From minimally covered styles like thong underwear and mens briefs to full-coverage options such as high waisted underwear and mens boxers, there’s a perfect answer to the question, “What kind of underwear should I wear?” for everyone.
What Underwear Should I Wear? The 4 Most Sustainable Options
Before we get into the best type of underwear for your lifestyle and body type, we need to address what your underwear is made from. That’s because not all underwear is created equal: some fabrics are better for your body and the environment than others. To start off on the right foot, you need to know the most sustainable fabrics for underwear available today:
1. Organic Cotton
While regular cotton is natural and better for your privates than synthetic underwear, when it comes to the sustainability of organic cotton vs cotton there’s just no competition: organic is the way to go. That’s because organic cotton doesn’t use pesticides to grow, puts out far fewer CO2 emissions than regular cotton, and uses less water, too.
Another all-natural fiber, linen is a popular choice for sustainable underwear. That’s because it’s completely biodegradable, durable, and is naturally moth-resistant. On top of that, it makes for good antibacterial underwear, naturally absorbing moisture and repelling all signs of funkiness.
While Tencel isn’t exactly natural (it’s a brand-name regenerated fiber made from eucalyptus pulp and chemicals), it’s still pretty darn sustainable. Here’s why: manufacturing Tencel requires even less energy and water than it does to make cotton, plus the manufacturers who make Tencel are able to recover and reuse about 99% of the chemical solvents they use.
I saved the best for last: when it comes to the most sustainable underwear, hemp just can’t be beat. Here are some of the top reasons why, though there are many more:
- Hemp has some of the longest and strongest natural fibers in the world, making it one of the most durable fabrics out there. This means an extended life for your undies, and less need to replace them so often.
- Hemp vs cotton: both of these fabrics are completely natural, but hemp uses far less water than cotton and actually enriches the soil it’s grown in, while cotton doesn’t.
- Hemp vs linen: while hemp and linen are both great choices for antibacterial underwear, hemp doesn’t require herbicides to grow, while linen does. Plus, hemp is ranked higher than linen for biodiversity, making it better for struggling ecosystems (including bee populations!).
- Hemp vs Tencel: for one, Tencel isn’t a natural fiber, which isn’t so great. On top of that, Tencel must be treated with harsh chemicals and requires much more energy than hemp to make.
What Underwear Should I Wear? Women’s Best Options
For the ladies wondering, “what type of underwear should I wear?” I’ve got you covered. I’ve rounded up the most popular styles for women so you can decide the best type of underwear for your unique needs. There are many factors that influence this decision, so I’ve provided insight into what sets each style apart, who they’re best for, and what to wear them with.
High Waisted Underwear
What: High waisted underwear is just what it sounds like: the classic bikini cut you know and love, but with a high waist that extends up to the belly button. These have exploded back into popularity with the rise of high-cut jeans and pants.
Who: Perfect for women who want a little extra tummy control, or prefer the feel of high-cut waistbands.
Wear with: high waisted jeans, pants, and skirts.
What: Hipster panties are low rise and provide extra coverage on the sides, so they strike the ultimate balance between cozy coverage and a little sexy cheekiness. Hipsters are a classic style, making them an enduring addition to any well-rounded underwear drawer.
Who: Ideal for women who want some extra coverage on the hips, or like a little cheekiness without baring all.
Wear with: Everything! But especially low rise pants and athletic shorts.
What: Bikini underwear are low rise like hipsters, but provide less coverage on the side and even more cheek exposure, making them a tad sexier while still delivering lots of comfort and coverage.
Who: While bikini underwear is flattering for any shape, women who like to bare a little extra skin will prefer bikini to hipster underwear.
Wear with: Anything, but especially great under shorts and breezy pants, or during warm weather.
What: Thong underwear is the king (or rather, queen) of cheeky underwear! You know what I’m talking about: thong underwear fits like bikini underwear in the front, but bares all in the back.
Who: Perfect for when you want to up the sexiness factor, or when you need to avoid panty lines at all costs.
Wear with: Bodycon dresses, pencil skirts, and tight pants.
Boy Shorts Underwear
What: Boy shorts underwear are pretty much the opposite of thong underwear: they’ve got plenty of coverage and added length for a shorts-like fit. This style of women’s underwear was inspired by men’s boxers and is very functional.
Who: Best for women who prefer maximum coverage, or like to lounge around the house in their undies. Hey, I don’t judge!
Wear with: dresses and skirts for the extra coverage, on their own to lounge, or even as activewear.
… And Don’t Forget Your Other Underwear!
What: I’m talking about bralettes, of course. Your outfit isn’t complete without the right hemp bra to keep your chest safe and secure. My favorite picks? The racerback bralette and triangle bralette.
Who: Both bralettes are great for all ladies, though the racerback cut offers more support for large breasts and the triangle cut offers a skimpier style that screams fashion-forward.
Wear with: Toss your racerback on under workout clothes or an off-the-shoulder sweater, while your triangle bralette will look great under t-shirts, tank tops, and dresses (plus, the straps are convertible).
What Underwear Should I Wear? Men’s Best Options
Don’t think I forgot about you, men! If you’ve ever scratched your head and thought, “what kind of underwear should I wear?” then you’ll need to check this out. I’ve compiled the most loved underwear styles for men below so you can decide what to fill your underwear drawer with depending on your activity level and body type.
What: Mens boxers provide a great balance between breezy comfort and subtle support. They’re cut like a pair of shorts, so try it out and throw on a pair of boxers! They won’t feel like you’re wearing constricting underwear, but they will leave your privates feeling totally protected!
Who: Perfect for men who want loose and comfy underwear.
Wear with: Sweatpants, athletic shorts, to sleep or for lounging (or for your lady friend… yes, girls wear boxers, too!)
What: Mens boxer briefs are like boxers in that they’re cut like a pair of shorts, except they fit tight to the leg for added support and protection. Boxer briefs are essentially a hybrid between boxers and briefs, making them one of the most popular styles of mens underwear.
Who: Great for guys with a more active lifestyle who need more support than boxers, or those prone to chafing.
Wear with: Jeans, athletic gear, workwear.
What: Trunks underwear are similar to boxer briefs: they’re cut like shorts and tight to the leg, but they’re shorter than boxer briefs. This creates space for greater range of movement, plus some men just like a shorter fit.
Who: Ideal for men with a slimmer build or those that want a little more flexibility in their day to day.
Wear with: shorts with a high hem (so your undies don’t peek out!), jeans, workwear.
What: Mens briefs are the original underwear option for men, with a triangular shape and all-around snug fit. They’re a classic for a reason: they deliver supreme protection and support and go with just about everything.
Who: Perfect for men with a very active lifestyle, or those who want to prioritize protecting their package.
Wear with: tight pants (to avoid bunching hemlines) and athletic gear.
Conclusion: What Underwear Should I Wear?
For any well-rounded underwear drawer, you’re going to want a variety of underwear styles to choose between depending on the rest of your outfit and what you plan to get up to that day. So the simple answer to the question, “what underwear should I wear?”
Whatever type of underwear feels best to you! What’s most important is that you choose underwear made from durable, sustainable, and ethical materials. And when you choose hemp underwear, not only are you making the right choice for your health, but for the planet as well.
In your opinion, what’s the best type of underwear? Have you tried hemp underwear yet?
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