I have never been someone with a “signature look.” Capsule wardrobes look so good in other people’s stylishly, sparse spaces, but for me, a little more freedom to experiment is necessary. The only exception I make on that rule is underwear. Trial and error has led me to a pretty solid signature underwear: Maidenform Pure Genius Tailored Boyshorts.
I only wear these for a number of reasons. As someone who’s on the smaller side of plus-size, I’ve found that most affordable “boy shorts” underwear puts me on the express train to Wedgietown. After just a bit of time, they end up heading into tanga territory. I’ve always had trouble finding briefs with a cut that actually covers my butt, but the shape and stretch fabric on these — a blend of nylon, cotton, and elastane at the crotch and 92 percent nylon and 8 percent elastane everywhere else — actually covers my butt. I normally wear a 14 in dresses, but since the fabric on these is thick and stretchy and not inclined to pinch like other, thinner styles I’ve tried, I suspect my size sevens would even fit a 16 dress (the shorts are available up to an eight). They’re perfect for people who are “in between” straight- and plus-size, or small plus-size folks like me. I also love the rather androgynous, no-frills look. No floral motif, lace trim, or teeny-tiny bow — just a solid swath of fabric that keeps me comfortably secure no matter what I’m doing.
They are now what I wear practically every single day. If I’m not dressing up for a (rare) hot date or wearing particularly tight pants that require no panty line (which, especially since going freelance, has become even rarer), it’s a pretty safe bet I’ve got these bad boys on. Whereas the rest of my dresser is a kaleidoscope of color and print, my delicates drawer is a singular, super-comfy mass of black Maidenform boy shorts.
More Strat-approved plus-size underwear
Writer Alyse Whitney likes the feminine Aerie briefs, which do have some lace detailing: “They’re just right; so many other pairs of underwear I’ve tried hug me uncomfortably tightly or else are so loose that I’m trying to pull them up discreetly in the elevator. But the Aerie boy briefs I pretty much forget about from the moment I put them on.”
This pair of underwear has been well-reviewed on Amazon for plus sizes: “Fat-bottomed girls, these underwear RIGHT HERE!!! I won’t pretend I’m thin … I’m thunder thighs, big booty, and underwear have been a CONSTANT struggle for about a decade. Well, not anymore. These are thick but breathable, soft, sturdy, quality undies!! The elastic is PERFECT (frankly, every inch of these is PERFECT)! Don’t just get one pack … get two! Worth every penny and then some!”