Gathered ladies everywhere love to look great, and dress both to express and to impress. But did you know that every great outfit is built on a great foundation? I mean this literally. It’s very, very important to be gathered under your clothes. To put it simply, your underwear supports your outerwear. The wrong undergarments will ruin an outfit. With that in mind, welcome to part one of our Gathered Lady Back to Basics series. We’re starting by focusing on the most basic of the basics: panties! (Yes, we’re going there...but we promise you’ll learn something.)
Now, I’m not trying to get all up in your business or anything, but... what kind of panties are you wearing under that dress? Those pants? That jumpsuit? That skirt? It totally matters!
Exhibit A. Most common panty styles... pick carefully from this arsenal
They come in every color and pattern under the rainbow and we all wear them. But the most important thing to understand is that panties come in the common types listed below and many variations, all of which have an appropriate use. They’re tools, ladies. To support, control, protect, enhance and seduce. Let your purpose guide your panty. Ooh, let’s discuss! Use these tips to pair panties with clothes and build that perfect gathered outfit every time.
Bikini briefs are the most common type of panty and come in an infinite array of colors, patterns, and materials from cotton to lace to velvet! On average, they are medium coverage, medium rise panties.
- Variations include: high-cut or french cut bikinis, string bikinis, tangas (see exhibit A above).
- Comfy, versatile, bikinis pair well with jeans, pants, shorts, skirts, and even dresses. Won’t show under heavier fabrics like denim and wool.
- Some bikinis can be low rise. This can equal rolling or bunching for ladies with more in the middle or junk in the trunk! Look for thicker waistbands, higher rise, and anti-roll technology such as additional clear elastic in the leg and waist in these cases.
- Warning: thick seams, elastic, or heavy cotton in the panties will create visible panic panty lines (VPLs) in any form-fitting outfit of a lighter fabric.
- If you want to wear this style but are worried about VPLs, you can counteract this with: a) seamless, laser-cut, or microfiber bikini or b) a thong or g-string.
Boyshorts & Hipsters
Boyshorts and hipsters are pretty much the modern replacements of the classic “Granny panty”. The boyshort offers full coverage at a higher rise, while the hipster offers mid coverage at a lower rise.
Both boyshorts and hipsters are super comfy, and can be sexy as well -- nothing that you need to be embarrassed to be seen in. Both pair well under medium weight fabrics. The boyshort tends to do well with clothing that clings to your butt but drops away at the thigh because the low cut leg seam doesn’t show as often.
Because hipsters are lower rise, they are amazing under any mid-rise pant.
Warning: these panties offer little to no control for those of us needing that. The good news is that there are control panties and foundation garments sold in boyshort and hipster silhouettes (look for a discussion of that in an upcoming post).
Thongs & G-strings
Thongs and g-strings are more than perma-wedgies or (effective) tools of seduction! They have a function and can be quite useful in your arsenal, mainly in the fight against VPLs. (It’s the visible ones we fight. The invisible ones are our friends, since they tend to sculpt and shape our derrieres into works of art).
Both thongs and g-strings are a no show under most clothes. Warning: there are exceptions, mostly around wrong color choice (see below). Always do a spot check before leaving the house!
The fit on these panties can be tricky. They shouldn’t be loose, but should you choose a too-exact fit, or they shrink in the wash... you will find out that the “g” in g-string stands for goddamn! your sensitive parts will be flossy, in the worst way.
Classic & Control Panties
Classic panties aka Granny panties aka period panties. Ah, how we love to hate to love them! These are traditional, full coverage panties, totally resistant to modernization outside of fun colors and patterns and an update to microfiber and other seamless fabrics.
It’s smart to have a few classic panties on hand in your gathered lingerie drawer. Sometimes nothing but a pair of bloomers will do, and these count. Follow the same fabric rules as bikini panties.
DO NOT wear classic panties with low rise anything. They will show above the waistband. They will bunch up under your clothes. It will be all bad.
Control panties, on the other hand, will help smooth out your silhouette and tame bulges, rolls, dimples, and other attributes you want to downplay. Great under business attire, structured dresses, formal dresses, etc... These hold you in and, as with stronger control underwear, can even improve your posture. I’m a great fan. So much so that I will give these and other control undergarments their very own post in this series. Look for it!
Well, that’s it for now fashionistas, until we’re back with Back to Basics Pt. 1.5: Panty Pros and Pas - a guide of panty dos and don’ts for the modern age.