Types of Underwear for Women

Chris Ondatje July 22, 2021
Woman panties air drying in the garden

By: Daisy Hemmen

Many of us remember the ritual of shopping for our first bra, but it’s unlikely we had the same momentous experience when it came to underwear. While undies often receive less fanfare than their northern counterparts, the right fit can make all the difference to our confidence and coziness. In addition to the right fit, comfort is also very important and bamboo underwear is incredibly soft and breathable.

A whopping 47% of women report a boost in mood when donning their favorite pair of panties, so consider slipping into yours as your day’s first act of self-care.1

But with so many styles and materials you’ve probably wondered originally when underwear was invented in the first place, not to mention all of the terms used to describe them (hipster? g-string? thong? bikini?) Deciding which style of skivvies to go for can be overwhelming. This is your simplified guide to choosing the perfect pair of undies for you, no matter what the day ahead holds. 

Underwear 101: The Four Major Players

Woman in black underware leaning against the window

Most styles of women’s underwear fall into one of four categories: 

Briefs – Briefs offer the most coverage of underwear styles. You can find them in a range of rises, depending on your outfit of the day and personal preference.
Boxer Briefs - are best paired with high-waisted or looser fitting bottoms, and are perfect for days when you’re just looking to lounge around the house
in comfortable underwear.
Bikinis – The bikini underwear is your happy medium between boyshorts and thongs. It flaunts a shallower waistband than briefs, with just a touch more cheek exposure (although you can choose your fighter with options like brazilian bikinis.) Riding lower on the hips while keeping your behind covered, a bikini panty may be your best bet for jet-set days when you’re constantly on the go.
Thongs – Thongs include any pair of panties that expose your derrière, with slimmer waistbands and a triangle of fabric for frontal coverage. There are a host of variations on thong underwear, but the most common you’ll find is the G-string. Thongs are ideal for minimizing visible panty lines, creating that smooth look you need for nights out in a hip-hugging skirt or a bodycon dress.

Boyshorts – Think men’s boxers with a feminine twist. Boyshort underwear tend to cut straight across the hip and wade farther down the thigh, offering plenty of butt coverage with a much tighter grip than their relatives in the Men’s section.

Shop bamboo viscose underwear!

Beyond Style, Consider the Details

If you’ve ever found yourself on a long flight or car ride in a pair of pinchy briefs, you know that choosing the right cut is just the first step to finding your holy grail underwear.

Some other factors to consider when choosing new types of panties include:

Fit– Few sensations are more uncomfortable than the feeling of your panties riding up to places they shouldn’t be while in public (or in private). What’s more, ill-fitting undies can aggravate your sensitive skin, contributing to chaffing, rashes, and folliculitis (otherwise known as “buttne). First and foremost, opt for the best fit—your basics should fit seamlessly into your life, rather than distract from it so it’s important to learn how to measure your hips.

Fabric–When it comes to panties, the importance of choosing the right fabric can’t be exaggerated. Synthetic fabrics like polyester, acrylic, and nylon tend to hold onto moisture, making them a choice habitat for bacteria.2 Aim for the breathable, natural fabrics of cotton or bamboo underwear, which are powerhouses when it comes to thermoregulation, staying dry, and nixing any undesirable down-there odors.

Environmental Impact –Despite their size, even panties can yield a major environmental cost if they aren’t made with conscience. Sustainability should include every part of the design process from sourcing materials to reducing waste. Be sure to support brands that make ethical practices for the planet and humans a cornerstone of their company mission.

Whether you end up reaching for some snug, hip-hugging briefs or a coquettish G-string, above all, never compromise on comfort when it comes to your everyday wear underwear. 

Choose styles that make you feel your best– whatever that means for you.

How to Ensure Peak Performance

Woman on bamboo underware

Ever popped a new garment in the washer and dryer just to find out it no longer fit?

After you’ve selected your new comfortable underwear, proper care can ensure longevity and fit. And different types of women’s underwear require different care.

  • Always, always, always check the tag before throwing your underwear in with the rest of your laundry!
  • Some intimates like lingerie prefer to be hand-washed, while others can be tossed in with your standard gentle cycle.
  • The most skin and planet-kind way to keep your underthings clean is to use a biodegradable, hypoallergenic detergent.

A Boody bonus: our bamboo viscose fibers mean your undies will get softer and softer with every loving wash.

How Often Should I Replace My Underwear?

No matter how often you launder them, ladies underwear tends to accumulate bacteria–especially if they’re made from synthetic materials 

The golden rule is to change out of your undies at least once a day and replace them (at minimum) on an annual basis.

For an extra line of defense, toss in no more than one cup of white vinegar into a wash cycle to help curb unwanted overgrowth. 

Boody Eco Wear: Self-care is Earth-care

Woman wearing bamboo underware

Whatever type of underwear style you choose for the day ahead, remember that essentials should come at no compromise—to you, your life, or the planet.

Ladies underwear trends will come and go like wearing underwear with leggings, but at the end of the day, all of us want to feel at home in our own skin. 

If you’re on the lookout for your new perfect fit, check out Boody’s line of bamboo underwear and other bamboo clothing. Created with 3D sewing for a zero-seam design, you’ll never suffer from a pinchy waistband or misplaced seam again, whether you’re wearing a bamboo g-string, bikini, or brief.

Beginning your day with a carefully considered act of self-care can have a meaningful impact on your confidence and comfort. And what better act than picking your favorite undies out of the drawer?

About the Author: Daisy Hemmen is a San Diego State University Fowler College of Business alumni. Based in Encinitas, California, Daisy is a part of the marketing team at Boody North America. She is passionate about learning the ins and outs of living a happy and healthy lifestyle that benefits both people and the planet, and enjoys sharing her bountiful findings with the community.


  1. Healthline. 8 Underwear Rules to Live by for a Healthy Vagina.
  2. Natural Clothing. The Top 3 Healthy Benefits of Natural Underwear.

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But when it comes to plant-derived textiles, the ones which help us create a healthier world are always a better alternative.  Explore the benefits of bamboo with Boody Whether you choose to purchase conventional or organic cotton clothing, the fact that you are shopping mindfully for yourself is a win for the environment. At Boody, we believe in bringing you quality, comfy, sustainable clothing basics that keep you feeling good about yourself and your personal impact on Mother Earth. From our sleepwear to our loungewear, women’s bamboo shirts to our underwear, sustainable and ethical are our touchstones. Our clothing is made of bamboo viscose, requiring less water than cotton while putting precious oxygen back into the environment. That just feels good, doesn’t it? Explore the bamboo benefits today, with Boody. Sources:  Britannica. Cotton. Cotton. The Story of Cotton - Where Cotton Grows. World Wildlife Federation. Cotton. Textile Exchange. Quick Guide to Organic Cotton. Soil Association. What is organic cotton?  USDA. Conservation and Biological Diversity in Organic Production. About the Author: Heather Bien is a copywriter and writer based in Washington, DC. She works with retail, ecommerce, and creative brands on their website copy and digital presence, and her freelance writing has appeared on MyDomaine, Apartment Therapy, The Everygirl, and more. When she's not with laptop and coffee in hand, you'll find her planning her next weekend getaway, working on her budding green thumb, or scouting for her next great vintage find.