Types of Underwear for Women

Like bras, underwear and panties are key essentials in any wardrobe. The foundation of every outfit, the perfect underwear can be a major confidence (and comfort!) booster. With so many options to choose from—like cuts, fabrics, and fits—choosing the best ones for you can be overwhelming.

Pick Your Perfect Pair

The outfits you choose determine which panties to wear. Let’s be honest, the right (or wrong) pair can make or break your look. Good news: SKIMS designed the perfect pair for every outfit.
Our underwear options:

1. Briefs
2. Tanga
3. Boxers
4. Thongs
5. T-Strings
6. Boy short
7. High-Waisted
8. Shapewear

What’s the best style for you? It depends on the cut, opacity, or level of cheekiness you like. Choosing the right pair can be tough, and that’s where we come in! Consider this your underwear 101.

Women’s Briefs

Briefs are all about comfort and coverage. They come in a range of rises with lots of front and back coverage. They have an easy-wearing fit and feel, making them great for all body types. Some pairs even come with added core control to smooth and support.

Coverage level: Full coverage.

Wear briefs with: Mostly anything! As long as your outfit isn’t body-hugging (to avoid visible panty lines). We love wearing ours with mid to high-rise waistbands and looser styles like cozy joggers.

SKIMS recommends: Sculpting Mid Waist Brief

Check out our brief collection to find your next favorite pair of everyday underwear!

Shop Women’s Briefs

Women’s Tanga Underwear

Similar to the brief in its general shape but with less coverage, bikini-cut underwear and Cheeky Tanga styles typically have a lower rise on the hip and a higher cut on the legs. Tanga styles are similar to women's bikini underwear in offering the least amount of leg coverage, because the front and back of the underwear are attached by a thin piece of fabric.
They're usually designed with the same casual fabrics as briefs (cotton, microfiber, and nylon), but also the more delicate ones like lace and mesh.

Coverage level: Medium to full coverage in the back, light coverage on the hips.

Wear tangas with: Bikinis are versatile and pair well with almost any look. Wear with jeans, lounge shorts, or layer under control top hosiery.

SKIMS recommended: Cotton Jersey Cheeky Tanga

Shop Women’s Tanga Underwear

Women’s Boxer Underwear

Traditional men’s boxers hit at the mid-thigh area and women’s boxer underwear hits the middle of the thigh. The only difference: women’s boxers are usually more form-fitting. They give you coverage in your lower stomach and full coverage over your thighs.

Coverage level: Full coverage

Wear boxers with: They’re great for flowy skirts and dresses or for kicking chafing to the curb (whether it’s caused by the fabric or from your legs rubbing together).

SKIMS recommended: Boyfriend Boxer

Shop Women’s Boxer Underwear

Women’s Thong Underwear

Thongs are designed for minimal coverage, with a T-string in the back to avoid visible panty lines. Like the bikini, it sits three inches below the waist, with the sides hitting right at or above the hip bone. They come in different fabrics, from cotton to lace, so you can wear them every day or on special occasions.

Make sure to pick the right material or size for your body for the most comfort. Opt for cotton or nylon-spandex blends for a soft stretch that doesn’t tug at your skin.

Coverage level: Minimal to light coverage.

Wear thongs with:
Thongs give minimal coverage, making them the perfect choice with tighter outfits. Wear them with tight leggings for a no-show look around the hips and thighs.

SKIMS recommended: Stretch Rib Thong
Check out our thongs for a seamless fit you'll love.

Shop Women’s Thongs

Women’s T-String

Similar to the thong, T-string underwear gives minimal coverage and no panty lines with a super thin strip of fabric. T-strings tend to be made with more delicate fabrics, including lace and satin.

Coverage level: Minimal coverage.

Wear T-strings with:
No back coverage is great to avoid visible panty lines. Similar to thongs, they’re a great choice for second skin-fitting outfits—including form fitting slip dresses.

Shop Women’s String Thongs

Women’s Boy Short Underwear

Boy shorts have a rectangular shape with fabric that hits right over the thigh. Boy shorts don’t have as much coverage as a boxer, but are still super comfortable. Fabrics tend to be cotton, microfiber, and nylon (all soft and breathable!).

Boy shorts come in a variety of hip heights with more coverage in the back than a hipster or brief.

Coverage level: Medium coverage.

Wear boy shorts with:
Looser clothing, because they'll provide the most coverage. Pair them with loose skirts, flared dresses, roomy jeans, and loungewear.

SKIMS recommended: Fits Everybody Boy Short

Check out our boy short collection for a super comfy and snug fit.

Shop Women’s Boy Shorts

Women’s High Waisted Underwear

High waisted underwear gives you great lower stomach coverage, hitting you right above your belly button. This style provides full coverage in the front, but not always in the back. Some high waisted styles have cheeky or thong backs, and others are full coverage.

High waisted underwear always gives you smoothing comfort and support for your middle.

Coverage level: Full coverage.

Wear high waisted underwear with:

Dresses provide smoothing support for your midsection, high waisted pants, or form-fitting skirts.

SKIMS recommended: Body Basics High Waist Thong

Shop Women’s High Waisted Panties

Women’s Shapewear Underwear

Shapewear comes in a variety of cuts depending on where your body needs support. Wear shaping shorts with fitted skirts to smooth your lower stomach and thighs. Opt for backless or low back bodysuits or slips under unique dresses that are cut low in the back.

Coverage level: Medium to full coverage.

Wear shapewear with:
Shapewear comes in a variety of cuts depending on where your body needs support. Wear shaping shorts with fitted skirts to smooth your lower stomach and thighs. Opt for backless or low back bodysuits or slips under unique dresses that are cut low in the back.

SKIMS recommended: Seamless Sculpt Low Back Thong Bodysuit

Shop Women’s Shapewear Underwear

Types of Underwear for Every Body

From thongs to briefs, every pair of underwear serves a specific purpose. No matter what pairs you love the most, always have multiple styles ready in your drawer!
At SKIMS, we design underwear for a wide range of styles, inclusive sizes, and beautiful colors. Our pairs are unbelievably stretchy, lightweight, and fit like a second skin. Each piece gives you a comfortable fit with a barely-there finish—perfect for every body.

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