Whether your style is comfy casual (i.e. you live in leggings) or you got it, so flaunt it (we see you skin tight and super short skirts), we all deal with panty lines (well, ok, not if you’re commando Jane but we’ll assume you’re wearing underwear either way here). On the mild side, they’re annoying. On the more serious side, embarrassing.
What are Panty Lines?
What exactly is VPL? Shorthand for visible panty lines, the term refers to any unwanted show through caused by your underwear whether above the waist of your bottoms or through the fabric, typically at the sides and/or under cheek area.
So how can you avoid this fashion faux pas? Use our three pronged approach to battling VPL: know what causes them, look for underwear styles that combat them, and take advantage of some helpful hacks to further minimize show through.
What Causes Panty Lines?
While the cut/style of your underwear choice may seem like the obvious culprit, a few other factors are at play here, namely, the fabric your underwear are made from, and the clothing you’re putting over top.
Lace or Fabric Texture
A textured fabric, such as ribbed cotton or lace, is most likely to create show through as it rises above the skin rather than lying flat. While you may love the detail of these styles, they’re best under heavier weight fabrics to avoid an imprint showing through.
Thick Underwear Fabric
On the flip side, thicker underwear fabric, especially when worn under not as thick clothing fabric, also causes the shape of the underwear to be especially visible. Case in point: most leggings as even a heavier pair isn’t typically weighted enough to offset a panty made from as thick or thicker fabric.
Tight or Thin Clothing
Another reason leggings are among the worst VPL offenders, while comfortable, they’re made to be form fitting. Tight bottoms, especially those made of thin material, show off your curves, but also many underwear styles.
Underwear That Reduces Panty Lines
Key to reducing panty lines, choosing the right underwear style for a particular outfit or pair of bottoms is the first line of defense against VPL. While thongs seem an obvious choice (and can be comfy, we promise!), the classic bikini and crowd favorite hipster can also work, when made of the right materials and cut.
True Body High Rise Thong
A few things are helping our favorite thong become yours: first, the high rise which hits at your natural waist; second, our softest fabric, smoothing True Body microfiber; and third, no elastic or bulky seams. This combination in the True Body High Rise Thong makes it not only invisible under clothes but gives it a truly second skin feel for effortless all day comfort.
True Body All Stretch Bikini
Not a thong lover? We get it. And so does our all stretch bikini, featuring bonded edges that stay in place and seams that smooth rather than show. Coverage that’s invisible, fit that moves with you and softness for stretch combine to provide all day comfort without wedgies or panty lines.
True Body Hipster
A modern day classic, the hipster is sleek but offers a ¾ cheek and lower rise. The same soft True Body fabric smooths and no side seams mean no show through. Available in over 10 colors and up to size 2X, there’s a hipster for everybody, and every body.
Alternatives to Help Panty Lines
Once you’ve matched your favorite pany style to your outfit choice, there are a few extra hacks to further minimize panty lines, including layering tights, adding shapewear and choosing thicker or more textured fabrics. If you really can’t stand panty lines, try a combination of these tricks.
Layer Tights Over Your Underwear
Typically worn in cooler temps, tights have an added bonus of reducing panty lines by creating another layer between clothes. Choose a smoothing, seamless pair like True&Co everyday tights that feature a wide, lay flat waistband which won’t dig in or create bulge. With no seams at the waist, legs or feet, these tights truly are a second skin that shape without show through.
For warmer temps, shapewear comes in many options from shorts to slips and with some styles that come up towards the rib cage for additional smoothing. While we wouldn’t suggest shapewear every day, finding a style that fits comfortably can be an excellent addition to your underwear arsenal.
Opt for Thicker or Textured Fabrics
It may be obvious that looser fitting styles such as flowy skirts and pants typically cause less VPL, but conversely, thicker fabrics, and those with texture, can alleviate the issue as well as these materials help mask what’s beneath. Weather permitting, look to knits or even quilted skirts and dresses and thicker denim instead of clingy silks and sheer linen.
Bottom line: everyone deals with panty lines sometimes, but the right combination of fit, materials and a few tricks up your sleeve can help you achieve a smooth and seamless appearance, and the confidence that goes with it.