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Where To Find Underwear That Doesn't Suck

At times it can seem like every bra on the racks is too padded, too lacy, and too freaking encrusted with unnecessary crap that shows through clothes. But the Fashion Mailbag is here to say: you actually have lots of other options!

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Where can I find comfortable, normal, not ugly underwear for everyday wear? I find it difficult to find things that are not padded or textured, and don't have bows and excess ruffles and other nonsense that makes the stuff show through my clothes.

I love your query. Underwear shopping IS a bitch because as women, I think one of the first brands that comes to mind when we think "underwear" is "Victoria's Secret." Bust just because a brand has enough marketing dollars to be in our faces all the time, that doesn't mean it's for everyone. VS is like a caricature of underwear and the women who wear it — the Kim Kardashian of panties, a terrifying combination of fashion trends (neon, currently) and cliché sexy woman archetypes (French maid, for example), manifested in bras that are so padded they function as a cold, lifeless set of breasts all their own.

This bright yellow bra with double pink straps, a bow between the boobs, and some sort of weird leopard lace embellishment on the sides of the cups costs $58 (I think — it's hard to tell by the price key that comes with the listing for the bra on the site, as though ordering one of these things were like reading a really complicated map of the ocean bottom). The "color" of the bra is even called: "green appletini w/ leopard sling." Well ladies, these are your breasts and you can stand up for them and say they deserve something better than to be stuffed into a bra named after a teenager's drinking game and pushed up to your chin by tiny airline pillows sewn into the cups!

You might try Calvin Klein undergarments, which I love. Look how simple they are:


This bra costs $38. It comes in black, nude, and a neutral pink. Rather than digging through their stock for a bra that doesn't have something the size of a small child sewn into the cups, it's easy to find bras with cups that are simply shaped with foam, or lightly lined, or unlined.

They also have patterned and push-up styles that feel less Jersey Shore than a lot of what's in VS nowadays. This bra is available on Shopbop for $46, for example:

If you want to spend a little more, you might try underthings by Araks, which uses lovely fabrics for simple styles that are very comfortable to wear. See, doesn't this bra look nice and plain and comfy?


As for panties, I'd vouch for any of the above brands, along with this other brand called Commando, which is also easy to find on sites like Shopbop. The idea behind the Commando brand is that it's supposed to keep your flesh from puckering through your clothes and creating unattractive panty lines — and it actually does.

So remember, there are so many more ways than this to wear underwear:


You just don't hear about them as much because they don't make as much noise as well, ↑ this ↑.

Related: The Vintage Vs. Modern Bra Showdown