Sponsored Post from Freshpair: Avoiding the VPL

Blue Freshpair Static BannerThis post is sponsored by Freshpair, but written by your regular blogger, Kat Griffin.

Comfortable underwear that doesn’t show “visible panty lines” (or VPLs) can be difficult to find — and trial and error can be a problem.  Still, I think that any working woman does need both of those factors — first, comfort (there are few things more distracting than a pair of uncomfortable underwear) and second, invisibility beneath clothes (because yes, some of your colleagues will notice your panty line, and really, do YOU want that guy down the hall to know whether you’re wearing a bikini, thong or boyshorts?).

Readers, which are your favorite brands and types of underwear (both for comfort and lack of VPL)?  Some of my favorites are after the jump…

Modal Boy Short with Lace TrimI am now obsessed with everything Hanky Panky.  I had a few of their thongs before, but this modal boy short is super, super soft and very comfortable.  Hanky Panky also offers thongs and hipsters made out of a t-shirt material that is ridiculously soft, with a lovely, lush color.  The modal boy shorts (pictured) are $32; the t-shirt thong is $20 (3 for $49), and the hipster is $32 (2 for $49).
Cotton Hip-GOnGossamer is another favorite — I’ve bought a number of their Hip-G thongs through the years, but I think this is the first cotton one that I’ve owned. It’s extremely comfortable, and holds up well in the wash. It’s $16 at Freshpair (buy 2 for $30). Cotton Hip-G
Sublime BoylegThese Felina boylegs are also among my favorites from the FreshPair shipment — again, soft, comfortable, wearable, and a bit more affordable than the Hanky Panky or OnGossamer panties. These are $12 at Freshpair (buy 3 for $33). Sublime Boyleg
Microfiber BoyshortsThese Maidenform boyshorts always used to be my favorite — but I vastly prefer the cotton version to the microfiber one (and they seem to have discontinued the cotton version, boo.)  Still:  even the few the microfiber pairs that I own are incredibly comfortable and lay well (read; invisibly) under clothes.  These boyshorts are $10 at Freshpair (3 for $27). Microfiber Boyshorts

Full Disclosure: Freshpair was kind enough to send me a number of pairs of underwear to try out and write about, free of charge. The ones listed above are my favorites, in accordance with the Corporette Review Policy.


  1. I wear Spanx every day like I would underwear since they have a cotton crotch and come in so many variations (footless, tights, hose, mid-thigh, underwear). I will say that I cannot tolerate a thong – feels like an all day “wedgie” that I can’t get rid of, and the Spanx boy shorts seem to roll up and gather at the top of my thighs where it meets my hips (could be all boy shorts for that matter). So, to eliminate VPL, I stick entirely to variations of Spanx depending on what I am wearing, and love them!

    • Does this mean you wash them every day or do you have enough pairs to last you until laundry day?

      • I have A LOT of them (Nordstrom Rack has/had a great selection for a reasonable price) and then wash and hang dry at the end of the week. But I probably have 25-30 in various styles/versions. Plus for the most part, they hold up for quite a while.

  2. I have the Maidenforms listed and like them, but the lace causes VPL issues with certain pairs of pants. Some tend to ride up in the thight as well- I have more ample thighs. Maidenform has a new microfiber boy short without the lace that seems to do a bit better about not riding up. With pants, I still often end up wearing a thong and with skirts I will wear the Spanx-type shorts.

  3. Hanes microfiber boyshorts. I don’t see them as much as I used to, but they are fantastic – light, full coverage, and they come in enough shades to masquerade well under lighter bottoms. If only they had a cotton crotch…

  4. When wearing tights or hose, I do not wear additional underwear. As another comment mentioned, they have a cotton crotch and I wash them after each wearing anyway. I find that this eliminates all VPL.

    If I am wearing pants, I wear hanky panky thongs or occasionally On Gossamer bikinis. I find that the hanky panky thongs are completely comfortable, unless the pants are too tight. I’ve learned that I can actually use this as a tool to determine whether a pair of pants is a little too small :)

  5. Unfortunately (or fortunately for the species) “that guy down the hall” will still wonder if you’re wearing a bikini, thong or boyshorts, no matter if there is a VPL or not. Just my opinion.

    • HA!! So true! Then, he’ll check out your boobs.

    • A guy friend of mine commented once “I love it when a woman has no panty line, it makes me wonder if she is going commando, wearing a sexy thong, etc.” So – – – to some, no vpl is more scandilous. I have simply stopped worrying about it. I won’t wear black panties w/ white pants or anything, but if the edge of my underwear leaves a faint outline you can see through my pants, eh, so be it.

      • soulfusion :

        I just had this conversation with a friend over the weekend. We both agreed thongs are flat out uncomfortable (regardless of what some of you may say, they don’t work for me). So, I avoid anything obviously rumpled/bunched/sticking out/etc but otherwise, it really isn’t a secret that I wear underwear.

        • Glad to hear multiple women feel this way. I just don’t think pantylines are so awful that I should go out of my way to disguise them.

          • I think there’s a difference between “you faintly see the outline” and “it cuts your butt in half, forming a really weird silhouette”. The first kind I don’t worry about; I just make sure that my underwear isn’t distorting the shape of my butt.

      • Just wanted to say…no disrepect to Kat/Corporette. I LOVE this blog. Just that I think VPL-avoidance is more for other women than to keep men from “wondering” things. I personally wear spanx or pantyhose (with no underwear), under pants and skirts, respectively, to limit VPL. Spanx may be overkill but they keep me from worrying about what is showing, riding up, etc., and reduces post-age 50 jiggle.

        • I agree. Of all the things we have to worry about, why are VPL’s such a big deal that we have to look for crazy expensive underwear to deal with it?

  6. Silk thongs! I haven’t worn regular underwear in 10 years.

  7. I loved the cotton version of the maidenform ones you posted. I wore them with my bias cut silk wedding dress and no VPL… which is saying a LOT. Lately though, my go-to undies are actually UnderArmour boyshorts. I originally got them to work out in, but now I love them for under trousers. No VPL, super stretchy, excellent moisture management. Only problem, they’re crazy expensive ($20+) so I only have a handful of pairs.

  8. Funny Butt :

    Is my butt just misshapen? Boy shorts give me the worst weggies.

    • soulfusion :

      same problem here – just seems like there is more fabric to creep up and in – not to mention rumpling at the top of the thigh. These don’t work for me.

    • I really think it depends on the type of boyshort – I make sure to get the ones where the crotch does not have a vertical seam in the middle. The ones that do are just awful.

  9. They discontinued the Maidenform boyshorts always in cotton?!?!?! Well that sucks.

  10. I’ve recently become a fan of the Victoria’s Secret “Lacie” line. They are surprisingly soft, stretchy and comfortable and I do not have issues with VPL. I like the hipster style (or is it called hiphugger?) but they have several others.

    I hate thongs; always have. I have a couple which I have to bust out for a very few outfits, but they are the bane of my existence. All day wedgies – no thank you.

    • Wait isn’t the Lacie a thong?
      I like it except it comes only in one size and that size is too big for me :(

      • No – there are bikini versions, and I’m a fan as well. I only have VPL issues with a very few pairs of pants.

  11. Anonymous :

    Why don’t men have to worry about VPL? Shouldn’t underwear show through fabric regardless of gender?

  12. Anonymous :

    I love Gap Body underwear! Cotton, comfortable and no thick band to cause VPL. It’s cheap (5 for $25 usually) and comes in tons of colors and styles so you can choose what works for you.

  13. I just bought some undies this past weekend — hard to find cotton pants that match w/solid, cream colored, tan or black bras. I’ve decided that even if no one sees it (often!) I’d still like to look cute and match.

  14. New Attorney :

    I have an underwear problem that no one else has mentioned. I need something of a high waist, more for the sides than for the tummy. Many low-riding underwear give me the appearance of small love-handles or are just not flattering under clothing, but I also don’t want to wear granny panties. I tend to do mostly boyshorts, which I love, but are there any other options? I’d love to wear a thong, but every time I buy one, it creates the love handle problem or digs in at the wrong (read: unflattering) place. I am not overweight or anything but I am also far from a size 0 so I am a bit at a loss. And the idea of wearing spanx every day seems . . . uncomfortable to say the least (how do you all go to the bathroom wearing spanx–whenever I wear them I avoid going to the bathroom since it takes so much effort to pull them on and off). Help!

    • I am high-waisted too, and I wear hi-cut panties. They are cut much higher on the hip than briefs, but the waist comes up as high as briefs. Not sure if this is what you’re looking for, but it works for me.

    • Anonymous :

      Have you tried stretchy lace or mesh underwear? They seem to dig in less in unflattering areas (if at all). This is especially the case with thongs, but seems to be true for hipsters and boy shorts as well.

    • You might want to re-think the “granny panties.” I have a pair that I bought at Macy’s, the brand might be Vanity Fair, and while they do have a different look- I tell myself it’s a vintage vixen look- they are great for eliminating that love handle panty line. They not only have a high waist, but they also come down lower on my bum so I really have zero panty lines. I like to wear them under certain dresses so I don’t have to worry about VPL. Mine are some sort of blend, cotton crotch, and have a fun lace print.

    • If you are having that much problem with your Spanx, you might want to try a bigger size. I find that my “correct” size provides excellent compression, but is uncomfortable. If I size up, I still eliminate VPL but don’t have to struggle to take them on and off.

      • New Attorney :

        Thanks for all the responses. Can any of you steer me towards some specific lines/brands? Thanks!

        • You may want to try Jockey’s “No Panty Line” – I think they have both hiphugger and hi-cut briefs. The fabric is pretty comfortable and they do seem pretty good at cutting VPLs.

  15. I love Mary Green’s silk knit boyshorts. The lace on the edges prevents pantylines better than thongs, and they’re much prettier. They’re also surprisingly durable, and don’t give me wedgie issues, despite my predisposition for that kind of thing. But wait for one of their clearance sales- I’d never pay that much for underwear otherwise.

  16. I like the super-thin laser-cut hipsters from VS…they keep changing the name/line of them, but if you dig around you can find them during sales.

  17. Women’s jockey. I’ve worn for years. I have a generous fanny and there is little or no VPL. I wear the aptly named no panty line model. Cotton crotch, super comfy.


  18. I like the super soft boyshorts from GapBody…they were out of them a few months ago so i bought ‘thicker’ ones and these do NOT work well underneath clothes because they are so thick. luckily i went last weekend and they had a bunch of new ones in…and they were all 44% off due to the president’s day sale! they are very thin and dont ride up much on me. however, i wear thongs 95% of the time, the lace one size fits all from VS. i like them because they dont dig into me bc they are in fact ‘bigger’. but still on a search for seamless thongs ….if anyone has suggestions!

  19. Doyoulikeyeastinfections? :

    The Maidenform boyshorts are EXTREMELY uncomfortably. The crotch is abrasive, they ride up constantly, and the fabric…is just nasty. Few things are as gross, unsanitary, and unhealthy as underwear that don’t breath. I meant to buy the cotton and bought the microfiber by accident. It’s really nasty even for microfiber and they went straight into the garbage. Gag.

  20. I have 2 suggestions, both of which I use on a regular basis. The first is french knickers, ideally silk.
    The wide, soft legs do not show through my skirts and dresses.
    The second option is even better. I have a couple of thin, very sheer dresses which shows everything beneath. My solution is to go commando. I do this quite often with other skirts and dresses. Just be careful how you sit and bend. Your other half will love it.

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