5 Types of Underwear You Should Own — and Where to Buy Them

ThirdLove
ThirdLove
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There's no denying that underwear is an essential part of our daily lives — and more specifically, our wardrobes. While we often don't think about the ones we'll throw on first thing in the morning or when we step out of the shower, having a wide array of options is important. Every outfit calls for a different type of underwear style, from cheeky options that won't show lines under a bodycon dress to comfortable styles that you'll be glad to lounge around in on a day off. This season, we're making it our mission to only own and invest in quality and purposeful wardrobe essentials, and that goes straight down to our undergarments, too.

To help determine the best and most practical options out there, we shopped and broke down five essential types of underwear that are worth adding to your closet — and which precise styles you should be stocking up on from brands like Natori, ThirdLove, Skims, and more. Whether you're looking for something sexy or comfortable, we've got you covered. From classic brands you probably know and love to new direct-to-consumer brands that make seriously impressive pieces, it'll be hard to leave without wanting an entire new collection. Keep reading to see which ones end up in your drawer.

— Additional reporting by Kate Schweitzer and Krista Jones

01
Best Bikini Underwear
wearlively.com

Best Bikini Underwear

Lively The All-Day Bikini ($15)

This pair of underwear is modeled after, naturally, bikini bottoms. The waistband sits on the lower side and has very high-cut leg holes. The front and back of the string bikini look like triangles.

When to wear them: This classic bikini bottom will be one you always reach for. It comes in four other shades, so you can get them all. Because they provide little coverage, they are less visible underneath clothes and thus can be worn under most anything.

Best Bikini Underwear
amazon.com

Best Bikini Underwear

Amazon Essentials Cotton Bikini Brief ($15)

While sexy underwear can be fun, sometimes you just want a style that's comfortable, flattering, and serves as a functional base underneath an outfit. These cotton bikini panties check all of our boxes with their stretchy, breathable design that provides supreme comfort and will definitely be your favorite style to reach for on lazy days at home.

Best Bikini Underwear
nordstrom.com

Best Bikini Underwear

Natori Bliss Perfection Bikini ($20)

Natori is an iconic and classic brand you can simply never go wrong with — as evidenced by these cheeky bikini panties from the brand. The soft material on this underwear is so comfy and great for sleeping in. Plus, the extra lace detailing completes the style with such a polished and more elevated look.

02
Best Thong Underwear
nordstrom.com

Best Thong Underwear

Skims Fits Everybody Thong ($18)

This is the style most often sought when needing an undergarment for formfitting clothing, like tight skirts or dresses, because it provides no coverage on the butt cheeks — and thus, no annoying panty lines.

When to wear them: Thong underwear styles are great to wear under anything that you don't want visible panty lines for, like when you're rocking a body-con dress or tight pants. This particular style is hailed by reviewers for its breathable fit, which doesn't ride up when you wear it.

Best Thong Underwear
nordstrom.com

Best Thong Underwear

Hanky Panky Signature Lace Thong ($24)

If you're looking for a low-rise silhouette, then this bestselling thong panty from Hanky Panky is a great choice. Despite its lace material, the intimate is super stretchy and won't show through even under the thinnest dresses or skirts.

03
Best Brief Underwear
amazon.com

Best Brief Underwear

Hanes Signature Cotton Briefs ($5, originally $15)

Commonly identified by the colloquial term "granny panties," this undergarment provides full coverage and a high waistband. Sure, it's not always the most attractive style of underwear, but it's certainly the most comfortable.

When to wear them: Great for high-waisted pants or just when you want to rock something comfy. These cotton brief from Hanes are made from an eco-friendly Tencel material that's both comfy and sustainable. With a wide array of color options, you can stock up on the bottom in multiple shades so that your underwear drawer is well-stocked.

Best Brief Underwear
yourparade.com

Best Brief Underwear

Parade High Rise Brief Re:Play ($12)

The bestselling brief offers full coverage, a comfortable fit, and a cute sheer side — what more could you possibly ask for? Not to mention, they come in some fun color choices, and are available to shop in a wide range of size options that span from XS to 5XL.

Best Brief Underwear
nordstrom.com

Best Brief Underwear

Skims Core Control Briefs ($36)

We love sleeping in our briefs, and this contouring style from Skims is designed to make you look as good as you feel — as teased in their name. The midrise bottom boasts cooling capabilities which help the style to feel lighter on the skin, while it's shapewear-like fit offers a smoothed-out look that conceals the tummy and lifts your butt.

04
Best Boy Shorts
thirdlove.com

Best Boy Shorts

ThirdLove Form Seamless Shortie ($9, originally $16)

Modeled after men's briefs, boy shorts take on a more rectangular shape than most panties. While similar to the hipster, the key difference is that they have a lower-cut leg. In fact, some styles' legs extend a short way down the thigh.

When to wear them: When fitted properly and made from the right fabric, boy shorts can actually serve the same function as a thong in being worn under formfitting clothes without visible panty lines. Longer cotton boy shorts, however, can even be worn as loungewear or pajamas. This particular style from ThirdLove is a completely seamless pair that is all about comfort. With zero stitches and a lightweight fabric, it's a bottom you'll never regret wearing.

Best Boy Shorts
skims.com

Best Boy Shorts

Skims Fits Everybody Boy Shorts ($22)

Opt for a high-waisted pair of boy shorts with this classic black style from Skims. The seamless shape is great for layering under dresses, and according to reviewers, the underwear boasts a universally flattering fit that's designed to look (and feel) good on everyone — regardless of your body shape or size.

05
Best Hipster Underwear
thirdlove.com

Best Hipster Underwear

Thirdlove Organic Cloud Cotton Hipster ($22)

If you like low-rise jeans, then get excited — we found the perfect type of underwear for you. This style, also called hip huggers, got its name because the waistband sits on the hips, below the waist. They also feature more low-cut leg holes.

When to wear them: These still provide full coverage but are perfect for low-rise jeans, pants, or any style where you're planning to show a little more skin on the hips and waist. These hipster panties from ThirdLove offer the perfect mix of comfort and style. The low-rise silhouette hits at all the right places, while the style's elastic waistband ensures a comfortable fit that you can easily adjust as needed.

Best Hipster Underwear
nordstrom.com

Best Hipster Underwear

Commando Butter Seamless Hipster Panty ($36)

This ultrasoft hipster panty is perfect if you don't want lines under your clothes — but would still prefer something with a bit more coverage than a traditional thong. The seamless pair is both lightweight and breathable. Plus, unlike other styles, these bottoms are elastic-free and remove any possibility of the underwear digging into your skin while wearing them.