Open Thread: What’s YOUR Favorite Lingerie for Office Looks?

2018 Update: We still stand by this advice on lingerie for office looks, but you may also want to check out our most recent roundup of the best lingerie to buy at Nordstrom.

Here’s something we haven’t talked about in far too long: what’s your favorite lingerie for office looks? Which are your favorite bras, panties, slips, and other unmentionables to wear with work outfits? What’s your go-to lingerie for work? How much does your office lingerie differ from your weekend lingerie? (And, does anyone organize them as neatly as this lingerie drawer organizer, pictured, available at Amazon for $13?)

For my $.02, these are general guidelines for the best lingerie for office looks:

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  • The best lingerie for the office is unobtrusive — I’ve always preferred simple t-shirt bras, with no seams or lace. (To be honest the seams bug me more than the lace!) Some women would put “light padding” in the list of requirements for office lingerie, so as to hide any “headlights” — but I say know yourself.
  • Go simple for any lingerie that might be seen (such as a camisole you’re wearing to raise the neckline of something), you want it to be simple — avoid mesh, lace, and other boudoir influences.
  • Fit is key! Regarding bras: at no point during the day should you have what I call “the quad boob look” — if your bra is cutting into you so it looks like you have four breasts, odds are good your bra is too tight.  Keep in mind that most of your support should be coming from the band, not the straps — know also that if your straps keep falling off your shoulders you can either get them tailored or even buy lingerie just for petite women. (See more tips regarding fit in our post with style tips for busty women.)  Regarding panties: yes, your panties can be too tight, and no, it isn’t a good look.

Some of my personal favorite lingerie:

Readers, let’s hear from you — what’s your favorite lingerie for office looks? What is your favorite lingerie in general these days? Here’s an easy thing to cut and paste, if you care to play along:

  • Bras:
    • Regular/office looks
    • Dates:
    • Comfort:
    • Workout:
    • (Sleep, if you wear a bra for sleep):
  • Panties:
  • Shapewear:
  • Other:

Psst: In the past, we’ve talked about the best underwear for eliminating VPL, shared tips for bra care as well as workwear style tips for busty women, and of course wrote the Guide to Pantyhose for Work.favorite lingerie for office looks

What is the best lingerie for office looks? We talk with Corporette® readers about what's in their lingerie drawers -- which are their favorite bras, panties, and shapewear, to wear to work and beyond!


  1. Anonymous :

    Has anyone tried True & Co.? I hate to reward Facebook ads but I’ve seen it so many times I’m tempted to give it a shot. I tried Third Love (which I saw on Facebook but also read about elsewhere) and really liked the Classic Full Coverage bra – basically their ugliest option – but I didn’t care for their T-Shirt Bra, which is cuter. I haven’t tried the pretty lace ones because they’re sold out in my size.

    • Anonymous :

      I have – and I’ve had some pretty good recommendations from them on styles that suit my shape (that’s their shtick). I really like their Grammercy balconette (i have 3 colors)

  2. You can sometimes see the line on my bra. It’s like the edge of it gets flipped out a bit or something. Is that just a matter of the age of the bra? I do think I should replace them more often . . . .

  3. Playing along :

    –Regular/office looks: Some kind of VS regular push-up, nude
    –Dates: The extra push up VS kind, black (or braless)
    –Comfort: braless
    –Workout: any sports bra will do, although I’ve been trying to up my game with fabletics et. al.
    –(Sleep, if you wear a bra for sleep): nope
    Panties: 5/$20 at target (but why are the thong crotches so loose?!)
    Shapewear: only for my Karen Kane faux wrap dress, to keep the jiggle under control

  4. Anonymous :

    Is sleeping in a bra common?

    • I think this is something busty women do. I don’t, but, 34A, so why would I.

      • I dunno, I’m pretty busty and the very idea of sleeping in a bra sounds awful, mostly because the ones I wear all day are so….engineered? that my ribs need a break! I have “leisure” bras (love that term) like a coobie, but only find those necessary in rare instances.

      • I’m a 34D and have never slept in a bra. I need some breathing space.

        • I agree. I never slept in a bra, but I did wear one (pureley for defensive purposes) when Sheketovits slept over, b/c he would always paw me at night with his greazy fingers, and I did NOT like to wake up finding his dirty hands all over my boobie’s. But now that I am rid of him, I have also gone commando (top and bottom) while sleeping b/c there is NO ONE in my apartement to cause me any concern. When my relatives were here from Eastern Europe, I did wear bra and panties (SPANX), b/c they had a peculiar habit of walking in on me, whether I was in my bedroom, the bathroom or my office (bedroom). They said in their country, it was accepted to see their relatives without clotheing. I told them that was NOT the case in the USA, and that I had NEVER saw my dad without his pant’s on. FOOEY, b/c I would NOT even want to think what that even looked like and where it had been b/f mom. DOUBEL FOOEY!

      • Anonymous :

        Ah. I don’t and I’m a 32D, but I’m also 5’8″, which is quite different than a 32D on someone who’s 5’1″.

        • sweetknee :

          I am a 34D, and often sleep in a bra, especially if I am going to be lounging around in PJs the next morning for a while. I have lost a lot of weight, so the “girls” are lots less perky than they used to be.

          • +1 to this (except for weight loss; go you!) re: lounging. Lounging is when the soft casual bra comes in handy for me. 36HH here.

        • 36DD/DDD and I would never sleep in one – it’s super uncomfortable when I occasionally fall asleep on my sofa in a bra due to its structural engineering. That said, I also never chill around the house without one because that’s also uncomfortable! Basically the girls are restrained if I’m awake and not in the shower or bed.

      • 36H, 5’8″ and do not.

      • I’m a 34 DDD and I definitely do not. I also walk around my house naked.

      • Squiggles :

        42K (in US sizes). Unless it is stupid hot, I will sleep in a cotton uni-boob crop-top type undergarment/bralette.

        This is mostly because I tend to wander around in my jammies on weekend mornings and like keeping the ladies a little under control.

    • Anonymous :

      I did it while nursing to hold nursing pads and contain leakage.

    • 30DDD, I sleep in a soft sports bra. Somewhat so they aren’t flopping all over the place, and somewhat just for coverage as I walk around the house before bed and in the morning. I work out in a structured underwire sports bra, but sleep in a wireless soft pullover from Target.

    • Manhattanite :

      30DD. I got in the habit of wearing one when I was bf’ing. I feel so droopy when I’m not wearing a bra that I feel uncomfortable walking around without one. So I like having a wireless one when I’m sleeping so I’m ready to deal with whatever my kids throw at me as soon as I wake up.

  5. Folks on this site recommended the Calvin Klein wireless bras and I. Love. Them. They’re inexpensive and insanely comfortable. Not especially cute, but I have tried many, many extremely cute bras and spent all day wrestling with them and I refuse to do it anymore. I don’t have different bras for office or date, and I don’t wear one to sleep.

    I like lululemon for sports bras.

    Underwear: Soma all the way.

  6. Anonymous :

    Any good panties for a size 14 with a belly? Not looking for shapewear, prefer cotton or a cotton blend, actually stays up all day. No thongs. Because they belong to the devil.

    • Jockey french cut. Not exciting, but works on a “pooch” and very reasonably priced. Comes in many colors suitable for work (or not), including packages of three in cream, blush, tan, taupe, and chocolate, depending upon what comprises “nude for you”.

      • Anonymous :

        But they feel so sad and grandmotherly.

        • For work I want comfort, coverage, coordination, and no VPL. Few things are more annoying during the workday than undies that won’t stay where they are put. I save the super cute stuff for evenings and weekends.

          I do find their briefs heinous, but the french cut are more flattering, as are the bikinis (if they work on your body type).

      • Wait, why would one color of underwear be any more suitable for work than any other? Who is going to see it??

        • I always worry about wardrobe malfunctions at work (e.g. skirt rides up or down or gets caught on a chair at court, waist on pants gaps, shell pulls funny etc.), so I like to coordinate to skin tone or clothes at work. YMMV.

    • lipstick! :

      I love on gossamer mesh boyshorts.

    • I really like these.

  7. Freeeeeeeedooooom!!!! :

    You really do not need to sleep in a bra. Let your boobs breathe for a change. And this is coming from a very small band + very big cup sized woman.

  8. St. Louis meal delivery? :

    Could anyone recommend a meal delivery service in St. Louis? A coworker is due with her second child in a few weeks and we want to send something from the team to acknowledge the occasion. Meal delivery seems ideal, like a couple of casseroles or lasagna. Where I live there’s a chicken pot pie place that would be my go-to but they don’t ship that far. Any suggestions for restaurants or fancy grocery stores that would do this kind of thing?

    • Gourmet-to-go (in Ladue) isn’t a delivery service, but like Art of Entertaining below, they have a bunch of full meals that you can just pick up easily.

    • Not fancy, but PostMates for carry out from nearly anywhere, or maybe just grocery delivery from Instacart. Depending on what stores are near her home, you might get meal delivery. I live in the City, both deliver to me.

  9. Anon for this :

    Not a meal delivery service, but gift cards to Art of Entertaining in Webster Groves might be a good choice if your coworker lives reasonably close. They do full meals “to go” with salad, entree/s, sides, bread and desserts. We did a lot of takeout from there (they have a great Monday night special) when my son was small; the Monday special usually was enough for us for two nights.

  10. brokentoe :

    Any good recs for vanishing edge panties? I used to do the Naomi & Nicole ones but they no longer make them. Invested in several pairs of Soma ones, but despite buying a size Large as the sales person suggested (I’m 5’9″ and a size 8/10), I’m finding after about 4-5 months of wear the seams are tearing at the top of my thigh/hip seam. At $15 to almost $20 a pair, that’s crazy to me. I actually returned a couple pair after about 2 months, but now other pairs are having the same issue. Any other suggestions?

    • Depending on the shape of your behind, you might like laser cut hipster style workout underwear. Tons of companies make them. Personally, I find that the hipster cut doesn’t stay all the way down and eventually creates a kind of quad-cheek situation that is just a no, but I think this is because of the way I’m shaped. I have tried a number of brands and have sincerely _wanted_ to like this style because I found many that were quite comfortable but it’s just not a good cut for me.

    • anonlawyer :

      lulu lemon makes some super lightweight ones that you cant see under anything. i love them

    • I just purchased Victoria’s Secret ones, and I love them. I’m not usually a VS person, but they did great – no pantylines. I’m about a size 10 right now (up from ~8 prepreg) and wearing size L. They go on sale (7 for $28 or something like that?) – be sure to wait for a sale, otherwise they’re stupid expensive.

  11. Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

    I don’t distinguish between office/comfort/dates bras. I have tons of colors of bras, some with lace, some without. I wear whatever works with the outfit I am wearing. I have a mixture of VS and Natori. I don’t wear bras at home because I am a 34 B. For working out, I particularly like the North Face one called Bounce-B-Gone. Does what it says.

    For undies, I still like VS cheeksters and thongs. Hard to give them up since they fit so well, and they seem to last forever.

    I don’t use shapewear. I bought a Spanx thing that went from below my bra to below my butt, but I have never worn it. This may sound insane, but our career services offices recommended women wear shapewear for OCI. It didn’t seem to do anything for me except fall down, make me hot, and give me weird cramps.

  12. I’ve seen it mentioned a lot on this site before, but reddit’s /r/abrathatfits was a game changer for me. Going from “34D?” to 30FF was amazing, and being able to feel comfortable in my bras (as opposed to wearing boob hats) was great. My size has fluctuated a ton in the 5 or so years since discovering it, and I’ve been able to keep my ladies happy through it all – including weight loss, gain, pregnancy, and BF.

    Specifically for working out, I love Lynx sports bras – been using them for 3+ years. I’ve been an avid runner and they keep everything contained and well supported. Measure using their size guide as the sizing is strange.

  13. in-house tech lawyer :

    Chantelle is my favorite for elegant basics, especially t-shirt bras–my breasts are too wide-set for some of the other large-cup brands (I love Cleo’s fun styles but the shape doesn’t work for me). They make a range of nude shades for different skin tones as well as some gorgeous embroidered styles. Fantasie works for me too, for styles with a bit more color/print. Pour Moi is nice for styles that are flirty/sexy but not so frilly that it’s obvious under clothes.

    Sports bras: I swear by the Panache Wireless; the wired Panache shape did not work for me but the wireless is still supportive enough for intense workouts, even at 36F. For weekends if I’m wearing a top where my bra might show I have some less supportive but prettier stretch sports bras (because a bralette is not going to cut it).

    Panties: basically all of mine come from Target, which has a cornucopia of underwear. The lacy ones tend to fall apart in the wash but everything else holds up pretty well, and they even have some good seamless neutrals that go under anything.

  14. Anonymous :

    T-shirt bras are the way to go. For sports bras, I actually like the ones that have slim straps and padding. I picked some up on sale in Kmart. For panties, try TJ Maxx or Marshalls. You can get seamless ones there for relatively little. $15-$20 for a pair of underwear is nuts.

    Also, since so many dresses are no longer lined these days, I think a slip is critical. I don’t do shape wear. If the dress looks bad one me with no shape wear, then I won’t buy or wear it.

  15. For a small a cup – On Gossamer brass are the only thing that doesn’t leave visible lines for me.

  16. notalawyer :

    I’m actually so small chested I don’t need a bra, the only reason I wear anything is for coverage. Like we are talking XS size bralettes from aerie or VS. I still have troubles keeping the lacey bits from peaking out from my tops, my mom who has always been super conservative over clothing says not to worry about it as I have no cleavage to show. I still feel self conscious about it though. I really have no options other than wearing terribly unflattering crew neck tops all the time. I’m still fairly large in the shoulders despite being completely flat chested and sometimes need to size up it my shirts because of it. Help!


    I used to rely on VS’s Body bras, but found I could get a Warners t-shirt bra that was just as comfortable for half the price. Their sizing appears to be consistent too, so I can just grab one off the rack and buy it without needing to try it on first.

    • another fan :

      I also love Warner’s bras and the matching undies. I swear they’re the only things that actually stay put and fit my shape.

  18. I have been a range of sizes. After weaning my babies and 20 pounds ago, I used to wear a 34B (also before I got measured). At the time, I wanted to look fuller and I wore push ups. Now, I wear a 32DD or 34D and I only wear push ups with certain outfits for date night. I am tall so I am not busty, but by the same token I have no desire to add boob volume. I generally wear t shirt bras. I love lace. My favorites are the Victoria’s Secret Body By Victoria Demi bras in 32DD as well as the ThirdLove tshirt and balconnet bras. I like them in 32D1/2 but will also wear a 32DD in them – especially the tshirt bra. I also like the basic Victoria’s Secret T-shirt bra in 34D. The balconnet runs a touch bigger.

    • Forgot – for panties, my favorites by far are from VS. I wear the cheekiness and cheekinis. I only wear silly underwear unless it is period time. And my underwear HAS to match or coordinate with my bra. I feel weird if they don’t at least coordinate.

  19. The Madison bra by Prima Donna. I have tried lots of other bras over the years, but invariably wear my Madisons more than any other. So the last time I needed new bras, I bought 5 black Madisons, 1 nude one (I wear black clothing most of the time, so the nude is for the occasional time I need a non-black bra). Done. It was the best investment into life simplification I had done in a long time (and at $125 a pop, it was an investment). I kept two older Madisons to wear around the apartment/on weekends. For working out, I use the Freya sports bra – I own three of those. Totally worth it.

  20. Spanx bras are my go-to bra for most situations, as the hosiery band is incredibly comfortable since there are no seams or scratchy elastic to chafe. Unfortunately the top line of the cups do tend to roll over a bit so they aren’t my most invisible bra under thin shirts, but then again, I machine wash them (in a lingerie bag and air dried, but just thrown in with a normal load of clothes).

    I wear no VPL briefs from M&S most days, which are reasonably priced and as good as any. I’ve found there is no such thing as really no VPL in the very thin and stretchy clothes nowadays, but I’ve decided not to care too much. Thongs are awful, especially when you have hormonal issues requiring protection more days than not.

  21. When it comes to dressing for court, I always wear a camisole or tank top, regardless of neckline on the blouse. This keeps the blouse from touching your skin as much, which means it will last longer and need to be washed less.
    The bras I prefer are Ambrielle. Their convertible strapless bra, though I never wear it strapless at work, as a wide band which supports very well. It also keeps unsightly gaping from being apparent.
    I daily life I love to wear boyshort style panties, but that doesn’t work under slacks or a pencil skirt. Generally, bikini cut or thongs (awfully uncomfortable) tend not to leave lines and you can find them much cheaper than those “no-lines” panties that are hit or miss.
    For shapewear–though I honestly don’t consider this shapewear–I wear corsets with most of my outfits (except for sheer white shirts). This is useful because it keeps you supported while sitting at a desk or walking around. Of course, it can vary how long you can wear them and how comfortable anyone might be in them (I’m never uncomfortable in them). On top of being support, it also creates a smooth line under your clothes. For the bottom edge that sometimes creates a line, I usually wear sliders/compression shorts under. But this whole set up is generally hard to pull off in the summer, in which case a mesh corset would be recommended. Orchard Corset has some cheap ones that are good for work, though of course there are more elaborate ones you can order from other places.

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