An Ode to the $10 Undergarment That’s My Anti-Chafing Secret Weapon

Photo: Twenty20/@brittneyborowski
The number-one thing I bully people into buying is a pair of bike shorts that would look right at home in your grandma’s knicker drawer. (Okay, that’s a lie, the number-one thing is renter's insurance, but that’s another story.) Stay with me here—this decidedly unsexy undergarment changed my life by stopping thigh chafing in its tracks, and it'll change yours, too. I guarantee it.

Let’s take a Zack-Morris time out and rewind for a hot minute. The time: 2015, that day in late spring that has you wiping your brow like some sort of swooning Scarlett O’Hara, wondering how it only gets hotter from here. The place: New York City. I’m wearing a dress (a cute, stripy number that hits at mid-thigh) and I have an after-work networking event in midtown over on 11th Avenue. New Yorkers, I bet you see the problem already. Those of you lucky enough not to live in NYC (I bet you have a yard, dontcha) should know that getting to 11th Avenue in midtown requires a solid 15-minute walk from the subway.

It only takes a block for my upper thighs to start rubbing like kindling. By the time I arrive at my final destination, you could roast a whole lot more than a marshmallow over the fire created between my legs. Later that night, I survey the raw, red welts that have taken up residence south of my unmentionables, shake my fist at the clouds, and swear "never again." (There was a whole lot of the other kind of swearing, too.)

Of course, it did happen again. And again, and again. It was over a year—during which time I tried every lotion, powder, and body glide recommended by anonymous Amazon reviewers—before I found The Shorts That Saved My Life.

Let's get down to it. Jockey's Slipshorts (also available in black and beige from Bare Necessities) would please even Goldilocks: They're not too long, not too short. Not too loose, not too tight. They've got a wide elastic waistband that hits right below your belly button and holds in your tummy without threatening to squeeze your organs out through any available orifice (think of them like Spanx Lite). They're made from a thin, moisture-wicking material that let's you breathe *down there*, and the very-first pair I bought three years ago is still going strong after countless sweaty (so. much. sweat.) days and machine washes. These shorts have the holy trinity of underwear: quality, comfort, and support.

(One very important thing to note before you add to cart: Jockey makes a few different varieties of the Slipshorts, so pretty please pay close attention to the waistband in the photos. In a moment of confusion, I once bought the pair with a thin elastic, and while they do prevent chafing, they have none of that belly-wobble-hiding magic. I'd hate for you to repeat my mistake.)

When I've proclaimed the virtues of the Slipshorts to friends, colleagues, family members, and fellow melting straphangers, many of them have gone on to say, "I see your boring beige undies—not like, literally, this is a metaphor—and raise you a pair of colorful/printed/lace bike shorts." That way, every gust of wind or unchoreographed twirl becomes a chance to express your creativity. "I'm so fun and fancy-free!" a flash of polka-dots under a black dress seems to say.

But I want to be crystal clear here: I can't vouch for every pair of bike shorts on the market. I don't know that they won't bunch up or roll down. I don't know that they won't cut into your waist or give you a yeast infection (TMI?). But Jockey's Slipshorts? They're the real deal.

*I was not paid by Jockey to write this story. I just love these shorts so GD much.

Originally published on July 3, 2018.

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