How to Choose a Pair of Panties

There’s a lot more to picking a pair of panties than thinking they look cute in the store.


Up next in Lingerie & Underwear 101 (10 videos)

Everything worth mentioning about your unmentionables is in these lingerie and underwear videos from Howcast, including how to know if a piece of lingerie is hot or tasteless; how to measure your bra size; how to pick lingerie that complements your body; how to avoid panty lines; how to pick the right thong; how to wear a garter belt; and more.

You Will Need

  • A butt to cover
  • A selection of styles


  1. Step 1

    Think about comfort

    Decide how important comfort is to you. Briefs, boy shorts, and ladies boxers are the least constricting styles.

  2. If you need to wear a thong, try one with more front coverage, or tangas, which have wider waistbands.

  3. Step 2

    Consider fabric

    Take the fabric into consideration. Polyester provides the most support, wicks moisture, and dries quickly, making it great for workouts. Spandex or Lycra provides the most seamless look. Silk and satin are pretty, but must be hand-washed. Cotton is more hygienic because it’s breathable.

  4. If you like the look and feel of polyester panties, buy ones with a cotton crotch.

  5. Step 3

    Size up your body

    Consider what works best with your body type. To trim your hips and thighs, try boy shorts made with Lycra. To eliminate muffin top, go with a high-waisted Lycra brief or panties that dip in the front.

  6. If you want your legs to look longer when you step out of your clothes, choose a French-cut brief.

  7. Step 4

    Whittle away inches

    Invest in a few good body shapers to wear with unforgiving clothes. Some can squeeze as much as an inch and a half off your waist and hips!

  8. Step 5

    Match waist height

    Wear panties with a waistline at or just under the height of your skirt or pants -- unless you want people to see the outline of your bikini panties under your high-waist trousers.

  9. The waistband of your panties shouldn’t feel the least bit tight. If it does, go to the next size.

  10. Step 6

    Ensure a smooth fit

    If you’re wearing tight jeans, slip on a hipster or string bikini. Both have less material on the sides.

  11. America’s first print underwear ad ran in the Saturday Evening Post in 1911.