The Best Underwear for Eliminating VPL

What is the best underwear for eliminating VPL — particularly if you don’t like thongs?  I’ve gotten a number of questions about this from readers lately (and have seen it recentlyish discussed in the comments), so let’s discuss in a proper post.  Here’s Reader M’s question:

The recent post about bras also triggered me wondering what others wear for appropriate underwear, especially under work pants. I hate thongs, but I find that many “no show” undies still have lines. I am pear shaped so I have a bigger bottom, which works to my disadvantage. I have a few pair of lace Natori and Filomena that do the trick, but they have seen their better days and will need to be replaced soon.

Meanwhile, Reader J wonders:

What kind of underwear do you recommend for eliminating VPL? I just bought some gorgeous but relatively form-fitting pants and I really need some invisible underwear. (I dislike thongs because of the constant wedgie issue.)

Great questions. (Pictured: nothing, as per previous reader requests.)  We’ve talked about this before, with a discussion in 2013 about our favorite lingerie brands, as well as a discussion in 2010 about what unmentionables people like the best.  I’m on the hunt for a great new underwear brand myself, so I thought I’d peruse the reader responses to see underwear brands were mentioned the most in those posts.  (Joanna Goddard also recently asked her readers this question.)  Here are some of the greatest hits among the various posts — readers, do you have any favorites among these?  For those of you who DON’T like thongs (but don’t want visible panty lines), which brands are you wearing?

  • Victoria’s Secret — their Sexy No Show line offers a variety of cuts (not just thongs) and is currently 4 for $28.50
  • Gap — I continue to hear great things about their underwear, but I’m not seeing a seamless line — readers who love Gap, which particular product do you like the best?
  • Aerie (one of my best friends used to SWEAR by this brand!) — Their “seamless” collection offers hipsters and boycuts
  • Gilligan O’Malley (at Target) — the brand offers many types of underwear, including three different cuts of a “no show” panty
  • Spanx — Finally, a lot of people swear by Spanx, I’m guessing with various degrees of wearing a half-leg or full-leg product beneath their legs to smooth out lumps and bumps (and eliminate VPL in the process).  Readers, any favorite products?
  • Hanky Panky — they do offer boyshorts, but I think most people think of their thongs as being very comfortable ways of eliminating VPL (for YEARS I’ve heard this) — so if you think you hate thongs but haven’t tried this brand, you may want to reconsider…

Those are the most mentioned brands that I could find — readers, which are your favorites? 

UPDATE: These are some of the brands the readers are calling out in the comments (not mentioned above):


N.B. PLEASE KEEP YOUR COMMENTS ON TOPIC; threadjacks will be deleted at our sole discretion and convenience. These substantive posts are intended to be a source of community comment on a particular topic, which readers can browse through without having to sift out a lot of unrelated comments. And so, although of course I highly value all comments by my readers, I’m going ask you to please respect some boundaries on substantive posts like this one. Thank you for your understanding!


  1. Soma Vanishing something (lines? edges? the site is blocked for me at work). All i wear. I believe I get the “hipster” cut (more than a bikini, less than a boyshort).

    • Rosa gave me 2 pair’s of COMMANDO COTTON BIKINI’s. They are expensive (Ed paid for them) but they are GREAT b/c even with my TUCHUS, there are no panty line’s showeing! Now If I could ONLEY make my tuchus disappear! FOOEY! Then I could be a MAJICIEAN! YAY!!!!!

    • Bargain hunter :

      +1! Have been wearing these for years and love them. They’re called Vanishing Edge. I’ve learned that you want them to fit on the smaller side rather than the bigger side for best invisible results.

    • I wore thongs every day until I discovered these. Total game-changers.

      I also love the Jockie Skimmies/slip shorts for under pencil skirts and dresses.

    • I have to check these out! I swear by the Hanky Panky thongs, but there are definitely times during the month when thongs are not an option (to me, anyway).

      • I googled and found them at Soma – and was shocked that there is a Soma near me. This has been a big issue for me as I hate VPL and won’t wear a thong. I’ve tried the Victoria’s Secret panties and they still had VPL. Also Spanx panties and boy shorts didn’t help. The only thing I’ve found that works is the longer shape wear – either the smoother that goes up to my bust and down mid thigh, or the pair that looks like pantihose but stops below the knee.

        I’ve tried the Target invisible panties – comfy and cute, but still VPL.

        My complaint about spanx is that I don’t need tummy slimming for the most part – I just want something comfy that avoids VPL. Thanks for this post – I can’t wait to try the vanishing edge ones!

    • I second the Soma ones. Target has some that are very similar – not quite as nice but they’ve held up very well.

  2. Jockey makes a line of what I would call “granny panties” in a smooth, slippery nylon. They cover up my droopy size 10 butt completely so there are no lines across it and the fabric does not catch on my office pants. They come in a fair range of colors.

    • I think you can get these or something similar at Costco.

      • Yes!! Jockey. Its the no p a n t y line promise line. I LOVE them, they are pretty much all I wear. No vpl, no wedgies, pretty to look at (if you buy the bikinis, the briefs are totally in granny p a n t y territory).

    • +1 for these

  3. In the UK/ Singapore/ France – Marks and Spencers do some – I think they have a tencel blend? Anyway, they seem to do the job.

  4. I have found that boyshorts are one of the best, as the leg openings are under the butt where the pant legs tend to widen/become looser. I found that Hanes has some good ones, especially their microfiber ones, as nothing clings to them. I am plus-sized, so I am uncertain if they make something similar in not plus sizes.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Mine always ride up and I get these awkward boy short wedgies where the parts that are supposed to be on my leg are up on each cheek like hipsters.

      • Moon Moon :

        Mine does that too! I thought I was the only one…. I have an oddly-shaped butt (I have a butt from the side, but not necessarily from the front nor back (zero hips)

        • Senior Attorney :

          Yeah, I really wanted to love boy shorts but they don’t work for me at all!

      • Agree – I haven’t found boy shorts that can last me more than 5 minutes.

    • +1 for Hanes boyshorts. I get the plain cotton ones with the wide fake-lace-looking band. Prior to finding these, I had not worn “3 to a pack” type underwear since I was about 12.

      I tried some of the fancier Hanes boyshorts (haha- but you know what I mean: lace, synthetic, etc) and actually did not like them as well.

      For me personally, boyshorts riding up is due to fit – if they are riding up it’s because I need a bigger size.

  5. Kat, Gap has thongs that are similar to Hanky Panky. They’re comfy enough but they are not as nice as the real deal. They also don’t wear as well. I have a few pairs and they just haven’t held up as well over time. VS also has HP-like underwear, and it’s actually very comfortable but again over time, just doesn’t wear as well.

    Obviously, HP is my solution. I don’t like the slinky synthetic material that most “no show” undies are made from, and boy shorts work only sometime – other times I just see the line in a different place.

    • I believe it’s the s*xy lace (stretch lace) line. I’ve bought these for years and found they hold up pretty well (including both washer and dryer usage).

  6. I second the Jockey undies! Also Jockey make a line of under dress/skirt “shorts” called Skimmies. I love, love them. If you are looking for something that just helps with thigh rub and doesn’t compress or suck you in, these things are magical…they are lighter than a bicycle short and are really cool to wear in hot weather.

    • +1 for Skimmies! I am wearing them today. They are super stretchy and comfy and come in bigger sizes and I <3 them! They're like really light comfy bike shorts.

      • I love jockey everything but the skimmies. They were so loose! If I’m going to the trouble of wearing shorts, they better suck something in. I also bought the new line of skimmies, and they were sliding down my butt as soon as I tried them on.

        • Oh I had an awful maiden voyage wearing the new silky skimmies under a dress. Bought my normal size and spent the entire evening pulling them back up. Gave them a second chance under a pair of unlined pants and they were a dream. Looked invisible under the pants and stayed in place. Lesson learned.
          Original-short length skimmies under dresses/skirts. Silky ones under pants.

  7. For work, I wear mostly bike shorts which I think give a nice no-line look. I also wear some from onehanesplace dot com from Bali and also Target’s spanx brand (called Assets I believe).

    Occasionally I wear boy shorts but I think you have to shop around for ones that fit you specifically.

  8. I swear by:
    1. Victoria’s Secret knock-off Hanky Panky hipster lace under*pan*ts (the “Lacie”, I believe it’s called). I have them in black, nude, and leopard and none have VPL and if you get them in the right size and not the size you want to be (ahem), they don’t ride up.
    2. Costco sells some cotton ones in a 7-pack…I can’t remember the brand, but they are just plain bikinis and they are terrific. The edges are some kind of very smooth elastic. Also don’t ride. The S in these is equivalent to the M in the VS Lacies for me.

    Also, I prefer hipster cut over boy shorts for my pear shape.

    • Misscalibabe :

      Omg. I love those Costco ones. They stopped selling them and I tried to find them online but to no avail. They were called It.Se.Bit.Se

  9. I live in Hanky Pankys. I love them. LOVE. And I wasn’t a thong wearer before I tried them. I prefer the modal ones, but own the lace ones too.

    • Me too. Hanky Pankys are uber comfortable and do not go where they’re not supposed to.

  10. embarassed to admit... :

    Ok, so I just learned what “camel toe” refers to, and despite being quite skinny I unfortunately have this problem. I also struggle with panty lines due to being a skinny pear (butt is big relative to tiny top, waist/hips).

    While I have now crossed over to the pricey Hanky Panky world, sometimes I need more “coverage” if you get my drift. Otherwise I have started to learn that most skinny/stretch/low waist styles are out for me.

    Any suggestions from others with the curse of the camel toe?

    • Not being snarky but…buy bigger pants?

    • It’s not from your underwear, it’s due to the fit of your pants. You’re probably buying them too small.

      • Fellow skinny pear :

        You probably need to buy up a size and have the waist taken in. Or find brands that work well for pears (I swear by the Halogen Taylor pants; they are perfect for my shape).

    • I agree. It’s not something you’re cursed with, it means your pants don’t fit right or aren’t cut right. In other words, it’s not a “you” problem, it’s a pants problem.

    • Although it could be a pants problem, I wouldn’t discount the OP when she says it’s a personal body problem. Some women have bigger/more defined “lips” for lack of a better way to describe it. Some women are just blessed with looking smooth in that region. I don’t generally have a camel toe problem with normal pants, but with tight legging-style pants (like the J.Crew pixie pants or even workout gear) it can happen if I’m not careful. Granted, I don’t wear those to work.

      • If this is actually the problem, try using a panty liner – the bit of structure should smooth things out.

      • embarassed to admit... :

        Thanks to all – especially Pancakes!

        Unfortunately, it is one of my many body quirks. The J. Crew pixie is a perfect example of what I cannot wear easily. Low rise, skinny…. always a risk. If I “size up”, then the pants are literally falling off or gaping in the butt. If I wear what is a more appropriate size – no go, without wearing thicker cotton undies… which means panty lines!!

        So anon2 got it…. I put away the Hanky Pankies and find some other pair of undies with a panty liner. And usually risk panty lines.

        Too much sharing, I know I know… forgive me! I will also look for Halogen Taylor pants as well. Definitely higher waist styles are less of an issue. Thanks to all…


        • Tell me about it :

          I have exactly the same problem and it’s due to the cut of some pants. Irritating but so it goes. Lululemon yoga pants, for example, ARE ADVERTISED TO ELIMINATE CAMELTOE….and they give me the worst cameltoe ever. As in my husband refers to them as my Cameltoe Yoga Pants.

          After much experimenting with various pants, I’ve come to the conclusion that (for me at least) it has to do with how the front seam over the crotch is cut. My pubic bone protrudes just a tiny bit more than some girls, perhaps, which pushes out the fabric and therefore pulls it in underneath. So yeah, I know exactly what you’re talking about.

          Never thought of the panty liner idea…I’ll give that a try.

  11. The Commando microfiber bikinis are great. Nordstrom carries them. They have a girlshort style and some cotton options, too.

  12. Anon in NYC :

    Lululemon’s Light As Air Hipsters. I wear them under workout gear (form fitting tights) and you can’t see them at all. I have not worn them under something like jeans, but I imagine they would work well under work clothes.

    • a passion for fashion :

      I normally wear hanky panky, but just started wearing these LuLus to work out and now wear them under work clothes as well when i want full coverage. you cannot see them at all. they seriously feel like you are going commando.

      • TO Lawyer :

        Hmm now I’m tempted to buy these. I love my hanky pankys but they’re expensive (and you can’t get them on sale in Canada)

    • Just curious – do they move around on you? I hate wearing what I think is full seated underwear that then migrates on you throughout the day. Ugh.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      My favorite too.

  13. Gap lace thongs, but those aren’t an option, the hipsters work also hid VPL well.

    But I think this question neglects the bigger issue of wearing clothes that are too tight in the posterior.

    • Agreed. Step 1 is an honest assessment of whether the pants/skirt/dress fabric-in-question is the type that will show lines even if you go up 3 sizes, and you therefore need to find underwear that avoids VPL, or if you’re just wearing your clothing a bit too tight. IMO, for most fabrics, if you “need” to wear a thong, then what you actually need is to size up. The fabrics that truly do show everything, regardless of size, are fewer and farther between.

  14. A couple years ago, someone on this site recommended Naomi & Nicole for VPL-solving panties – they have the silicone gripper lines on the backside. Love, love, love them. Because I’m tall and long waisted, I prefer the lace front hipsters. Available in a number of places, including Kohl’s and Macy’s (on their websites anyway).

    • These are the only ones I wear, and I recommend them to everyone. I think they’re far superior to Commando, and they’re a tiny fraction of the cost.

    • Naomi & Nicole :

      I haven’t tried their panties (now I want to!) but I always wear their bike short-style shapewear with skirts and they are the best! They have the gripper lines, don’t compress too much, are the perfect length and are really comfortable. I started wearing them for a little extra support/coverage during pregnancy and never stopped.

  15. Gap has invisible boyshorts and they are AMAZING.

  16. FWIW, I don’t have a non-thong solution, but I can tell you that the Bare Necessities microfiber invisible underwear boyshort things do not work! Hate, hate, hate. Want to set fire to them. At first they were great, but after two wears, not so much. They bunch up and go where they shouldn’t–which is worse than a thong, because of all the extra material.

  17. The Naked line from Victorias Secret is the bomb dot com for invisible bras and panties!

  18. Uniqlo – their their seamless undies are the best I’ve tried – and they have online shopping too now.

  19. I think what style works best absolutely depends on your body type. I have a wide, flat butt (size 12), and most underwear just rides up, no matter what. The only ones I have found that don’t are these Maidenform boyshorts, and I’ve tried just about every kind mentioned in this post, except the Hanky Panky thongs (I just can’t bring myself to wear a thong.) Anyway, if you have a wide flat butt, these might work for you. They are not very pretty, but they work.

  20. I like the Uniqlo laser-cut ones. No elastic = no VPL.
    The key is that no matter how “seamless” it is, if it is a brief or a bikini cut, or any style where the leg opening is on / across / under any part of the butt, there cannot be elastic around the leg holes in the back. The elastic is what creates the VPL. Boyshorts and hipsters typically have the opening low enough that it’s on the leg, not on the butt, so even if there’s a line it doesn’t show across the butt.

  21. Anonymous :

    Uniqlo seamless underpants; they’re lasercut.

  22. Anonymous :

    I feel weird tallking about underwear, so I will go anon for this one.

    I like wearing matching bras and panties, and because I dress very conservatively I like to have sets with nice prints or lace… and I do have VPL many times.

    So, does any of these brands you are recommending have bras? Or should I buy matching sets with thongs (which I believe is my best option).

    • For the most part, I think you have to buy sets with thongs. Or you could just match colors and/or make them complimentary, but if you’re preference is matching sets, I think that option 1 is your best bet.

    • I find that Natori panties (bliss maybe?) don’t leave a line, which of course have nice matching bras.

  23. Medic Maggie :

    I like the VS Cheeky/Cheekini with lace. Super comfy, no VPL. They do ride a little bit like a thong, but not quite as deep, for lack of a better term.

    The other one that totally works wonders is the VS Cotton Lingerie String Bikini. However, not sure if the new version works (as they are not cotton, and they have elastic along the rear leg). I found a pair on clearance that doesn’t look the same as what’s shown when you search for “cotton lingerie string bikini” The ones that I have are in fact cotton in front, and lace in the back. But, there’s no elastic along the rear leg-hole, so the lace just lays flat across the bum. So comfy, and no VPL. The Pink Lace Back bikini does the same thing too.

  24. Mellifluy :

    Cosabella thongs are pricey, but they’re totally worth it. So comfy!

  25. I absolutely love Hanky Panky, but not so much spending almost 30 bucks on a pair of underwear. I pick them up on clearance when I get a chance.

  26. Victoria’s secret cotton bikinis even work for me (the 5/$27 ones)- there’s very few garments I find myself worried about VPL, and very very few that can’t be solved with pantyhose or a slip.

  27. Hanky Panky boy shorts are actually really no show unless you were super tight fitting pants. I also like Natori Bliss Briefs

  28. Any laser cut underwear, really. Cos the vpl is a seam line, and those are seamless.

  29. I swear by Calvin Klein’s invisible hipsters underwear. The laser cut edges = no lines! And they’re incredibly comfortable and cute!

  30. I love the Gilligan & O’Malley No Show hipsters. On my body they show less panty line than the Victoria’s Secret no-show cheeky, plus at a much cheaper price.

  31. Calvin Klein Invisibles. Cannot see them under dress pants or anything else. They tend not to last as long as some others, but can always get them on sale, 3 for $30. Very comfortable.

  32. I have pretty good luck with VS little shortie cotton undies, though I’m trying to move (slowly) from cotton to merino wool, and the Smartwool/Icebreaker hipster-style undies do pretty well. If you truly need to avoid VPL with a form-fitting garment, a thong is generally your best bet, but being able to avoid it while wearing other outfits during the week helps make those days better. (I feel the same way about stiletto heels, FWIW.) Merino undies? YES.

  33. Calvin Klein makes an invisible line panty. They have them in hipster and thongs! I swear by them. They come in all different colors and hold up really well.

  34. Blue Anne :

    Honestly? I wear boxers. Get the tight-fitting ones and they’re pretty easy to put on smoothly. Any line would be at the top of the thigh, where work trousers tend to be a bit less tight than on the butt anyway.

    My bum has never been warmer.

  35. I may be cheap, but I haven’t bought underwear in years. Well, maybe 1 or two pairs, just to get the freebie coupons. Victorias Secret sends me a free pair every few months. Lace thongs. No troubles.

  36. Patagonia barely bikinis. So comfortable and good for working out too.

  37. I bought the Target ones, and liked them. But they lasted about 4-5 washes before they started stretching out/literally ripping at the seams. Very bad quality, not worth any price (unless you are in a bind and don’t care that they are disposable.)

  38. Thank you for tips!
    I’ve posted your review on this q&a site for smn looking for invisible underwear:

  39. Ashley Nicole :

    My work wardrobe consists of wearing skirts and dresses almost everyday with premium, ultra sheer, nude pantyhose. At 5′-8″ height, I am considered a taller girl and sport hemlines about two inches above my knees while wearing body hugging fashions that flatter my figure. Panty lines exposure has never been an issue for me because I only wear the pantyhose without a redundant panty. Premium, sheer to the waist pantyhose such as Oroblu Different Sheer, give a nude/naked appearance while the cotton gusset makes wear without panties practical and non-restrictive for ultimate comfort while eliminating any fashion faux pas. Donna Karan The Nudes offers the same performance with a control panty.

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