Hear me out: Granny panties are secretly the best (and sexiest) kind of underwear


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Photo: Stocksy/Lumina

I bought my first thong when I was in my early teens. It was contraband; I purchased it at Victoria’s Secret at the prodding of a couple of girlfriends, and then snuck it home in a Bath & Body Works bag filled with an assortment of Cucumber Melon offerings (the best B&BW scent—don’t @ me). Oh, the 2000s. My friends swore that thongs were “like, actually really comfortable.” I found this to be pretty untrue, but I continued to purchase and wear thongs because that was what was “hot” and “cool.” And because (by far preferred) high-waisted, butt-covering underwear got me teased by said friends.

I wore thongs pretty much exclusively for years, under the very mistaken attitude that only the skimpiest underwear was sexy, and other types of underwear were not. The biggest offender, of course, were granny panties, which are basically the antithesis of sexy. But recently, I have rediscovered granny panties. And I was like, Wait, I can feel sexy and be comfortable at the same time?

To borrow from Walt Whitman, the term “granny panties” contains multitudes. It brings to mind high-waisted, flesh-toned cotton underwear that’s probably a little bit saggy—the kind of underwear that you wear when you haven’t done laundry for a week, or when you’re just lounging around your apartment watching reruns of Parks and Recreation and eating an entire bag of Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi. If you were sexting someone and they were all “what are you wearing,” you probably wouldn’t reply “granny panties.” I am all for that IDGAF version of granny panties.

But granny panties can also be pretty. Think high-waisted, big panties with accoutrements like lace and mesh that bring to mind vintage underpinnings. They maintain the comfort you expect from granny panties, but are also the type of underwear you’d wear on a date if you thought your clothes might come off at some point during the night. (Yes, I am speaking from experience. Thank you for asking.)

Though I also think there’s something chic about plain, high-waisted cotton underwear—aka a more traditional granny panty. They’re pared down like a classic pair of sneakers: minimalist and comfortable—two of my favorite words when put together. Plus, you’re less likely to get a yeast infection from them versus a thong, which is a huge check in the pro-granny panty column. With a new pair of granny panties, get ready to live your most comfortable life.

So, uh, is it actually necessary to let your vagina breathe at night? We consulted the experts to find out. Also curious: Should you wear underwear with a bodysuit? 

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