Thursday, July 26, 2007

Reader Question: Underwear Recommendations?

On last week's post about Victoria's Secret's courting and brainwashing of the underage consumer (link), I received the following comment:

Well, that's all well and good, but now where do I get attractive underwear that:

a) won't fall apart in the wash
b) is comfortable
c) attractive!
d) not about exploiting the newfound hormones of junior high creatures, which it really is all about.

Now, I recently underwent a bra epiphany, but I have to confess that I've been wearing the same underwear for years (not the same pair, thankfully).

They're the low rise bikini style by Felina. I originally bought them because they're always on sale at Nordstrom for 3 for $24, they're made of soft microfiber and they're cut low without being too low. Why I kept buying them each year, never trying other brands, I don't know, because they really are nothing special. They're not seamless, they ride up in certain clothes and even in fun colors, to call them attractive would be a stretch.

So anonymous, I'm in the same underwear boat (oh, if there were such a thing!) and I'm hoping readers will be able to help us both. I'll add a couple qualifications to your list, such as the fact that I despise thongs and refuse to wear them, and that I won't pay more than $12-14 for a pair of underwear, unless you can promise me that it will last FOREVER. Bonus points for seamless styles.

Got a suggestion? Help a couple underwear-confused girls out and leave a comment!


i write i said...

Hanes tagless boyshorts are the most comfortable things in life. I mentioned this once to a roomate, when she told me she'd be wearing them forever. At this news, I was actually mad at her for not telling me about this gift from God earlier.

Anonymous said...

If you're not wanting to spend too much, the gap cotton underwear (in several styles)is extremely comfortable and not too expensive--$8-$12 but usually on sale. I like the low-rise bikini, but they have higher cut, hipster, ultra-low, etc.Every now and then I'll buy a pair that just doesn't hold up super well, but most of mine have lasted for ages, and they come in lots of cute colors and patterns to boot. The link is here, if anyone is interested in seeing them:

...if you navigate back to the main page, there are even more patterns/styles/colors.

Anonymous said...

My all-time favorite underwear is from Hanky Panky. I love them because:

-they come in great colors
-they're made out of this great, stretchy, soft lace material (the thongs have nice thick straps that don't dig into your hips)
-they're incredibly flattering on (and because of the stretch, this goes for skinny days as well as those days when you feel like an absolute whale...hate those days...)
-they will happily sit as low or high as you want them to.

At $18 for the thong and $26 for the brief, they're more than you said you wanted to spend, but I've had my pairs for 4 years and they still look brand new.

As far as matched sets go, H&M has really inexpensive ones (although the bras may not be super practical under casual clothes, since they're mostly push-up), and they come in all sorts of colors and designs. Plus, the H&M lingerie is consistent with their sizing, so if you know what size you wear in their bras and underwear, you don't always need to try them on!

Elizabeth said...

I've got holy grail underwear: I found it once, bought a pack of 3 to try, found they were perfect, and I've been searching for them ever since.
Seriously, "Gillian O'Malley" (or some nonsense like that) low-rise hipster underwear; comfortable, pretty, seamless, tagless, cotton, $10 a pack, never rides up, and apparently available one-time-only on Damn you, Target!

I bought some GAP underwear because it was similar once and I hoped I'd found the same product under a different name. Wedgie-city.

Bridget S. said...

Hanky Panky fans - come over to the Gap!

I was a Hanky Panky fan until I got tipped off the the Gap makes very similar thongs with the wide stretch lacey band.

And I actually think the Gap ones are a bit more comfy as they have more cotton "down under".
Also, the Gap's shade of nude is much more flattering than the Hanky.

Gap ones have held up just as well for me. They are usually 3 for $24 but sometimes they will have sale with 4 for $24.

Hanky's are always $18/per for the thong except during Nordstroms anniversary sale (going on NOW!) when they are $11.90/per.

Like I said, Gap ones have held up just as well so far, but at half to a third of the price, it's ok to me if they don't make it quite as long.

cate.dunn said...

i buy my "grannie panties" (seriously baggy cotton full coverage with a high rise and an elastic waistband, yeah my boyfriend loves me) for sleeping at the gap, and i seriously have had a couple pairs from (is this gross?) 9th grade (don't worry, I soak and wash very carefully). I graduated college two years ago. They are by far the most durable underwear ever created.

My mom buys the hanky-panky type ones from the Gap, and swears by them. I like thongs, so I've never tried them, but have been meaning to. If they hold up half as well as the ones I have, you might have underwear that will survive a nuclear fallout.

Jessica said...

Calvin Klein also makes some comfy undies. I like the boyshorts, but the thongs are nice as well. I believe they're usually 3 for $24 - any style/mix and match.

Also, I know many people cringe when they hear the name because a lot of their things are kind of trashy, but Frederick's of Hollywood has some nice, lacey boyshorts that are sexy, comfortable, colorful, and fairly inexpensive. I just checked their website, and they have a serious sale on panties right now - some styles are 4 for $12!

And I agree with the first commenter about the Hanes tagless boyshorts. They're ridiculously comfortable. Sadly, they're not exactly "hot" and they cause major panty lines. They're great for under sweatpants, though!

Allison Rae said...

Hanes Tagless Chiffon panties are my favorite. They stretch 360 degrees and lie completely flat against my body. They don't creep up or do anything weird. I buy the boyshorts and briefs. The boyshorts are far from sexy but they're the best when you want lots of butt coverage (skirts on breezy days) or are knocking around the house (who doesn't vacuum in their panties??!!).

Kathryn said...

Hanky Panky and Jacob (do they have Jacob in the US??) boy shorts - 3/$20 (and that's Canadian $$)

Anonymous said...

I second those who say GAP. Since I discovered the underwear at GAP Body, I don't buy anywhere else.

Sadly, the only Jacob in the US is in Boston, I think. I used to love going there in college. Sigh.

A Bon Vivant said...

My best underwear memory... I was living in London and I used to buy the store-brand thongs from Marks & Spencer. Sigh. They were, I believe, 12 pounds for four or five pairs and the best underwear EVER. They were perfectly comfortable and never made me feel fat, like some brands do, once you wash them a lot (and gain weight :)).

Unfortunately, I am back in NY and I have run out of UK underwear connections ("hey, nice to meet you, friend-of-boyfriend. Can you bring me back some M&S thongs next time you come over?"). UGH.

Lex said...

If only I was back in Australia ... the best undies are BONDS brand, which are Australian. Every time I go back there I stock up. Cotton, seamless if you want, all colours, all cuts and dirt cheap.

Brava97 said...

I'm a size 14 who swears by Lane Bryant's cotton hipster panties. All of their clothes are too big for me, but their bras and panties fit me great. Anyway, the panties come in tons of colors and prints. Lane Bryant recently reduced the price to 5 for $25. I wash and dry them with my usual load of whites and they last forever.

Meg said...

(From the Meg)

As I said on the VS post, I am in love with modal underwear (it's a material) - even and maybe especially the thongs. Very comfy and husband approved. I get mine at Target for less than $3 each. I don't remember the brand, but they're the really, really soft undies and they say Modal on the big sales tag.

Frasypoo said...

I' m glad I stopped by your blog today.
My absolute favorite undies are from Jockey.This is a link to the website

Their no pantyline promise line is pretty good.I think it is $9.50 a pair for some but I would advise buying them new on ebay.I buy them at an outlet store where they are about 4-5 dollars.My absolute test for undies is if I can run comfortably in them(under my clothes of course!).They stay put !The Modal ones(style no 1200)are really good.

Frasypoo said...

Its me again...A reader had mentioned the Fredericks of Hollywood boy shorts.....they are great too.Catch them on sale and you can get them for $2.99!

Anonymous said...

calvin klein seamless microfiber bikini.

they're perfect. they stretch SO much and i've even gone swimming in them improptu and used them as a bathing suit bottom. i have some that are about 5 years old and they still look great. they don't show under anything, even spandex, because they don't cut in due to that amazing stretch.

bloomdl said...

I 2nd the gap body underwear recommendation, especially the lacy low rise cotton undies. I just discovered them a yr or so ago; so far I haven't had any fall apart or fade. I always get mine when they go on sale for like 3-4 for $20.

Anonymous said...

i second the gilligan o'malley at target.

by far the lightest-weight, most comfortable underwear ever.

low-rise hipster is the best.

Laura V said...

not really what you are looking for, I guess, but the other day What Every Woman Needs In Her Wardrobe answered a question about avoiding VPL, and had a good undie list for doing so.

RVAfashionista said...

I adore the Hanky Panky thongs and with the 11.90 apiece deal going on at Nordstrom is awesome. DKNY's stretch low-rise bikinis and are pretty darn comfy too and cheap as well. Yes, I'll admit I'm an underwear snob!

Meg said...

I have to say that I have fallen in love with Hanky Panky.
Not sure how but they are One Size Fits all and they fit me perfectly. They don't ride up or down and they don't show through anything.

Anonymous said...

Well, I waited for the Mary Green sale and got some day-of-the-week low-rise boyshorts for about $57, IIRC.

For super-invisibility, there are Sloggi flesh-coloured boyshorts, though they're not always low enough for very low-rise clothes. Lower still are M&S low-rise flesh-coloured boyshorts. You could try their online store, I don't know if they dispatch to the USA or not.

None of these styles will give you quad-butt, the Mary Green ones are beautiful, and the practical flesh-coloured ones are invisible even under white trousers.

Anonymous said...

I can't agree more with previous posters about Gap Body, especially the lacy low rise, which is the first undergarment with lace that I actually found INCREDIBLY comfortable.

I've always liked gap better than VS as far as comfort goes, but it is true they don't have as much of a selection. Every couple seasons, they put out a cute bra that is comfy, and that typically I keep for years! But I usually have to supplement my bra collection with more expensive department store offerings, like Felina and Wacoal. However, I have yet to find a store in the world that can compete with Gap body's comfy, cute nightgowns. I buy nearly one a year, and they all last forever! They're pretty enough to leave me feeling feminine and sexy, but decent enough to walk around in my apartment building to check the mail in! I'm very happy with the quality of their stuff... and I'm really not a gap fan for anything else, so it's surprising!

Added benefit, if you're travelling abroad, they usually have little cards in their stores saying how the sizes would translate in different countries. I keep it in my wallet for my next European adventure!

Anthropologie has some underwear, especially undershirts, that are worth looking at.

Anonymous said...

hands down the best underwear i've found are boyshorts from anthropologie (i think the brand is zoey) they're cute, comfortable, and lacy - kind of expensive though ($18 a pair)

Anonymous said...

Natori undies are beautiful, and some are seamless or at least discreet. Body Veils, Vera Wang's line, are nice, and very, very seamless--invisible. Maidenform makes some "One Fab Fit" microfiber thingies that I've just started liking--although I wear the thongs, I've seen them in bikinis. All these are under $10 (and sometimes under $5) if you go to discount stores like Marshall's.

Rapunzel said...

I have been buying underwear at GAP for years and they are some of the most comfortable I've ever warn. I agree that the lace style is just as good as the Hanky Panky brand. I also love how their cotton panties have such soft and descreet elastic that doesn't cut or cause panty lines. The best part is that I've found them on sale for as cheap as $.99 and $1.99 a pair.

My most recent love is Bodyforms by Maidenform. I bought a few different styles from Costco for a very good price (something like $12 for 4) and i'm in love. Both the thongs (and i don't usually like thongs) and the boy short-ish styles fit wonderfully. They're very flattering and have enough lave on them to be quite sexy (my bf is a fan)