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What Are the Best Tips for Shopping for Underwear?

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen

Careful shopping for underwear important, as underwear shoppers need to ensure that their underwear fits properly, is comfortable and is in a style that suits the wearer's wardrobe. As its name suggests, underwear is worn under clothing and is not generally seen by others. Despite the fact that it is kept "under cover," underwear can have a significant impact on how a person looks and feels. In some climates, the fabrics used to make underwear can also be important consideration in choosing underwear.

For men, shopping for underwear is often a matter of selecting a fit that they feel most comfortable wearing. It is a good idea to measure one's waist before shopping for underwear so one can have an idea of what size to purchase. In some cases, men may find that they have to try different underwear brands before they discover one that they find most comfortable. As a general rule, people tend to appear more comfortable and at ease if they are wearing undergarments that do not bind or pinch and that allow for free movement.

A woman trying on a bra.
A woman trying on a bra.

Shopping for underwear can be a more complicated process for women. In addition to underpants, most women wear bras which can require specialized fitting. Women's clothing styles may also require the wearing of different styles of underwear, which means that women may have to buy a greater assortment of underwear that can be worn under a variety of garments. Women should always receive a professional bra measurement and fitting when shopping for underwear. This is particularly true if a woman has recently lost or gained weight or had a baby. It may be to a woman's advantage to wear or bring with her the garment or garments she plans to wear when she goes shopping for underwear in order to ascertain whether the underwear is suited to a particular piece of clothing.

Underwear comes in many styles and materials.
Underwear comes in many styles and materials.

For some people, the underwear fabric is very important to their comfort and well-being. For example, women who are prone to vaginal or urinary tract infections may be better off purchasing white cotton underwear which is often less irritating and allows for some airflow. Those who live in very hot climates may also find cotton underwear, including cotton bras, to be more comfortable than synthetic fibers. On the other hand, those who live in very cold climates may wish to purchase long underwear and underwear made from thermal fabrics that can help them retain body heat and protect against wind and cold temperatures.

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Discussion Comments


It's bra shopping that always seems difficult to me. I've got unfortunately large breasts. Yes I know it sounds like a good thing, but once you get past a certain size it just becomes really inconvenient, believe me.

I'm lucky that I've never had many back problems, but if I wear a badly fitted bra it can be really painful on my skin. The straps bite into your shoulder and the back strap can rub on your sides.

Plus, it's near impossible to find bras in my size, at least in sales and things like that. If you have a smallish frame and larger breasts they simply don't seem to make bras for you.

I've found a couple of brands that cater towards girls like me, but they are always really expensive and the bras don't last all that long.

It's enough to make me seriously consider getting a breast reduction.


@Iluviaporos - One problem I find with cotton underwear is that they often aren't made very well. They tend to wear out really quickly and they don't always look as nice as the fancier underwear in synthetic fabrics.

But, I've found there are a few places that make underwear in cotton with a bit of spandex and that seems to be the best of both worlds. They can make them look quite stylish without being too fancy for everyday wear, and have all the benefits of cotton.

But, with the spandex there as well they seem to last much longer. I've had pairs which have lasted a couple of years without looking any the worse for wear.

Considering how expensive underwear can be and how difficult it is to match it, longevity is a pretty big concern for me, but now that I've found a couple of underwear shops which match up those criteria I'm happy.


It's true that you are better off using cotton underwear if you suffer from yeast infections. I think even if you don't have that kind of problem, it's best to stick with cotton for day to day wear just because they are easy to wear, relatively cheap and comfortable.

But, they really are healthier than most other fabrics. I've heard that bamboo is another really good choice. Even when I'm in cold weather and I am going to be wearing thermal underwear, I usually wear a cotton pair underneath.

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    • A woman trying on a bra.
      A woman trying on a bra.
    • Underwear comes in many styles and materials.
      By: Ruslan Kudrin
      Underwear comes in many styles and materials.
    • Cotton panties are often more comfortable than those made of synthetic materials.
      By: Marin Conic
      Cotton panties are often more comfortable than those made of synthetic materials.
    • Bras usually require special fitting.
      By: Roman Samokhin
      Bras usually require special fitting.
    • For women, the fabric of their underwear can be important for their comfort and well-being.
      By: Ruslan Kudrin
      For women, the fabric of their underwear can be important for their comfort and well-being.