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Here’s the good news: There’s no expiration date on the best women's underwear.
But there will come a time when you’ll need to retire your favorite pair. You can try and extend the life of your underwear by washing your delicates separately, Carolyn Forte, who covers textiles at the Good Housekeeping Institute said. "It’s a good idea to wash underwear separately, using the hottest water possible that’s safe for the fabric.” Forte also suggested adding a bacteria-killing laundry sanitizer to the wash.
Though if the fabric is eroding and getting thinner, if you notice small tears or holes, or if the elastic gives out and is no longer stretchy, it's time for that underwear to go.
To make underwear shopping easier, we asked top fashion editors for their recommendations for the best underwear for women in 2021. Here are their favorites.
The best underwear for women, according to fashion editors
“I love these undies. They’re so lightweight and comfortable, they basically become a second skin, preventing any embarrassing panty lines. The fabric is perforated, allowing it to breathe, and contains a quick-drying, moisture-wicking technology. The edges are laser-cut — which guarantees the underwear stays in place in all the right places. Trust me, once you try these, you’ll never look back.” — Sarah Ball, market editor, People Magazine
“Visible panty lines make me cringe, but thongs aren’t exactly my go-to for an everyday undie. My solution: these miraculously undetectable, stay-put-no-matter-what panties. I’ve SoulCycled in them, chased my kids around every NYC park in them and even worn them during segments on TODAY in my most form-fitting dresses! They feel like a second skin, they never budge and are truly invisible. I defy you to find a sleeker skivvy!” — Lori Bergamotto, style director, Good Housekeeping
“Ever since multiple celebrity stylists started swearing by Commando's cotton seamless thongs, so did I. You can wear them under everything from jeans to a form-fitting, black-tie gown. They are insanely comfortable due to the lack of elastic, which also promises no VPL (visible panty lines)! I would suggest going out and buying every color immediately." — Lauren Eggertsen, fashion editor at Who What Wear
“These are my go-to daily panties. So comfy I forget I’m wearing them, but they never sacrifice form for function thanks to the lace trim. In terms of a daily panty, it’s an elevated basic."— Sarah Conly, executive fashion market director, Cosmopolitan
“These are by far the most comfortable underwear I've ever owned. I wear them under everyday clothes, as pajama ‘shorts,’ and for everything in between! They feel great under clothes and look great as well.” — Olivia Muenter, senior fashion and beauty editor, Bustle
“This is my go-to style to wear under dresses. Not only are they comfy and chic, they give your bum and hips a smooth silhouette. I also love that they are invisible, even if I am wearing a thinner fabric. But, the best thing is that they never ride up, which is everything when you’ve got some curves.” — Erica Metzger, beauty and fashion director, Better Homes & Gardens
“I'm all about comfort. In fact, if I could live in a T-shirt, I would — and these soft and comfy undies are the next best thing. They come in a variety of colors and sizes from XS to XXL. As a mom of two, I'm also a big fan of the full coverage.” — Melissa Brown, freelance beauty and fashion editor, Family Circle
“These nylon and elastane briefs have become my daily go-tos. They're laser-cut and have no seams, so they're as invisible as a thong, but much more comfortable. I received them at a press event and since then, they've become a wardrobe staple of mine. They come in various shades of nudes, grays, black and white — I have them in every color.” — Natasha Wolff, Editor, Bergdorf Goodman
“There’s no such thing as a visible panty line when you’re wearing this seamless thong. It’s soft, comfortable and makes for the perfect everyday underwear.” — Lauren Fisher, market editor, HarpersBazaar.com
“I love these undies because they never ride up, and I'm not adjusting all day! Super comfortable.” — Kristen Saladino, executive fashion director, Hearst Women’s Lifestyle Group
“I'm obsessed with this company, Else Lingerie, whose founder Ela Onur grew up working in her family's lingerie business in Turkey. The simple lace pieces are well-designed and constructed. I bought several pairs of the Petunia high-waisted briefs, inspired by vintage pin-up styles, at a recent pop-up shop in Los Angeles. They are super flattering, thanks to the stretch mesh panels and corded lace that create a slimming effect — so chic.” — Rachel Marlowe, a Los Angeles-based style writer for Vogue, Hollywood Reporter and CNN Style
“They are incredibly comfortable — like a second skin — and super soft!” — Brooke Ely Danielson, fashion and lifestyle director, Shape
“This line started as a menswear brand and quickly had a big celebrity following. When they launched women's, I was excited to try them out. I can honestly say they are the most comfortable, softest, seamless briefs I've worn and I love the modern color palette. They are great for every day and for working out. The company even has a 'Best Pair You'll Ever Wear or It's Free' guarantee. Once you try them, you'll be hooked.” — Dana Avidan Cohn, executive style director, PopSugar
For more undergarment guides, check out:
- Are you wearing the right bra? The 9 bras every woman should own
- The best shapewear for every outfit, according to style experts