I could talk about shopping for underwear all day. Seriously, I actually have an entire closet that is full of bins of lingerie and three of them are all underwear.
For me, underwear comes in four major categories, with the lion’s share of my collection in the first two categories. First, sexy times underwear. Second, everyday cute. Third, loungewear underwear. Fourth, underwear I would wear on stage or otherwise need for costume purposes.
When shopping for underwear for plus size bodies, it’s important to remember that there’s a range of body shapes for plus size bodies! Some folks carry weight in their bellies, some have flat bellies and bigger hips, some have a big booty. Therefore, not all underwear is created equal and doesn’t fit equally. I’m going to walk you through some of my favorite underwear retailers for Femme of center folks, and at the end of this article will delve into masculine of center underwear for the big and tall. (Love a gendered fat euphemism.)
Sexytimes Plus Size Underwear
This is totally my favorite category for many reasons. Sexy underwear is creative, synthetic, shiny, lacey, sparkly, stretchy, loud, demure, fiddly and impractical. It is as wild and wonderful as you want to be.
Torrid (found in most malls and online) has a lot of really sexy underwear. They have a huge selection of lace “cheeky” shorts in a ton of colors and styles (including leopard) up to size 28.
They also carry a lot of different styles of thongs.
Simply Be (a UK brand) carries a great line of retro-inspired underwear. The high waisted Gok Wan panties are a favorite of mine. Check out these madly adorable high waisted polka dotted darlings!
Simply Be also carries a lot of hot hot hot underwear. I love a semi-sheer panty. It’s business in the front, party in the back and makes for a cute reveal when your suitor realizes that they can see through them.
Bare Necessities carries a good variety of plus size underwear, including the brand Elomi. This style is so perfect for a sultry, romantic sexy look.
Frederik’s of Hollywood carries some plus size panties up to size 3X. These lace heart beauties are so adorable!
Plus size shopping is like hunting. You’ve got to know where to find the best stuff and from there, where and how to get the best bargains. I feel like a genius when I can get underwear at 75% off retail, so I often scour the Ross plus size section. They have my favorite brands for a deep discount. Delta Burke (which you can also buy at Macy’s) makes some surprisingly great intimates. She often incorporates spandex and lace, which does double duty of hugging your curves while decorating them. Another Ross brand is XOXO, which tends to flow in the direction of great patterns, like teal and hot pink leopard, black and pink polka dot and, most recently, found in Philadelphia and Portland, neon pink.
Everyday Cute Plus Size Underwear
A cotton panty is an important staple for vaginal health (for those plus size folks who have vaginas, of course). You need to let it breath in there, especially during tights-wearing weather. So my everyday go-to is cotton. My favorite resource for cotton is Cacique (the Lane Bryant brand). Personally I love their cotton string bikini. This is the one I feel fits my tummy the best and feels most comfortable while still looking sexy.
Cacique also carries a ton of other cotton panties in a variety of silhouettes and I’ve always appreciated their endurance. I feel like Cacique cotton is good value for the money. If it’s going to be an everyday sort of underwear, I need it to last a long time.
A lot of my plus size pals like the Cacique cotton boyshort hipster. This one is unfortunately heterocentrically named “boyfriend hipster” but we can just call that “special friend hipster.”
Other folks I know really like thongs for comfort, but for me they’re too fiddly and stay firmly in the sexy times category.
Loungewear Plus Size Underwear
This category is basically anything I find too bulky to wear under clothing but love to wear around the house. “Full coverage” and some “Boyshort” underwear I think are too fiddly for me to feel comfortable in out in life, but I like to wear them under loungerie or with a tank top. Some people like to wear boxer shorts for this type of pursuit but I like underwear.
Bonus points for hilarious messages on the underwear, like these from Cacique.
I also like the Torrid cheeky boyshorts for loungewear, but some might love these for everyday cute, depending on how they fit!
Costume Plus Size Underwear
When you’re a performer who wears outfits that are often basically see through, you need to know what underwear is good on stage. Like ruffle butt panties! They’re great under a tutu, but would never look good under most of my dress silhouettes.
I also secretly stash the underwear that looks like sexy underwear but is absolutely not see through in any way and won’t budge when you’re doing movement pieces to wear on stage. Basically the underwear equivalent of bikini shorts.
I also know a lot of people who enjoy lingerie for the stage who rely on panties from Biggalslingerie.com (NSFW link).
Masculine of Center Big and Tall Underwear
There are a lot of foxy underwear options for the Masculine of Center Plus Size person, or the euphemism “Big and Tall”! I am of course writing these recommendations based on what I like to see on masculine of center folks I might be interested in getting undressed. A word to the wise to all queers – if you are on a date wear your best-looking, newest underwear! It shows your date you care about your appearance and what she/he/they think of you!
Calvin Klein has been a favorite of mine for a long time. They go all the way up to 5X and cut a clean line. Boxer briefs are a classic style and can double as a harness in a pinch! (Just stick the base of the dildo in the underwear flaps and hold it steady. You can also score Calvin Klein boxer briefs at Ross/Marshall’s but usually they don’t carry beyond a 2X.
Black boxer briefs are a perfect date night staple.
These Under Armour boxer briefs come in bright red and go up to a 3X. I love how whimsical and bright the red is!
I was surprised when I found this Fruit of the Loom brief mimicked the American Apparel briefs that are so fashionable amongst the smaller masculine of center folks. This pack of 5 comes in teal and goes up to 2X.
For further whimsy, Tommy Bahama makes boxers that go up to 5X!
And if you want to go genderqueer, I highly recommend a pair of black Hanes briefs over a garter belt. I saw a Femme friend do it while I was visiting a porn set for the forthcoming sequel to Courtney Trouble’s Lesbian Curves and it was soooo hot.
!!!Those lace heart panties!!! Swoon.
I found hipsandcurves.com last year and fell in love. The cater to those of us with chub and curves who still want to get our sexy on. They have a fabulously yummy selection of fancy pants like -caged back, gartered, open back, skirted thongs, high waisted lace up back, and side tied -for that dramatic quick reveal and ta-da!
I love love love Cacique undies! My problem with them, though, is that their online models are so thin! I want to see what panties are supposed to look like on a woman with curves, not their “I barely count for plus size” models.
In other news, Bevin, I’d love you to post a guide for lingerie (like corsets and stuffs)! Also, bras. I’m about 500% sure that I wear the wrong bra size, and the kind workers at Lane Bryant can never get my bra size right.
Yes, I cosign the hotness of hipsandcurves! And my trailer trash roots will always love the agressive sexiness and affordability of Frederick’s.
More fat femme fashion articles!!!!
As the finally to “Underwear Week” I received in the mail today both my “Straddle This” boxer briefs and my federal tax return, with which I will buy Moar Underwear. Nice timing Universe.
Just when I think I can’t love Autostraddle anymore…
I’m definitely going to have to check these out.
I own so much underwear from Cacique. So much. Today’s pair has sunglasses on it.
Dear Autostaddle, thank you for putting every lesbian I’ve ever admired on your site. :)
Awesome!! Now I can stock up on fruit of the loom ringer briefs..
Bevin you just made my day! I knew Simply Be did my cupsize, but I didn’t know they did my band size. I hold you fully responsible for my depleted bank account!
I Wish ;)
Wooo! Loving these so much. Buy, buy, buy.
Now if only I had someone to wear them for!
I always wanted something like these sexy things for myself. i love the lingerie you have shown.
Great article, but PLEEEAAAASE don’t assume that all of us masculine of center fatties are ‘big and tall’. I’m the opposite of tall. You couldn’t even call me short. You’d have to call me “super short”. And therefore I can’t shop in Big and Tall places OR stores with clothes for fourteen year old boys (like my short skinny genderqueer counterparts). In other words, I’m screwed six ways to Sunday. I would kill to have someone create a line of clothing for masculine-of-center FAAB people who are short and fat. The fact that our bodies contradict our desired gender expression is bad enough…add that to the fact that society believes that tall and skinny (but particularly tall)=hot PARTICULARLY for FAAB genderqueers, and you have a massive inferiority complex that just won’t end.
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