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- You wear underwear every day, so it should be the most comfortable and durable clothing you own.
- Luckily, brands Tommy John, Everlane, and Parade are getting it right.
- We’ve rounded up the best underwear brands for women, plus our favorite styles to shop, below.
Underwear. You won’t give it a second thought if it’s fabulously comfortable, but if it’s anything less than that, it’s all you’ll be able to think about. But thankfully, there are plenty of options these days that are as comfortable as they are playful, and you really can’t ask for more when it comes to your undergarments.
But how do you know if your underwear is or isn’t working for you? One, if not the most important factor to consider is comfort. Does your underwear stay in place all day or does it continuously ride up? Does your underwear feel like your second skin or is it irritating? It’s also crucial to check out material. Underwear fabrics should not only be soft and cozy, but sound enough to withstand several washes. And if you have a more active lifestyle, you might want to find underwear that’s made of stretchy, breathable materials.
And if you purchase a pair of underwear that you realize doesn’t look or feel quite right, many online underwear companies have satisfaction guarantees. That typically means you can get a replacement, refund, or store credit. Hopefully, though, this list of brands and product recommendations can help guide you down a path that most suits you.
Here are the best places to buy underwear in 2021:
Updated on 1/14/2021 by Katie Decker-Jacoby. Updated prices and links. Rewrote the introduction and summary bullets.
Tommy John has mastered the art of underwear with styles like its Second Skin Brief, Air Cheeky, and Air Thong.
Tommy John may have started off with men’s underwear, but its new feminine Second Skin and Air underwear collections prove that the company’s designers know a thing or two about what people want in a great pair of underwear. That means no scrunching, chafing, bunching, or riding up. And boy does Tommy John’s underwear deliver on its promise that there will be “no adjustment needed.”
The Insider Reviews team tested out both the Second Skin and Air underwear collections and loved every pair. From the sexy thong and cheeky styles to the practical and attractive briefs, Tommy John’s underwear is super comfortable.
The Air collection is fantastic for hotter weather or workouts because it’s made with improved ventilation, moisture-wicking, and deodorizing fabric. The Air underwear comes in briefs, cheeky, and thongs that are made from 77% Nylon mesh and 23% Spandex.
What to buy:
Everlane goes back to basics with supremely soft Supima cotton that’s ethically sourced and transparently priced.
If you don’t want to spend $20+ on one pair of underwear, you’re in luck, because our favorite basics brand Everlane has an underwear collection. The online company is known for its transparent pricing and ethically produced clothing, so you can feel good about the underwear you’re buying.
Everlane’s underwear collection features bikini, thong, hipster, and high-rise hipster styles that are all made with Supima cotton that’s grown in the United States and made into underwear at ethical factories. The cotton’s extra-long fibers are super soft on your skin and the material is breathable.
We at Insider Reviews reviewed Everlane’s cotton underwear and recycled nylon underwear and we loved them. The cotton high-rise hipster was a group favorite with its full coverage and comfortable feel. I also personally loved the regular hipster style, which is both sexy and comfortable. Those of us who prefer thongs were also favorably impressed with Everlane’s take on that classic sexy style.
All of Everlane’s underwear is completely basic, or as the ad campaign says, “No frills. No bows. No bullsh*t.” It’s your everyday underwear. It’s made for you and puts your comfort above anything else.
If you’re looking for affordable, high-quality underwear that’s made ethically from the best material, Everlane’s Supima cotton underwear is for you.
What to buy:
You only have to pay $25 for 6 pairs of underwear from Aerie, but just because it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg doesn’t mean it’s not a fantastic piece of underwear.
Beyond the unbeatable price point, Aerie also makes truly comfortable and dependable underwear. Simple and unfussy, the majority of these undergarments are made of good ol’ cotton. But we’re not fazed by the lack of rayon, satin, and silk.
To say that Aerie has a wide selection would be an understatement — No matter what kind of style or color or print you’re looking for, this brand has it.
If all this isn’t enough to convince you to give Aerie a try, perhaps the message that the company is trying to send will do the trick. The brand’s #AerieReal campaign may have first debuted in 2014, but it’s still appealing to people who aren’t buying feminine underwear from airbrushed supermodels. The company has long pushed for honest acceptance of people’s bodies, and when it makes underwear this wearable, it’s pretty easy to accept yourself.
What to buy:
TomboyX makes gender-inclusive underwear that ranges in style from thongs to 9-inch boxer briefs and comes in sizes XS to 4X.
TomboyX adapted masculine-style underwear like trunks and boxer briefs to suit women’s bodies, giving people who prefer wearing underwear styles that aren’t traditionally feminine a more tailored option.
If, for example, you prefer wearing men’s boxer briefs, but you’re sick of feeling that annoying bunching that comes from creating space for certain parts of male anatomy, TomboyX has boxer briefs for you. Whether you want boyshorts, 4.5-inch long shorts, 6-inch long shorts, or 9-inch long shorts, TomboyX has you covered.
The company also makes more traditionally feminine styles like thongs, bikinis, and briefs. Sizes range from XS to 4X to suit many different body shapes and sizes, so there really ought to be something for everyone.
The underwear is made with Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex cotton that’s eco-friendly. You can also get MicroModal and athlete-friendly Active Drirelease fabric if you prefer.
A few members of the team have tried TomboyX’s underwear, and we all love it. Our reviewer Jen Gushue loves the cotton boyshorts.
What to buy:
Bright, colorful, and extremely budget-friendly, Parade is perfect for those looking to stock up on comfortable underwear.
Parade is known for stretchy, comfortable, can-barely-feel-them underwear — from cheeky-cut briefs to high-waisted thongs. The underwear comes in two materials; the Re:Play fabric is made of breathable, recycled yarn, while its Silky Mesh is stretchy, breathable cotton you can barely feel against your skin. There are also five different styles to choose from, so you can always get a comfortable pair of panties
The Insider Reviews team tested Parade’s underwear and found all of the styles they tried to be super comfortable. Reporter Mara Leighton relies on the Parade Thong as her go-to workout undergarment, because of the material’s silky feel and non-roll waistband.
Parade also wins points for its commitment to fun colors and patterns. The brand is constantly rolling out new collections, from bright neons to kitschy mesh dots. The only drawback — Parade can sometimes have low stock in its popular styles, especially during the brand’s many sales. So snap up your favorites when they’re available.
What to buy:
Other shops to consider:
While we tend to favor the brands mentioned above after testing, we’d also recommend picks from these shops, too:
- Hanky Panky: This brand is responsible for many cult-favorite lace styles — primarily thongs. While we love Hanky Panky underwear, they’re admittedly a little pricey for what you’re getting. If you’re a fan it’d be wise to stock up during annual sale events.
- Spanx: We’re fans of the brand’s pants and bras, but we haven’t yet tested their underwear. However, the brand offers a good style variety, comfortable materials, and a decent XS-3X size range.
- MeUndies: We think MeUndies makes some of the most comfortable underwear ever, and the brand has the best variety of patterns.
- True & Co: For those of us who don’t want our underwear to be just barely there, the hipster is the perfect underwear, and True & Co makes great hipsters.
- Lively: Lively is another great underwear startup that makes affordable underwear at $10 a pair or 3 pairs for $25. We like the brand’s underwear as well as its bras and recommend both.
What we’re looking forward to testing:
We’re constantly on the hunt for our new favorite pair of underwear. Here is what we’re testing next:
- Knix: Knix is known for its leakproof period underwear that rivals other, similar brands on the market. But it blends that functionality with fashion, and regularly releases beautiful collections of chic prints and colors. Plus, it’s ultra-inclusive advertising is a breath of fresh air. We’re looking forward to seeing how the period underwear stands up.
- Stripe & Stare: The brand is known for delicate, feminine “knickers” in kitschy patterns and colors. But don’t like the girlish prints fool you. Stripe & Stare is made from Tencel Mirco Modal, an eco-friendly fabric that is totally sustainable. The brand claims its the softest material we’ll ever wear — a challenge we’re ready to accept.