9 Underwear Shopping Tips You Didn’t Know You Needed

For an article of clothing that we (usually) wear every day, we tend to not be too particular about underwear. Sure, we all have our favorite pairs; the ones we wear when we’re in a particularly good style mood, the ones that you need to wear with those pants or else, the ones we don’t want to sacrifice during that time of the month. Otherwise, our approach to underwear tends to be a lot less pressed than our other articles of clothing. When we’re in the store, we seek out the cutest pieces we can find, check to see if it comes in our size, score that 5 pairs for $25 sale, and keep it moving. We throw them in the washer dryer without a second thought, we ignore the effed up elastic waistband because, hey, who has the time to fret over it when you’re trying to get ready for school or work, etc.

But maybe, just maybe, it’s time to actually start paying attention to your underwear. Like, in a real way, beyond whether or not you like the pattern or think the cut is cute.

You don’t have to be a lingerie expert to be a little more informed on what you need to do to buy underwear that really works for you and how to make that underwear last. So, before you cop more underwear, check out these nine underwear shopping tips you didn’t know you needed.

Replace Your Undies Over Time

Yeah, I'm dragging myself with this one, because I low key have underwear that I've had for damn near 10 years in my underwear drawer...and they fit like crap. The fact is that over time your underwear declines in quality. All those washes, dries, and wears starts to weaken the elastic and eff up the shape. Maybe too much time in the dryer has made them shrink! Maybe they're oddly baggy in the butt when they weren't when you first bought them. Whatever the reason, your undies aren't meant to last forever. So when you get a chance, go through your underwear drawer and throw together a funeral for the pairs that just aren't cutting it anymore. That means the one with the ratty elastic waistband, and the one that feels two sizes too small.

Buy this at It's Me And You for $18 | Photo via Itsmeandyou @ Instagram

Avoid Non-Cotton Underwear

I'm going to be frank: Your vagina needs to breathe. Hell, that's why you shouldn't even wear underwear when you don't have to (like lounging around the house/sleeping). The more airflow the vagina gets, the less likely it is for heat and wetness to build up. When that happens, your vagina's PH levels go absolutely bonkers, triggering a yeast fest down south. Cotton is a material that helps your vagina breathe; synthetic fabrics like silky polyesters don't. Your vagina is better off when you're wearing 100 percent cotton underwear. Many stores now offer undies that have a cotton lining for your vag while the outside material is synthetic; this is better than 100 percent synthetic materials, but moisture and heat can still be trapped. So just be aware of that when you're buying new undies.

Buy this at It's Me And You for $25 | Photo via Itsmeandyou @ Instagram

You Can Buy Lingerie For Not-So-Sexy-Time Purposes

Lingerie, intimates, super-sexy-lacey-whatsits...whatever you want to call them, please know that they're not just for showing off to bae. Don't avoid wearing lingerie just because you think you need to have a reason to wear them. Yo, it's just nice to wear really smooth, silky underwear that makes you feel dope. This isn't Fifty Shades Of Gray, okay? Wear some fancy panties underneath your mom jeans if you want to. You don't need to have a strip tease scheduled for later.

Buy this at ASOS for $19

Don't Buy Underwear That's Tight, Period

Your underwear isn't supposed to leave marks on your skin at the end of the day, dude. Never size down just because you prefer a tighter fit. There's a good chance you're triggering some serious irritation down south if you're rocking undies that leave your labia in a vice grip, okay? Besides, the tighter the undies, the higher the chance of building up too much heat and moisture for your vag to handle; cue yeast infection. Avoid!

Buy this at It's Me And You for $25

Avoid Wearing Regular Or Low Rise Undies With High Rise Clothes

Yes, rise matters! If your bottoms are low or regular rise, go ahead and rock those cute hipster briefs or that low rise thong. But if you're wearing high waist bottoms, avoid them like the plague. Why? Because they're so awkward to deal with! Having your underwear waistline inches below that of your bottoms is really uncomfortable, especially if you're wearing multiple layers. Have you ever had to deal with a wedgie while wearing low rise undies and high rise pants? It's like you're going fishing down there, sis.

Buy this at Urban Outfitters for $16

Buy High Waist Undies If You Own A Lot Of High Waist Clothing

Speaking of low rise undies, if you own a lot of high waist clothing--which a lot of us do at this point, since it's been in for years--you need to start making sure that your underwear is keeping up. High waist underwear is often derided as matronly looking, but they can actually look really cute and feel super comfortable. Who wants to feel like their undies are falling off of them? High waist undies offer you a little more security around your waist than their low or mid rise cousins, which you'll definitely want when you're rocking high waist pants, skirts, or shorts.

Buy this at Urban Outfitters for $19

Consider Seamless/Laser Cut Underwear

The common wisdom used to be that if you didn't want to deal with a visible panty line, you either have to wear a thong or go commando. Well, going commando isn't always the best option, and even the best thongs can still show through every now and then. That's why if thongs aren't for you or you want to be lineless even if your outfit isn't thong friendly, consider rocking some seamless or laser cut underwear instead. The lack of seams mean that you're underwear will be super flat against your skin, no awkward fabric bumps. It'll look like you're not wearing anything at all!

Buy this at Urban Outfitters for $8

Avoid Just Throwing Your Underwear In The Washer/Dryer

Unless you're always buying very sturdy 100 percent cotton underwear with no frills for super cheap, be aware that the underwear you buy deserves some TLC. Yeah, it's a pain, but this is especially important if you're buying delicate underwear that you want to last. Try to wash them by hand as much as possible so that they won't lose their shape or shrink up in the washer dryer. And if you can't deal with hand washing all your undies, at the very least try to air dry your delicates as much as possible. Seriously, the dryer is where underwear goes to die.

Buy this at Urban ASOS for $16

Be Smart About Your Thong Shopping

Most of us aren't really here for panty lines, but blindly picking thongs for your wardrobe is doing yourself a huge disservice when it comes to your comfort. Not all thongs are the same! There are g-strings that offer very little coverage, there are tanga thongs that offers more; there are some styles that your body will feel more comfortable with and some that your clothes will look better with. Check out this guide to thong styles and pick one that jives with your personal style and comfort. Trust, your thong doesn't need to feel like floss up the butt.

Buy this at Urban Outfitters for $

What’s your preferred type of underwear? Are there some styles that you stay away from like a plague? Tell us in the comments!

You can follow the author, Ashley Reese, on Twitter or Instagram. Don’t worry, she doesn’t bite!

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