The Ultimate Guide to Grown-Up Underwear

Because no one wants to be buying granny panties at a Rite Aid.

By: Channing Hargrove

We don’t know about you, but we’d consider buying emergency underwear from Rite Aid a low point in just about any woman’s life. Whether it’s because of an unplanned sleepover, your period surprised you, or, in the case of Issa Rae’s character on the HBO comedy Insecure (executive-produced and directed by Melina Matsoukas!), you don’t want to go home, it’s all bad. Just about as bad as those old panties with the waning elastic that come out on laundry day. So we tapped Insecure’s costume designer, Ayanna James, to make sure that we are never, well, insecure about our underwear again with the following tips.

 

Avoid Panty Lines

 

“Choose extremely thin seamless underwear,” James said. “We run around all day, so it’s comfort that matters. For sexier occasions, go for glory.” She loves Commando and, surprisingly, Gap. And, for the record, if you prefer full-bottom panties, cheeky or ruche styles can be sexy according to this fashion person.

 

Go High-Impact

 

“The stylist in me says skip the department-store lingerie and go straight to Stella McCartney. I love the way Stella manages to intersect art, fashion, and femininity with a hint of tomboy-ness in her collections. I feel like she captures everything I love about being a woman.”

 

Wear What You Feel

 

“Your underwear relates directly to how you feel,” James said. For example, if you typically reach for boy shorts, more than likely, your style is similar when it comes to your clothing. “I advocate for good-quality brands that will last or, at minimum, change out your lingerie once a year.” She counts Spanx as a tried-and-true brand for curvy girls and Nubian Skin for women of color because its hues are perfect for brown girls.

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