Cora Harrington (a.k.a. the Lingerie Addict), the author of In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie, says that if you want something you can easily find at your local department store, Natori’s Girl Briefs are her favorite “mainstream” underwear (we heard about Harrington’s more obscure picks, too, which are further down this list). “They’re cute. They’re comfy. The Pima cotton means they’re supersoft,” she explains. “Nordstrom includes them in their annual anniversary sale, and my secret tip is to buy discontinued colorways … after all, no one cares what color your underwear is!” Dolley Frearson, co-founder and creative director of High Fashion Home, is another fan of the Natori Girl Briefs. “For everyday underwear, I need it to feel comfortable and breathable,” she says. “I also need it to appear smooth, and not pinch my skin in any place or ride up.” For Frearson, the Natori briefs check all of those boxes. “They will eventually replace almost all of your underwear in your drawer,” she promises.
“A good high-waisted moment can make your butt look like it’s starring in its own ’90s Calvin Klein commercial,” according to former Strategist writer and current Self editor Lori Keong, who says this high-rise Everlane pair will do the trick. “These slide right up to your navel, hug but don’t squeeze your midrange, and don’t lose their shape or bunch up around your hips during the day,” she says. “They flatter your waist and hug your curves, but don’t pinch at the waistline like other elastic briefs or ride up.” They pass the VPL test, too. “You’d have to be really squinting to detect any VPL,” Keong says.
Lingerie is the most intimate and sexy of apparel. Every modern woman knows that lingerie can make you feel gorgeous inside and out. Women of the past knew it too - with undergarments that were sexy, functional, and always fit with the everyday fashions. From its French beginnings over 300 years ago to the billion dollar industry of our modern world, lingerie has transformed from tight and restrictive to flattering and provocative.
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In the past, lingerie was intended to help shape a woman's figure. Obviously, today's shapewear has evolved, although the basic principles are the same. Nowadays there is shapewear for all shapes and sizes, and it's designed to help women smooth their silhouettes. This is the foundation garment that keeps everything tight and smooth — unapologetically so. Control slips, modern corsets and tummy shapers are three of the options available. Full body shapers, arm shapers and shaping camis are additional pieces. Most shapers are available in black, nude and white, although you can sometimes find them in fun prints and bold colors too.
Man Repeller deputy editor Haley Nahman, who conducted her own extensive research about the best cotton underwear, told us that this pair from the Gap is her favorite. “Gap describes this underwear as ‘high cut,’ but I beg to differ: It’s the most classic brief shape I’ve ever encountered,” Nahman says. “I discovered them when I was on a maniacal hunt for the best cotton underwear — an endeavor that pitted these against several more expensive (and lauded) options. In the end, Gap won.” She says these are “comfortable, cute, affordable, and perfectly basic,” not to mention 100 percent cotton. “Asking for more would just be greedy.”