April 2nd 2019
The most comfortable underwear for every shape, size and situation
November 6th 2018 / 0 comment
A recent campaign highlighted just how much our underwear can dig in. No one should have to deal with painful boning, wiring and waistbands in this day and age, so here are some awesomely comfy smalls for all
Ever taken off your bra and been left with cup, back and shoulder indents? How about marks left behind where you pants used to be? Spanx chafe anyone? Most women have probably experienced at least one of the above, which is why a recent Instagram campaign by tights brand Heist made such a splash.
Featuring photos of women with clearly visible grooves, red marks and very sore-looking indentation left behind by underwear, the imagery series taken by photographer Justin Bartels serves to highlight the daily discomfort that many of us simply accept as part and parcel of being a woman and probably don’t really give a second thought. We can guarantee that if mens’ boxers caused bruising, painful indents and irritation, they’d have been given the heave ho centuries ago, and even if we thought that the corset was the end of our physical restriction underwear-wise, these photos clearly prove otherwise.
In a bid to banish uncomfortable underwear and bodywear once and for all, Heist will be launching an as yet unrevealed collection on 15th November and recently rolled out a parody shapewear ‘No Thanx’ campaign with comedians including Celeste Barber as a teaser, which bodes well in the ‘changing the game’ stakes. Until then, here are the underwear options that tick the comfort box while slipping seamlessly into your life in every sense, from the ‘no VPL’ pants that offer leak protection to the nursing bra that doubles up as a sports bra.
The old skool cool briefs
Remember Sloggi? Much of our team lived in these classic ‘big pants’ during our teens and the soft, smooth appeal hasn’t worn off. The tech has moved on a bit, however, and we now buy our ‘zero feel’ basics from The Pantry at Liberty London, an edit of only the best established and lesser known underwear brands that deliver as much on performance and comfort as they do on aesthetic appeal. Sloggi made the cut as buyers and The Pantry founder Eloise Rigby felt that it delivered on “challenging the the usual expectations of comfort”. We’d agree, and the mini-wired bras aren’t half bad either. A pair of Sloggi briefs starts at £5.
The ‘skin-like’ soft cup bra
Net a Porter has reported a 30 per cent surge in sales of its ‘soft cup’ bras and buyers have dedicated an entire lingerie section to non-wired bras as a result. There are some seriously luxe options on offer as you might expect but the Skin range stands out for its versatility - you can wear most bras in two ways, with either straight shoulder straps or racerback. They’re certainly not cheap, but they’re made of soft organic cotton, slip on for ease and comfort and actually look chic. They can also be chucked in the washing machine along with your regular stuff - no tip toeing around delicates here.
Skin Hadlee Stretch Bra, £75, buy now
The leak-proof lingerie
The pioneers behind the period-proof underwear brand Thinx have just released their sister brand in the UK and it’s as innovative as the first. Designed for women experiencing bladder leaks after birth, during the menopause and really at any stage of life for any reason, the Icon range, from £22, uses fluid absorbent and moisture wicking fabrics that reduce or do away with the need for bladder weakness or incontinence products without looking or feeling in anyway bulky. If fact, the briefs are available in a variety of styles, from French cut to bikini to high-waisted to thong if that’s your thing, with thin, soft fabric that creates a smooth outline. You can choose the absorbency level that suits your needs and wearing Icon undies also helps to reduce pollution associated with disposable incontinence products, which makes up 7 per cent of the world’s landfill waste. Given that one in three of us will experience bladder leaks during our lifetime, everyone wins.
The seamless bra for bigger boobs
A non-wired, seamless yet supportive bra if you’re an F cup or more might seem like an underwear impossibility, but Sugar Candy’s patent pending tech would prove otherwise in the form of the Fuller Seamless Everyday Bra, £43.90. Heat moulded cups and smooth support panels provide structure and comfortable uplift and the fact that there’s no seams in sight reduces the risk of chafing and rubbing. There’s a nursing version for new mothers too. Speaking of which...
The sporty post-baby bra
The Lorna Jane Maximum Support Breast Feeding Sports Bra, £53, covers a lot of bases and is designed to be worn throughout pregnancy and beyond, adapting to your shape and needs. The simple design is available in black and pale pink and it brings sweat-wicking fabric, adjustable cups and straps and a lot less faff to your maternity underwear arsenal, whether you’re partaking in exercise or not.
The supermodel bralet
A bralet designed by a supermodel sounds rather irritating off the bat, but bear with me, as the Rosie for Autograph bralet range is anything but frivolous and flimsy. The Lace Non-Padded Bralet, £20, and Lace Embroided Non-Padded Bralet, £20 (this one has more of a sexy crop top vibe going on) are available in sizes 6-22 and offer support and comfort that’s a million miles from frumpy. The lace isn’t itchy either, which should be a given, but anyone that’s ever received a scratchy lingerie set for Christmas well known otherwise.
The bra that’s so comfortable you can sleep in it
Possibly TMI but GTG co-founder Sarah Vine regular heads to bed in her Bravissimo Non-Padded Cami Sleep Bra, £30, and while sleeping in a bra isn’t for everyone, she finds this one particularly supportive and snug in a good way. The straps are padded and extra wide to ensure no digging in after-effects and the fit ranges from a DD to an H. It’s as handy for working or lounging at home as it is for snoozing and really there’s nothing stopping you adopting it as your regular bra if you find that it hits the spot from a support and ‘feelgood’ point of view.