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Inventive Undies: The Good, the Smart, and the Sticky

We’ve come a long way since Jane demanded more support than the loincloth her boy Tarzan offered her. We’ve had the chemise and petticoats, the corset and the chastity belt, the camisole and drawers, pantalettes and bloomers, the brassiere and the girdle, the granny panty and bikini panty, and of course, the push-up bra. But these innovations are nothing compared to the technology revolution that’s been sweeping through our drawers for the past few years. By refining both fabric technology and garment design, knicker-mad (and some just plain mad) scientists and have made amazing strides to make our underwear fit, feel, and look much better on the body.

I’m not sure if Jane would favor moisture-wicking knickers or strapless g-strings for hanging on the vine, but these are a few recent favorites of mine:

Backless Bra

I’m an inventor at heart, so I love to watch shows like ABC’s American Inventor and support inventors whose products actually get developed. This clever backless bra was seen on the show and it’s one of those “why didn’t I think of that?” products that will surely become a staple in my underwear drawer. It’s crafted to prevent strap slippage while still providing a seamless and supportive shape. I just hope it doesn’t feel like my bra is open …

Strapless, Backless Bra

The strapless, backless, seamless (and maybe even genius) bra is the ultimate answer to the “how do I wear a bra with this?” question that often arises after spotting a fabulous dress in the store. Unlike other stick-on bras, this one has silicone adhesive inside the top and bottom of the cups, and on the side tabs for an extra secure hold. It’s also made from a satiny microfiber, so it won’t cling or make weird shapes under sheer fabrics.

Strapless G-String

Strapless g-strings free you from the nuisance of visible panty lines (but only if you don’t mind the nuisance of waxing), and they come in handy for pole-dancing or keeping yourself decent in that Liz Hurley safety-pin dress you bought on eBay. But taping a strip of cloth to your hoohoo? Crazy!

Nundies

You could bare-ass those new tweed pants and endure scratchy discomfort in the name of invisible panty lines, or you could just kinda bare-ass your new tweed pants using a disposable “panty” called a Nundie. Unlike the strapless g-string, Nundies adhere to the inseam inside of your pants and they are as soft as your conventional underwear, but less, well … there.

Raw-Cut Panties

If you’d rather not tape your knickers to your crotch or wedge a strap of elastic between your cheeks, but bare-assing your suit to work is not an option, raw-cut panties––the latest weapon in the battle against panty lines––will be your new best friend. Made from second-skin microfiber, the panties have no visible seams or hems and they sit flat on your skin in a way that looks and feels invisible.

Numberless Undies

There are all sorts of numbers that make me mad: my height, my age, the numbers (missing) on my paycheck. The one set of numbers I don’t want to waste numerous hours worrying about are the numbers on my knickers—even when they are vanity downsized. Thankfully, I don’t have to, because cute undie-maker Sister Underwear, has done away with numerals and introduced a sizing system based on the shape of creator Sara Graham’s seven best friends. Instead of zero, I can be “Kate,” and instead of fourteen, I can be “Sheila.” Let’s hope they’ll help a sister out with bathing suits next.


Multi-Tasking Undies

Though I sometimes long for the simplicity of the good old-fashioned loincloth, I need—or rather, demand—more of my undies than just simplicity. I need them to look good and work hard, and I think I’ve found a pretty industrious undie in T. Santiago’s line of lingerie. No slacker knickers, these undies not only look great but they’re extremely comfortable. Wait, there’s more—they’re also waterproof and sweat-absorbent so you can wear them at the gym, at the beach, and even out to a party.

Milk Shorts

“Don’t cry over spilled milk,” my mother always says, but I can’t help but cry for joy over these slimming milk shorts. Made with a revolutionary natural yarn derived from milk proteins, these shorts moisturize, smooth, stimulate circulation, and detoxify, all while I sleep. The high waist means my belly gets in on the smoothing action and the results mean I’m jumping out of bed every morning saying “I got milk!”

Salvaged Pan-tees

I have a huge stack of tees gathering dust in my closet. There are concert tees, cupcake-shop tees, ice cream-shop tees, bar tees, vacation tees, and no-longer-fitting-me tees. I can’t seem to part with them, but I can’t justify the space they’re occupying either. Rather than leave them to the moths, I’ve decided to send them to lingerie company SoloJones so they can turn my tees into panties! It’s a genius idea, really, and the return undies are so cute and original.

Bulge-beating Bra

I’m all about seamless scanties, so I was thrilled to find Sassybax––a company applying the latest in smoothing technology to eliminate unsightly bra bulge. They’ve created perhaps the most comfortable bras I’ve ever worn––no kidding. The bralette feels like a soft sports bra, but without that plastered-to-your-chest sports bra effect. Sassybax have underwire, cami-bras, strapless, wireless, and even backless bras, so I can burn any piece of underwear that digs or pinches, and replace it with a more comfortable––gasp!––choice.

No-Sweat Scanties

I’m running out of excuses to avoid running now that I’ve found these sweat-free, stay-put undies from Patagonia. They’re made of a technical stretch fabric that’s lightweight, soft, and wicks moisture so I can work up a sweat without getting my knickers in a twist. The fabric manages moisture and breathes, keeping me cool and dry, and the soft binding at the leg won’t chafe. They’re cute, too. Damn, I’ve no excuse now.

Adult-Diaper Panties

If you’ve ever had to walk back-to-wall out of a room due to an unexpected monthly “visitor,” you might want to invest in a pair of luxury liner wick-stop knickers for peace of mind around that time every month. The name “luxury liner” invokes images of the QE2, but I guess the idea is that because this panty’s wick liner instantly absorbs wetness, you can “cruise” through embarrassing moments. Also handy if you regularly pee your pants laughing!

Custom Undies

Victoria’s Secret undies are fine I guess—if you don’t mind that they fall apart after a few washes or that millions of other women are wearing exactly the same style as you. If you want to be original, why not design your own at Evlove? You select the styles, fabrics, and trimmings to create your own everyday basic or smoking special-occasion undies. Each piece is hand-cut and sewn, and the end result is a high-quality comfy pair of undies that speaks to your unique style. Forget Victoria—share your own secrets!

I love my innovative drawers, but I’m leaving plenty of room in my lingerie drawer for futuristic flimsies in development. Forget seamless, the future of our unmentionables is all about smart. Like the Smart Bra, whose high-tech fabrics will respond to movement by contracting or lengthening—so it will automatically give my ladies the support they need, right when they need it. I’m also comforted to know that German scientists are working to develop undies that will monitor my vital signs and call emergency services when help is needed. Scientists are also incorporating solar technology into underwear design, so that before long I will be charging my phone with my boobs and powering my car with my butt …

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