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.
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.
In the past, lingerie was intended to help shape a woman's figure. Obviously, today's shapewear has evolved, although the basic principles are the same. Nowadays there is shapewear for all shapes and sizes, and it's designed to help women smooth their silhouettes. This is the foundation garment that keeps everything tight and smooth — unapologetically so. Control slips, modern corsets and tummy shapers are three of the options available. Full body shapers, arm shapers and shaping camis are additional pieces. Most shapers are available in black, nude and white, although you can sometimes find them in fun prints and bold colors too.
“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.”
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.