Learn about the different types of underwear to know which ones work best for you and the clothes you wear. Although these pieces of undergarment aren’t seen, they contribute significantly to how comfortable you would be in your dress, pants, and other types of bottoms. That’s because each type provides different levels of coverage.
Types of Underwear for Women
Undoubtedly, you have a closet full of underwear that you’ve been familiar with for a long time because it’s the most comfortable for daily use. You surely also have more than two types of underwear. However, these pieces of undergarment that you have might not work well for specific occasions and outfits.
Below are some of the most common underwear types that you can find in the market today. Discussed are their most notable features and when they’re best to wear. We’ve also divided them into three categories for your convenience.
Summary of the Types of Underwear
This article will discuss the following underwear styles. Click on the below links to go straight to that style.
Sure, here's a table that includes the 19 specified styles of underwear, each accompanied by a brief description:
|Sits at the natural waistline, balancing comfort and coverage.
|Sits low on the hips, ideal for low-waist garments.
|Sits low on the hips, ideal for low waist garments.
|Inspired by men's boxers, with a snug fit and full coverage.
|Moderate coverage with a lower waist and high-cut legs.
|Minimal rear coverage, to eliminate visible panty lines.
|More rear coverage than a thong but less than briefs.
|Traditional British term for women's undergarments.
|A timeless style with full coverage and comfortable fit.
|Moderate coverage with a flattering, curve-enhancing cut.
|Very minimal coverage with a thin string-like back.
|Combination of boxers and briefs, snug fit and longer leg.
|Without seams to provide a smooth fit under tight clothing.
|Designed to offer shaping and support for the waist and hips.
|A firm, shaping garment extending from waist to thighs.
|Designed to lift and shape the buttocks .
|Designed to lift and shape the buttocks.
|Offers support and compression for postpartum recovery.
|Complete coverage for maximum comfort and security
Types of Underwear by Length
When we say underwear length, we are actually referring to the rise and not the underwear as a whole. That said, there are three types of briefs based on length, namely:
The mid-rise underwear will sit right below your belly button, making it perfect for ladies with wide hips and square-shaped and V-shaped bottoms. These undergarment pieces will work well with mid-rise pants and skirts, especially if you’re wearing cropped tops. That’s because you don’t have to worry about the underwear’s top showing.
2. High Rise (High Waist)
Aptly named, this has a higher rise than the mid-rise underwear, resting on your waist or right above your belly button. That means it will cover most parts of your tummy or the whole of it. As such, this undergarment is best for high-waist skirts, shorts, or pants.
3. Low Rise (Hipster)
Perfect for low-rise bottoms, these types of underwear usually sit right at your waist or a few inches below your belly button. Some manufacturers offer low-rise underwear that sits a little lower than the waist.
Types of Underwear Styles and Cuts
The cut or style of the underwear will determine what parts of your bottom get covered. The most popular types of underwear under this category are as follows:
These undies are the female version of men’s boxers. They have a rectangular shape, so their design crosses between shorts and underwear.
As an undergarment, they are perfect for loose skirts and flared mini dresses because they offer full buttocks coverage. That means you won’t have to worry about your “cheeks” showing when your skirt or dress flies due to wind.
You can also wear boyshorts under your casual, loose pants, especially if you expect that you’ll walk for an extended period. Since its hems sit right below your groin or on your thighs, you don’t have to worry about it chafing. Also, it’s usually made of nylon, cotton, or microfiber, so it’s breathable and skin-friendly.
Additionally, you can wear these types of underwear as is at home, especially during the summer season. They can be both loungewear and sleepwear.
5. Bikini Underwear
This low-rise underwear with high-cut leg holes is one of the most popular because of swimwear. It covers most of your buttocks but won’t ride up and create panty lines when worn under fitted bottoms.
You’ll find bikinis made of nylon, cotton, microfiber, argyle mesh, lace, and more, as well as in different styles, such as those with strings that you need to tie to hold the undies together.
The bikini is also one of the most versatile types of underwear because you can wear them under almost all types of bottoms. It’s also perfect for ladies with square-shaped, A-shaped, and heart-shaped buttocks.
Bonus: The bikini has a mini or skimpy version called the C-string panties, perfect for low-rise jeans, shorts, and more.
6. Thong Underwear Cuts
Thongs are low-rise types of underwear that offer minimal back coverage, with a narrow, thin, T-shape fabric strip on the back. The said strip rests between the buttock’s cheeks, so there would be no visible panty lines. They also have low-cut leg holes.
With such a design, you must make sure you choose thongs made of quality material and have the perfect fit. Otherwise, you’ll feel uncomfortable, or the underwear can chafe your skin.
It’s the perfect underwear for form-fitting clothes, such as leggings, tights, and bodycon. It’s also best worn by individuals who have prominent hips and buttocks.
7. Cheeky Panty Types
Offering more back coverage than a thong but less than what the bikini provides, it has a playful and flirty cut but is still useful for daily use. This underwear type usually has a wide hip band, eliminating panty lines.
Usually crafted using satin or silk, this vintage style of undies has been around since the 1920s. It has an elastic waistband and loose leg areas and hems. It’s best worn under loose skirts and pants, but you can also wear it as loungewear or sleepwear.
These types of underwear with medium coverage are the ones you’re most familiar with; those you purchase in packs of three or five. You can wear them underneath most bottom wear, but experts don’t recommend that you wear them under body-hugging clothes. That’s because the panty lines would be visible.
These panties combine the style of thongs and classic mid-rise undies. They won't cover your buttock cheeks, like the thong, but the fabric on the back is a little thicker than the one found on the thong.
Instead of a T-shape, this underwear has a triangular shape. It's best for form-fitting clothes because, like the thong, the panty lines won’t be visible.
The types of underwear with the least coverage, both front, and back, G-strings have a back almost similar to the thongs, but a little thinner. Similarly, the front barely covers your private part, as it’s triangular and has a very low rise.
These undies are usually made of delicate fabric such as satin and lace. They’re best worn for days when you want to have the “no underwear” look.
12. Boxer Briefs
Boxer shorts are loose-fitting and mainly for men but there are several slightly briefer versions for women. Boxers are looser than boyshorts and often made from cotton.
Types of Underwear by Function
The different types of underwear aren’t just about style or how well they fit you or match your clothes. Some of them have been designed for a specific purpose, and the most famous ones are:
Available in multiple cuts or styles, seamless undies won’t show any panty lines because they don’t have stitches. So, if you’re uncomfortable wearing thongs, strings, or bikinis, you can opt for classic but seamless panties.
14. Control Top
These types of underwear are also called shapewear because they have a slimming and firming effect. They can go as high as your waist or below your breasts, flattening your tummy and lifting your buttocks. That’s why most ladies wear them during special occasions only, such when they need to wear long dresses or gowns.
They’re also available in seamless varieties, which you can consider when you’ll wear tight-fitting clothes.
15. Panty Girdle
You can consider the panty girdle a subcategory of the control top since it has a similar design and purpose. The difference is that the part above the hips has an attached girdle that you can adjust based on what’s comfortable for you.
16. Butt Lifter
Aptly named, these undies will help your buttocks look bigger and perkier, thanks to the padding included. The padding can be sewn to the undies or removable, depending on the manufacturer. Undoubtedly, they’re best worn under tight-fitting bottom wear, but you can also wear them under loose pieces of clothing.
A woman’s growing belly during pregnancy makes it a little challenging to choose the right underwear. You can opt for low-rise types of underwear since they rest below your belly, but maternity panties are good options. They have a fold on the top edge of the underwear that stretches out and covers most of your belly.
18. Post Pregnancy
Women who have already given birth know that there is such a thing as a postpartum belly. Post-pregnancy or postpartum undies will help compress the belly lightly. Similarly, it will help protect the surgical cut of C-section mothers. They’re also usually made of absorbent, skin-friendly, soft materials.
19. Full Coverage
Full coverage briefs are exactly as they sound. Low on the leg and high on the waist, they give full coverage from waist to hip.
Choosing the Right Types of Underwear
Undoubtedly, the best underwear you should include in your closet is the one you’re most comfortable wearing and your personal preferences. With that said, no one is stopping you from trying multiple underwear cuts or styles and lengths. Doing so will make you realize that those that seem uncomfortable for you might actually look better on you, giving you more confidence.
Keep in mind that it’s also essential to consider the material that will work best for your skin and the current season or climate. Lastly, fit also matters, so make sure you know which size is most comfortable for you. Sometimes, it’s actually bigger than your pants size, so always consult a size chart.