Which Underwear for Women?

Parent Q&A

  • Hello, I hope someone can help! I am having a very hard time finding cotton underwear that has a fully enclosed crotch lining. Meaning: underwear where the inside of the crotch lining is fully sewn down in front, with no edge that will rub against me. In the past it was easy to find this type of crotch lining, but nowadays it seems like many brands are cutting corners and using methods that don't work for my anatomy. Your wisdom appreciated.

    Check out the offerings from French Dressing (https://frenchdressing.com/collections/panties) - they used to sell under the Itse Bitse brand at Costco, in case that rings a bell. Nice basic panties that would meet your requirement.

    I've found a large selection at Target. (off Frontage Rd.) You could also try removing the liner by trimming carefully with tiny sharp scissors. There is no reason for the liner to be there. It just adds bulk & doesn't add absorbency when the underwear is cotton to begin with. Men's bikini underwear with no front flap are also very comfortable, wider between the legs. Not sexy, but sensible. 

    Try wearing them inside out. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Where can I buy good quality 100% cotton underwear?

Dec 2012

Hello, I am on a quest for good quality 100% cotton underwear. It does not seem to exist anywhere anymore! I used to buy this from Victoria's Secret, but now they only have cotton blends mixed with mostly spandex. I really like underwear that breathe all the way around, thus am not going with the special 'soft' undies that are not longer all cotton. Please advise me where I can buy this (the last few times I purchased Fruit of the Loom from Target and the undies fell apart within a month). Thanks!

I like Jockey underwear (jockey.com). It can be difficult to find the style and size I want in the department stores so I have been buying on line. Look at the 'classic' styles for 100% cotton. I have allergic reactions to products that aren't cotton. anonymous

Try Cotton Basics (there's on in Oakland and one in Berkeley, both on College Ave). Anon

Do a web search. Gap has 100% cotton bikinis. Jockey offers a few 100% cotton. Look for 'classic' on the label (as opposed to 'Comfies Cotton' which is a blend). Hanes makes them, too, though I don't know if they would be any better than the FTL you got at Target. If you want to spend a lot more, there are some from the Swiss company Hanro. And I know you really want 100%, but I've found the organic cotton undies from Gaiam, with just a few % spandex (8%, I think), are very comfortable and breathable all over, as well as organic. R.K.

Hanes! My 100% cotton undies from Hanes are soft, comfy, and last and last...I've had my current collection for 3 years and going strong! (I know because I needed a new size after my 3 yo son was born!) My husband loves their cotton boxers and those seem to wear well too. You can order online. Happy Hanes Gal

I like Jockey Elance. I don't know which brick-and-mortar stores carry them, but I order them directly from Jockey from their website or catalog. I've been wearing them for years, and have found them to be very durable. Carrie

Try the Vermont Country Store website-- they specialize in selling old-fashioned merchandise and it looks like they have 100% cotton undies. Marie

You can try PACT Apparel, a company founded by UC Berkeley graduates. I bought a pair recently and was very pleased with the quality and fit. They're also 100% organic cotton, eco-friendly and into sustainability, community involvement, etc. They're having a deal right now for UCB alumni for 30% off if you use the code 'UCBPACT30' www.wearpact.com Happy Cottontail

I want to recommend https://www.herroom.com/ for buying underwear and lingerie. I've made multiple purchases there and have been very pleased. When my favorite underwear, Lands End, was discontinued, I went to HerRoom and ordered a pack of the cheapest cotton underwear I could find - Hanes and Fruit of the Loom. After just one wash, the el cheapo ones were too saggy and baggy to be wearable. So I went up a notch in price and quality, tried those, and kept doing this until I found some that didn't cost $10 per pair, but also would survive multiple machine washings. I have now settled on the 'top of the line' FotL (if that is not an oxymoron). They are 5% spandex. They feel like 100% cotton, but they fit much better, they don't sag and bag, and they hold up in the machine. I used to think I would only ever buy 100% cotton, but now I see that just a little bit of spandex makes them fit better and feel more comfortable. picky about underwear

Seeking women's underwear that don't wedge

July 2011

I'm looking for a recommendation for women's panties that don't wedge and don't sit at the middle of the belly. Land's End used to carry comfortable women's underwear but they don't now. I wear a size 14, and I'm not looking for a thong or bikini. Just want something that I don't have to pull down at the butt or pull up at the belly! Thanks. Jane

I like Jockey's comfies in cotton, french cut, not as dowdy as briefs, and super comfortable. comfy in my comfies

Try soma Intimates. The High Leg brief is great.

I too had similar problems with finding good fitting underwear I'm a size 12, so I know about the rid up thing and finding panties cut for those with nothing extra. I also hated feeling like I've either got grandma panties (fruit of the loom/other basics). And after two kids, a slightly higher waist band helps to contain the bit of tummy flexibility and smooth out my pants.

Once I found Soma Intimates, their high leg brief is just right. looks nice, actual coverage. stays put. lots of attractive styles. And while not super cheap, they don't really break the bank. I would also note that the Traveler's high leg brief (microfiber ones) wash really well. I don't treat them special, put them in with the regular stuff and they look just like new.

They have a website: http://www.soma.com/

AND they have an outlet in Vacaville. They really have been an improvement for me. So much happier. Get some.

There are two things that will help you find the underpants you seek: (1) stretch cotton; and (2) getting a bigger size than you think you need.

I discovered ages ago that if I bought underpants in the size that would ostensibly fit me, they cut into my thighs and/or tummy, so I starting buying underpants a size or two bigger than the size charts would indicate. At pants size 6, I buy size medium (rather than small). When I used to wear the equivalent of pants size 8, I bought size large underpants. So if you're a size 14 in pants (which theoretically would put you in size L underpants), I'd try the XL or maybe even the XXL.

I highly recommend the stretch cotton underpants from the Gap. The ones I get are the bikinis, but they are not very low-cut (especially the ones I have in size large, which fit fine but come almost up to my navel). They don't seem to have much of a selection of those right now. You could try their stretch cotton hipsters, which are expensive and currently only available in boring white: http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do? cid=16090&vid=0&pid=133271

The allover stretch of the stretch cotton underpants is a BIG WIN. They don't cut into you or hang loose; they just fit comfortably. Be sure it says 'stretch cotton'--the Gap has similar-looking 'all cotton' underpants that aren't as good.

I recently found underpants at Target that are similar to the Gap stretch cotton ones, and bought a pair and although I've only worn them once, they seem nearly as good as the Gap ones and they're of course much cheaper. I will probably buy more of them.

Another thing is to try on the underpants (over your current underpants, for sanitary reasons) before you buy them. Since I've bought a lot of the stretch cotton underpants at the Gap, I don't usually bother trying them on anymore, and sometimes I end up with a pair that cuts in at the legholes (even though it's the same size I normally wear). Just say no to uncomfortable underwear!

I like Jockey elance bikinis. I know you said no bikinis, but bikini underwear are by definition have a lower waist (lower rise)--exactly what you asked for. Elance are cotton and very plain vanilla. I wear them for exactly the reasons you gave--briefs tend to hang out over the waistband of my pants (who thought this was a good idea?). http://www.jockey.com/products/Elance-Bikini-3-Pk Carrie