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Trend Alert: Leakproof Underwear --- Knickers for Your Period, Overactive Bladder, Post-Pregnancy and Beyond

Today's blog post isn't really on a "sexy" or "fashionable" topic, but it's about an important subject all the same. As Catherine brought up in her guest post "What It's Like to Be a Woman with a Disability in the Lingerie Industry," there is a definite need for panties that go beyond being "sexy." Many people cope with overactive bladder, urinary incontinence (especially post-pregnancy), and extremely heavy periods... and it can be hard to feel justified in buying nice underwear when you're understandably afraid it's going to be ruined. Fortunately, several new lingerie brands have zeroed in on this target market lately, and they're all making pretty underwear that also fits the day-to-day needs of folks dealing with these issues. Below are four I've learned about recently. If you know of any other options, please do include them in the comments!

Dear Kate


Julie Sygiel of Dear Kate introduced herself to me at Curve a couple of years back when she was still using the name Sexy Period. While rebranding (first to Underbrella then to Dear Kate), Julie realized that the need for absorbent knickers didn't just apply to periods... there were also plenty of people with bladder dysfunction who were looking for pretty yet functional underwear. Since then, Dear Kate has revamped their entire line and branding, and their collection is the most diverse of all the brands shown here. I love their products because they don't look like "special" underwear; they just look like nice panties, which is really the whole point. Julie used her background in chemical engineering to create the patent-pending fabric lining of her underwear; Dear Kate's knickers can hold three teaspoons of liquid and replace up to 730 pantyliners per year. Dear Kate also offers 100% satisfaction guarantee. Sizing is available in XS thru XL (US 00 thru 16), and all products are made in the USA.



THINX is one of two brands on this list I learned about through Kickstarter. Inspired by a trip to India, THINX is made up of a super-thin high-performance material that resists stains and leaks, wicks moisture, and provides anti-bacterial support. THINX can completely replace panty liners on days when you want light support or act as a backup to your traditional pads on heavier days. THINX offers two lines: everyday (bottom two) and special occasion (top two), as well as a thong (not pictured). The company has also partnered with AFRIpads, an organization based in Uganda that creates washable, reusable cloth pads for women in developing countries so they can go back to school or work without worry and discomfort. For every pair of THINX underwear sold, AFRIpads manufactures seven washable, reusable cloth pads for those in need. There are no products available for purchase just yet, but you can pre-order through their website for Fall 2013 delivery. THINX also offers a 30-day return policy. Sizing is XS thru XXL (US 0 thru 22).



The second brand on this list I found about on Kickstarter, Knixwear's "Fresh Fix Technology" is all about "nixing" moisture and odor from your underwear. But because the top layer of their moisture-absorbing gusset is cotton, the panty still feels really nice against the skin. Knixwear's designer used to work for Victoria's Secret, GAP, and Nordstrom, and I really like the lace they've used on the boyshort and thong in the image above. Sizing is S thru XXL (US sizes 2 thru 20), and they offer a 30-day exchange policy.

DRC Underwear


Founded in 2010, DRC Underwear is a leakproof lingerie line I only just heard about last week. Based in Montreal, they're also the only non-US designer on this list. While DRC Underwear only offers two styles right now, a mid-waist and a high-waist, they do claim that their lingerie is doctor-recommended. Each panty can hold up to four ounces of liquid, and you can save up to $500 in purchasing sanitary napkins, panty liners, and replacement underwear per year. All DRC Underwear products are made in Quebec, and they offer three levels of absorbency: light, moderate, and super. Sizing is S thru XXL (4 thru 18, Canadian).

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Cora Harrington

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. Author of In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that everyone who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

7 Comments on this post

  1. FrancineHibiscus says:

    Part of the joy of panty liners is not trying to get STAINS out of the unnerpance… these sound magnificent, but how do they wash?

  2. raomegha says:

    Yeah i have also tried My Adira period panties. Its very comfortable its fits in your budget too . Its helps you stay worry less and gets you out of the embarrassment zone

  3. Kerrie says:

    Hello Cora,
    I also stumbled across these (probably on Tumblr), Available in the UK. It’s not something I feel I need but I’m glad they’re there! I think it’s really sweet that Dear Kate make bras as well, so you even have the choice of matching undewear, therefore making them even more like ‘other’ pants.

  4. Lucy says:

    Hooray! I supported the Thinx kickstarter and will be receiving a few pairs of underwear as a perk within the next month or two. I’m looking forward to testing out some truly cute Ladyweek panties. We deserve to look and feel nice all days of the month. :)

  5. Amanda says:

    Knixwear is not a good brand for me, sigh. The waist and leg openings are painfully tight, but up a size and they fall of my big booty. But, I’m mixing Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ehler Danos, and Fibro. So it’s not fun.

    My preferred underwear is men’s boxer briefs. I wear them backwards, the extra fabric in front helps cover my rear. I use a cup (aka Chum Bucket) during my period (aka Shark Week). I wear boxer briefs that I cut short, and then add a reusable pad for extra protection. Granted, they aren’t sexy, but I just do not like women’s ultra tight panties as they rub and put seams in tender areas. Plus, they are so cheap, so no issues if I ruin some.

  6. Joss says:

    The timing of this post is perfect! I’m giving birth to my first child next month, and the thought of wearing Depends and pads for weeks, well, kinda chafes… I’m so going to check these out! Thanks so much!

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