There’s really two purposes when it comes to buying new underwear- is it comfortable? and do I like the colour? We don’t need to think beyond that. Do we?
But what about material?
This may surprise you but the material of your undies can have a massive impact on your health… Seriously!
Just think for a moment; a number of things can upset your nether regions, diet, general health, sports, not even considering fabric dyes and chemical compositions found in synthetic materials.
Most Doctors and dermatologists will tell you that Cotton really is best. It’s hypoallergenic which helps alleviate and prevent irritation, it’s breathable to allow air to circulate freely and help prevent infection. But if you’re looking to synthetic materials, where possible, look to stretchy materials such as spandex and polyester which have more flexibility but ensure it comes with a cotton crotch to give you that protection (always the essential part). The reason they advise against other materials is that other materials hold onto moisture which can lead to yeast infections.
We’d also recommend looking for panties that don’t have elastic all around the band and leg (including shapewear); this pressure can lead to urinary tract infections and cause permanent indentations/scarring on the skin. (Yikes!)
When it comes to style?
Here we have an abundance of choice. When it comes to shopping you’ve probably already got a preference, it’s part and parcel of the comfort factor; it makes the purchasing process that much simpler. But for your reference, for the occasions where things are a little more complex, here are the various styles available:
G String– The smallest of the smalls. Perfect for body-con dresses and other fitted outfits to give the illusion you’re not wearing anything at all but giving you the peace of mind you’re wearing something.
Thongs– Have a slightly wider band than the g-string and considered to be more comfortable. They also give the illusion of not wearing anything at all because they complement the curvature of the body. If briefs are your go-to but need to hide the pantline, try on a thong.
Boyshorts– you can’t get much more relaxed than this style and as an added bonus, because of the full coverage, you don’t need to worry about pantilines and are seen as on par with thongs. Particularly a good choice if you’re worried about the length or style of your skirt (it’s blustery constantly in England- we need coverage!).
Bikini’s– Feel a little exposed in thongs/g-strings or just don’t find them comfortable enough? Wider space in the front, slim on the sides and extra coverage in the back; Bikini’s often have minimal elastic so offer a less visible appearance than briefs but closer to your favourite style if you just can’t face putting on a thong or g-string.
Brief’s– are not really seen as the sexiest of undies, but who says so? and really, who cares? They’re just so darn comfy! Plus, they really are sexy; they come in all different colours, patterns and materials (including lace). They’re quite similar to bikini’s but more overall coverage. If you don’t care about pantlines (who does most of the time?) then these are a great go-to.
High waists– high waist panties are having a moment thanks to celebs and crop tops; this style was seen in music videos and on the beach all last year and although this trend may seem fresh, it’s really quite retro. The high waists sits on the waistline and higher up the leg but offers full coverage like briefs.
And what about washing?
We’re told to wash everything at the lowest temperature possible to consume energy and reduce our carbon footprints. Low settings are great for refreshing clothing that are only mildly soiled but when temperatures are not hot enough they don’t kill off bacteria which can be harmful to health; underwear is the prime example of this. We need to be washing our underwear at the highest temperature we possibly can to kill off any harmful bacteria such as e-coli. 60º is the best for killing bacteria but most underwear labels will stipulate 30º or 40º, if this is the case, wash underwear in a separate load to your clothing to reduce the spread of bacteria to your other items- when washing clothing with your underwear you’re effectively transferring the bacteria to your other items. If you want some added reassurance, add an antibacterial cleaner with your detergent such as Dettol to kill off bacteria in a low temperature wash. Tip: most underwear will happily go in the dryer too which will further contribute to killing harmful bacteria- just check your label first.
Some general tips:
- Don’t wear thongs for working out- they’re tight fitting and generally move back and forth when you’re working out. The added moisture and movement could lead to urinary tract and yeast infections.
- When we talked about elasticated underwear/shapewear, this also applies to tightly fitted clothing; it can have serious implications on your health if worn too frequently.
- Try going commando at bedtime- it’s really the only time you should- it let’s everything breathe and helps prevent yeast infections.
- When your undies are too stretchy/the elastic starts failing- it’s time to bin them.