My 5 Favorite Pairs of Comfortable Underwear
I've talked comfy panties on TLA a couple of times before, but now that it's been a little over two years since the last article, I believe it's time for a revisit. The topic of comfortable underwear is one I feel very passionate about. Especially when we're talking everyday/go to work/run errand knickers, if it's not, at bare minimum, so comfortable you forget you're wearing it, what's the point? There's nothing worse than constantly needing to pull, tug, and readjust your underpants just to get through your day. Before I started writing this blog, I hated panty shopping. Everything was too tight or too low and just generally awful. It took buying custom panties from On The Inside to discover my love of underwear. But now, nearly a decade later, I have another set of lingerie concerns.
About a year or so ago, I was diagnosed with vulvodynia, which is a type of chronic nerve pain affecting the vulva. While my particular form of vulvodynia comes and goes, it can be easily triggered by wearing uncomfortable underwear. Something as simple as a raised seam, a cheap synthetic fiber blend, or even a harsh detergent is all it takes to trigger a flareup, leaving me housebound and nearly bedridden for a week or more. After I was diagnosed and once I realized this was going to be a ongoing issue, I actually stopped accepting items for product reviews because I simply cannot wear certain things anymore.
Being diagnosed with vulvodynia completely changed the way I think about underwear. Pantylines, shaping briefs, even matching sets... all of that pales in comparison to the importance of finding underwear that won't leave me in abject misery. Now I look for natural fibers, soft fabrics, and avoid anything with the word "cheeky" in the name. While obviously my condition is a special case, if these knickers are comfortable for me, there's a chance they'll be comfortable for you too. These are the brands I personally wear everyday, and I'm happy enough with them all to recommend them. Now let's talk comfy drawers!
Available in sizes XS-XL with the additional option of custom sizing, Egretta Garzetta's vivid prints made underwear exciting for me again. I own about five pairs of her high waist briefs right now (in other prints like this one as well as plain colors like heather grey), and I love them. The panties are made of 95-96% viscose with 4-5% lycra (depending on style) and have a 100% cotton crotch. They also hold up very well to machine washing. If you're looking to buy a few at a time, Egretta Garzetta offers a discount for ordering multiple pairs. Just drop her a line and ask about it. Quick note though (and this is especially true if you're buying custom), give her a few days to put your order together. You're looking at about 1-2 weeks to ship, and another 2-3 weeks to receive from Latvia.
I first learned about Marianna Giordana through her beautiful lace pieces, but I fell in love with the brand after buying the classic style briefs shown here. These floral print knickers are 100% cotton, and available in sizes XS-XL, though custom is also an option. Technically, these panties are part of Marianne Giordana's diffusion, Petale de Fleur, which features camis, leggings, and similar, but you can purchase from either store. Made to order items require about a two-week turnaround, but in-stock items are shipped within 5 days from France.
When I was first diagnosed with vulvodynia, I was unable to wear most of my underwear. A lot of brands that were extremely comfortable before became completely intolerable in my new state. Fortunately, Cheek Frills had just sent over their Days of the Week panty set and these saved my lingerie life. When you're hypersensitive, soft fabric counts for everything, and as I mentioned in an earlier review of the brand, their fabric is unbelievably soft. I can't even describe how wonderful these feel against the skin. Made of 95% modal and 5% elastane, these panties are available in sizes S-L. The care instructions say to handwash, which would be best for the high quality nature of this fabric, but you can also wash in a lingerie bag on delicate cycle (preferably alone or with a very small number of similar items).
After reading Rose's review of Play Out, I knew I had to try these, and I was not disappointed. The fabric is a delightful-to-the-touch micromodal/cotton/spandex blend, and I love how the cut, color, and print on these is less femme than my usual underwear. I would say that if you have issues with vulval pain, you may want to size up on these (they tend to get a bit cheeky on me), but you could opt for the trunks cut, which has more room in the genital area (when I'm having a flare-up, mens' boxer briefs are all I wear). On a fashion-related note, when Play Out's prints sell out, they're gone. So if you see something you like, pick it up right away (because I really wish I had a pair of their purple star boxer briefs). Editor's Note: I was wrong! They're back in stock on Play Out's site here. Sizes are S-XL, and you can machine wash these on delicate cycle.
The most recent addition to the comfy panty collection, this PACT Tropical Hipster is already in my regular rotation. I also own the more pink-toned Butterfly Hipster, but I found this particular colorway to fit a bit better. If Fair Trade Certification and non-GMO fibers are important to you, PACT uses both, and the panty is 95% organic cotton/5% elastane. Lately, I've taken to wearing these whenever I travel. (Editor's Note: Unfortunately, the pair shown above is no longer available.)
A couple of final notes: I wore a size Large in everything listed here. I also machine wash everything shown here, but on the delicate cycle with cold water and a lingerie wash bag. If you suffer from sensitivity, using a mild, unscented lingerie wash is best (don't use a "regular" detergent or anything with additives). If that's not an option, try baking soda. With the exception of Shopbop (where the Cheek Frills 'Days of the Week' knickers are), I've bought from all the shops linked here as well and been happy with them.
What's your favorite brand for comfy panties? Any advice for those who are frustrated by knickers shopping?