Up until this time, there was little reason for women outside show business to wear "panty hose", as the longer hemlines allowed for the use of over-the-knee stockings secured with a garter belt. Nonetheless, during the 1960s, improved textile manufacturing processes made pantyhose increasingly more affordable, while man-made textiles such as spandex (or elastane) made them more comfortable and durable. The advent of the fashionable miniskirt, which exposed the legs to well above the knee, made pantyhose a necessity to many women. In 1970, U.S. sales of pantyhose exceeded stockings for the first time, and it has remained so ever since. Pantyhose became a wardrobe staple throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
Underwear: You wear it every day, so you better get it right (much like jeans and white tees). Whether you prefer bikinis, high-waisted briefs, or thongs, the ideal pair of underwear is one that takes you through the day without requiring much thought. To find the best kinds of women’s underwear, we reached out to 26 stylish businesswomen, models, designers, and musicians to get their favorites. And to ensure we left no pairs behind, we also culled our archives for underwear recommended by other interesting people (Amber Rose and Barbara Corcoran, to name two). Read on for all of their picks, which include practical underwear that will get you through the workday without a wedgie, pairs that will be invisible under even the slinkiest dresses, and a few styles that you’ll probably want to show off.
One type of thong is the G-string, the back of which consists only of a (typically elasticized) string. The two terms G-string and thong are often used interchangeably; however, they can refer to distinct pieces of clothing. Thongs come in a variety of styles depending on the thickness, material or type of the rear portion of fabric and are available for both men and women throughout most of the world.
Many languages borrow the English word string to refer to this type of underwear, usually without the G. Another common name is tanga (or sometimes string tanga), especially in the German Tanga. A frequent metaphor, especially in Brazil, is dental floss; in Brazil a thong is called fio dental (Portuguese for dental floss); in English, the term "Butt floss" is sometimes used. In Lithuanian it is "siaurikės" ("narrows"), in Italian "perizoma" or "tanga", in Turkish "ipli külot" ("stringed underpants"), and in Bulgarian as "prashka" (прашка), which means a slingshot. In Israel the thong, mostly the G-string, is called Khutini (חוטיני), from the word Khut, which means String. Similarly, in Iran, it is called "Shortbandi" (شورت بندی) in which "short" (from English: Shorts) means "briefs" and "bandi" means "with a string". A Puerto Rican Spanish slang term, used by Reggaeton artists, is gistro. Australians often colloquially refer to the G-string as a g-banger or simply banger.
One of the most difficult aspects of shopping for cute lingerie is purchasing the perfect fit. VENUS has a fit guide to help you choose the most appropriate sizes. Plus, if you're not sure what to pair something with, VENUS has got your back with helpful pairing suggestions under each piece. For instance, black lingerie can be worn under most clothing items, but if you purchase a strapless bra, you will be encouraged via pairing suggestions to put it with off-the-shoulder tops and backless dresses. Bralettes go great with sheer shirts as well as loose fitted tank tops because they are often decorative and offer a different kind of coverage. Unlined bras are wonderful for light and airy clothes while coverage bras pair well with your favorite tee.
While sales of traditional styles did not recover, the 2000s saw the rise of other specific styles. Fishnet hose, patterns and colors, opaque tights, low-rise pantyhose, footless shapewear, and pantyhose for men (playfully referred to as "mantyhose") all experienced increased sales. In the 2010s, an increasing popularity for form-fitting opaque leggings paired with casual dress (and even some officewear) supplanted the fashion role previously held by pantyhose, although pantyhose remain popular as pair of formalwear.
“I love Pansy for underwear,” says Alyssa Lau, the founder of sustainability-focused e-retailer New Classics Studios. She calls the California-based ethical underwear company’s pieces “sturdy and beautifully crafted,” and notes that they’re made from organic cotton that’s grown and milled in the U.S. “For me, wearing underwear that’s comfortable, easy to care for, made to last, and crafted with natural fabrics (for the breathability!) is very important,” Lau told us. “Pansy checks all those boxes.”
When we talked to model, actress, and entrepreneur Amber Rose about the things she can’t live without, she told us a story about going underwear shopping: “So my friend Chyna, we were at Neiman’s the other day, and I was picking out some La Perla underwear,” said Rose. “They were like $120, and Chyna is like, ‘What the hell are you doing? Why are you buying such expensive underwear?’ And I was like, ‘Girl this is going to change your life,’ so I bought her a pair.” If you’re on the fence about splurging on pair of underwear, Rose makes a compelling case for doing so. “I know this sounds crazy, but wearing expensive underwear under your clothes gives you a certain type of confidence in a really cool way.”
It depends on your personal preferences and how active you'll be, but below are the main materials you can choose from when it comes to women's underwear. Most fibers are blended with spandex in the fabric to give them stretch and offer the best fit. It's also typical for underwear styles to have a cotton gusset – i.e. the layer of fabric on the inside – regardless of the main fabric. Dr. Dweck says this is especially important to avoid yeast and bacteria growth.
The thong, like its probable predecessor the loincloth, is believed to be one of the earliest forms of human clothing and is also thought to have been worn mostly or exclusively by men. It is thought the thong was probably originally developed to protect, support, or hide the male genitals. The loincloth is probably the earliest form of clothing used by mankind, having originated in the warmer climates of sub-Saharan Africa where clothing was first worn nearly 75,000 years ago. Many tribal peoples, such as some of the Khoisan people of southern Africa, wore thongs for many centuries. Much like the Japanese fundoshi, these early garments were made with the male genitalia in mind.
Several of the women we spoke to named Commando as a go-to underwear brand, whether it be for briefs, bikinis, or thongs. Stylist Jasmine Caccamo says that the brand’s stretch-cotton bikini briefs are seamless and “create a super-flawless (a.k.a. wedgie-free) fit” whether she’s wearing them under leggings or a silk cami dress. “For me, it’s all about comfort and functionality,” Caccamo says. “Not only do I love Commando-brand underwear for myself, but for my celebrity clients as well … I’m obsessed.” Costume designer and Strategist contributor Alison Freer prefers the brand’s boy shorts, which she says “are both elastic and trim-free — meaning they won’t dig in, bunch up, or cause lumpy, unflattering bulges under a flattering pair of pants.” The underwear never shifts, slides, twists, or reveals itself once you start moving and sweating, according to Freer, and best of all, the wide sides keep it securely in place on your body, preventing a wedgie. “If you’ve ever wondered what the stars on the red carpet were wearing underneath those sheer, unforgiving gowns, the answer is almost certainly a pair of Commandos,” Freer says. If a thong is more your style, two of the women we talked to recommended the brand’s mid- and low-rise options. “Okay, so here’s the thing about these thongs,” says Cupcakes and Cashmere founder Emily Schuman of the mid-rise cut. “There is nothing remotely sexy about them — they’re devoid of lace, have super-thick sides, but they lie completely flat against my skin and don’t show under even the tightest, lightest pieces.” The absence of seams and tags “makes it feel like you’ve gone commando (hence the name),” says Schuman. “Best of both worlds!” Stylist Tiffany Gifford is a Commando thong fan, as well, though she prefers the low-rise over the mid-rise. “My favorite underwear are Commando’s thongs,” Gifford says. “They are seamless, and come in great colors and an array of sizes. The best underwear you forget are even there, and that’s what these do.”
Types of thongs include the traditional thong, the G-string, and the C-string. There are a number of intermediate kinds of thongs between full rear coverage and a string rear. As designs become more risqué there are also types intended to expose genitals as much as they conceal them. Other styles include the Cheeky, V-string, T-front and T-back. The naming of the intermediate styles of thong is debatable, different vendors use the words somewhat interchangeably. Thongs are available in a wide variety of materials, including silk, latex, cotton, microfiber, satin, nylon, lycra/spandex, and lace. There are also novelty designs for both sexes, featuring shapes to conform to the genitals or provide humorous visual effects.
Thong: Giving you the least amount of coverage, a thong has just a strip of fabric in the back to prevent panty lines from showing through clothes. According to Dr. Dweck, they're totally safe as long as they're not too tight. "The right thong with a cotton crotch and non-chafing 'G-string' that fits well is not a problem for those who prefer them," she advises.
Pantyhose, called sheer tights in the United Kingdom and a few other countries, are close-fitting legwear covering the wearer's body from the waist to the toes. Mostly considered to be a garment for women and girls, pantyhose first appeared on store shelves in 1959 (Allen Gant's product, 'Panti-Legs') as a convenient alternative to stockings and/or control panties (which, in turn, replaced girdles).
In the 2000s, some people wore thongs with low-cut hipsters and deliberately exposed them over the top of their trousers, producing an effect popularly known as a whale tail. This led to many thong designs intended to be worn in this manner, which were adorned with jewels and motifs on the back. In the early-2000s, thongs made up 31% of the women's underwear market. However, in the late-2000s, the exposure of a thong above one's trousers became less popular and the trend turned to the wearing of lower-riding thongs that hardly show above trousers, except when bending or twisting.
CALVIN KLEIN redefined their staple women’s cotton underwear to be just as provocative as lace underwear and lace lingerie. Shop soft cotton thongs, cotton bikini underwear and cotton boyshorts in every color and pattern. Browse CK's must-have women’s underwear pieces with a matching bra, in the bra and panties sets. Get your lingerie essentials with CALVIN KLEIN's 3 for $33 offer.