35+ Different Types Of Panties & Underwear Styles For Women (And When To Wear Them)

Panties are so ipso facto items for women and one would not expect that there are more than twenty types a woman could choose from.

From that statement, it finally makes sense why there is a whole lingerie line in department stores and why it is a thoughtful gift for any woman.

It also now makes sense why women spend a whole lot of time designing what to wear.

There are various reasons to consider in choosing the best undergarment down there. But mostly, it is about projecting the best outfit without the threat of visible panty lines.

If you are fascinated about the types of panties for women or would want to explore other types aside from your everyday panty choice, then this post is for you.

What are panties?

Panties are basically women’s undergarments which are also called undies or knickers in everyday slang. In terms of structure, panties have three major parts: an elastic waistband to hold it all together and to adjust to sizes, leg openings that are also made of elastic material, and a thicker fabric or material for the crotch area. 

But aside from this now everyday-must-undergarment, panties have not been here since time immemorial. And the use of panties at the time it was introduced was not really for hygienic purposes. It was first worn during the Renaissance period, particularly at the dawn of the 16th century as a chastity device for women. 

According to Yves Saint-Laurent, founder of the fashion line YSL, panties prevented peeping eyes whenever skirts or gowns slipped due to strong winds or when women went down from wagons, horses, and stairs. As such, panties were functional in disallowing men and other women to see something that must not be seen

From that point onwards, the crime of non-consensual intercourse also became a hot topic especially in the elite ranks and amongst diplomats and politicians. Panties were then institutionalized to prevent adventurous men from slipping their hands inside the skirts of women and levied that such lewd acts be criminalized. Hence, aside from giving women hygienic protection, it also gave them social protection from predatory acts. 

A sudden turn of events would discontinue the use of panties. The moralists of the 1800s believed that having a cloth in direct contact with women’s genitalia was immodest and as such, decreed that panties be only worn by small girls and prostitutes. 

We have to note, however, that panties during this time were like French-cut panties, tap pants, or long panties. The panties that we now use and know of, in terms of appearance and size, were only introduced after the first world war as it was more comfortable to use by women medics and nurses. It was also scientifically backed up during that time that shorter or smaller panties are better in preventing women’s diseases specifically in their lady region. 

The best material for women’s underwear?

The most commonly used material for panties would be the combination of fibers, spandex, and cotton. But then again, unlike food and beverages, there are no ingredient sections in the panty box and we do not know what fabrics were used in its production.

As such, some women get allergies in the woman area because of some reactions to specific materials. Here are the best materials used in women’s underwear. 

Cotton

On top of the list is still cotton. Aside from being the default fabric for many garments, it is breathable, soft against the skin, and 100% natural fiber so it only makes sense that it is the top choice for panties. Its only downside, however, is that it might not be that absorbent compared to other materials. 

Plant-based fabrics

In this, we are talking about rayon or modals. They are extracted from plants but are chemically processed. They are extremely soft in texture and are more absorbent than cotton. 

Synthetic fibers

This is where nylon and polyester are categorized. They are mostly used in active wears for easy drying. They are also used in lace and microfiber panties as well as in seamless panties. 

Silk

It is used in expensive lingerie and not so much used for everyday panties. Aside from the luxurious feel, it also has a natural temperature regulating property and is super absorbent. It is super expensive though and is usually featured in designer lingerie like YSL and Victoria’s Secret. 

Now, the debate on the best material is down to these four major materials used in manufacturing panties. They have their upsides and downsides but since they feel smooth against the skin and do the job, we think that these are the best materials for women’s underwear. 

Types of panties for women

There are various types of panties aside from your everyday undergarment and here is a rundown of some of them. This is just a partial list but for sure, we have covered all the most common types of panties for women you could ever imagine. So here is a rundown of the types of panties for women. 

1. Adhesive Panties

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As the name implies, it’s like a larger band-aid with cotton liners and strips of adhesive silicone to put it in place. It will stretch from your tailbone to your lady part. It became a handy tool for runway models but you can also use it for gowns, jumpers, shorts, and pants if you do not want to have visible panty lines. 

2. C-string

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It has a more sensual touch to it and is considered as the new age bikini as it is commonly seen in beaches. But it barely covers the minimum area and it is just a clamping fabric around the feminine area. It is made of polyester, cotton, or mesh. It is perfect for overalls, skirts, bikini tops, tight jeans, dresses, and pants.

3. Thong

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Sexy is written all over thongs but they are also functional in specific types of outfits. Thongs are worn for specific dresses that will be ruined if panty lines become visible. As such, thongs are matched with pencil-cut skirts, slitted dresses, and body-hugging pants and dresses. 

4. Hipsters

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They are typically low-rise panties hugging the waist and with wide hip coverage. They are specifically beneficial for pants especially the low-waist types. Having a couple of hipsters will come in handy in many situations. It is also perfect for overalls, skinny jeans, and fitted dresses. 

5. Bikini

They are like briefs but with less coverage higher leg openings emphasizing the v-line in the hip area. They are the best types if you do not want visible panty lines but comfortable enough for enough coverage, unlike thongs. They are perfect for beach strolling but also for casual and cocktail dresses. It is also good for any type of jeans and skirts. 

5.1. String bikinis

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Instead of the traditional waistband, this one literally has string waistbands. They are sometimes crisscross but most of the time, it is just a single string. It is trendy and super comfortable. It provides minimum coverage making a triangle shape as the strings connect to the groin area. It is perfect for overalls, skinny jeans, slim dresses, and tight-hugging dresses. 

5.2. Caged bikinis

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This one is generally made of mesh cloth. It has strapped sides, a defined crotch area, and a cheeky back cut emphasizing body detail and contour as you walk down the beach. It is a match for a caged bra, tank and crop tops, sarong, cover-ups, and other bikini tops. 

6. Boyshort

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As the term implies, this one is inspired by men’s boxer shorts. It is made of breathable cotton, hence, comfortable and absorbent. It has an elastic waistband but with narrower leg holes. It is at least 6 inches below the crotch area when it comes to length. It goes well with skirts, short or flair dresses. 

7. G-String

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They are often confused with thongs but this one literally does not have the coverage. These are used by women in the military when they go commando. But in everyday attire, it would go well with body-hugging dresses and leggings. 

8. Mid-rise

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This one is perfect for mid-rise pants and skirts. It is less than a high-rise but provides more coverage than a hipster. It will not reach the navel part but gives the best mid-coverage fit. It is one of those panties that will tuck the tummy in. 

9. High Rise

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This one is called the granny undies but it will cover you up to the tummy area. If you are uncomfortable with garter or panty lines hugging your waist to the pelvic area, this is the best panty for you. It goes well with high-waist jeans and pleated dresses.

10. Briefs

They are the panties with the most coverage (front and back). These are usually worn by little girls along with their uniform skirts. They are best worn with skirts and pants. They may show panty lines but nothing beats their comfort. They come in a regular waist, high-waist, or high-cut leg opening. They come in cotton or microfiber materials. 

10.1. Classic briefs

Classic briefs
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This one is considered as your regular cotton underwear usually packed in threes or fives when you buy them from the store. Since it is the ‘everyday panty’, it will pair well with any type of dress or pants. Its only limitation perhaps, are those body-hugging ones which make the panty lines visible. 

10.2. Control briefs

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This one is good for women who have love handles that want to come loose. Aside from being comfortable, it also comes with an elastic waistband to keep everything pouched in. However, this should not be used as a substitute for maternity pants. It goes well with high-waist pants and body-hugging dresses. 

10.3. Tanga Briefs

Tanga briefs
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In terms of coverage, tanga briefs cover more than thongs do but narrower in the v-lines compared to bikinis. It provides minimal cover leading to bare butt cheeks. If you want a panty that is in between a bikini and a thong, this one for you. It is perfect for fitted skirts, dresses, and pants. It will not leave visible panty lines and it is very breathable.

10.4. High-cut briefs

high-cut briefs
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This one is the perfect slimming panty. It has an elastic waistband that tucks the tummy in. It is also good for compressing the belly and can be used for active wears. With its rear coverage and hipster-like design, it will contour the body figure and eliminate visible panty lines. They are perfect for post-maternity outfits, activewear, tank top, high-waist jeans, trousers, and maxi dresses. 

10.5. Brazilian briefs

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This is like a panty hybrid between a thong and a hipster. It has the narrow leg and V-line of the thong and hip coverage of the hipster. It is also trendy with its string waistband and crisscrosses designs which emphasize the pelvic line when you are strolling down the beach. It is used in beaches while you wear your sarong or short shorts. 

10.6. High waist briefs

High waist briefs
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Often coming in cotton, mesh, lacy, and polyester materials, its main function is for tummy compression and smoothening thanks to its elastic waistband. It provides good coverage like hipsters. It is comfy and very trendy. It is a perfect match for high-waist jeans, body-hugging dress, and classic overalls. 

10.7. Long leg briefs

Long leg briefs
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It is also called ladies’ trunk pants. It has an elastic waistband to tuck in the tummy, compress it and smoothen the area. It is stretchable with the longest length just six inches above the knee. It gives a natural contour to the body and since it is lightweight with no stitches, it will leave no visible panty lines if you use it with jeans, tight-hugging dress, and more. 

11. Tangas

Tangas
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They are ultra-lightweight with moderate coverage and panty silhouettes. It has more coverage than thongs though but with narrower lines than bikinis. They are perfect for hot summers as they are breathable and comfortable to use. They are also absorbent as they are made of cotton, lace, or mesh. It is best paired with bralettes, bikini and midkini tops, sarong, slip dress, and harem pants. 

12. Seamless, Cotton & Lace

Seamless panties
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These panties are like cheerleader panties. They are clustered together because, in terms of structure and appearance, they have one thing in common. They do not have stitches, hence, no visible panty lines, but have the coverage of everyday, cotton panties. They are perfect for all types of dresses including sheer dress and any type of pants. They are made of polyester, microfibers, cotton, lace, and also mesh. 

13. Cheekies

Cheeky panties
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This type of panty is said to be a thong with more coverage on the butt area and almost a bikini for its high-cut leg holes. Some styles even have wider hip coverage to prevent visible panty lines. Cheekies are perfect for maxi dresses, pants, jeans, and jumpers. They are also good at contouring the but area making it firmer and fuller. 

14. Butt booster

Butt booster
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If you want some butt enhancement, the butt booster is the best panty for you. It contours the butt perfectly with its silicone foam in the covering the butt area. Alongside that, it also gives a lot of coverage. It is used in activewear, casual and cocktail wear. It flattens the tummy and is perfect for jeans, fitted dresses, leggings, tube dress, and pants. 

15. Cheekster

Cheeckster
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It has a high-cut leg hole and coverage like bikinis and a defined hipline like the hipster. As the name implies, it exposes most of the butt cheek, does not give very visible panty lines, and is comfortable even under skinny jeans as it is made of mesh, cotton, lace, and polyester, among others. It is best paired with tank tops, crop tops, shorts, skirts, pants, body-hugging dresses, and various types of pants. 

16. V Kini

V-kini
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It is like the form and appearance of the bikini but this one is draped with a stretchable lace cover providing cover for the whole waist area up to the back. It is perfect to wear with skirts and dresses as well as for harem pants, petticoats and matching them with bralettes. It is named as such because of its pronounced V-shape in the back and front. 

17. Maternity panty

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They are often made with bamboo fabric. They provide the best tummy support without squeezing the belly too hard. They are practically designed to cater to the changing size and contour of the body while providing maximum comfort. They also have inherent anti-odor characteristics to keep moms fresh all day. They basically go well with any dress including jeans, overalls, and skirts. 

18. Garter panty

Garter panty
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This type of panty is another sexy lingerie for fantasy night. It is generally a lacy, sheer panty attached to two garter belts. They will look like you were straight out of the 60s or 70s. These garter belts in turn hold the attached stockings. It is used for wedding gowns, bodysuits, cage bra, and slit dresses. 

19. String bikini

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This one is the ultimate bikini panty with its trendy, crisscross design on the sides. It provides ample cover in the buttocks and lady areas but showing some skin in the waist area. It is the total balance of sexy but with ample coverage. It is a perfect match with a sarong, crop tops, shorts, jeans, skirts, and dresses. 

20. French Cut Panties

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They also go by the name high-cut panties and their appearance is straight out of the 80s. Their defining characteristic is the high cut on the leg holes and lace material on the edges. They also are high-waist, almost reaching the navel area. They go well with high-waist jeans, long dresses, overalls, and more. 

21. Tap pants

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Like French shorts, tap pants became an undergarment trend and was institutionalized as lingerie wear during the 70s and 80s. They are like micro shorts with a high waist covering both the pelvic and back area. It is usually made with lace or silk and produces a panty silhouette. It is shrink resistant, highly breathable, and is best to pair with camisoles, spaghetti tops, and front tops. 

22. Butt Lifter

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Its function is primarily like the push-up bra. It covers everything except the butt, keeping it firm and in shape regardless of the activity. It has an elastic waist contouring and slimming the body. It is made of spandex, nylon, or lace and is perfect for activewear. It is also handy for casual and cocktail wears like a fitted dress, jeans, leggings, and tube dress. 

23. Open Crotch Panty

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This will really bring in a lot of sensual fantasy to life. This panty is designed for a sexy time as it is literally open across your lady part. It comes with silk, cotton, and lace materials. Leading lingerie line Victoria’s Secret said that this one is also functional to use for overalls and jumpers. 

24. One Side Tie Bikini

It features an adjustable single string closure to take on varying waist sizes with just one knot on the side. It is for swimming or beach sunbathing. It is usually made of nylon, spandex, lace, cotton, or mesh. It would be perfect for a one-shoulder bikini top, sarong, cover-ups, and plunge bra. 

25. Two Side Tie Bikini

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In contrast with the prior type, it has a two-string closure on each side. It is made with crocheted fabric, nylon, polyester, mesh, cotton, and lace. Like the one side tie bikini, it is also perfect for bikini tops, coverups, sarong, and one-shoulder bikini top. 

Conclusion

See? There are more types of panties in the know that what we actually know especially if we are not into these types of details. While it is an intimate list, figuratively and literally, it pays to know that women have an array of choices when it comes to these matters.

It is not just handy for women but also for friends and loved ones who want to give a fun and thoughtful gift to women. Knowing all of these will come handy one way or another and with everything that we covered here, a whole new lingerie line is waving at you. 

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