Reader Survey

Hello all. A reader emailed me yesterday about undergarments. She feels that she can never find the right ones – underwear either leaves the dreaded VPL (visible panty line), is ugly, or it is uncomfortable. Like her, I have found that boyshorts often ride down during the day or ride up cutting one's bum in half, and unlike me, not all women will wear thongs. What style/brand do you feel gives a smooth line under garments but is still pretty feminine and not awful to be seen by your lover?

For me, I live for the thongs by Hanky Panky (they sometimes go on sale at Nordstrom and when they do I stock up). I find the traditional thongs utterly comfortable, pretty, elegant and don't look weird over my belly/pooch and have enough fabric in the back to look elegant, not trashy over my bum. The low-rise style is also comfortable and great when wearing jeans. I wear these almost exclusively under trousers.

My husband finds the boyshorts very cute, but I find with my smaller hips/larger booty and tummy that they slide down and leave weird lines under clothing.

I have had luck with the microfiber undies, but they are not very pretty and often the briefs and bikinis still show a line under thinner fabrics of trousers. For skirts and dresses I do wear briefs or bikinis – I believe before I posted about the microfiber ones by Vanity Fair that I like.. I have also found a moisture-wicking black brief by Champion (found at Target, they don't seem to carry anymore) that seems to be microfiber-like fabric and is not bad looking… but can't be worn with slim trousers for fear of VPL.

For slim dresses I opt for Spanx's Higher Power for a completely seamless line and a smoother figure. Not the most comfortable and I will not wear on a warm summer day, but great to have on hand for certain outfits.

When you respond, do respond with your general body type. Not only will I report back to this reader, but may tally up ideas and make a post about this on my other blog so it can assist more women out there with this same plight. I thank you and other women around the globe trying to look chic thank you as well!


  1. Anonymous
    July 25, 2007 / 8:15 pm

    I’m 5’3, short, and about an 8. I always wear thongs or g-strings to avoid visible panty lines. Can’t go back to any other types of underwear…

    I used to like Victoria’s Secret, but its hit or miss depending on the season. Their non-VS line that they have in stores is very cute.

  2. July 21, 2007 / 1:35 pm

    I’m a 5’5″ and a 10/12, medium hips with a booty and a lil tummy

    I wear a thong under most pants and skirts to avoid VPL. I have found that VS stuff lasts so long that most of my cotton v-strings have been around for 5+ years! Their briefs, however, leave awful VPL on me. Boy shorts are not suitable for me to wear under anything but a blanket (when I sleep).

  3. Lisakb
    July 20, 2007 / 7:54 pm

    I am a thongs only girl- I am an hourglass with big boobs, tiny waist and ghetto booty and it is a BITCH to find underwear that fits.I really despise VPL and find that the Vickys Pink line is great, if only it stayed consistent.
    I work in theatre and any time a costume designer puts an actress in trousers, she hands her a pair of nude thongs to go with it…

  4. Anonymous
    July 20, 2007 / 6:40 pm

    I’m 5’6″ and curvy. I love the all-cotton panties and bras from Lands’ End – they come in cute colors and are so comfortable! They also have pretty lace undies that I wear for date nights with my husband 🙂

  5. July 20, 2007 / 3:06 pm

    I’m 5’10” and size 12 (but you already knew that part)… I’ve given up trying to hide pantylines. I don’t go out of my way to show them off, but some days I just don’t care. Look at my ass if you want. 😛

    Bikinis are my choice. Most are microfiber and most are black. I do own a few thongs, but not that many.

  6. Anonymous
    July 20, 2007 / 7:05 am

    5’4″ petite & curvy with some muscle (size 6-ish)

    Hanky Panky all the way or just go commando!!! 😉

  7. Brandy
    July 19, 2007 / 11:39 pm

    5’4″, size 14 (12 on a good day!!). Defined waist, curvy hips and belly, high butt. VS Angels Wide Side Bikini. Not seamless but I never experience a VPL (I never buy anything even the tiniest bit snug in the waist/hips though). The VS Body by Victoria ones are ultra smooth but they sag in the butt for me.

  8. Isadora
    July 19, 2007 / 7:09 pm

    I am 5’5 a size 4-6, with a soft middle. I only wear thongs when something is going to be super tight and I have no other way out. I love Patonagonia bikinis. They breathe and wick moisture away, I am a runner, hiker, pilates, outdoorsy kind of girl and I bought them to wear when I play, but they are so comfortable, and make my tush great that I wear them all the time now.
    And no VPL

  9. July 19, 2007 / 2:00 pm

    Well I buy almost all my bras from FOH, so no need to be embarrassed! 🙂 I can’t believe how many responses i have already gotten, you women are AMAZING!

  10. Dee
    July 19, 2007 / 1:32 pm

    I’m embarrassed to admit it but I buy thongs from Frederick’s of Hollywood, yes FOH. They are cheap ($8!) and they go up to plus sizes. I’m tall and large – 5′ 11 and athletic build with some extra pounds. Anyway they fit great and my hubby loves them!

  11. Anonymous
    July 19, 2007 / 1:28 pm

    I’m short and fat. I tried the Hanky Panky thongs and hated them. I found Gilligan O’Malley underwear at Target. I bought the lace hipster panties…LOVE THEM. They also have lace thongs which I hear are a very good duplicate of Hanky Panky at about half the cost. I think the hipsters were 3 for $9.99 or somewhere around that.

  12. Anonymous
    July 19, 2007 / 12:47 pm

    I’m 5’7 and I wear size 4-6, pretty balanced on top and bottom, with soft bits around the tummy and upper thighs. If I’m wearing something especially prone to VPL, I wear Body Veil panties from Vera Wang. Pricey for retail, yes, but at Filene’s Basement they’re only about $8, and pretty in a sort of understated way. Most importantly, they seem never to show. For days when panty lines aren’t going to be a huge concern, I like the “One Fab Fit” thongs from Maidenform. I’ve given up on wearing panties under tights or hose–they get bunchy and uncomfortable, and since the tights already have cotton gussets and get washed regularly, I feel okay. Must try that Spanx Higher Power–my waist always looks funny when I wear tights under dresses, and perhaps that would smooth things out!

  13. July 19, 2007 / 10:48 am

    I am a tall chick — almost 5’10” and wear a size 12. I love thongs and only wear Calvin Klein Almost Naked brand (from Nordstrom). They make a brief-style panty too and these are the most comfortable brand of undies I have ever had. They are paper thin and feel like you are…well, naked. They come in fun colors, but are not much to look at. After 12 years of marriage my husband doesn’t care what my undies look like as long as they hit the floor (ooops, too much information!).

  14. July 19, 2007 / 4:39 am

    I agree with you Dilly! Hankie Pankies and Spanx are the best. I love Spanx under dresses not only because they give a smooth line, but they also allow for modesty when I play with the kids or need to climb up on play equipment to get them!

  15. July 19, 2007 / 2:26 am

    I should add I’m about a size 10-12. 14 on the bad days, 8 on the good ones. ;o)

  16. July 19, 2007 / 2:25 am

    I am 5-foot-3, curvy/muscular with a post-baby tummy and a definite booty.
    I almost always wear cotton thongs, mostly from Target, but have recently been getting the Pink low-rise thongs from VS, also all-cotton. Good for every day under jeans and shorts, but definite VPL under thinner fabrics.
    For dress pants where I need no VPL, I bought some higher-rise boy shorts that leave my cheeks exposed (therefore less VPL) but keep my hips smooth.
    Under dresses and skirts I have some tango-style no-seam panties that work well but do ride up sometimes.
    Do you like the Spanx? I tried their Assets brand without success – it made my muffin-top worse!

  17. July 18, 2007 / 11:52 pm

    I’m a weird shape with thick thighs, wide hips and a bit o’ booty. Initially, I bought a pair of Victoria’s Secret Pink underwear for the cute stuffed dog but I fell in love the first time I wore them. I but the low rise hipsters and the thongs and neither seem to rise or move around throughout the day. Because I have really long legs and a short torso, all of my jeans are various incarnations of lowrise and other brands of undies have tended to become visible at the top of my pants.

    I heart u, Allie/Dillie

  18. Anonymous
    July 18, 2007 / 10:06 pm

    I am 5’3” and small hipped ( I wear a size 0/2 on bottom). I have found the most flattering and comfortable underwear at old navy. They are mesh breifs with lace detail on the sides and a little bow in front. The elastic does not dig into my skin what so ever and I actually wear them under trousers without VPL because of this. I hate thongs with a passion.


  19. Amethyst
    July 18, 2007 / 8:45 pm

    I’m 5’3″ and curvy and I range between a size 8 and a 10. My favorite undergarments are Victoria’s Secret “Body by Victoria” underwear. This style comes in low rise hiphugger (which is what I wear), boy short, bikini and thong. The low rise hiphugger is the only underwear that does not grab my crotch or creep up on me yet it is light for the summer and sleek under clothing. I rarely wear thongs because I can’t stand having to constantly pull it out of my backside. Their thongs don’t grab you and I only wear thongs when I wear jeans that might be a little snug. (which is rarely). I have seen other people wear thongs assumingly for the purpose of avoiding pantylines, yet the majority of the time, I/you can clearly see the outline of thong under their trousers or skirt. Anyway, I know you hate V.S. but the “Body by Victoria” underwear is comfy and functional. 🙂

  20. Anonymous
    July 18, 2007 / 8:12 pm

    My husband says I have a “softball build,” which is probably his words for “athletic.” Truth be told, my build is athletic with a side of chub. I thick throughout, and I have a tummy/pouch for which I have no love.

    Anyhoo, my all-time favorite undies are low-rise briefs. They don’t ride and give ample bootie coverage, and they don’t come up past the top of my pants or roll under my belly. But, if I want no visible lines, I usually go for a thong or a pair of microfiber undies.

  21. Southern jezeBelle
    July 18, 2007 / 7:22 pm

    I’m petite and chubby (about 5 foot 3 and size 12, some 10’son a good day!) My favorites are the body by victora panties. I like them in thong and bikini. I also wear their cotton collection. Once upon a time I found these great panties at a gap outlet that were kinda microfiberish–I have 2 pr of bikini and I love them, but have never found them again. I don’t do boyshorts because I have an apple bottom and they ride up and feel weird all day. i do have a few pairs I’ll sleep in though. I also like the St.Eve brand that used to be at Kohls (is it still?) and can be found at places like Ross and TJ Maxx. They have great little camis too. I will have to try the hanky panky brand. No Nordstrom here but I’ll check the other department stores.

  22. Andrea
    July 18, 2007 / 6:52 pm

    Another Hanky Panky fan! I don’t think I own anything but thongs any more, other than cotton Jockeys for working out… I’m a size 12, most of my weight below the belt (hips, thighs, butt)

  23. Kitty
    July 18, 2007 / 6:49 pm

    I buy microfiber “hipster” style undies from Target. They’re usually tripped with lace. They’re a great buy at $4 a pair, and have no VPL.

    I’ve got a fairly full bottom – and they provide enough fabric to cover it. The cut means that they don’t “ride up” like boyshorts do, but they still hit at a flattering place on the hips so as to not draw attention to any stomach pooch.

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