Fitness

The sports underwear you didn't know you needed until now

July 28th 2017 / Susannah Taylor / 0 comment

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Why ruin the perfect pair of leggings with the wrong type of underwear? Susannah Taylor reports on ‘sports underwear’, the exercise clothing item you need in your life

You just dropped £100 on a pair of sweat-wicking, tummy tucking, muffin top managing leggings, but have you ever thought that your knickers may put them to waste? Think about it - you're spending a fortune on butt-smoothing workout gear but your normal pants then cause you to have serious VPL, they may dig in on the sides causing a ‘double hip’ shape (if yours do that you’ll know what I mean), they may (God forbid) cause chafing and some hold as much sweat down below as a wet face flannel.

So what’s the answer? Go commando? Some do, but I’m afraid that’s not for me, and I think I speak on behalf of a lot of women who feel they need to feel ‘safe’ down below, especially at important times of the month and all that. The answer is ‘sports underwear’. Brands are now cottoning on (excuse the pun), to lightweight, non-VPL, seamless knickers that are barely there, chafe-free and super comfortable during even the sweatiest workout.

I put 5 brands to the test….

Bjorn Borg Performance Mini Shorts for Her, £20

Flatter ranking: 6/10

No VPL: 10/10

Performance: 7/10

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I’m really not sure about wearing a big pair of shorts under a pair of leggings as it feels a little cumbersome. However I was pleasantly surprised at how unbelievably comfortable these Bjorn Borg mini shorts were. Whilst they probably aren’t great for wearing under leggings (the fabric is a bit thick so is a little bit like wearing a pair of boxer shorts), they would be great under a tennis skirt or when you’re worried about revealing too much. I actually think they would also be amazing to sleep or lounge around in since they are so snug.

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Runderwear Women’s G-String, £15

Flatter ranking: 8/10

No VPL: 10/10

Performance: 8/10

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Runderwear is a brilliant idea for a company – they specialise in underwear that’s anti-bacterial, non-chafing and no-VPL-ing. Now you may be thinking ‘I would never wear a g-string to work out in’ then let me tell you that I have done for years and it’s absolutely fine. The reason I wear them is that they don’t give you an ugly VPL, and believe I have never given them a second thought during a workout. This pair is brilliant - made out of super stretchy, supportive fabric, it actually feels like it’s supporting your tummy whilst you move. With flatlock edging (eg no seams), they are non-chafing too. Big fan.

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Runderwear Women’s Anti-VPL Low Rise Hipster, £16

Flatter ranking: 8/10

No VPL: 7/10

Performance: 8/10

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This pair from Runderwear, is made in a very lightweight silky fabric. Quite wide on the sides, they actually have the abililty to flatten your hips slightly without digging in. Cut half way down the bottom, they are flattering although I would say that they also dig into the bottom a bit half way down the cheek! I’m also not sure if this is intentional, but they are quite wide in the gusset so that the edges between your legs actually come down the inner leg slightly. Maybe it’s not a problem (and I didn’t experience any chafing), but this was different than any other pants I'd tried.

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Lululemon Namastay Put Hipster, £18

Flatter ranking: 9/10

No VPL:10/10

Performance: 10/10

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Wow, now this is a pair of knickers – my favourites of all. Lululemon are masters of technical fabrics and these are made using a super lightweight fabric - you can barely feel you have got anything on. Where Lululemon have been quite clever here is they have what’s called a ‘Freecut leg’ , which means the edge around the top of the leg doesn’t have any form of seam (not even a bonded one), so they don’t leave any trace whetsoever. The only stitched seam is down the middle at the back which only enhances the shape of your bottom. These are the nearest thing to going commando without having to actually do so.

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Lululemon Namastay Put Thong, £12

Flatter ranking: 9/10

No VPL:10/10

Performance: 10/10

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‘Do you wear it or do you floss with it?’ my daughter quoted the film Mamma Mia when seeing these. Lighter than air, this is also the most lightweight, barely-there thong I have ever worn in my life. Just like the hipster it has a free cut leg, which means it doesn’t dig in or give any form of VPL. It is also in a pretty cool, fun print, that makes gym knicker wearing a little more enjoyable and using moisture wicking fabric, it also feels like it gives your lady parts a chance to breathe which can only be a good, slightly liberating thing.

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Zakti Seam Free Bikini knickers, £7

Flatter ranking: 8/10

No VPL: 9/10

Performance: 10/10

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The cheapest and one of the best pairs of sports pants I have tried. This bikini shape is very flattering for wearing under leggings, because most pairs of leggings come up over the stomach these days and aren’t hipster at all. Made using a lightweight fabric, the edges are seam-free which appears to be the key in creating a look that has no VPL at all. I have worn these many times (hence no picture), and they have kept their shape even half a year on.

Sweaty Betty No Show G String, £16

Flatter ranking: 7/10

No VPL:9/10

Performance: 9/10

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This is one of two pairs of sports underwear from Sweaty Betty (the other is a hipster shape) using a sweat-wicking, quick-drying fabric, this is a G string that won’t chafe or be visible in any way under your leggings . The one negative I’d say is that the length of the ‘string’ is a little short so it sits quite low at the back, but maybe I needed to go up a size - I went for a small and I think perhaps I need a medium. All in all, another great fucntional piece from the Sweaty Betty range.

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