“My underwear drawer is the most boring place in the world, because all I have are dozens of pairs of the same thing: On Gossamer’s Mesh Bikinis,” says Kim France, the founding editor of Lucky, who counted these as an item she can’t live without. “It is so far and away the perfect underwear that I have a hard time understanding why anybody wears anything else: It’s superlight, highly breathable, and — most importantly — hugely VPL-resistant. Seriously, it’s as VPL-resistant as a thong, but without the annoyingness of a thong,” she says. France isn’t the only one who loves On Gossamer mesh bikinis — they have also been a many-time Strategist best seller.
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Shopping for underwear may seem like a necessary evil: it's something you know you have to do, but with so many styles and fabrics to choose from it can feel overwhelming (to say the least). You need to find something that feels comfortable, stays in place, isn't visible under clothes, and won't break the bank. And most importantly, it needs to be hygienic.
Receive $25 off a full-price Soma® brand bra with purchase of SOMAINNOFIT. Limited time only. Exclusions apply. Offer valid in U.S. boutiques (excluding outlets), online at Soma.com and by phone at 866.768.7662. Offer not valid on items to benefit charity, sale, final sale or clearance items, purchase of gift cards, prior purchases, Anita, Barefoot Dreams, Chantelle, Elomi, Freya, Le Mystère, Wacoal, shipping or taxes. One per customer. May not be combined with other offers, except LOVE SOMA REWARDS® certificates. Offer has no cash value, is not for resale, is non-transferable and may not be reproduced. If you return a portion of your purchase, an applicable portion of your original discount will be forfeited.
If you want to splurge, Harrington recommends a pair of silk tap shorts, like this pair from Harlow & Fox. “Silk is the ultimate lingerie fiber — cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and with a luxurious feel against the skin,” she says. “If you can afford silk, buy silk.” Harrington calls these her favorite elegant silk pair, and “the definition of everyday indulgence.“
50% discount applies to lower priced item. Must purchase two full-priced items to receive discount on lower priced item. Select styles only. Offer valid in stores (including Soma Outlets) online at soma.com or at 866.768.7662, on select full-price styles only, while supplies last. Discounted item will be reflected at checkout. Not valid if reproduced; No cash value; Non-transferable; No adjustments on prior purchases. Offer not valid on purchase of gift cards, previously purchased merchandise, taxes, shipping, or clearance items. If you return a portion of your purchase, an applicable portion of your original discount will be forfeited. Limited time only.
“I love a good high-waist; they bring me back to Christy Turlington days,” says Christina Viviani, cofounder of the Great Eros. Viviani notes that despite its comfort factor, sometimes high-waisted underwear can be unflattering. Marieyat’s thongs are no such thing, though: “The aesthetic is beautiful, and the cuts are really flattering and unconventional,” Viviani says of the brand. “In my store in Williamsburg, we also sell a style called the Canova ’90s Overt cut like a ’90s bikini with an overt, in a fine Italian sporty mesh, that makes a woman look long.”
For something a little more colorful, take a note from Harrington, who says her “favorite underwear brand of all time is Egretta Garzetta.” She told us that because of a nerve condition, her everyday underwear has to be made from natural fibers, and the brand’s cotton and viscose briefs have been an “absolute godsend.” And although the price is higher than, say, a pair from the Gap, the quality of these is also very high, according to Harrington. “Seriously, this is the highest-quality underwear I own,” she says. “I first purchased from this brand back in 2014, and my underwear is still holding up and looking great; no fraying, no holes, just pure cotton softness.”
Here at Bare Necessities, we like to say that when thinking about all the types of women’s underwear, panties are like shoes: there's a pair for every occasion. A well-rounded panty drawer should includes minimal-coverage panties, moderate-coverage panties and full-coverage panties. You can also build your panty wardrobe by fabric and choose among hundreds of styles like lace panties, satin panties and mesh panties.
If you prefer something lacy, Hanky Panky is a classic underwear brand that remains a favorite of several of the women we talked to. When we asked Barbara Corcoran, the founder of Corcoran Group, about her favorite things, Hanky Panky’s Signature Thong made the list. “Everyone seems to wear these,” she says. “They come in every color, like 30 colors, and it’s like a lace crayon box when you open your drawer.” The thing about them, according to Corcoran, is that “they’re inexpensive and last forever.” She says she doesn’t think she’s ever thrown a pair out, and that the stretch material never gives up, despite the fact that they don’t feel like you’re wearing underwear. “I can’t say I’ve worn just these with a skirt (I need pantyhose), but they’re just great and never, never wrinkle,” Corcoran says. And if you want to stock up, Hanky Panky’s three-packs are a good option. Iva Pawling, co-founder of Richer Poorer, prefers the brand’s low-rise style, of which she has many. “I am equal parts proud and embarrassed that I have only been wearing Hanky Panky underwear for, oh, about 14 years,” she says. “I don’t have to think about them, and they just work.” For something with more coverage, costume designer Leesa Evans told us, “Hanky Panky boy shorts are so soft and comfortable, and never show a panty line.”
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.”