Skip to Content

StarFREE! Wardrobe Checklist Download + Weekly Newsletter DOWNLOAD

The Best Undergarments For Women

The most impactful yet often overlooked category in many women’s wardrobes is their undergarments.

And I get it. It can be overwhelming and expensive.

But the proper, well-fitting foundation pieces will change how your clothes fit for the better.

When I worked with private clients and took them shopping for new clothes, our first stop was often the lingerie department at Nordstrom.

Here, I would have my client get a proper fitting; she would pick up a few everyday bras, maybe some shapewear, and anything else she might need to freshen up her underwear drawer.

This experience gave me a lot of insight into the best undergarments for women.

The good news is you don’t need a lot, just a few go-to pieces.

The Best Undergarments For Women

Best Undergarments For Women

With an assortment of better basics and a handful of items for special occasions, you can drastically improve how you look in your clothes and feel confident every time you leave the house.

I talk at length about where to save and where to splurge when it comes to your wardrobe.

Women’s underwear, for me, is an investment. Buy the best quality you can afford, and you will be astonished at how much better your clothes fit. 

I’ve tried dozens of brands over the years and I can tell you that the better quality undergarments wash and wear the best.

That doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune.

The Price Difference 

You DO NOT have to spend well over $100.  Like everything in retail, quality doesn’t always scale with price point.

So, unless a $210 bra is going to magically lift and reshape my postpartum boobs over time, I’ll put my money other places, thank you. 

A good price for a bra with support is about $70, give or take. But I’ve got some less expensive recommendations below.

Get Your Fit Right 

Before we dive into recommendations, I implore you to get a bra fitting. 

I’m just as passionate about the importance of well fitting undergarments as I am about having your clothes tailored.  It’s a game changer. 

When our bras don’t fit correctly, we throw off the shape of our body.

Bras do a lot of work. The “lift” we get from a high-quality bra brings the girls back up to where they started and in turn, gives us back our waistline.

Scroll to the bottom for my picks for the best undergarments for women. 

Better department stores have specialists who are trained to not only measure you correctly, but they also understand how brands fit. 

Like clothes, bras fit differently depending on their cut, shape, function and manufacturer. Working with someone who is educated in this area is incredibly helpful. 

You can also consider going to a local lingerie shop as you’ll also get personalized attention working with an expert, and you’ll support a small business. 

There are also brands who sell online whose website will help you figure out your size. More on that below.

Your Underwear Has a Shelf Life.

I have to say this because after working with private clients for over a decade I saw everything, and a lot of women are holding on to foundation garments well past their prime. 

Your underwear has a shelf life. 

This shelf life varies depending on how frequently the garment is worn.

The consensus from industry experts is that your bra will last six months to one year, depending on how many bras you own and how frequently you are wearing them. 

A bra that you wear less frequently, like a strapless or convertible bra, will last longer. 

Remember our breasts change all the time. If you have recently lost weight, gained weight, had a baby, are breastfeeding, just stopped breastfeeding, are in perimenopause or just out of menopause, have a new bra fitting to see if what you are wearing still works for you. 

When it comes to other undergarments, shapewear will last as long as it works, and that depends on how often you wear it and whether or not you are caring for it properly.

I have a few pairs of Spanx I only wear on occasion and have had them for years.  

Same with camisoles, and underwear.

The better you take care of these pieces, as long as they fit, you should get at least a year or more of life out of them. 

Below are my picks for the best undergarments for women.

I rounded these up based on what’s worked for me and clients over the years. Of course, if you have a personal recommendation, add it in the comments below! 

The Best Undergarments for Women 

Best Bras

Best Bras

Let’s start with some bra recommendations.

I’ve gathered these through personal use, what’s worked for clients, and feedback from our community.

When in doubt, always buy nude-to-you bras.

Brands are FINALLY starting to be more inclusive with their color selection, recognizing that nude for me is very different from nude for someone else.

Note, when I say “nude” I mean, nude-for-you.

For maximum versatility, choose whichever “nude” is suitable for you.

I buy all of my staple undergarments in neutral and black.

And I avoid white because it shows under tops.

Remember this when going to a formal event. For example, if you wear a white bra under a black top and are photographed, you will see the bra through the top in the picture.

Let’s start with T-Shirt Bras.

These are your everyday, go-to bras.

The best one I’ve ever owned is the Third Love 24/7 Classic T Shirt Bra. Available in a range of inclusive colors and sizes, for $72, this bra is a powerhouse, with over 50,000 five star reviews from customers.

If you prefer a wireless option, give their 360 Fit Wireless Bra a try. It has remarkable support.

Third Love has really disrupted the undergarment industry, creating their own proprietary sizing quiz on their website to help you find the perfect fit for your body type.

For something less expensive The Wacoal Women’s Basic Beauty Contour T-Shirt Bra is also very comfortable and great quality. It comes in a ton of colors and a wide range of sizes. It’s available on Amazon for under $40.

A third runner up is this tee shirt bra by Natori, which I wore for years before discovering Third Love.

Need a Strapless and Convertable option? The Wacoal Red Carpet Convertible Strapless Bra is all you will ever need.

It stays up all day and night without the need for constant no tugging and repositioning.

If you are full figured and need a specialty bra for extra support, consider the FREYA Idol Underwire Balconette Bra for $70. It comes in three neutrals and black, and it gives phenomenal support.

Sizes are UK so check the translation on the product page.

If you need a full coverage bra, Third Love also gets rave reviews for their 24/7 Perfect Coverage Bra, in an inclusive size and color range.

We’ve also heard from readers who need a minimizer and recommend  Simone Perele, $103 at Bloomingdales. This will give support and take you down about a cup size.

Starts at a 32D and only available in rose and black.

Finally, if you are looking for a comfortable bra without an underwire, I recommend the Olga Women’s Easy Does It No Bulge Bra.

This is my work from home, no fuss, under a sweatshirt bra and it’s only $20 on Amazon.

Underwear

best Underwear for women

Underwear is really personal so I’m not going to go into too much detail.

If a pack of Hanes that leave everything to the imagination is your jam, go for it. That’s your personal preference and there’s no shame in that!

Personally, I have two styles I’ve been loyal to for years.

For me, the Hanky Panky Original Lace thongs are hands down my favorite pairs.

I stock up on them once a year during a Nordstrom sale, in nude and black and I’m all set.  They are pretty, wash incredibly well, maintain their shape and are super comfortable. Plus, there’s no visible panty line.

When I want a pair of underwear with a little more coverage and I’m not worried about panty lines, I like the Spanx ‘Fit to You’ Brief. They are comfortable, high quality and show no VPL.

I don’t know how it works, but they offer one size fits all in regular and plus.

And I’ll tell you, as I’ve gained and lost weight, they magically fit the same.

I also like their Thinstincts® 2.0 Brief, $48 and Undie-tectable® Brief, $24 or 2 for $38. You can see my full review here.

Shapewear

best shapewear for women

Call me crazy but, I don’t mind wearing shapewear.

And over the years I’ve tried all of them, from the most expensive to discount brands, and Spanx always comes out as the winner.

To keep things smooth and maintain a little modesty under things like wrap dresses I love the Spanx Thinstincts® 2.0 Girl Short.

These come in a range of neutral skintones and black (if you’re wearing a black dress, it’s best to match your shapewear to the dress instead of your skintone.)

With sizes from a XS – 3X.

Other times, when I need something more serious, but also something that still feels good on, The Spanx OnCore High-Waisted Mid-Thigh Short is where it’s at.

This is their most powerful compression piece, also in sizes XS – 3X in a range of neutral skintones.

It runs small so size up.

When I wear something like a fitted sweater dress, this is what I have on underneath.

Camisoles

With all the sheer and semi sheer tops on the market, a nude cami is essential – but they are not easy to find. 

Years ago I bough this v-neck cami by Hanro and it’s fabulous.

It stays in place and is lightweight so you don’t feel like you are adding bulk with another layer. This is what I wore under a sheer(ish) button down.

But I probably wouldn’t rebuy it since I recently tried the Spanx Social Light Cami ($42) and it’s awesome.

It’s also more size and color inclusive. Note that the Spanx Cami will hold you in, where the Hanro tank will not.

And I hate to say it, but the SKIMS Soft Smoothing Tank is really nice.

It’s light and soft on the body while staying in place. It’s also seamless so it’s truly invisible under tops. Under $40 in regular and plus sizes.

Of course, we want to know some of your can’t-live-without, favorite undergarments.  Tell us in the comments below!

The Best Undergarments For Women
235 Shares

Related Posts

 Join Megan Kristel for a comprehensive, 3 hour long, LIVE Virtual Workshop sharing personal style and shopping tips for women over 40 on March 31, 2023.

MEET THE AUTHOR

Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

Never Miss a Post

Enter your email address below to sign up for our newsletter and get your free copy of our Wardrobe Essentials Checklist sent to your inbox.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Jean

Tuesday 14th of February 2023

Can you make some recommendations for those of us that are smaller - I am 34AA and it’s really hard to find something that fits and is not really expensive.

Kelly

Tuesday 14th of February 2023

What do you recommend for wireless bras?

Kelly White

Thursday 3rd of October 2019

The only undergarments I will wear are Soma vanishing edge modern brief. No panty lines, no crawling up, they stay put. I’ve recently lost 75 lbs and when I was a size 2x I still loved the Soma panties but I preferred the retro brief as it didn’t roll down. I have replaced my bras with Third Love and love the 1/2 size option.. Finally, pretty undergarments that fit well for those of us who have acquired wisdom through age!

Tammy

Monday 13th of May 2019

This was great, thank you! Any suggestions for shorts that aren't shapewear - I like the option of dresses in the summer (easy on, no brainer) and since we're active in the park, etc. I prefer a short so I'm not embarrassing myself! I don't always want (or need) the squeeze of Spanx, but the last shorts I bought (randomly from Amazon) just aren't great. Thanks!

Megan Kristel

Saturday 18th of May 2019

Hi Tammy! Yes! Try these boyshorts by spanx, they say they are shaping but I don't find them confining at all. This is what I wear under lightweight dresses in the summer, especially all of my wrap dresses. It helps me feel a bit more covered.

Simone

Sunday 5th of May 2019

I have found that my lingerie lasts much longer if I wash it in a garment bag and air dry. That way it never gets tangled and stretched out and the elastic doesn’t break down in the dryer heat. Thank you for a great blog !

Megan Kristel

Monday 6th of May 2019

Thanks! and yes, those little lingerie bags are great!

Peoniesandpearls

Tuesday 30th of April 2019

Hey! It might be good to include a note about the difficulties that women of color have when finding “nude” bras for context—they often can’t find bras that match their skin tone so they face the same problem that white women wearing a white bra with a dark shirt has when being photographed but with any shirt. Mentioning this makes all of your readers feel included and valued, helps change the industry, and means that more people can identify with your writing so you can grow your readership base. Win-win-win!

Megan Kristel

Wednesday 1st of May 2019

Thank you, Great point! I usually refer to "nude" as neutral-to-you, since not everyone is "beige." I should have called that out. I honestly just assumed that at this point, within most of these brands, there would be assortment of colors, which is really naive on my part. I don't understand why as an industry colors choices have not been expanded to cover all skin types, to your point, inclusion would only make things better for everyone.

I recently ordered a few bras from the brand ThirdLove,I haven't worn them long enough to give a full review, but people love them and they come in fantastic range of colors. I'll do a review of them in a few months.

Patrice

Tuesday 30th of April 2019

Hi Megan,

Amen to good bras! If you invest in the right fitted bra, people might suspect you had some work done. I lost 100 lbs about 10 years ago. I used a bra fitter every time I dropped 20 pounds. It makes such a difference. The woman that fits me is A-mazing.

Great post, Patrice

Mel

Tuesday 30th of April 2019

Thank you, Megan!! This was so helpful :)

Tracy Gray

Tuesday 30th of April 2019

I too do not like Victoria Secret bras. But I did find one of the best bras I think I have ever had at Aerie. I was measured and I found a perfect fit. I love it and have gone back for several more.

Katherine Ryan

Tuesday 30th of April 2019

Thank you for this!

Maddy

Tuesday 30th of April 2019

Thanks Megan. I found this really helpful, particularly your comments around investing in pieces which might last. I am one of those women who needs a push in terms of underwear shelf life.... I can feel some online ordering coming on.

Amanda

Tuesday 30th of April 2019

As I am quite a bit older, I prefer full cover panties from Soma (Their Retro fit is wonderful). Thongs are not in my wardrobe. Plus their invisible range shows NO panty line.

1 2