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I Tried Cooling Underwear for Swamp-Ass Summer Days, and I’m Never Going Back

Mary Grace Garis

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Photo: Getty Images/Carol Yepes

One of the many fun realities of living in a sweat-stained city that is New York (love you, bb) is that I have to change my outfit twice a day in the summer. Not because I’m particularly revolting or have, like, terrible bladder control, but because once I leave the house, that dense humidity takes me to Sweat City. And you shouldn’t have to sit in that all day, you know? So believe me that I was 100 percent on board when I learned that cooling underwear is a thing.

In fact, Wacoal has recently released a whole damn Cooling Collection of bras, tanks, briefs, bikinis, and shapers. It features a lightweight and super breathable textile that retains a perma-coolness. And that’s useful not just because heatwaves are deeply unbearable, but because temperature control is really important to vaginal health.

“In the warm summer months, the excess heat and moisture build-up can throw off vaginal pH and lead to the proliferation of and an imbalance between bacteria and yeast,” Lucky Sekhon, MD, a fertility specialist and board-certified OBGYN from New York City. “This can leave women more prone to yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis. This can be further aggravated by factors such as tight-fitting underwear or thongs that aren’t made from breathable fabric.”

Luckily, underpants have heard the call. “Our new Keep Your Cool Collection is specifically engineered with cooling properties spun directly into the yarn before the fabric was woven,” says Miryha Fantegrossi, VP of Merchandising and Design at Wacoal America. “Since the cooling technology is a part of the yarn, the garment will retain a cool feel to the touch for the entire life of the garment – it’s not a coating or treatment that will wear off in the wash.”

Seriously, these sets are committed to staying cool. When my cooling underwear arrived the first thing I noticed was that the fabric felt winter fresh, long before I even put it on. Smooth, soft, and chill, it beckoned me on another 87 degrees day in my barely air-conditioned apartment. I didn’t even waste time putting it on, immediately in love. Dude, this underwear is true to its word, you can be wearing several layers of black wool clothing and be copasetic (but uh, don’t).

Shop Now: Keep Your Cool Underwire Bra, $60

Fashion-wise, it is what it is: full coverage black, beige, and white underwear. My style is very Pin-Up Queen of the Universe so putting on a sand-colored meets-me-at-my-belly-button Keep Your Cool Brief ($19) feels momentarily unnatural. But then it feels immediately awesome like your ass has central air conditioning (the dream, honestly).

“This is great,” I said, fully flashing my roommate, Amber. “I mean it’s not my sexiest lingerie.”

“No, it’s cooling underwear for non-sexy days around the house,” she said.

“I mean, it’s a pandemic, every day is a non-sexy day around the house.”

And I laughed. And then Amber laughed. And then I cried. It’s been quite a year. Anyway.

The real test trial began when I left my house for my bi-weekly iced coffee. The air was its usual consistency of “steamed garbage soup” and skin and hair were feeling the impact of that. But with my cooling underwear? My va-jay was thrilled. And weirdly, my chest was chilling as well; even though this underwear covers a lot of territory, it has these mesh pockets of breathing room that ensures the twins are comfy and not constricted. No reason to worry about sweat-induced chest acne, which is high on the list of my worst dermatological nightmares.

Trust me when I say I’m no stranger to using cooling products to keep the temps down, I once got through an air-conditionless summer with cooling bedding and PHs. But cooling underwear? It’s especially chill to give yourself some on-the-go heat relief.

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