The Underwear Chronicles / Cotton Stretch Underwear for the Curvy Among Us
Comfortable, everyday cotton underwear should be a pretty easy to find, right? Not if you’re a curvy woman. Or a woman who has soft flesh. But I think I’ve found a pair or two that will make most women happy. Even the curvalicious among us.
Hi, I’m Paula and I have an underwear obsession. I’m not just being funny or weird. Well, I am kind of weird about it. After the birth of my first son, I questioned the nurses endlessly, “When can I get my underwear back?” As soon as I felt that familiar maternity underwear all the way up to my rib cage, all was right in my world again.
I always seem to find the “perfect underwear” just as that style is being discontinued. Ugh! I then stock pile them for wear well beyond their life expectancy. I’m serious! I was once down to my last pair of favorite cotton stretch hipsters because my favored style were no longer available in anything but a granny-panty style. It was a hot day and I wasn’t feeling great and just NEEDED the comfort of my favorite cozy panties. (I know this obsession may be a sickness in itself.) I was wearing a skirt but was concerned that if my skirt blew up, a total stranger might be privy to my personal grooming choices. So I strategically used panty liners to cover the time-worn air holes in my precious, if not horrendous under things.
Wish Requirement List
It’s not just ANY underwear that I’m on a never ending search for either. It’s that perfect illusive pair of cotton stretch underwear .
- Above a size 9
- Not to high!
- Not to low!
- Not too tight!
- Not too loose!
- Doesn’t dig in and create John Wayne sized saddle bags or a muffin top where I don’t already have one!
Lingerie Makers, Listen Up!
If you’re a size 9 or above (or should be) in underwear and have searched for underwear you know that our choices are basically in 2 categories. The sexy lingerie style. Or we have the choice of those underwear that look like they came out of our grandma’s undie drawer.
Why, oh why do lingerie makers think that larger, curvy women don’t want the same varied and basic choices in underpinnings as the less endowed? We want comfortable, stylish and modern choices in our intimate apparel!
We don’t all want to wear sex kitten styles every day of our lives.
As the animated Jessica Rabbit says in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, “I’m not bad. I’m just drawn that way.”
We may be drawn all delicious and seductive with our curves-a-plenty, but I for one like to keep the dimpled darlings swaddled in soft comfort.
The Fabric of Our Lives
Why cotton stretch underwear? I love cotton! It’s the fabric of our lives you know? Cotton alone will stretch out and bunch up under your clothes though. Adding a bit of spandex or whatever they add to cotton to make it spring back into shape is genius.
And let’s just talk about the hygienics of cotton. Raise your hand if at any point in your OB/GYN visits your doctor has asked you if you wear cotton underwear. I’m raising MY hand! Without getting too graphic and using the term “crotch rot”, (oops, did I just say that?) let me just mention that cotton is ever so breathable and keeps things kosher down there. Even (or especially) us curvy girls like to keep things less, shall we say, steamy in our neither region. Point blank: I want to keep the stink out!
I don’t need my bloomers to conceal my feminine “moguls”. They make shapers and smoothers for that. However, I am looking for everyday underwear that don’t use their elastic to excavate extra craters into my soft curves. I like underwear that lays smooth under my clothes and not create dents so deep it looks like I might be hiding John Wayne’s saddle bags under my pants. A well designed pair of underwear should stay put, but not create a muffin top that doesn’t already exist.
I have experimented with enough cotton stretch underwear to have found a couple of nice choices for the soft hipped chicks out there. I might mention though, that the search is ongoing. Lingerie makers are continually “phasing out” styles and adding new ones. WHY? I don’t know!
The “IT” Undies
These Natori Women’s Plus Girl Briefs are awesome! They are like wearing nothing at all and come in at a decent price point for women’s underwear, which can be absolutely ridiculous. They have a high enough rise that I’m not pulling them out from under the belly roll over my hysterectomy scar every time I stand up. They are 94% cotton, making them meet all my requirements. They are like gossamer angle wings that won’t dent the soft bits. And they don’t ride up. I wear an XXL but could probably wear the XL as well.
True to my luck, I’m concerned they may be being discontinued. NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! In that one in a million chance that the powers that be at Natori would read this; “PLEASE, I BEG OF YOU for the love of all things un-stinky, DON”T DO IT!”
Another good option, although a bit more expensive are these Hanky Panky’s Plus Size Organic Cotton Signature Lace French Brief. I buy these in a 2X so they won’t create lines. They may bunch up a little more. But I’d rather have a couple of wrinkles and keep things smooth elsewhere.
What Are Your Favorites
Each body is unique and we all like what we like. So don’t give up on your search. You can find less expensive underwear out there.
Since I first published this post I have found these high-rise cotton panties on Amazon and they are very comfortable, very affordable, but the fabric is quite thick. They are a great choice for cooler temperatures though.
Here’s to successful underwear shopping and a panty drawer full of lovely, comfy undies. And a hope to only use panty liners where they were intended. 😉
Your Underwear Obsessed Friend,
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Last year, I discovered Warners No Pinch, No Problem, Modern Brief, and now I won’t wear anything else. I normally wear stretch jeans that I like tight, and never tuck in my top. It was a revelation to discover how much better the jeans stayed up when the waistband of the jean was on top of the waistband of the undies! Jeans that I used to have to “adjust” when I stood up no longer needed adjusting. Warner’s makes the No Pinch in nylon/spandex and for some reason the call the cotton/spandex Women’s Body Heaven Muffin Top Cotton Brief. I have no idea why, as they are the exact same cut. I have both cotton and nylon ones. They never ride up. I get them at Kohls, sometimes Ross, or Amazon. And yes, Paula, I too sort of stockpile, but from reading all the positive comments on Amazon, Warners would be crazy to discontinue this style.
Thanks for the info Ellen. I have tried the Warners No Pinch. Unfortunately I have yet to find them above a size 9. My thighs are pretty thick so I can’t get away with a smaller size. If you can, I also forgot to mention that Soma has some excellent cotton undies – SO SOFT. But it saddens me that with my thicker thigh, they can create a bit of a bulge for me. Some of my favorite discontinued styles were from Bali (those were the panty liner DIY) 😉 and I just retired my last pair of Lilyette Fuller Fit Cotton Stretch Hipsters that I would get a Kohl’s. I still have some of those in the granny panty version that I sought out on Ebay (new) and I still wear those regularly when I’m “needing ultimate comfort”. I’m a weirdo.
I still love my hanky panky butt floss panties the best (the cotton are my fav though), but I have started to wear some boy short styles to bed.
Hanky Panky are good ones Jess. I did find a thong from a company called Hips and Curves that I like. But honestly I still like a hipster or modern brief. However, I did see that Hanky Panky also has this same Bliss Cotton in a boy short. I may have to give them a try. But my thighs are so thick that I’m not sure boy shorts are the way to go for me.
You have completely read my mind! Haha
Ordering these undies right now!
Yay Colleen! Hope you love them. 😉
Wow girl!!! This is quite the post on undies!!!!! I’d never put this much thought in to underwater!!! Great info! XO
LOL Shauna! For us girls with thicker thighs just buying a bigger size isn’t always the answer. I tell you, it IS an obsession. 😉
I have the same obsession…I am loving my Fit for Me by Fruit of the Loom. They are so comfy and don’t ride up and are reasonably priced! I too, stock up. Now if only they would make a bra that doesn’t feel like a harness. Any tips on those??
love your column and words of wisdom!
I’ll have to give those a undies a go Linda! I like to find some good inexpensive choices so I don’t feel like I’m afraid to wear the undies for what they are intended for…. to protect our clothes! XO
I worked over 10 years with OB/GYN docs. Couldn’t tell you how many times I heard them say wear cotton underwear. I found some really comfiest ones by Jeanie. Will have to try these others I too have a whole drawer full of useless ones. So far Jeanies are my favorite.
I’ve never heard of Jeanies. I’ll have to look that up. Thanks!
This is such a great post! It is so weird I follow you on Instagram and never get to your blog! That will certainly change from now on! Thanks so much for joining the Ladies Who Link Up party! Have a great weekend! Peace!
Thanks for checking in Cheryl. Glad you found something here you liked. See you on IG my Fierce Sister.
Excellent post. Checking out the Natori bliss – they are hand wash, line dry. Really? That’s a bit of a show stopper for me.
Hi Dawn. I wash them in the washer with my lights/whites as I’m terrible at reading labels and wouldn’t have bought them if they are high maintenance. I normally hang all my undies to dry anyway but every now and then some escape me into the dryer. I recently dried a pair of the Bliss in the dryer and haven’t noticed any issue. I think in a lot of cases, hand-washing prolongs the life of the garment. I for one will trade lifespan for less work. 😉
Your panty issues sound like my bra issues. lol I am on my last 2 stock piled bras and they are fastly falling apart. If someone would just make a bra that has no padding, but underwire, that doesn’t roll with some back fat issues and straps that would stay on my shoulders I would be so grateful.
Um…. Yes! Yes! and Yes, Victoria. I’m saving bras for their very own post. Heck, I might have to do a couple on bras. Mummy wrapping may be our only recourse! 😉
Paula, I just found your blog and I adore you! You are bold and beautiful and write like you’re sitting right beside me. I’m a senior, but still looking for that elusive perfect panty. I usually wear Vanity Fair Illumination with a cotton crotch and nylon/spandex everywhere else – very comfy, but sweaty in the summer. I stumbled on these recently (all cotton/spandex) and I love them – Fruit of the Loom Fit for Me. Really great price point! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CH3OKYO/ref=cm_cr_othr_d_vote_lft?ie=UTF8&voteInstanceId=R3DPEY4RWB1GGE&voteValue=1&csrfT=gsasWLp8NQaLtBvP%2BPTHZyMOa%2BslXsY%2BdxrX8s0AAAABAAAAAFxfDuJyYXcAAAAA%2B4kUEk%2F7iMGR3xPcX6iU&th=1&psc=1
Have you ever tried Lane Bryant underwear? It’s cute and it fits AND stretches.
Hi Diane! Yes, I have tried on some styles. I have extra large thighs and buns and I only wear cotton stretch because I get too hot (and stinky) in synthetics. Of those I’ve tried on at LB, they either dig into my soft flesh causing extra saddlebags and muffin top or ride up into my crack. 😞 It’s sad because they do have pretty ones.