By: Daisy Hemmen
Donning underwear is part of your everyday routine. You hop out of the shower and pull on your panties, bra, socks, and outfit without overthinking the finer details. Sure, you might notice that there’s a bit of stray cat hair on your black pants or that a thread is coming loose on your favorite sweater. However, you probably don’t look more closely at the construction of your socks or undergarments.
You wear them daily, so nothing new to see here, right?
Maybe not, but have you ever wondered what the little pocket piece in panties is for?
This small pocket is called a gusset, and it’s there to keep your lady parts protected.1 Let’s discuss and examine the gusset and its function in more detail.
The Purpose of a Gusset in Women’s Undergarments
Now that we’ve drawn your attention down there, you can’t stop thinking about that little square of fabric.2 Even though it doesn’t seem like much, it’s an important part of your underwear. Without it, your undies, especially those made from synthetic fabrics, would be significantly less comfortable. How badly the gusset is damaged can indicate how often to replace underwear.
Comfortable underwear isn't the only thing that little pocket piece provides, and the gusset isn’t only a part of your panties. You may also find this extra fabric in:
- Workout pants and shorts
In all these pieces, the gusset is a crucial part of keeping your genitals free from infection.
The number one answer to the question of ‘what is the pocket in panties for’ is simple: it’s there for extra protection. While many undergarments are made from fabrics that feel soft to the touch, those materials aren’t breathable. Nor do they wick moisture away from your genitals. That’s why the gusset is typically made out of soft, comfortable, moisture-wicking fabric (like the signature bamboo fabric blend that makes Boody underwear comfy from hip to gusset).
Can Your Underwear Cause Infection?
In short, yes. Your body naturally produces moisture in the form of vaginal discharge, which is normal and healthy.3 However, when you wear underwear that doesn’t allow moisture from natural discharge to move away from your vagina, you’re setting yourself up for trouble. Excess moisture can lead to:
- Yeast infections
- Urinary tract infections
- Bacterial vaginosis
The gusset helps keep your genitals dry and ventilated. Of course, even if you find underwear with the right material, you should also know how to wash underwear, especially along the gusset area.
The gusset is also a critical component of your comfort. Think about the material your sexiest pair of underwear is made from—if it’s one of the following, you don’t want it rubbing against your skin all day:
These fabrics can bunch up causing friction and don’t breathe well at all. The skin around your vulva is very sensitive and you want the material that it comes into contact with to be soft. If you’ve ever gone commando in a pair of jeans, you know how painful the chafing from the rough seam is.
Does All Women’s Underwear Have a Gusset?
The gusset is typically a part of all women’s underwear. There may be some exceptions, but since it’s such an important component for comfort and protection, it’s rarely excluded.
Interestingly, the way the gusset is constructed doesn’t serve much of a purpose. It’s usually only sewn on three sides, leaving a pocket-like section open. But, the reason it isn’t closed on all four sides has little to do with function. Instead, it’s simply a cost and time-saving measure. It’s cheaper and faster to only sew three sides instead of all four.
What Should You Look For When Shopping For New Underwear?
Leaving the gusset open isn’t the only cost-cutting measure companies take when making underwear. Cheap fabrics, poor stitching, and uncomfortable adornments are all big warning signs that you’re not buying high-quality underwear, the consequences of which are sacrificing comfort and risking infection.
No one wants that. Instead, for maximum comfort and protection, look for underwear that:
- Is made from natural fabrics like organic cotton and bamboo
- Fits comfortably around your waist, hips, and legs
- Allows your skin and genitals to breath
There are plenty of stylish undies out there that won’t cause infection or make you uncomfortable.
Does Men’s Underwear Have a Gusset?
Yes, men’s underwear also has a gusset.4 It’s found around and along the inseams. The gusset eliminates the need for excessive seams in men’s underwear. This makes your undies more comfortable. The fewer seams rubbing against your skin, the less likely you are to chafe. The gusset also helps make the underwear fit more smoothly. Regardless of where you stand in the boxers vs briefs debate, just know that either style has a gusset.
Choose Comfort with Boody
Now, when someone asks ‘what is the small pocket in women’s underwear for’ you have the answer. The gusset exists for your comfort and extra protection. Men’s underwear also has a gusset which limits the seams in the garment. We recommend buying underwear made from high-quality, comfortable, moisture-wicking natural fabrics, like bamboo underwear.
Boody makes all of our products from a sustainable bamboo-derived viscose fabric blend. You’ll love wearing our soft, stylish garments that protect your most sensitive body parts. Shop our store today for eco-friendly underwear.
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.
- Health. 6 Underwear Rules Every Woman Should Live By. https://www.health.com/condition/yeast-infection/6-underwear-rules-every-woman-should-live-by
- Business of Fashion. Gusset. https://www.businessoffashion.com/education/fashion-az/gusset
- MedlinePlus. Vaginal Itching and Discharge: Adult and Adolescent. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003158.htm
- Textile School. Anatomy of Men’s Underwear. https://www.textileschool.com/308/anatomy-of-mens-underwear-briefs/#:~:text=In%20men's%20underwear%2C%20the%20gusset,thus%20formed%20%E2%80%93%20fitting%20and%20comfortable