Yoga Panties: Can You Really Say Goodbye to Panty Lines?

And Introducing the Wedgometer

I'll admit that I am a bit of a purist when it comes to underpants. My philosophy can be summed up (with apologies to Michael Pollan) as: Wear underpants. Not thongs. Mostly cotton.

Until recently, these preferences caused me no trouble. But then I began to notice something. Yoga pants were getting tighter and clingier, yet I saw nary a visible panty line (VPL) in yoga class, except for my own. I starting asking around in an effort to find out what kind of miraculous panties were responsible for this disappearing act.

Have I mentioned that I don't do thongs? Well, I don't. I can't imagine anything more unpleasant. So, a lot of ladies wear thongs. Scratch that one off the list. A goodly number also revealed that they were wearing no underpants at all, an idea I also cannot get down with. Mark that one off, too.

Cruising some yoga-wear websites, I noticed a few were offering specialized yoga panties; high-tech, laser-cut briefs that promised to reveal no tell-tale panty lines. Intrigued, I made it my mission to take these panties out for a few down dogs and report back on which offered the best underpants experience. Is it possible to satisfy your vanity and your need for comfort at the very same time? Let's find out.

Lululemon Namastay Put Hipster

Lululemon Namastay Put Hipster Yoga Panties
Lululemon Namastay Put Hipster. Courtesy of Lululemon

First out of the blocks is the Namastay Put Hipster from yoga-wear behemoth Lululemon. Since they are largely responsible for the tight pants that cause regular old panties to stick out like a sore thumb, I figured they had to be all over creating a product that fixed that problem.

The Namastay Puts score high marks in the invisibility category. The laser-cut edge of these nylon and elastane panties (with cotton gusset) completely disappeared under my yoga pants. Now, about the coverage: It's not great. Though these panties cover both cheeks when you first put them on, pretty soon they begin to creep up until you find yourself in malasana with the world's biggest wedgie. The sweatier the class, the more egregious they became. It makes sense if you think about the physics of their design. They are nearly seamless, with one exception: a big seam up the middle of the back. Being the heaviest part of the garment, it naturally makes for lowest part of your anatomy, namely right up the butt crack. Nothing destroys the illusion of no panty line like having to pull your panties out of your butt constantly.

I was beginning to suspect that panty lines exist for a reason: They keep your panties on your butt where they belong. Nonetheless, the search continued.

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Lululemon Mula Bandhawear Bikini

Lululemon Mula Bandhawear Bikini Yoga Panties
Lululemon Mula Bandhawear Bikini. Courtesy of Lululemon

My next pair from Lululemon seemed to confirm this theory. The Mula Bandhawear Bikini is an incredibly comfortable pair of underpants. Made of soft modal, amply cut (but not in a granny kind of way), with a stretchy waistband, these really do move with you from pose to pose and stay in place without constant adjustment. But all this comfort does come at a cost: a small but definite (gasp) seam around the leg openings means that these underpants are a little more visible than some of your laser cut options. Personally, it's a price I'm willing to pay.

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Zobha Boyshort Panties

Zobha Boyshort Yoga Panties
Zobha Boyshort Panties. Courtesy of Zobha

Zobha's Boyshort Panties were my next assignment.  They are made of very thin nylon and Lycra with a cotton gusset, which is what we used to call the crotch in the olden days. The laser-cut edge insured that these panties became invisible under my yoga pants. Though the design is similar to the Namastay Hipsters, above, there is one major difference: no butt seam. And miracle of miracles, they pretty much stayed in place through a complete practice. No creeping, no wedging, very little adjusting required. That said, the boyshort isn't really my favorite cut of underpants. If you disagree, these may be the answer for you.

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Commando Cotton Bikini

Commando Cotton Bikini
Commando Cotton Bikini. Photo Courtesy of Commando

Commando is the genius name of a full line of anti-VPL underthings. Their tagline is "better than nothing," with which I wholeheartedly agree. I was super excited to try their panties since they offer so many different cuts, giving me the chance to get away from the boyshorts and hipsters and back into ​a familiar bikini! Also, cotton!

I first tested the cotton bikini, which is, in fact, 71% cotton and 29% spandex, which is still over 70% more cotton than any other pair I tried. Though they are perhaps a fraction thicker than their synthetic competition, the cotton bikinis are still all but undetectable.

On my first go with the cotton bikini, I went on an outing with my family. A bike-riding outing. And the Commando bikinis were stellar. Completely comfortable, I wore them all day long without a second thought. They performed just as well at yoga class.

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Commando C.Y.A Panty

Commando C.Y.A. Panty
Commando C.Y.A. Panty. Commando Cotton Bikini

I also tried the Commando C.Y.A Panty, which is a bikini cut in the familiar nylon/spandex vein. Unfortunately, these offered a quick trip back to wedgieville in yoga class. I'm all for pratyahara, but I prefer that my distractions are not caused by my underwear. However, your butt may vary (YBMV), and with the wide variety of cuts offered by Commando, you are sure to find your favorite style, minus the panty line.

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Knix Wear FitKnix Air Athletic Bikinis

Knix Wear Athletic Bikinis for Yoga
Knix Wear Athletic Bikini. Courtesy of Knix Wear

I didn't expect it to get any better than the Cotton Commandos, but I'm glad I kept going because I discovered another really great option: Knixwear's Athletic Bikinis. These are comprised of the by now familiar nylon, Lycra, cotton gusset combo, but they are far and away the most comfortable cut of the lot. The leg openings are bonded, which basically means folded over and glued instead of sewn. It makes them a tiny fraction thicker than the straight up laser cut edges but it also seems to make them really stay put. Like they do not budge.

Perhaps most fascinating, all Knix Wear panties have the option of adding a built-in leak-proof liner, which is intended to absorb small amounts of pee than might leak out during a workout. Any woman with a pregnancy or two behind her knows what I'm talking about. Though I didn't test this option, I know quite a few women for whom this could be a game changer.  

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Introducing: The Wedgometer

Panty lines are a scourge, but I'll accept them any day over the discomfort of a 90-minute wedgie. Unsurprisingly, my top choices came down to comfort, as measured by a proprietary wedgometer (remember YBMV). In order of preference, that gives us:

1. Knix Wear FitKnix Air Athletic Bikini

2. Commando Cotton Bikini

3. Lululemon Mula Bandhawear Bikini

4. Zobha Boyshort Panty

5. Lululemon Namastay Hipster

6. Commando C.Y.A. Panty

And, finally, a definitive answer to that all-important question. Though I prioritize comfort, I'm glad that I don't have to sacrifice my vanity to find it.

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