Types of Underwear for Women
By: Anika In’t Hout
When shopping for your first bra, it’s seen as a big step in a girl’s life. This isn’t as much the case with underwear. But just like with bras, there are different types of underwear you can wear, depending on the outfit or occasion. So in case you didn’t know, here’s the breakdown of the types of underwear you can buy, their cheekiness-level (aka how much of your butt cheeks are showing) and what to wear with them.
Classic briefs are your typical underwear. You can usually buy them in a pack at department stores or big box stores. This is most women’s go-to underwear because it’s so comfortable.
Cheekiness-level: When wearing briefs, you will see a little bit of your butt cheeks, but aside from that, you're totally covered.
What to wear them with: You can wear them with almost anything. The only no-no would be body-hugging, body-con outfits because people would see your panty line.
Why are they called boy shorts? Well, they were inspired by men’s boxers, and they look like tiny shorts. Boy shorts are great because they are functional and super comfy.
Cheekiness-level: Very covered. As they are a cross between shorts and underwear, they cover your entire butt cheeks and part of your legs.
What to wear them with: Medium to high rise pants, flare dresses and skirts. If your skirt flies up because of the wind, it’s not a big deal with these because they just look like tiny shorts.
If you have ever worn or seen a bikini, then you’re probably familiar with this one. Bikini underwear is almost like wearing the lower half of a bikini swimsuit. It sits below the waist with high-cut leg holes so this type is similar to briefs, just without as much coverage.
Cheekiness-level: Like briefs, there is a slight hint of your butt cheeks when you wear these.
What to wear them with: Honestly, anything. Jeans, dresses, skirts, whatever you like. Bikini panties are one of the most popular types because they are comfortable and versatile.
No, you don’t have to be a hipster to wear this kind of underwear. Hipster underwear is a cross between bikini underwear and boy shorts. It has a waistband that sits on your hips (below your waistline) and has low-cut leg holes.
Cheekiness-level: ¾ of your butt cheeks are covered with hipster underwear.
What to wear them with: They are great with low-rise shorts, jeans and pants. If you have a thing for low-waisted bell-bottoms, hipster underwear is what you need.
High-cut & French-cut:
These types of panties are a blend of bikinis and briefs. They have the same high waist of a brief but with the high-cut leg holes of a bikini.
Cheekiness-level: Like briefs, there is a little hint of your butt cheeks with these panties.
What to wear them with: They are great with low-rise jeans, high-rise jeans and pants.
Wait...aren’t these just briefs? Well, not exactly. Control-briefs are like regular briefs, but they sit up higher on your waist and have the extra perk of shapewear, meaning they create a smooth silhouette around your stomach area.
Cheekiness-level: Your butt cheeks peek out slightly with these panties.
What to wear them with: Anything that is tight and form-fitting - tights, leggings, high-waisted jeans, bodycon skirts and bodycon dresses.
Seamless underwear is one of a kind because it is crafted without any visible seams. This makes it both really comfortable and invisible under lots of clothing. It comes in many different fabrics from cotton to lace.
Cheekiness-level: It totally depends on the panty.
What to wear them with: They look great with pants and sheer (aka see-through) dresses and skirts.
Cheeky panties are somewhere in between a bikini and a thong. It has less coverage in the back than a bikini, but more coverage than a thong. It often has a wider hip than other underwear to hide panty lines.
Cheekiness-level: Unlike the hipster or bikini, more of your butt cheeks hang out with the cheeky panty, but not as much as a thong.
What to wear them with: Cheeky panties work with almost anything, especially tighter skirts and dresses.
Thongs are unlike most kinds of underwear as it is just a thin strip of fabric protecting your vajayjay. While thongs can make many women feel beautiful and attractive, it’s important to ask your parents first before getting one. Not only is a thong a lot of work to keep up with maintenance and hygiene, but you also want to make sure that you’re old enough and mature enough to be wearing one.
Cheekiness-level: This type gives you the least amount of coverage. It is basically just a strip of fabric in a “T” shape and shows off your entire butt cheeks.
What to wear them with: As thongs make panty lines disappear, they are great for tight outfits that hug your hips like tight skirts and dresses.
Like a thong, the g-string underwear covers nothing. It’s different from the thong though because the string is usually thinner and the fabrics are more intimate, usually silk, satin or lace. This one takes a bit to get used to, and like a thong, it’s important to ask your parents before getting one.
Cheekiness-level: Along with the thong, this type gives the least amount of coverage of all the types. You can barely even feel that it’s there.
What to wear them with: They are perfect for really tight-fitting clothing like bodycon dresses and leggings.
When it comes to buying panties, there are many kinds to choose from. What matters is finding panties that make you feel comfortable, no matter what you’re wearing.
About the Author
Meet Anika, our content creator and copywriter! In her final year at Western, she’s studying media and creative writing. Even though it’s been a while since she had to deal with the awkwardness of buying her first bra, she is excited to join the Apricotton team and make bra shopping a little bit easier for tween and teen girls. You can connect with her here.