Walking around all day with a perma-wedgie is nobody’s idea of a good time. But while it’s easy to find cozy briefs, buying an actually comfortable thong is a much trickier find. So we combed through our undergarment archive and asked 16 cool women (including several Strategist writers) about their go-to pairs that don’t ride up, chafe, or dig in. Below, find thongs to wear when you’re working out, VPL-resistant thongs, and even a pair of leakproof undies.
Best under-$15 thongs
Strategist senior writer Karen Iorio Adelson pointed us to two styles of thongs from Aerie that she’s been wearing for years and says are “comfortable all day, stay in place, and provide full front coverage,” which is something a lot of thongs don’t. “The Real Me thongs are very soft, and the seamless ones are great for working out,” she adds. Strategist deals writer Leah Muncuy is also a fan of Aerie’s underwear and calls their ribbed cotton, high-cut thong underwear her “ride or die” when it comes to comfort.
“These thongs from Gap are what I believe to be peak underwear,” says Muncy, because of the thong’s “universally flattering V-waist,” high leg, dipped waistline, and organic-cotton material. She personally buys them in bulk and recommends doing the same to anyone looking to completely overhaul their underwear drawer. If you’re looking for an “extra-comfy” fit, “I don’t think a better pair of underwear exists,” Muncy promises.
Strategist writer Chloe Anello calls Parade’s universal thongs the best she’s tried “by far.” The thongs “feel like nothing” and are extremely affordable at only $8 a pair. “I’ve bought underwear that cost $30 or more from really luxury brands, and they’re not even close to as good as these.” Like all of Parade’s underwear, the thongs are available up to a size 3XL. Diaz also loves them: “The fabric is super-smooth, making it undetectable even under the tightest clothes.” Plus, Parade just launched a second-life recycling kit, where you can send them old underwear to recycle in exchange for a discount. “And there’s probably a girl you know who has a discount code if you don’t want to pay full price,” Diaz adds.
If you want all of the comfort of Parade’s universal thong but with a high-rise waist, director and artist Anna Theroux Ling suggests their high-rise thong: “They’re my daily go-to because they come in so many styles and colors and are a nice casual, comfortable, everyday pair for me.” Ling adds that the fabric is very breathable (a must for warmer temperatures) and the thong “skims over the body without creating dents around my hip and stomach area.”
“They’re great for everyday wear, a very comfortable thong for when I’m feeling bold enough to switch out of my WFH uniform of sweatpants,” says Polly Rodriguez, the CEO and co-founder of the sex-toy company Unbound. Like Parade’s program, when the thongs come to the end of their wear, you can ship them back to the Big Favorite to be recycled. The brand will then send a discount code to be used on your next new pair.
Best under-$30 thongs
“If you’ve ever wondered what the stars on the red carpet were wearing underneath those sheer, unforgiving gowns, the answer is almost certainly a pair of Commandos,” explains costume designer and Strategist contributor Alison Freer. “My favorite underwear is Commando’s thongs,” adds stylist Tiffany Gifford. “They are seamless and come in great colors and an array of sizes. The best underwear you forget are even there, and that’s what these do.” Strategist senior editor (and former fashion editor) Chelsea Peng also swears by them: “I do support every stylist’s claim that the Commando ones are the best because they don’t show under anything (even the sheer ’70s pajama pants I wear as regular pants).”
Strategist contributor Devan Diaz also suggested this pair of high-waisted thongs from Los Angeles Apparel in her “Trust Me, I Should Know” on the best underwear to wear if you don’t want to tuck (or use a gaff). “This high-waisted thong is just as roomy in front as the brand’s briefs above but doesn’t cut across your butt, making it sexier,” she writes. “It has a lighter compression but still offers enough coverage for those who don’t want to smash their bits together.”
On the other end of the waistline spectrum are these lacy Hanky Panky low-rise thongs. Backmender and Tone House coach Roxie Jones also recommended them in our “Ask the Strat” on the best VPL-resistant underwear. “They don’t cut into your skin, they create a smooth line even though they are lace, come in fun colors, and also work for a variety of skin tones.”
Created by stylists Jamie Mizrahi and Simone Harouche, the KiT is known for its seamless, comfortable underwear. 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, adding that they have a lightweight, barely there feeling. Morgan Hutchinson, founder of clothing line BURU, also namechecked their seamless thongs. “The high-rise is awesome for mum-tum,” she says.
[Editor’s note: All of KiT’s products are sold out right now, including this thong. The brand says to prepare for an “exciting announcement” but has so far offered no specifics about whether it would ever restock existing styles. We’re keeping an eye out and will update this post when we know more.]
“Tuck It Up, a line that’s also designed for all people with penises, makes a thong that straddles the line between regular and tucking underwear,” says Diaz, because of the “flattering shape” and the compression of the fabric. “I’ve seen girls untucked in this and they look great; some even wear it on the beach — where I anticipate seeing a lot more of the thong this summer given the Y2K revival we’re living through.”
Peng calls these ruffly thongs from Fruity Booty her “wild-card pick” because they are “way more comfortable and breathable than they look and are cut in a way that feels secure without causing a wedgie.” Bonus: Many of Fruity Booty products are made from sustainably sourced deadstock materials. Peng says they are also stretchy enough that you can pull up the sides for “a high-cut look, if you’re into that.”
And if you’re looking for a leakproof option, I swear by these thongs from Knix. When the brand reached out with an offer to test them out, I was initially quite skeptical. I’m a high-rise, full-coverage brief girl (especially on my period), but I quickly became a believer. The secret is in the extra-long absorbent gusset that provides plenty of coverage in both the front and back. The fit is slightly snug, which I found to be essential for keeping everything in place, but it doesn’t dig in. And the fabric is silky and soft, which is another added bonus.
Best under-$55 thongs
Like Parade, Hara the Label’s underwear has lots of different sizes available — from XS to 5XL — and comes in a range of fun colors, like bright yellow and pale pink. According to Montinique Dever, the founder of Riot Swim, they’re “perfect under jeans.” Plus, the brand’s underwear is made from OEKO-TEX 100-approved organic bamboo fabric and natural plant dyes, so in addition to being comfy, they are also great for those with sensitive skin.
“I love pretty panties, but I’m so sensitive to texture and comfort, so I had a collection of the underwear I actually wore and then another collection of pretty underwear,” explains Tallulah Willis, founder of clothing company Wyllis. That is, she did until her sister Rumer introduced her to these thongs from Araks. “What I love about these is they’re so comfortable — I’m a thong girl — but also really pretty.”
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