The fiber scientists in the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab are constantly testing undergarments like bras, pantyhose, shapewear, and swimwear both in the lab and with real consumer testers. The team evaluates things like washability, stretch recovery, fit, comfort, and more to find the ones that will feel great and actually last. We also got medical input on finding the best underwear for your health from Dr. Alyssa Dweck, MD, a gynecologist in New York and author of The Complete A to Z for Your V.
Lena Dunham told us that she loves “a slightly baggy, but fun underpant,” and called out these Joe Boxer string bikinis as ones that fit the bill. “Joe Boxer was cool and hip when I was 12, and now it’s a Kmart property. Leaving aside the ethical implications of that, I fucking love the underwear,” Dunham says. She told us she orders the bikinis in a large to get her preferred loose fit. “A medium might be more supportive of my butt, but this gives me a little tail,” she says. “A six-pack of three solids and three patterns for me is the perfect balance.”
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.
There are many other varieties of fundoshi as the variations on the principle of a loincloth are almost infinite. For example, the mokko-fundoshi (literally "earth-basket loincloth" because it looks like the traditional baskets used in construction) is made like the etchyuu-fundoshi but without a front apron; the cloth is secured to the belt to make a bikini effect. The kuro-neko fundoshi (literally "black cat fundoshi") is like the mokko-fundoshi except that the portion that passes from front to back is tailored to create a thong effect.
Avoid wearing thongs when you’re sick. If you’ve decided thongs are your go-to underwear for daily wear, don’t toss out all your other panties just yet![5] When you’re sick, typically with diarrhea or food poisoning, you won’t want to be wearing a thong. This can spread germs and fecal matter (definitely not cool), and be a bit more uncomfortable when your nether-regions are feeling sensitive. You may want to avoid thongs on your period as well, as the blood and discharge will spread easier on a thong than in bikini bottoms.
Unlike cotton, nylon is not an absorbent material. As a result, perspiration is more likely to remain in contact with the feet, legs and genital area, thereby encouraging bacterial growth and associated odor. Some hosiery products contain silver to help prevent odor and sweating of the feet, thus making the wearing of hosiery a more pleasant experience. Wearing natural fiber silk stockings and tights is another means of reducing perspiration.
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A dance belt is a type of thong designed to be used in the same manner as an athletic supporter, but for male dancers (especially in ballet).[27] Its purpose is to protect and support the dancer during dance activities without being seen through outer garments, such as tights, leotards, gym leggings or shorts. Thongs tend to offer better support for the male anatomy than do other underwear styles (as well as eliminating contact between the genitals and inner thighs) and is one of the reasons why men and boys may choose to wear them.[28]
Avoid wearing thongs every day. For the same reason that you should change your thong on a regular basis, you should avoid wearing your thong every day. Bacteria can easily travel up the fabric of the thong, which means wearing one every day can make you more prone to infections. Try wearing thongs only during the day or times when they are a needed fashion piece. Wear full-coverage panties at night, when you work out, and when you are wearing heavy jeans or other bottoms which won’t show your panty line.

Pantyhose generally have a standard construction: the top of the waist is a strong elastic; the part covering the hips and the buttocks (the panty area) is composed of a thicker material than for the legs. The gusset or crotch covering the vulva is a stronger material, sometimes made of porous cotton, but the legs of the pantyhose are made of the thinnest usable fabrics, and it has a consistent construction down to the wearer's toes. These can be reinforced to guard against wear and tear.
Lisa Buhler, founder of Lisa Says Gah, told us that she’s a big fan of Swiss lingerie brand Hanro for its “luxe fabrics and classic designs.” (The brand also came up when we talked to some cool and stylish women about their favorite bathrobes.) If the price of the Hanro bikini is a little steep, Buhler suggests Everlane’s underwear, which she says has a similar design to Hanro at a fraction of the price.
Viewed from the front, the thong typically resembles a bikini bottom, but at the back the material is reduced to a minimum. Thongs are almost always designed to cover the genitals, anus and perineum and leave part or most of the buttocks uncovered. The back of the garment typically consists of a thin waistband and a thin strip of material, designed to be worn between the buttocks, that connects the middle of the waistband with the bottom front of the garment.[1] It is also used as a descriptive term in other types of garment, such as a bodysuit, bodystocking, leotard or one-piece swimsuit in the context "thong backed".

Another pair of high-waist briefs that fall closer to the Araks and Baserange spectrum of comfy-but-chic underwear comes to us from Adele Tetangco, co-founder of Garmentory, who says that she’s a fan of Botanica Workshop’s 100 percent organic, made in the USA pieces. “I prefer underwear that I can’t feel on my body. It has to just feel like an extension of my outfit,” she says. “The Astra high-waist briefs feel like you’re going commando. They’re so comfortable.”
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.
Wear a thong when you want to avoid a panty line. Thongs are typically worn for the purpose of avoiding a panty line in tight pants, dresses, or skirts. The problem with most underwear is that no matter how thin the material, you can almost always see the outline of the hem through tight bottoms. A thong remedies this situation, as pants are rarely so tight in the front that you see the front outline, but in the back the hem is safely tucked away by your bum.
“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.”

The Hanky Panky Low Rise Signature Lace Thongs - 5 Pack 4911F features the Hanky Panky signature stretch floral lace for elegance you can enjoy every day. Made of soft nylon with nylon/spandex trim for comfort and easy care. Hanky Panky's Low Rise Signature Lace Thongs - 5 Pack offers convenience and value, making it easy for you to stock up on a lingerie staple.

Three women we talked to named underwear from newly launched brand The KiT as their current favorite. Created by stylists Jamie Mizrahi and Simone Harouche — who, as the Cut notes, have plenty of experience working with undergarments that fit seamlessly beneath outfits — the brand offers bras, bodysuits, pasties, bandage tape, and eight kinds of underwear that come in neutral shades. Maisonette co-founder Sylvana Ward Durrett is one fan of the brand. “From the seamless briefs to the adhesive thongs, each style is like true magic where I don’t have to worry about underwear lines,” she says. “I also love the high-waisted styles that smooth everything out and often opt for these when I’m wearing a slim-fitting dress or skirt.” On the whole, Durrett says that underwear from The KiT is lightweight and has a barely-there feeling. Morgan Hutchinson, founder of clothing line BURU, says that she’s become a “fast fan” of the brand since its launch as well. She particularly likes The KiT’s seamless thongs. “The high-rise is awesome for mum-tum,” she says. And, as the Cut reports, the fact that the underwear is designed by stylists who have to pay attention to what shows and doesn’t show under a garment is a big plus. Nell Diamond, founder of Hill House Home, agrees, saying she loves that The KiT was created by stylists because it means she worries less about whether her underwear will show under a dress or if her bra is the wrong shape. “The KiT’s styles have really simplified things for me,” Diamond says. “Plus, their lightest shade is pale enough even for a ghost like me (my nickname in middle school was Casper.”)


Lena Dunham told us that she loves “a slightly baggy, but fun underpant,” and called out these Joe Boxer string bikinis as ones that fit the bill. “Joe Boxer was cool and hip when I was 12, and now it’s a Kmart property. Leaving aside the ethical implications of that, I fucking love the underwear,” Dunham says. She told us she orders the bikinis in a large to get her preferred loose fit. “A medium might be more supportive of my butt, but this gives me a little tail,” she says. “A six-pack of three solids and three patterns for me is the perfect balance.”
In 2002, a female high school vice principal in San Diego, California, physically checked up to 100 female students' underwear as they entered the school for a dance, with or without student permission, causing an uproar among students and some parents and eliciting an investigation by the school into the vice principal's conduct. In her defense, the vice principal said the checks were for student safety and not specifically because of the wearing of thongs.[34][35][36][37][38]
In American English, the term "tights" typically refers to pantyhose-like garments made from thicker material, which are generally opaque or slightly translucent. Opaque leg wear made of material such as spandex are often worn by both sexes for athletic activities or as utility clothing, and are usually referred to as "leggings", a term that includes casual wear. The primary difference between tights and leggings is that leggings can be worn as outerwear, whereas tights are not. In most cases, leggings will have a seam on the inside of the leg, whereas the legs of tights will be seamless.
Prevent spreading germs in a thong by wiping the right way. It’s true, no one likes to talk about their bathroom wiping rituals. But if you’re wearing a thong, you can actually greatly increase your chance of a bacterial infection by wiping the wrong way! Wipe your bum from the front to the back; this will push any bacteria or fecal matter away from your vulva, where it could become infected. Some people prefer wiping with a damp wipe rather than dry toilet paper, but this isn’t required. Most importantly - make sure you’re clean! You’ll probably be uncomfortable if you don’t clean yourself well enough and then put on a thong.[6]
There is no age when you should start wearing thongs. Most girls start wearing thongs in middle school when their pants/dresses are tight and might show their panty lines. Keep in mind that thongs don't mean that you are a gross person or acting "grown up". Thongs can be worn put of necessity, but don't feel pressured to wear one just because others are.
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.[8] Pantyhose became a wardrobe staple throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
Prevent spreading germs in a thong by wiping the right way. It’s true, no one likes to talk about their bathroom wiping rituals. But if you’re wearing a thong, you can actually greatly increase your chance of a bacterial infection by wiping the wrong way! Wipe your bum from the front to the back; this will push any bacteria or fecal matter away from your vulva, where it could become infected. Some people prefer wiping with a damp wipe rather than dry toilet paper, but this isn’t required. Most importantly - make sure you’re clean! You’ll probably be uncomfortable if you don’t clean yourself well enough and then put on a thong.[6]
Understand what wearing a thong feels like. One of the many concerns by non-thong wearers is - isn’t it uncomfortable? Although the idea of fabric being slid up your butt sounds mostly like a bad wedgie, most thong-wearers agree that the initial discomfort is overcome almost immediately. Thongs are often considered one of the most comfortable styles of panties, especially g-strings, because there is so little fabric to become bunched up, loose, saggy, or uncomfortable in any way.
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The fiber scientists in the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab are constantly testing undergarments like bras, pantyhose, shapewear, and swimwear both in the lab and with real consumer testers. The team evaluates things like washability, stretch recovery, fit, comfort, and more to find the ones that will feel great and actually last. We also got medical input on finding the best underwear for your health from Dr. Alyssa Dweck, MD, a gynecologist in New York and author of The Complete A to Z for Your V.
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