What Does Your Underwear Say About You?

May 30, 2014

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I have a friend who once told me that she vowed to herself upon first hitting puberty that she would never, ever wear a nude bra — it was too boring. Verifiably, she had a rainbow of undergarments neatly organized in a drawer. But when she told me this, I naïvely wondered why it mattered. And that attitude has followed me to this day.

I might be able to wear an uncomfortable pair of pumps that I know leave my toes numb for a week after or grin and bear it when the camel toe from my high-waisted shorts cuts way too deeply to be humane, but I cannot, under any circumstance, stand uncomfortable underwear.

I will choose granny panties any day and no one can stop me. When they say that you can’t judge a book by its cover, I don’t think they were asking people to judge based on undergarments, but I must ask myself what it says about me that I prefer a high-rise pair of Hanes over a lacy G-string.

It should be noted that I care about what I elect to put on over my underwear (outerwear?). Does this then mean that I’m only concerned with what is showing externally so long as I am comfortable internally?

Maybe I just hope that anyone seeing my underwear at the end of the day cares about me enough to ignore how my ass looks.

Are people who wear thongs regularly more sexually free than I am? Do those boyshorts at Pink that say “WILD THING” on the ass make their wearers feel more wild? Do only the most basic of women wear bikini underwear? And what about going commando? What does that say? Better yet, what kind do you wear — and what does that say?

-Amina Khan

Image of Kate Moss shot by Mario Testino

  • Debbie Iles

    I have mostly nude bras and boring comfortable underdaks. I care mostly that they are comfortable and that they make my body or outerwear look good. Pretty colored lace bras don’t look great under many tops and I hate panty lines.

  • Amelia Diamond

    I have said it before, I will say it again: I HAVE to wear nice underwear in case I die suddenly. And thongs are necessary because I hate having 4 butt cheeks. But sometimes you need a nude bra for under white shirts, too. And sometimes you need full butt underwear just to have a Risky Business moment.

    • Leandra Medine

      Shut up

    • http://folkandfeather.com/ Betsy

      The real problem comes when you have 4 butt cheeks WITH a thong. I’m all like wuttttt

    • http://madamecouture.blogspot.com/ Emma Hager

      Yeah the 4 butts thing is not for me. Not down.

    • Lindsay

      I grew up dancing, and we referred to the 4 butt cheek look as “tomato butt” (ie “Don’t wear underwear under your leotards or you’ll get tomato butt.”)

  • boyfriendsandblazers

    depends on your plans for the day-night. Dont show up trying to win back the love of your life with granny panties, you will die alone. just kidding, maybe not.

    • Leandra Medine

      i am living proof that this is not true.

      • boyfriendsandblazers

        LEANDRA YOU ARE EVERY EXCEPTION. I know i read all about your period panties, they sound fabulous, im not so sure i’d be breaking hearts if I was wearing them.

      • Randy

        I prefer a girl who wears granny panties over a thong or g string any day…it shows to me that you value what’s underneath them…and are probably not loose…

  • Sarah Braden

    I prefer thongs for a the following reasons: no wedgies, no garment lines, just a touch more sex appeal, a little exciting and risky with a dress ;P… for my bras I only wear the color pink or black maybe that’s weird but I like it.

  • Brooke Creech

    I have the lace panties from VS in 5 different colors because they’re so darn comfortable. I think it says I don’t like to take risks, but I want to be pretty even when nobody else can see it.

  • Fran

    The only underwear I own is black, and I still don’t know why

    • leicablixa

      Me too :)

  • http://adeliberateimagination.wordpress.com/ CJKEYS2

    My underwear says that my dog is a perv.

  • Danielle Emig

    I believe undergarments are the building blocks of your entire outfit. They should make you feel sexy, confident, and ready to take on the world, and for me that’s anything lacy. Even if I’m hiding under a more conservative outfit, it makes me feel even sexier knowing I have a secret on underneath.

  • Mack

    Hanky Panky!!!! Cute and the most comfortable ever.
    http://www.bisousmack.wordpress.com

    • ldobbie

      Yes!

  • MV

    I’ll try anything, cotton, see through, mesh, lace, ouvert (check them out at agentprovocateur.com) depends on what I’m channeling that day. Loved the “Risky Business” reference Amelia! Undergarments should be fun, who says you can’t play dress up with underwear?

  • Clare

    I have a good mix of underwear types up my sleeve(?) for every possible situation; be it a slinky skirt, disco pants or hell-hath-no-fury period day. I don’t wear bras except for the odd sports bra when I work out. It’s like a continuous bear-hug for your boobs.

  • Corinne Frankenfield

    all i can think about is 10 Things I Hate About You. “you don’t buy black lingerie unless you want someone to see it.”

  • Tor

    God’s gift to the world, nipple pads.

  • Melissa

    My husband worked for Victoria’s Secret headquarters for 14 years. I had a 40% discount. You know what I came to love?….HANES briefs!! I’ve noticed that I’m in a MUCH better mood when I have comfortable undies on. And what’s more sexy than a wife in a GOOD MOOD?!

    • Dominique Harris

      Share your discount with the rest of us sexy lingerie lovers!!

      quirkycap.blogspot.com

    • leicablixa

      I love it! My husband works at Nordstrom and I have that huge discount too. Guess what I love? Hanes briefs! LOL!!!

  • Autumn Venegas

    I love my undergarments,and really do think they help with my self confidence. My favorite are the hip hugger culotte classique’s at Victoria Secret. I dont think a “g string” automatically means sexy because it covers less of everything. I find that my underwear choices make me feel sexy and confident even though they cover up more skin than recommended. Silky and classy and makes me feel sexier than any g string ever will.

  • nycshoegal

    Call me infantile (or a pervert), but i find simple cotton bikini bottoms in cute prints and/or colors THE sexiest panties a girl can wear. And save for a little lacey accent here and there, no artificial fabric will ever touch me down under – it’s just not healthy for our lady bits.

  • Elisabeth Annie

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I prefer comfortable instead of looks. I also prefer lazy-bras as I like to call them, which are those who do not bring your boobs up to your chin. I’ve got quite a large rack, so people do often ask me why I don’t wear a “proper” bra, but I can’t stand it. I can’t stand feeling like I can dip my face in them at any time of the day. I prefer comfortness. Oh and underpanties.. important. I’m the same. I’d take granny panties any day over those thongs that look like a string. How could some actually choose those that drill themselves into your butt, instead of something that might not let your butt look like sex, but at least treat it with dignity? I don’t understand humanity’s picks at times. But who really does?

  • April Landry

    Commando all day long baby. Try it and you will never go back. I live a life of fashionable comfort these days.

  • @another_annie

    Thong-th-thong-thong-thongs. My ass is the likes of Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, JLO and Iggy Azalea. It eats all underpants into a wedgie. I think it’s trying to tell me that it cannot be contained. Maybe it’s a growth, because the rest of my body is spindly like a praying mantis.

  • http://biscusblue.com Annie Kettle

    So timely-I have been musing about this very topic for the past two days… I just refreshed my underwear supply with a new 6-pack of Hanes Briefs on the same day that I purchased an amazing new white Hache dress-it’s true: you can never judge a book by it’s cover. Hanes are my go-to and if ever I need less coverage, Commando works best!

  • Sarah

    This question is best answered by Hugh Grant (via Bridgette Jones): “Hello Mummy.”

  • Aubrey Green

    Lace thongs any color. No g-strings and sometimes when at home boy shorts, or regular bikini bottoms. They have to be lace on the side, or another fabric that doesn’t hug the skin, I can’t stand underwear that hugs against my skin.

    A funny story about why you shouldn’t have characters on your underwear, or maybe why you should. A friend of mine had Winnie the Pooh underwear on. When she went out with her boyfriend that night she said, “look, I have pooh on my underwear.” -

  • exploringwardrobes

    Yeah I’m pretty much all about the granny panties. I think my underwear says about me “these one’s were kind of clean, get her home and she’ll nap and watch netflix for HOURS.”

    http://exploringwardrobes.blogspot.co.uk/

  • http://lovinglightastrologer.com/ Donna

    I only wear comfy underwear, although preferably lacey comfort- if it is a choice between comfort cotton or creep up your butt lace, cotton wins the day. pretty fbra and panty sets get my vote too.

  • KittenRainbowMagicKatie

    Women in France spend more money on lingerie per capita than any other country, and they’re pretty fashionable. Not sure if there is a correlation, but it’s interesting at any rate! Also, if someone loves you, they won’t give a hoot about your undies!

  • gina

    no granny pants for me.. but boring colours.. it has to go with what you’re wearing on the outside! http://thewanderlusthasgotme.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/things-ive-learned.html

  • Brooke W

    I think a special bra is for the sake of the outfit and special underwear is for the sake of the wearer. I love the piece Leandra wrote about the power of not wearing or wearing a bra and statement a bra can make. That being said, I don’t think it always has to. Enter nude bras and no-fuss underwear. Just like a bra can add an extra element to my outfit, sexy or badass or silly underwear can add something to my attitude. Need a win? I highly recommend wonder woman underwear.

  • http://www.roseandfig.com/ Jess H.

    You have not lived until you’ve ordered the $40 grab bag from Undrest. French silk, pima cotton, and the most flattering adorable bits you never knew you needed… It will change your view on cute undies!

    • Cinamaron

      I am so glad you shared this! I am in need of some cute underwear and that is a super awesome price for undies like that.

      • http://www.roseandfig.com/ Jess H.

        They do the cutest bathing suit grab bags, too! They run a little small if you have a tush – 3 is like a sm/med and 4 is med/lg.

  • Annie M.

    This morning, I opened my underwear drawer to pure horror: I was down to my last pair of underwear, which is far too tiny and far too granny. Nonetheless, I had to wear them. I am currently sitting in is a pair of ‘cheeky’, VS cottons circa 2009. I HAVE HAD A WEDGY ALL DAMN DAY. I never thought I’d say this, but I cannot wait to do my laundry.

    Lacey, Gap Body thongs all the way.

  • GapToothedGirl

    I love all black underwear, no lace, just mono color black!!

  • http://frailrouge.blogspot.com/ Victoria Larroque

    bikini cotton underwear, as long as it comes in a pack of six at costco, oh yes!

  • Jamie

    My mom gets that barely-there feel by wearing her panties thin. Pretty sure she has underwear older and holier than than the pope. That said, she is the hottest 54-year-old mama I’ve EVER seen. My theory is that my mom : her underwear :: Dorian Gray : his picture.

  • http://mayashawcollection.tumblr.com/ Maya

    I am a nude, pink, black and leopard underwear girl and I don’t care what anyone thinks! I never get a panty line and my underwear can be worn under any color garment! (hello summer whites!)

  • Tsholo

    I have a love hate relationship with underwear. I went commando for about three years when I was younger but encountered a lot of awkward moments (trying on garments in a clothing store for example). So, I went back to undies but swore never to own white undies or nude. And swore I would never wear those french cut jobs by Jockey. I even made my ex convert to sexy man briefs or boxers. Needless to say, I am still single…

  • Marcella Leath

    I’m a nurse, and I swear by the philosophy that if something should suddenly happen to me, the paramedics are cutting my clothes off, so my undies better be ON POINT. However, they also better be comfy. I’m a shameless VS fan always, and the more lace the better. Also, can someone PLEASE tell me where to get the undies in the image?!?! I must own at least 3 pair!

  • http://alinaalamode.blogspot.com/ Alina Herrera

    I believe underwear should be comfortable but not boring. And nude is not always boring, maybe you just need to look for more options, not the usual brands.

    http://alinaalamode.blogspot.com/

  • Rosely Carrasco

    I am all for comfortable underwear, and like you that means most are granny panties. Every woman has an idea of what is comfortable to them. Some swear by thongs but I can’t stand them. To each his own I guess.

  • Julia

    A nice big pair of costco granny panties….I used to hate when my mom would buy them for me as a teenager. But now there is nothing better than putting a pair of them on and lounging around eating hummus straight out of the container. I’m half single. My newish boyfriend has yet to witness these habits of mine. Thongs feel like foreign butt floss and I think they are tacky and I hate them. The end.

  • Linda Kenyon

    I have a it of a tum and dislike bikinis–don’t like the feeling of bisecting–I go for cotton “French-cut” w/ waistband just south of my navel. Cotton all the way! I go fancier with brassieres. I’d wear leopard-print every day if I could. If there are leopard-print granny-panties out there, then that’s a perfect world.
    BTW, the word “panties” always makes me cringe…’underwear’ is utilitarian and no-nonsense.

  • Victoria

    Coming from a french family, you HAVE to wear nice underwear (that was my mom and grandma’s excuse at least when I wanted a white bra for my first bra). Now, I actually love wearing cute underwear, and they can be comfortable too! But what I mostly can’t stand, are those fucking annoying underwear lines with sweatpants, which is where the thong comes in

  • amandromeda

    VS cheeky panties with the lacy back. uber comfy. can wear under most anything. black lacy bra sans padding if i absolutely have to wear a bra at all. my teeny tween-sized boobies don’t need much unless i just need to hide my nipples from my small town populace.

  • http://www.runway2street.com/ runway2street

    Comfortable cotton thongs for everyday and yes nude bras are essential. But nice lingerie does make you feel special.

  • Courtney

    How can you NOT wear a nude bra? And I wear all kind of underwear- gstrings, thongs, boyshorts, commando if it’s laundry day…whatever i’m in the mood for!

  • SunYellow

    I wear bike shorts on the way into work and then go commando after I arrive. Was working fabulously until a gust of wind blew up the back of my skirt when I stepped out into the courtyard of my office. Full back-ended nudity. Fun times in flippy skirts.

  • Z

    It depends on the underwear, I’ve worn super uncomfortable granny panties that ride up like no other and have own surprisingly comfortable thongs. Hipsters are the way to go, no double butt problems or strings shoved so far up there you feel like you may need to get your undergarments surgically removed a mere two hours after putting your knickers on.

  • http://camillaonadiet.blogspot.com Camilla Gigi

    Comfort: bikinis below the hipbone or boy shorts (no butt lines). Polka dot or striped, sometimes basic black, or white.

  • sarah

    for me it is more about the CONDITION of the undergarment. old, baggy, holey, unintentionally grey, pilled etc..is just unacceptable. they must me fresh, and well cared for. i have seen the most divine underwear that comes to the waist in a beautiful stretch delicate lace. i personally go for stella, preferably silk. her ‘thongs’ are supper comfortable and in oyster or navy silk with lace. cosabella is as comfortable as it gets in a high rise.

  • Caroline

    I usually go with a thong, just to avoid panty lines. However, somedays you just need a good, full-butt pair o’ undies.

  • huong

    pretty undergarments make me feel pretty :)

  • http://www.lisathomsonlive.com Lisa Thomson

    I Love to wear nice under things. I have an abundance of lovelies. Nice post :)

  • cassie

    the simple bralettes from pink are the comfiest ever! no underwire! no extra padding under the boob! i also like their yoga/seamless hipsters (in different colors) they look and feel extremely soft, making me a less awkward person! i don’t feel like I’m being something I’m not, i don’t have breast that look 2 cups larger and I’m comfortable in my skin…nothing artificial.

  • Lydia

    Cannot deal with g-strings at all; far too uncomfortable. Big Bridget Jones underwear all day, every day! http://oldestfad.wordpress.com/

  • ldobbie

    CK “naked” collection is my go-to, only maybe not on the hottest days of the year because the fabric doesn’t breathe as well as you’d want it to. LOVE Hanky Panky O/S lace thongs any time. Fought hard to like G-strings but just can’t.

  • Alex Pastor

    From a mans perspective there is no bigger turn off than granny panties. As you know, we men, are VERY VERY VERY VERY visual. Don’t hate us for that its the way we were designed to select our mates. So if you plan on being alone than wear the granny panties as they seem very comfortable. However, if you are in the presence of your husband, bf, or date, wear the thong…better yet the g-string.
    p.s. must be tough to be a woman..

    • Trubador

      I disagree with this… First of all, if you are hot you are hot. It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing a burlap sack. Secondly, there is nothing more attractive than a girl that’s comfortable and confident in her own skin. Our favorite “man repeller” would have no problem bagging you in granny panties if she wished.

  • leicablixa

    The 3 C’s of underwear. Clean, Comfortable and Cotton.

  • missdisplaced

    I wear whatever underwear fit/look best under the clothes I wear that day. Mostly, they’re tame hipsters with no-butt rideup. Oh and no thongs. Ever.

  • Rey Ann

    I feel weirdly confident and grown up when my bra and undies match. It makes no sense, but I do. And I definitely feel WORSE about myself when in a thong or any clothing that’s so tight it requires a thong. Being comfy with myself and the clothes is important. I like lace, I like colors, but I would like my whole bum covered. It’s…just the point of wearing underwear.

  • Dani

    I wear sexy underwear because i need to feel sexy everyday, and because you have to be prepared!! Under any circumstances i would wear granny panties because i would feel very uncomfortable with myself jajaja

  • http://www.confettiavenue.com Charlotte Hartwell

    Cannot deal with anything stringy! The only underwear I own is butt-covering bikini briefs. In fact, last Christmas I received 32 pairs in a multitude of colours.

  • Randy

    I actually prefer a girl who wears granny panties over one who wears a thong or g-string…it shows that she values what is underneath and she is probably not loose…I prefer only to see a girl’s undies only either in a freshly laundered baske…preferably pristinely cleant…preferably folded neatly or in a lingerie drawer…under the same conditions…though if I have to have one or the other…I’d prefer clean g-strings or thongs rather than dirty granny panties…..