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Is your underwear sexy, or practical?

Categories: basics


Screen shot 2011-09-09 at 6.06.17 AM

Believe it or not, one of the things on my life list is “wear a thong.” And before you ask, no I have never tried the thong; I’ve just been making due, I guess. Or wandering around for 43 years with VPL. Either way, it’s time to put on some big girl panties. Very very small ones, apparently.

When you tell the Internet that you’ve never worn a thong, everyone has something to say. I got lots of recommendations for the Hanky Panky thongs, but it was my friend Rachel who offered the most concrete advice. “Listen, it takes three days,” she told me. “Buy yourself three thongs and make yourself wear them for three days straight. After that, piece of cake.”

Ok, three days. I can do that.

Last night, as part of our Fashion’s Night Out wanderings, Rachel and I found ourselves at The Lingerie Store. And here’s where I have to stop and say this: I’m not really a lingerie kind of girl. Oh sure, I own bras and underwear, but they’re all pretty utilitarian. My bras tend to come from the junior department (because I wear a 34 AA, which is super hard to find in the big girls’ section) and my underwear are mostly Hanes Her Way (the comfy cotton type). My goal for my undierpinnings is not to feel sexy or feminine — it’s that no one see them during the course of my day. Boring, I know, but it works for me.

The thong, of course, is inherently sexy — or so I gather. When I told Twitter about buying thongs (because of course, I was standing right in front of a huge display of them and Rachel was there and it’s on my life list, so how could I not buy a couple?) — when I told Twitter about the thongs, the response was, “Your husband will love them!” Actually, I think my husband will be a little freaked out by them. And honestly, I am too, just a little. Ok a lot.

The women in the lingerie store convinced me to go with bright colors — one hot pink, one turquoise. My usual approach to lingerie buying is to opt for the neutral shade, the one that will disappear under my clothes. But a thong should be fun! Right? So bright colors it is!

Of course, when I got home I realized that I have two pair of light-colored pants that could probably benefit from a thong, but not from a turquoise blue or hot pink thong. Already I am wishing I had followed my instincts and opted for beige.

And now, of course, I have to wear the thong, because “buy a thong” is not what’s on my Life List. I’m still unsure about it, though. I get the no-panty-lines thing (and I am all in favor of that, believe me) but I’m just nos sure about tossing on something so inherently sexy for my regular day of errand running and copy editing.

Are you a thong girl? Do you choose your underwear for utility or sex appeal? And do you have any advice for me about making the thong work? Because I’m a little nervous over here.

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15 comments so far...

  • I am a thong ONLY girl! (unless I have sexy boy shorts on as part of an outfit ;)) I choose my underwear for sex appeal AND utility. it’s true that no one sees your under garments during the day, but what about after work? Or during sexy time? Or, god forbid, what if your pants have to be cut off– do you want to have white granny panties on? Just a thought. The cotton/lace trim thongs at Target are cute, have fun patterns, come in neutral shades, and are 4 for $20. Can’t beat that!!

    As far as making the thong work– I like your friend’s “3 day guideline”, but (maybe TMI) I would also throw a little body powder or your lady parts, especially up the back for added comfort and to prevent chafing.

    Good luck girl!

    Kristi  |  September 9th, 2011 at 7:52 am

  • The internet is right-your husband will love them. I am definitely a lingerie girl. I like pretty bras and panties and lacy underthings. However, thongs are reserved for certain outfits and ahem…special activities. There are times when I default to a pair of nice cotton panties. Because comfy matters too. I’ve never thought about the 3 day rule, sounds good to me. My SIL swears by the Victoria’s Secret Lace thongs. I still don’t believe her b/c how can that be comforatble all day long?!

    elz  |  September 9th, 2011 at 8:46 am

  • I became a convert to thongs under pants many years ago. A friend had told me: “if you are going to have a wedgie anyhow, you may as well make it as small as possible.” Good point.

    I love the Hanky Panky original rise thongs. Their cotton ones are pretty good, too. Hanky Panky is also good for your first thong b/c they are “one size fits most” (they also have a plus-size version; I don’t think they have a Twiggy size), and the stretchy lace is very forgiving. Second place is Victoria’s Secret cotton lace-waist thongs (NOT the ones in the Pink collection).

    I might feel sexy if my husband spots me in a thong while getting dressed or undressed, but they are so comfortable that I’m not really aware of wearing something sexy during the rest of my day.

    I will only wear a thong under a skirt or dress if it is very snug fitting and bikini undies have VPL. I have a fear of kids, escalators and windy days exposing a little more tush than I would like otherwise.

    k-t  |  September 9th, 2011 at 9:28 am

  • I almost never wear underwear. I don’t understand thongs at all. The main reason I would wear underwear is to create a smooth line so that the seams of my pants don’t ride up, creating a wedgie look. Well, thongs still allow your pants to ride up your bum! And thongs are so irritating. I wore them in high school and had near constant UTIs.

    My husband and I both find the look of thongs to be hideous. Just not attractive at all. To each her own, of course!

    There are a few pants I wear boy shorts with (no ride up, no VPL), but most days I just go commando.

    Beth  |  September 9th, 2011 at 9:52 am

  • I own thongs and I wear them when my clothing requires it. But I HATE THEM. Not only are they uncomfortable, but I cannot help thinking they’re a bit unsanitary.

    In all fairness, I’ve never done the “three day” trick. Maybe I’d get used to it?


    Rita  |  September 9th, 2011 at 11:41 am

  • Ha! Thong girl in my 20s and 30s, but not in my 40s. If the thong thing doesn’t work out for you, I’d recommend the Jockey No Panty Line undies.

    Jody in CA  |  September 9th, 2011 at 12:59 pm

  • i am going to go against the trend here… i am so NOT a thong girl and have about 0.0 interest in trying them. my husband doesn’t care one way or the other (now a sheer bra he would be all for lol). I am curious to see how you do and if you like them considering your normal underwear seems to resolve any VPL issues. I also happened to catch an episode of “the doctors” (a random watching at best) and the woman doctor was talking about how she HATES them because they greatly increase your likelihood of various infections (yeast, urinary, etc.) though granted, this couldn’t be a huge problem if so many women love them so maybe i am just a stick-in-the-mud when it comes to undies and looking for excuses to avoid change! lol

    kate  |  September 9th, 2011 at 1:16 pm

  • I’ve tried thongs for more than 3 days in a row (and tried several types/brands, too), and I swear I’ll never wear one again. I NEVER got used to the wedgie. I spent days of misery wanting to pick my underwear out of my butt and finally just threw them all away. I’ve found that some boy shorts do just as good a job of avoiding VPL and are a hell of a lot more comfortable (look for lightweight mesh or lace ones).

    Give it a try if it’s on your life list, but don’t feel bad if you end up hating them. If I got really desperate and had an outfit that just wouldn’t work with my boy shorts, I’d go commando before I’d put on another thong.

    Oh, and my husband also hates thongs (just one more reason why I love him).

    Genesis  |  September 9th, 2011 at 3:11 pm

  • Oh dear Lord. Cannot. Do. It. Hate them with the heat of a thousand suns. The end.

    Shannon  |  September 9th, 2011 at 4:43 pm

  • Count me firmly in the “if you’re going to have a wedgie anyway…” camp. I have worn thongs for years; I wear them 99% of the time. I just bit the bullet and bought some Hanky Panky (with a coupon, from Loehmans, on sale) and was not as bowled over as I expected to be, for the price - I think the “one size fits all” is a little big on me (I wear a size 6P pant). But I like the 3-day rule. I think you might just become a convert!

    Leslie  |  September 11th, 2011 at 9:31 am

  • I completely agree with Shannon. I hate them. And, just had to add that I think it’s hysterical when women wear them to avoid VPL and you can see the outline of the thong. And when they bend over with low rise jeans and the thong is visible - yuck!

    I think my husband would be horrified too so I guess we’re a good match.

    Gina  |  September 12th, 2011 at 6:44 am

  • Sexy lingerie changed my life. The trick is to find something flattering, comfortable AND sexy. I’ve received good feedback about: Also anything stretchy-lacy seems good. And yes, I do the thong thing but resisted for years.

    Talyaa Liera  |  September 14th, 2011 at 9:18 am

  • I used to be a fan of thongs for the “if you are going to have a wedgie anyhow, you may as well make it as small as possible” thing. However, both my husband and I find them completely unflattering. So I switched back to ‘full-bums” (as I call bikini/boyfriend underwear) for the looks and just make an effort to get the kind that don’t wedge. Some of those hipsters can really ride…and that’s a lot of fabric. Also, I would rather see someone’s bikini underwear peeking over their pants than a thong…and thong panty lines are just plain wrong under those stupid yoga pants!

    Amy  |  September 15th, 2011 at 7:42 pm

  • I LOVE wearing a thong…It is not about sexy, it is about no creeping and no VPL. They are designed to go there and after you get used to it, you will be hooked. I cannot wear non thong now because I am pulling them out of the place the thong is supposed to go…that makes sense, right? buy the beige and you will love it.

    Sheila  |  September 16th, 2011 at 5:39 pm

  • I’m not sure what all the hoopla is about. Maybe back in the 90’s, wearing a thong to work might seem scandalous or “sexy”, but I honestly believe that here in 2012, the thong has achieved mainstream status….it is simply another choice of underwear. Personally, I have worn thongs/G-strings exclusively for the last 7 years. i dont own anything eles as I just happen to find them practical/comfortable/sexy etc. I like them…they work for me. My hubby prefers when I wear G’s so that is my typically daily choice. I wear them to work…to the gym…to the doctors office…shopping with my friends….shopping with my mom…you get the point. I dont really think much about it, and certainly dont feel as if I am being risque but putting one on. Judging by what I see at the gym, a great majority of women agree with me. At my gym, thongs are the most prevalent undergarment I see in the locker room…followed by NONE (Gasp…talk about risque!!) and last would be bikinis. Maybe philadelphia is more progressive than alot of places…but believe me…it is no big deal

    Michelle  |  January 9th, 2012 at 8:12 am