Only the Essentials—9 Underwear Styles That’ll Work for Every Outfit, Including Leggings

Photo: Getty Images/Digital Vision.
If cleaning out your underwear drawer is at the top of your resolutions list for 2019—you know, somewhere between finding glasses that actually fit your face and being better about washing your bras properly, here's something you should know: It's easier to accomplish than it sounds (overhaul, ugh). More so, crossing it off will feel *so* good, both literally and figuratively.

So how do you know when it's time to get rid of the old? To figure it out, I spoke with Erin Fujimoto, co-founder of the casual intimates brand Tommy John, who agreed that "other than the obvious signs like holes, discoloration, or pilling, it's time to toss your old underwear when you find yourself putting the same pair back in search for another, more comfortable pair."

The payoff for putting your intimates drawer through a spark-joy test is that there are so many fun brands, styles, and colors to shop from right now, and at the top of the pile are women's underwear styles happen to be pairs that are made for living that active life. When you're looking for new undies, Fujimoto says to invest in underwear with more performance functionality. "There are so many innovative options on the market today for women to choose over chunky laces or heavy synthetics," she adds.

In particular, look for panty-line free, wicking, seamless, and no-dig women's underwear styles that deliver in function and innovation. But above all else,  you wear your undies for like 24 hours in a row (just me?), so shop first for comfort, but never sacrifice on fabric and fit. Here's a guide to all the top women's underwear styles you need in your life. All are leggings-approved, of course.

women's underwear styles
Photo: Lively

Lively The Cotton Brief, $10

Best cotton: You want all cotton all the time? Here it is. Good old cotton is back and in the best way. Stock up on solids, stripes, and other fun prints like the Lively Palm.

women's underwear styles
Photo: On Gossamer

On Gossamer Mesh Hip G String, $18

Best thong: On Gossamer practically invented the thong and their airy mesh is like wearing nothing at all. These are great to have in your drawer for when only a thong will do.

women's underwear styles
Photo: Tommy John

Tommy John Cool Cotton Boyshort, $24

Best boyshorts: Boyshorts aren't just for, well, the boys. When you come home from work and change into your "play" clothes, change into these. They're wear undies and sleep undies.

women's underwear styles
Photo: Commando

Commando Double-Take High Rise Bikini, $38

Best high rise: When you want a little extra coverage (always) but don't want your undies to look like Bridget Jones' granny panties, this lace high-rise bikini looks like *lingerie* and is great for every day.

women's underwear styles
Photo: Yummie

Yummie Ultralight Seamless Shaping Short, $18

Best shaper: This ultralight shortie gives you full coverage and a tiny bit of hold at the tummy. They are seamless, so no VPL under a clingy knit dress or your joggers.

women's underwear styles
Photo: Hanro

Hanro Luxury Moments Boyleg, $64

Best everyday lace: This is your sophisticated, everyday underwear. These dreamy stretch lace boyshorts are flat and smooth even under work pants and jeans. Great for when you want to feel dressed up and feel good.

women's underwear styles
Photo: Lululemon

Lululemon Namastay Put Hipster, $18

Best for sweat: Undies that don't move during workouts, don't show under leggings, and let your lady parts breathe? Yes, please. The fabric wicks away moisture and the bonded seams prevent chafing.

women's underwear styles
Photo: Everlane

Everlane The High-Rise Hipster, $12

Best full-coverage, cotton briefs: Supima cotton in a high-rise to match your high-rise denim. So they're a little more fabric than you are used to, but that's why they feel so darn good.

women's underwear styles
Photo: Sloggi

Sloggi Zero Feel Hipster Briefs, $12

Best seamless: Dreamy seamless undies that are completely invisible. The Japanese developed fabric has 360 degrees of stretch and a flat dot bonding technology that creates edges which disappear beyond belief under clothing.

Now that you've got your underwear sorted, let's get down to the serious questions, like: Should you be wearing any under your bodysuits? 

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