The A to Z of lingerie shapes Part 1 - Briefs

Illustration by Caitlin Shearer

Illustration by Caitlin Shearer

(This post was originally published on April 20th 2015 and updated on July 3rd 2018)

When we asked a few close female friends the question how many styles of underwear did they think were on the market? The answers were a little surprising. The general response was two, three styles maximum. So we at Olyinka HQ decided to put together a guide of the various shapes of underwear available to women on the market and recommend the correct garments to wear with them. Some women prefer to wear the same shape underwear for comfort so may not have full knowledge of the various brief shapes on the market and importantly their function, so stick to what they know. Ladies, there are some great shapes out there and once you've tried them you'll be pleasantly surprised how well they compliment your body and your outfit, so here goes...

1. Classic briefs are the most popular traditional underwear. Comfortable and completely covers your bottom. Most are designed with a low-rise waistband which sits below the natural waistline and designed with lower cut legs, ideal to wear with fabrics such as denim or wool as it camouflages the visual panty line.

2. The high-cut brief is similar to the classic brief, however legs are cut high which gives a more flattering shape. It provides full coverage of the bottom and tummy and gives a more defined silhouette underneath clothes.

3. Control briefs are for women who desire a streamline silhouette and smooth curves without having to go to the gym. Contains stretch fabric or spandex and is ideal to wear under dresses and lighter fabrics, these briefs will hold you in all the right places.

4. Hipster briefs provides a more trendier shape for women, It sits below the hips with a low rise waistline, flattering under mid rise pants and provides full coverage of your front and back.

5.Bikini shape briefs offer full coverage front and back, sits below the natural waistline and is ideal for low-rise pants, jeans and shorts.

6. Boyshorts offer full coverage front and back, fits tight against your skin with low-rise waistline and low legs. Ideal to wear with dresses, skirts and trousers or even to bed with a camisole.

7. Tanga offers moderate to minimal coverage for your front and backside. More than a thong but narrower than a bikini, its reduces the visible panty line under tight-fitting garments.

8. Thongs offers minimal coverage front and back, These briefs consists of  a small cut of fabric at the back and a narrow pieces of fabric at the back. Designed to prevent visual panty lines therfore ideal to wear with figure hugging clothes .

9. G-string offers minimal coverage, consists of a triangle shape at the front and a very narrow string at the back. The string is designed to sit between the buttocks and reveals much of your bottom. Eliminates visible panty lines and ideal to wear under tight fitting clothes.


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