As a woman who came of age during Victoria’s Secret’s reign, my underwear drawer has been stocked with threadbare five-for-$25 undies (in every color of the rainbow, mind you) since middle school. But with a slew of progressive, body-affirming underwear brands toppling the VS hegemony, I decided my underwear lineup — full of “PINK”-emblazoned, less-than-flattering bikini-cut styles — was long overdue for an upgrade. I set out to find a new everyday staple: underwear that was well-made, affordable, and comfortable enough to lounge in.
Seemingly overnight, my Instagram feed populated with targeted content: women of all shapes and sizes frolicking through grassy fields in matching ocher-hued cotton underwear sets. The idyllic images from chic, sustainably minded brands like Pansy drove me to click through, but the price tag kept me from ever actually making the purchase. I was not willing to break the bank on a $39 pair of underwear, no matter how good the models looked in that field of poppies.
One pair of underwear from Arq, a female-founded brand with garments inspired by “Italian Renaissance paintings,” cost $28. The funkily patterned pairs from MeUndies cost $20 each; Parade’s highly rated cotton Boyshorts run at a lower price point ($16 per pair) — better, but still more than I wanted to spend on a pair of undies.
Then, while shopping around for pens and washi tape at Muji, I stumbled upon a humble display of women’s underwear. I’d normally expect brands like Uniqlo to stock affordable basics like underwear and socks. Not Muji, with its miniature notebooks and magical cotton swabs. But they were running a two-for-$12.90 deal on underwear, so I picked up two pairs. Now that I’ve tried these undies, I don’t know that I’ll ever want to put on pants at home again.
Muji’s Innerwear line includes four cuts of women’s underwear, but my personal pick is the boy shorts. Boy shorts typically provide fuller coverage, but this pair is pleasantly cheeky (read: will make you want to snap a whole bunch of mirror selfies). They’re also high-waisted, along with every pair of pants I own — but I rarely wear these as underpants. I call them my “house underwear” and treat them like my favorite pajamas: All day, I look forward to returning home and promptly changing into my boy shorts.
These boy shorts combine the comfort of granny panties with a cute vintage aesthetic, making them my go-to for lounging at home. The material — a blend of 93 percent cotton and 7 percent spandex — is highly breathable and silky to the touch. Unlike 100 percent cotton underwear, which can tend toward bagginess, the small percentage of spandex helps them hug my body in just the right way. And at two for $12.90 (this deal ends tomorrow; they’re regularly priced at a still-reasonable $8.90 each), I’ve been able to collect the whole slate of pretty neutrals.
[Editor’s note: Add two pairs to cart to activate the discount.]
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