18 Different Types of Underwear for Women

When you are a women, you either love underwear or you hate them. Most of the time, the hate stems from not having the right fit or size. End the battle with underwear and check out this article to learn more about which size is perfect for you.

A close look at sets of black and white lace panties.

Underwear is one of those necessary evils that you do not particularly like but feel like you have to wear. This is probably why some portion of the population choose not to wear them. For everyone else, there are countless brands, styles, and materials. It is often difficult to find underwear that fits just right. Continue reading to fit out more about the different types of underwear for women to find the pair of underwear that is the perfect fit for you.

What Are Underwear?

Underwear is an article of clothing that you wear underneath all of your other clothes. They are also appropriately called undergarments. There are many different styles and cuts from which women can choose. Most women have a specific cut they wear most of the time.

There is underwear that they wear just with specific types of clothes, so they do not get the feared panty line. Other times, women want underwear that provides substantial support to smooth out all the bumps under their clothes. Not only are there many different styles for ladies’ underwear, but here are different materials.

Materials For Women’s Underwear

Most women’s underwear has a little bit of stretch to them, thanks to the spandex blended material.


This is a fiber that allows the skin to breathe. It is found naturally and is soft on the skin. It does not dry fast. When the skin is wet or sweaty, the cotton panties are likely to stay wet or damp. You can also find organic cotton underwear.


This is often rayon and some other fabrics. They are processed chemically but and therefore, really not a natural product. They are incredibly soft. Natural fabrics are moisture-wicking to keep sweat away from the body and dry must faster than cotton underwear.


These are synthetic materials like nylon and polyester. These materials are found in activewear because they are the quickest during and wick moisture away from the body the best. Lace underwear, while not considered performance, are also made from synthetic materials.

Silk – this material tends to be one of the more expensive ones. Silk is not that common in women’s underwear, but it is a natural fiber. It feels wonderful on the skin. Silk is great at helping to regulate temperature and manage moisture.

Unique Material

You can also find underwear made from wool. There is also underwear made specifically for a purpose, such as a shapewear style intended to make your skin look smooth under clothes.

Types of Underwear for Women


A close look at three colorful and patterned thongs.

A thong is typically loved or hated. Some women refuse even to try them, while other women refuse to wear anything else. Thong underwear has a strip of material in the back of them to ensure there are no panty lines under your clothes. Sometimes a thong also has a narrow strip of materials that fits along the hips.

Providing the thong does not have any bumps around the edges, they will stay flat, and no one will see the lines. These are ideal when you are wearing tight clothes. A thong is often thought to be a sexy choice for underwear.

A thong is not going to provide any coverage for your butt. If you chose to wear them, make sure the crotch of the thong is cotton, and they are not super tight, so it does not chafe the skin. If you are not wearing the right size, they can get uncomfortable quickly. A thong may ride up on you but typically become more comfortable the more you wear them and get used to how they feel.

They are a great option for tight clothes, such as a bodycon dress, wrap-around dress, or leggings. A thong is great for someone that has hips that are more square-shaped. For those that have a square bottom, a style that sits high on the thighs is a better option.


A close look at a woman wearing a colorful shirt with her blue panties.

While the hipster title may make you think this is the style for someone who is up on the latest trends, it actually refers to wear these underwear sit on the body. This type of underwear sits right on the hips and slightly below your natural waistline. They also have more coverage for your hips and usually have wider fabric panels.

You may hear them referred to as a hipster brief. The leg openings are lower, so there is minimal space for the bottom of your butt cheek to pop out. The hipster panty style is ideal for wearing with low rise jeans and other pant styles. They will not stick out over the top of the waist of your pants.


A woman relaxing on the bed wearing a pair of boyshort panties.

The boy short is a women’s version of the boxer brief for men. They have a more rectangular shape and give the most leg coverage of all the underwear options. They are ideal for loose skirts, jeans, and loungewear. If your skirt or dress happens to fly up on a windy day, these underwear give you the most protection and coverage. You could even opt to wear these around the house by yourself.

Boyshorts may be a great option if you plan to do a significant amount of walking. They will not chafe the skin, and the material of the underwear will rub together, so your skin does not. They are able to absorb some sweat and help prevent rashes, also.

Similar to boxer briefs for men, they provide the maximum amount of comfort and security of any of the underwear style options. Boyshorts are great for women with bottoms that a V shape and even sagging bottoms. They are also great for those with heart-shaped or square bottoms.


Red and blue seamless women's briefs on a wooden floor.

Before boy shorts, there were briefs. They used to be the go-to for maximum coverage. They still provide a fair amount of coverage for women, but they come in many different options, including high waist and high leg. This underwear will definitely give you a panty line. Many women prefer them because they provide maximum comfort. They are like an old stand by, always there when you need them.


A woman wearing a pair of white bikini underwear.

Bikini underwear mimics the look of a bikini bottom. They are similar to briefs but they offer less coverage. They have a lower rise than briefs. The opening for the legs is also higher. Bikini underwear tends to be one of the more popular styles. They are a great option for gym-goers.

They will not ride up like a thong, and they will not give the visible panty lines a brief will. Even though they typically provide less coverage than a brief, they offer a good amount of coverage for your bottom. There is also a bikini brief option to give you a better balance between a bikini and brief undies.

A bikini panty can be worn under any type of clothing and are a great choice over a thong. You can wear them around the house when relaxing, under jeans, or with dresses and skirts. They are one of the most versatile underwear options you can find. They fit well for someone with hips that are square-shaped. They also fit a woman with a heart-shaped or A-shaped bottom well.

High Rise

Molasus Women's Soft Cotton Underwear Briefs High Waisted Postpartum Panties Ladies Full Coverage Plus Size Underpants Black,Size 9
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High rise underwear will offer coverage that goes upward, so they will keep your entire stomach covered. If you do not like the feeling of underwear digging into your stomach, these are a great option. For most high rise underwear, they go all the way up to your waist.

French Cut

Chantelle Women's Soft Stretch One Size French Cut Brief, Nude Blush, OS
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French Cut underwear is also called high cut or high brief underwear. They fall at your waist, just like the classic brief does, but they have leg holes that are higher up on your leg. French Cut underwear allows you to show off more of your leg. This underwear has an old school vibe to them and is affectionately referred to as granny panties.

They are comfortable underwear and can be worn under many different clothing choices. French Cut panties to give you complete coverage from your middle to low stomach through your hips and bottom. They are ideal for giving you additional support. They are ideal for wearing with high waisted pants, joggers, and leggings.

They are ideal for women that have square-shaped bottoms. Since these underwear are designed to draw a line between where your bottom meats your back, they are great for women with square bottoms as they give you more definition.

If you have a round-shaped or heart-shaped bottom, these are not the right choice for you. They may feel like they are constricting you and give you more of an elongated look. They may cause a panty line, depending on your clothing. They may also cause you to have bumps and bulges under your clothes.


A woman wearing mid-size panties under her bath robe.

While Mid-Rise underwear is incredibly similar to high-rise, they also lean towards a hipster vibe. They provide more coverage than a hipster, but not as much as a high brief. This type of underwear will sit just below your belly button. Many women feel the mid-rise underwear is a great balance between the two.

They can be worn as everyday wear and style and work well with skirts and pants. These underwear are ideal for women with square-shaped bottoms. These women tend to need some help creating the line between their back and their bottom. As a result of where mid-rise underwear sits, they help create that line. Women that have a bottom in the shape of a V also benefit greatly from wearing mid-rise underwear because they sit right below the crease of the bottom.


A close look at a woman wearing a cheeky underwear.

The Cheeky underwear is similar to the bikini style in that they are going to show off your bottom. They provide more coverage than a thong will, but your bottom will peek out of these. They have a wide band around the hip to help eliminate a panty line. These underwear are aptly named because they are going to show off round and plump butt cheeks.

The cheeky panty underwear leans more towards flirty but can be worn under just about any type of clothing. If you do not like the feel of your butt cheeks falling out of your underwear, you may not like this style. They are a good addition to your collection and round out your underwear drawer.

Control Top / Shapewear

A woman wearing a a set of black shapewear underwear.

These underwear are most often called Shapewear, but you may hear them referred to as control top. They offer the most control you will find in underwear. Their entire intention is to smooth out your body under your clothes. They may go to your belly button, or they may go all the way up to your bra. This style of underwear is going to provide you compression to keep everything looking tight.

They will shape your bottom and flatten your stomach. They come in a vast amount of styles to offer you the perfect amount of coverage. You will find compression levels that include moderate, slimming, and firm. They come in high waisted, mid-rise, shorts, and butt lifters. They provide maximum control but still give you a comfortable fit. They can provide support to your thighs, bottom, and stomach to give you a shapelier look and provide the confidence you need.

The outfit you are wearing will dictate the type of shapewear you need. There is seamless shapewear for tight clothes and nude color options when you are wearing something sheer. For this style, you will have to pick out your outfit before you can select the right shapewear. Some women choose to wear shapewear every day with every outfit. Others choose to wear them for special occasions or specific outfits.

Shapewear is ideal for any body type, but they do come in sizes. It is important that you select the right size for you. They can help to show off the curves you choose to show off and give you bottom great support.


A close look at a woman's feet with a pair of G-string.

G-String underwear is incredibly similar to thong underwear. This style gives you the least amount of coverage you can find from underwear. They have an incredibly thin thong in the back and are low rise in the front. Some women find them completely uncomfortable. Others love them. It is important that you get the proper fit, so they are more comfortable. These may be a type of underwear that are more intended to be lingerie and you do not wear them for very long.


NINGMI Women Butt Lifter Padded Shapewear Enhancer Control Panties Body Shaper Underwear Black
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Butt Lifter underwear is intended to give your bottom something extra. They will make your bottom look bigger and more shapely. The intention is to draw attention to your bottom. If you do not want that, then these may not be right for you. They will tone your bottom to give it a firm look. This type of underwear is padded, and some have removable pads.

You can choose for yourself when and where you want that extra lift to your bottom. They will give you definition and support. These underwear are soft and comfortable. They are breathable on your skin, so they will not chafe. They are intended to give you a lift without making it obvious to anyone. They have varying levels of compression. Butt Lifter underwear can be worn with any clothing type and will show off all your curve.

They are great for those sexy jeans or pants you want to wear. These underwear are great for those who have a longer bottom. If your bottom lacks definition, this underwear will make it look perkier. If you have a large bottom, they will give you the additional support you need. These underwear are ideal for women with square hips, a square-shaped bottom, a V-shaped bottom, or really any other shape.


A close look at a woman wearing a pair of black seamless panties.

Seamless underwear is intended to be invisible, so it cannot be noticed under anything you wear. If they can be seen, then they are not a seamless panty. This type of underwear is focused on being hidden under your clothes, so you do not have a panty line. They come in many different styles, from bikini, hipster, boy shorts, and the classic brief.

You can wear seamless underwear with any type of clothing you prefer, but you should wear them, especially with tighter clothes. This is a universal style, so it does not matter what type of bottom or body shape you have, they will fit you well, and no one will see a panty line.


ETAOLINE Women's Sexy Lingerie Panties Lace Knickers Briefs Underwear Black X-Small
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While Knickers may seem like an old school name for underwear, they are also a specific style of underwear. They are vintage and are styled after what was worn during the 1920s. They are looser at the bottom, around the legs, and have an elastic waist. They are often made from silk or satin.

Some of them have frills on them. They are a fun style of underwear. This style was just a fun add on to the list. These underwear are not the most practical and will not be seamless under your clothes. However, in the right situation, they could be fun to wear.


What Type of Underwear Fabric Should You Choose?

Most women know that they should be particular about the type of fabric they choose for their underwear. Women can get infections from bacterial pretty easily and underwear can be the biggest culprit. For everyday use, you might want to stick with cotton.

It is a natural fiber that pulls moisture away from your skin which prevents yeast from growing. Synthetic material tends to trap heat and moisture, which creates the perfect environment for yeast. At a minimum, select underwear that has cotton lining on the inside.

What Are the Best Maternity Underwear?

There is specific underwear made that is maternity underwear. This underwear type gives you maximum stretch. They are either low cut, so they fit under your belly. Or they are hit cut to fit over the top of your belly. It is really your preference as to what feels better.

You do not need maternity underwear. You can wear regular underwear as long as they stretch and are under your belly. You do not want to wear underwear that cut across your belly while you are pregnant.

What Are the Most Comfortable Underwear?

Again, cotton is the clear winner here. Cotton gives you the most breathable feel while you are wearing them. They will not trap heat and help to keep the moisture away from your body. While many feel that cotton is the most comfortable, personal preference does play a role here. You may find that you do not prefer the feel of cotton underwear.

What Style Underwear is Best For the Gym?

This comes down to personal preference. There is underwear created specifically for the gym. They wick away moisture to keep your body dry and free from sweat. Many manufacturers make performance underwear and thongs for gym wear. There are doctors that claim you should not wear a thong to the gym because that is just opening you up to infection. They recommend taking off wet underwear as soon as you can and not letting them stay against your body.

What Panties are Most Common?

The most common type of underwear is the bikini style. Many women seem to like that balance between butt coverage, high legs, and the lack of riding up. Bikini underwear is less likely to give you a visible panty line. The most popular color for underwear is white, followed closely by black. Beige underwear and other colors are not as popular as you might think.

Finding the Right Size

Underwear sizes aren’t the same as other clothing sizes. That’s why you can buy underwear in what you think is your size, come home and find out that it doesn’t fit the right way. The last thing you need to have is ill-fitting underwear. If your undies don’t fit properly then they’re going to bunch up, ride up, fall down, sag, twist, and just generally make you horribly uncomfortable.

To find your right underwear size, get out a soft tape measure. Stand straight with your feet together. Place the tape measure around your body at the fullest part of your backside, keeping the tape measure straight as you wrap it once around yourself. Write down the number. This is your hip measurement. Now, take your waist measurement by wrapping the tape around your natural waistline, right above your belly button.

If your waist is 24 or 25 inches and your hips are 34 to 36 inches, you need to look for XS underwear. If your waist is 26 to 27 inches and your hips are 36 or 37 inches, you need to look for size S underwear. Undies may be sold in sizes like XS, S, M, and so on, but they may also have number sizes. Either way, look for the size chart that will show you the sizes with the measurements. Since you’ve taken your own measurements, you can go by the numbers to find the right size. This is the best and most accurate way to find the right underwear size.

Your whole outfit begins and ends with your underwear. Make sure yours is comfortable and that it’s in a style you like that also works with what you’re wearing. As long as you’ve got the right undies on, everything else is easy.

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