Ask Allie: Chub Rub

Hi Allie,
Do you have any thoughts on what to do for…chub rub? I've tried bike shorts (bulky, hot) and various other things like deodorant, etc.. I got a pair of Luvees, which seemed ideal, but I must have gotten too large a size, as they feel kind of bloomerish. Here in humid, sticky Virginia, I'm getting a little miserable wearing dresses away from air conditioning. Ack!

Thanks!
Marcy

Hi Marcy,
Whether I was a size 6 or a size 16, I have always dealt with chub rub. Jeans and pants that wear thin between the legs, and that dreadful red bumpy rash that takes place come the warmer months. I have tried all sorts of things (though not Luvees, now my interest is piqued!); these are what I found to work:

Not the same shorts I have, but same length and also from Kmart


Moisture-wicking bike shorts. When I knew I was going to Bonnaroo in 2007, I did a lot of research online regarding the best attire to wear in such heat. Everyone said the best choice was a sundress with bike shorts underneath. I hadn’t worn such an ensemble since high school (and back then it was with a biker jacket and Doc Martens) and didn’t even know where to look for bike shorts that weren’t padded in the bum and actually made for biking. My friend Tiffany informed me that they had bike shorts at Kmart for around $10 each.

I headed to my closest Kmart and found an entire rounder of these shorts. They were made of lightweight poly knit (like a bathing suit), with a cotton crotch. No elastic or gripper tape at the hem of the legs and not skin tight, they were more like men’s boxer briefs. They came in black and powder blue, I snagged two pairs of black in size Large… and have been wearing them ever since. They have been to every Bonnaroo with me, and are usually under the matte jersey and drapey knit dresses and skirts I wear to work and on weekends. I have found similar bike shorts at other big box discount retailers such as Walmart and Target – you actually want the cheaply made/cheap quality thin shorts without bells and whistles. They are short enough to hide under my hemlines, but long enough to prevent chub rub. I feared a looser fit may cause them to ride up when walking, but I never have that issue – in fact, I think the looser fit gives them the room to stay put. The cotton crotch keeps me from overheating; I wear them in place of traditional undergarments and stay cool and comfortable all day.

Monistat Soothing Care Chafing Relief Powder-Gel. Have you ever used Smashbox Photo Finish Primer? It is a gel that when placed on the face ends up with a powdery finish that prevents makeup from slipping in the heat and reduces the appearance of large pores. This product from Monistat is like Smashbox’s primer, but for your body. It is a gel, that when applied is a soft powdery finish that keeps your skin from sticking together, rubbing, and chafing. It goes on invisible and can survive the hottest, sweatiest days. Don’t believe me? Check out the reviews on Amazon and Drugstore.com. The product is so similar to Smashbox that I know many women who use this instead as a makeup primer for a much lower price!

BodyGlide. It’s not just us curvy women who deal with chafing, runners have dealt with this for ages and some smart athletic folks have created products to combat it. BodyGlide comes in a container that looks like stick deodorant and you can rub it on any part of your body that deals with chafing without feeling greasy or sticky. I recommend getting the classic BodyGlide – they make a formula for women but I can’t really tell the difference other than the color of the packaging and the price tag.

Stores like Target often have travel sizes of products and you can sometimes find BodyGlide; I think it’s a brilliant addition to every woman’s handbag for those times when you’re out and about and chafing takes place. BodyGlide can also be used on feet – it’s great when you’re breaking in new shoes and don’t want to end up with hot spots and blisters!

How do you deal with chub rub? What products have you found that work and what products don’t?

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25 Comments

  1. ℓ υ ρ ι т α ...✵
    July 9, 2013 / 3:14 am

    bandelettes which r too fancy but just buy sports lycra pants to exercise or shorts

  2. Anonymous
    August 9, 2012 / 12:39 am

    I’m in a marching band and we do what is called a “chair step” , it’s where you bring your thigh up 90 degrees in the air and march around a football field, as a bigger girl I get chub rub. Thanks so much for helping with this problem!

  3. January 11, 2012 / 11:21 am

    Have you ever had trouble with them rolling up? I have tried but maybe I cut at the wrong place because they would roll on me up into my leg joints. But this makes so much more sense than spending so much on Spanx and similar products. Thank you for providing your suggestion on here! 🙂

  4. Chris Stanley Brown
    January 11, 2012 / 2:59 am

    What I have done for years is to buy control-top pantyhose and cut the legs off at about knee level. This gives me enough length on the legs so that there is no significant roll up or rubbing of the “chub”.  I invented this solution for myself many years ago before they had Spanx, etc. and I was able to enjoy wearing skirts in warm weather without any problems.  I have tried a few of the other products on the market that deal with the problem but most were not long enough for me or the fabric was a little too heavy. I usually buy the Just My Size brand which good quality and is reasonably priced. I recommend buying a nude color or a color that is close to your own skin tone.

  5. August 28, 2011 / 5:06 am

    Thanks so much for all of the advice. I am miserably suffering right now. I am getting married on the beach next month and don’t want hot confinig shapewear on so these suggestions are AN AMAZING ALTERNATIVE. I will follow up 🙂

  6. July 9, 2011 / 11:42 am

    I will never forget the spring after Emerson was born, I was wearing a black
    jersey wrap dress from Talbots with my Spanx bike shorts underneath. I was
    on the phone walking down the street and a big gust of wind blew my dress
    and it got stuck on my laptop bag, I am trying to cover up and a homeless
    man yelled, “Hey lady, you’re showing me your goodies!” I wanted to yell
    back, “Nope, just bike shorts THANK GOODNESS!” LOL!

  7. beccaeve
    July 9, 2011 / 5:49 am

    I love my little bike shorts under skirts in the summer. Not only to they help with the chub rub, but they are quite useful when I gust of wind whips up my flouncy summer skirts.

  8. Msguinevere
    July 4, 2011 / 3:12 pm

    If you sew, try making some 100 % silk charmeuse tap pants – with the legs long enough to cover the inner thigh area that is getting rubbed. I LOVE mine! They let air in too, so the sweat will actually cool you – and they feel VERY luxurious and sexy!

  9. RelatableStyle
    July 2, 2011 / 8:23 pm

    When I was younger, I had this problem too! Fortunately, for me it vanished together with some extra weight 😉 I bought skin-colored tights very very cheap and cut off the legs… It’s important to cut them up at the right spot though, as leaving them too long will show and making them too short will result in rolled-up tights that do nothing but bother you ^^

    Relatable Style

  10. Vrsovec
    July 2, 2011 / 6:40 pm

    If I can’t find the shorter ‘bike shorts’ I buy leggings and cut them down to size — I hem it with the sewing machine zig zag stitch, or just leave them alone, and away I go and enjoy my dresses and skirts.

  11. Diana
    July 1, 2011 / 10:29 pm

    I like bike shorts ( I have some cotton ones from Hue that are quite comfy, although slightly too long to be ideal) or pettipants.  I haven’t found either the Monistat or the Glide to work very well to be honest – well, I think they probably do prevent the blistering/screaming in pain bit, but my thighs still rub together and get all sweaty and sticky and it’s still uncomfortable.  The products themselves when combined with sweat seem to get sticky on me as well, which is honestly a bit gross. 

  12. Ashe @ Dramatis Personae
    July 1, 2011 / 9:19 pm

    I picked up bikeshorts from the Danskin NOW  at Walmart (boasting a short 5″ inseam) along with some of the ones from The Thigh Society, and they’ve both REALLY boosted me in to being a dress gal! It always drove me nuts before, and face it– it’s REALLY hot in New Orleans and sweaty thighs touching just isn’t sexy.

  13. Sewlturgical
    July 1, 2011 / 8:55 pm

    I’ve been wearing the men’s Starter brand briefs under my dresses – $10 at WalMart – thin and cool – they are WalMart’s version of underarmor.

  14. Shoeaddict 17
    June 30, 2011 / 5:30 pm

    Well, I’m a plus sized girl, as you know, and I LOVE dresses. I have some bike shorts that I wear under them and they are perfect. I couldn’t wear a dress without them. Unless it’s Winter and I’m wearing leggings. 

  15. tiny junco
    June 30, 2011 / 3:34 pm

    ha! i actually PREFER the monistat anti-chafing to Smashbox as a face primer! no weird colors or sparkly stuff, plus it’s smoother and lasts longer. i get chub rub around my armpits when it’s real hot, the monistat works great for that……talk about multi-purpopse 😉    steph

  16. June 30, 2011 / 2:00 pm

    I swear by Body Glide!  Forgot my bike shorts at Bonnaroo this year, but had two tubes of BG.  Didn’t miss my shorts at all – and didn’t need to reapply.  Huge fan.

  17. DiWrier
    June 30, 2011 / 12:10 am

    I’ve been revisiting this issue as well. I second the Monistat suggestion. It’s also great for those raw rubbed spots some of us buxom gals get in the underboob area. 

  18. Stiffa
    June 30, 2011 / 12:01 am

    Glide is the best.  Six bucks.  I keep one at home and one at work.  Lasts forever, too.  I used to use preparation H, but it cost too much to keep a supply around.

  19. kathy
    June 29, 2011 / 11:10 pm

    Dear Grandma,

    1. Never shopped Garnet Hill but will take a look at them. Thanks for the review!
    2. Love the navy outfit from the other day. That scarf is fabulouys!
    3. Super short skirts/dresses? Just…no. Not only is it challenging to walk in them, but sitting is really uncomfortable. I hate sitting on my undies!
    4. Thank you so much for this post on chafing. I’ve been dealing with that alot lately and had no idea what to do about it. Now I do.

  20. June 29, 2011 / 8:21 pm

    I’m a devotee of the pettipants. Lighter weight than bike shorts and serve the same purpose.

  21. KellyOlsakovsky
    June 29, 2011 / 8:12 pm

    Body Glide is my new best friend. I picked some up originally in an athletic store to use with my running shoes, and have found I use it every time I wear a skirt. I keep one in my bag and one in the medicine cabinet. I seriously cannot praise this stuff enough. A-mazing.

  22. Marti Gutwein
    June 29, 2011 / 8:07 pm

    Glide!  Love the stuff ever since I discovered it training for my first half marathon about 10 years ago.  

  23. June 29, 2011 / 7:50 pm

    I was just talking about this with someone the other day, I actually use the prescription strength deodorant and apply it at night after I shower. That way you stay very dry all day the next day. It’s quick and easy.

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