Auntie SparkNotes: All About Underwear

Auntie SparkNotes: All About Underwear

By kat_rosenfield

Dear Auntie Sparknotes,

Next week I'm leaving for college, but I have kind of an issue on my hands... or... er... other places. You see, for practically forever I've worn those generic, big, white cotton underwear. I'm talking like 7-in-a-pack-sold-in-Walmart underwear.

I've tried wearing cuter underwear that they sell in the junior's section, but EVERYTHING rides up on me and creates even more embarrassing wedgie-picking maneuvers. My choice in underwear has never been a problem, really, since I haven't gone far enough with anyone to expose them. However, in a few days I'm going to have a roommate, a hall bath shared with the whole floor and a laundromat shared with the whole building. It's inevitable that SOMEONE is going to see my tighty whities eventually. Plus, I have no idea if I'll be doing the ol' HND in the next few years and I don't want my undies to be an unwelcome surprise. Should I buy cuter underwear even though they're uncomfortable, or maybe have one pair for special occasions? Or should I just become really good at hiding my knickers? (I've always wanted to use that word.) Please enlighten me!

Hmm. HMMM. HMMMMMM! Well, here's the thing: of course your underwear is a strictly personal decision, and you should wear whatever kind you prefer, and so on and so forth.

But... well, this just won't fly. Because I can't, I simply cannot, send a young woman off to college with a drawerful of giant granny pants and not a single sexy underthing to her name. Especially since there are few more cheaply-bought thrills than wearing cute underwear. And also because I'm pretty sure that there's a direct correlation between feeling good about your knickers and feeling good about yourself.

And also, because even if you're not hooking up with attractive dudes for whom you want to be sporting some hot'n'sexy pants, college is a strange place, and you never know when some total weirdo might sneak into the laundry room, open the dryer holding your clothes, and make off with every last undergarment you own. Which, lest you think I'm just making things up, is exactly what happened when I foolishly left my laundry unattended one Sunday during freshman year.

But don't worry! Attractive underthings and chronic wedgie-dom don't have to go hand in hand. The trick is to trade the high-waisted, full-seated style for a more across-the-hip one. And while wearing a different cut of underwear might require a teensy bit of getting used to, the wide world of undershorts is such that you won't have to sacrifice comfort for cuteness. So, with that in mind, here are a couple suggestions:

1. Thongs

Back in college, one of my wedgie-prone friends finally announced that she would no longer wear anything but thongs—because, quote, "I'm going to end up with fabric stuffed up my butt no matter what, so it might as well be the least amount of fabric possible." (She's a wise woman, y'all.) But in truth, a well-made thong can be just as comfortable as the giant Walmart briefs you've been wearing; the trick is to get one in a material that won't, um, chafe (like Target's Gilligan & O'Malley brand, which are so soft and sleek that I'm 99% sure they're made out of angel wings). And, of course, give yourself a few weeks to adjust to the sensation of your butt being entirely uncovered. But this is easier than you think.

2. Boy shorts or hipsters

If butt flossing isn't your thing, then consider boy shorts. Per their name, these underpants resemble a pair of tiny shorts rather than a bikini bottom—and, as such, tend to stay safely stretched across your cheeks rather than bunching themselves all up in between 'em (especially if you get the kind with cute little legs). Plus they look great on just about every body type. Plus, they don't give you the dreaded VPL (visible panty line) if you wear them with skinny jeans. Try getting them in stretchy cotton-spandex, lace, or mesh; an elastic-y fabric stays in place better.

And there you have it: clever solutions to the problem of wearing cute underthings without getting a chronic wedgie! And whenever you do unveil them—whether it's for your roommate, your boyfriend, or your friendly neighborhood laundry thief—you'll be able to do so with pride.

Got something to say about underwear? Leave a comment below! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at

Related post: What Your Underwear Says About You

Topics: auntie sparknotes, underpants, lingerie, college life, college freshmen, boy shorts, thongs

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