to comfort and preference as well. Usually, our male clients prefer briefs for added front-coverage. Oh, and “Jack Russell Terrorist” is what I call them. Anyone with a terrier will totally understand this. 🙂

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      • March 23, 2018 at 3:17 pm
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        Hi Erica. Thank you for your kind reply. You’re right about briefs. I think most guys start off with the styles they like, rather then the ones that actually fit. Briefs or Brazilian Tangas tend to work best. Another avenue to look at is the preference between underwear made for women but worn by men and underwear specifically designed for men. Most or in one camp or another. There is also the buying process and getting the size right. There is such variation in makes. Most guys will have some good tales to tell of the first time they bought from a shop etc. All good fun.

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What are your thoughts?