By Adam Welsch
TC® Fine Intimates
Have you ever felt a bit confused when thinking about all the different styles of panties out there? The great number of fabrics, colors, and prints available creates what seems to be an infinite number of possibilities from which to choose. But figuring out which silhouette is right for you can be the most important decision to make. A panty’s silhouette governs how much coverage it provides, and which parts of the body it covers. Knowing which options exist, and the differences among them, can be very helpful when looking for panties that will be both comfortable and invisible. Such knowledge will save you time and money when you’re shopping, since panties can’t be returned to stores once they’ve been tried on.
So, where to begin? Let’s start with those styles that offer the most coverage.
The Traditional Brief
Also known as the brief, the classic brief, the full brief, and the Granny Panty, the traditional brief is the most comfortable, and perhaps least sexy, option available, as it provides full coverage of the front and the back. Its waistband rests at, or slightly above, the waist, and its sides extend down the length of the hips. The fronts of its leg openings rest approximately where the thighs meet the pelvis. Its appearance is not the only strike against it; the traditional brief is also notorious for causing VPLs.
The Modern Brief
The modern brief, like its traditional sister, provides full coverage for the front and back, but has a lower rise, or shorter distance between its leg openings and waistband. As a result, the band sits below the waist. These panties are “modern” in the sense that they’re compatible with the current fashion trend of low-rise jeans and pants.
The Boy Short
Sometimes referred to as the boy leg brief, the boy short is designed to look more like a man’s brief. Its sides cover the entire length of the wearer’s hips, resulting in leg openings that are situated below the cheeks. This location provides maximum rear coverage and gives the boy short two great advantages. First, visible panty lines are greatly minimized. Second, wedgies are less easily created, making the boy short a popular choice to wear during athletic activities. Sexier variations of the boy short incorporate a low rise.
The Hi-Cut Brief
Also known as the French-cut brief, the hi-cut brief gets its name from the high cut of its leg openings. The amount of fabric covering the hips, between the waistband and the top of the leg openings, is considerably less than that of the traditional brief. As a result, the amount of coverage in the front and back is a bit less as well.
The Court Panty
The court panty is worn by tennis players. Versions that resemble the traditional brief, the modern brief, the boy short, and the hi-cut brief are all available. Each one, however, shares the trademark feature of upside-down pockets that are sewn into the hips. As women’s tennis attire has traditionally consisted of dresses or skirts, rather than shorts, the court panty allows the player to pocket extra tennis balls while serving.
If you’re looking for something with less coverage, consider styles that offer a mid-range amount.
The hipster has leg openings similar to the traditional brief, but has a lower rise. As a result, its waistband rests at the hips, rather than at the waist. This makes it a better candidate to accompany today’s low rise pants and jeans. This silhouette is considered to be the middle step between the traditional brief and the bikini.
The bikini is considered to be the most popular panty silhouette in the world. Like the hipster, it provides a moderate amount of coverage in the rear (not as much as the traditional brief) and has a waistband that’s worn at the hips. However, the amount of hip coverage is smaller than that of the hipster, and the leg openings rise to a higher level – above the top of the thighs. Of course, a popular variant of the bikini is the string bikini. In this silhouette, the fabric covering the hips is replaced with thin straps or strings.
Finally, if you’re looking for the sexiest options, consider the styles that provide the least amount of coverage.
“Tanga” is Portuguese for “loincloth.” The tanga represents the midpoint between the bikini and a thong. It has narrow strips of fabric on each of its sides, and leg openings cut large enough to create 45-degree angles of fabric across the wearer’s cheeks. Many women believe that this is the sexiest silhouette that’s still comfortable to wear.
The thong has become popular as a way to eliminate VPLs; of course, the trade-off is the wedgie that it delivers. Its front consists of a triangular piece of fabric that provides necessary coverage, while its waistband and back are often nothing more than narrow strips of material. The waistband sits low on the waist. In some versions, the vertical strip in the back widens as it gets closer to the waistband. Holding one up, the thong can look like a letter “T” from the rear.
The most revealing panty style is the G-String. Though similar in shape to the thong, its waistband and back are nothing more than strings. As a result, this silhouette provides no rear coverage and can be quite uncomfortable, due to the wedgie factor. But, at least it doesn’t produce VPLs.