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I Went on a Quest To Find Sexy Underwear That Are *Actually* Comfortable—Here’s What I Found

comfortable underwear lingerie

Photo: Free People

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The first time I slept with someone after getting out of my long-term relationship, I was wearing a pair of underwear that, had I known someone would be seeing them, I would have never, ever donned. They weren’t completely horrendous… but they were beige, high-waisted boy shorts. Any of those things on their own could be cute, but the trifecta was like granny panty central. Luckily it was dark and I only said, “Wait, ignore how ugly my underwear is” twice. After that experience—where he totally didn’t care about my ugly yet comfortable underwear—I vowed to never wear un-cute underwear again. Because I realized that, while maybe he didn’t necessarily care that I wasn’t wearing “sexy” underwear, I kinda did. It had been a while since I had felt desirable, and something is confidence-boosting about wearing a matching set of lacy underthings, even if no one will see them.

But as I began to add racier pieces to my collection, I quickly realized that a lot of sexy underwear is hell-bent on making your nether-regions feel trapped in a cage of elastic and lace. Now, I have done some weird, uncomfortable things in my sartorial endeavors—like purposefully giving myself a wedgie to avoid bodysuit-induced VPL for a first date. (Yeah, and you thought this was going to be a sexy story.) That was legitimately so uncomfortable, and the guy was definitely not worth the discomfort.

So I went on a quest to find pretty, sexy, actually comfortable underwear. Behold, the fruits of my labor.

In This Article

03 FAQ

Some of the Best Pretty, Comfortable Underwear, at a Glance:

What I looked for

I was on the hunt for pieces I could wear without having to adjust myself every five seconds in my WeWork office that I’d also feel sexy in if I decided to sleep with someone. The best, as 2006 Miley would say, of both worlds. Additionally, I tried to wrangle a variety of styles, price points, and materials to accommodate different preferences. Not everyone likes a string thong, after all!

Shop our picks of the best sexy and comfortable underwear


charlotte V string black comfortable underwear

Best string thong: Fleur du Mal, Charlotte Lace No Show V-String — $32.00

I’m pretty much obsessed with everything Fleur du Mal creates, but its Charlotte V-String silhouette is one of my favorites. It’s made from a super soft combination of microfiber and lace, and the straps are thin and soft so they won’t dig into your sides. And, if this particular style isn’t for you, the collection also includes thongs, cheekies, high-waisted undies, bras, and bodysuits.

Colors: 3

Sizes: S/M, M/L

Pros: 

  • Soft microfiber and lace design
  • Thin straps don’t cut into sides
  • Simple, elegant silhouette

Cons: 

  • Limited size options



Best cotton: Negative Underwear, Whipped French Cut Brief — $45.00

Cotton is hailed by gynecologists as the best underwear material because it offers breathability and prevents the growth of unwanted bacteria. These gorgeous French-cut briefs from Negative Underwear will change your mind about cotton briefs for good. The “whipped” in the name refers to the brand’s soft micro modal fabric which, in combination with the delicate stitching, provides extreme comfort and a sexy yet casual look.

Colors: 9

Sizes: XS-2XL

Pros:

  • Extremely soft and breathable
  • Casual, yet sexy design
  • Inclusive size range

Cons:

  • Pricier option



Best design: Gooseberry Intimates, Full On Glam Thong — $40.00

I never met a high waist I didn’t like. This pair of—fine, I’ll say it—panties is very stretchy and soft, but also intricately detailed so they feel elevated and sexy. Plus, the high waist doesn’t dig in, which is cause for an IRL praise hands emoji.

Colors: 3

Sizes: XS—L

Pros: 

  • Elevated design
  • High waist doesn’t dig

Cons: 

  • Limited sizing



Best high-waist brief: MeUndies, All Over Lace High-Waist Brief — $20.00

MeUndies is known (and loved) for its comfortable modal fabric and its themed prints. But sexiness? Not so much—until now. Its new lace styles are as comfortable as they are cute, and they come in a handful of different designs. This high-waisted brief offers plenty of coverage but still has a delicate look to it. Best of all, MeUndies has a very inclusive size run (the widest range on our list).

Colors: 3

Sizes: XS-4XL

 

Pros: 

  • Inclusive size range
  • Super soft lace

Cons: 

  • Limited color options
  • Not available for MeUndies’ subscription service (yet)



Best bikini: Lively, The Mesh Back Bikini — $15.00

A solid everyday option, these bikinis from Lively come in an assortment of colors but aren’t basic—the entire back is mesh. (I was going to write something about business in the front, party in the back, but I feel like mullets and lingerie just should not go together.) Plus, the front is made from a soft spandex that moves with you.

Colors: 10

Sizes: XS-3XL

Pros: 

  • A flirty amount of coverage
  • Soft, stretchy spandex
  • Budget-friendly price

Cons: 

  • Might lead to wedgies for some



Best boyshort: Intimately Free People, Low-Rise Daisy Lace Boyshort Undies — $14.00

If only these had been the underwear I wore that one fateful night. (Sigh.) They’re subtle and pretty and very soft. I’m partial to the tan if I’m wearing these underneath a dress or skirt that’s sheer, but the other colors are also quite pretty. You can also bundle a few of your faves with Free People’s 3-for-$35 deal.

Colors: 10

Sizes: XS-XL

Pros: 

  • Soft lace and low cut design (accommodates more outfits)
  • Can be bundled for a discount
  • Lots of color options

Cons: 

  • Limited availability for some colors

PSA: This is how often you need to replace your underwear, according to two gynos.

FAQS

What is the most comfortable style of women’s underwear?

The most comfortable style of women’s underwear for you will come down to personal preference. Some people prefer the feeling of a thong (especially if you tend to get wedgies easily!), while others prefer more coverage, as with a cheeky or boy-short cut. Trying a few different styles is the only way to determine what fits best for you and your unique body. Luckily, there are plenty of brands that offer bundle discounts where you can mix and match styles.

What underwear rides up the least?

If you’re hoping to keep your underwear from riding up, a boxer brief or boy cut style might help. Because they’re designed to sit lower on your body, they tend to stay in place a little better. Of course, this will depend on your body shape and the material of the underwear.

What underwear is best for skin irritation?

Those with sensitive skin will want to prioritize underwear made from breathable, natural materials like cotton or bamboo. A few brands we like include Pact, Bombas, and Huha.

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