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Underwear 101: The Basic Essentials
They say it’s what is on the inside that counts, and that couldn’t be more true than when it comes to what you wear underneath your clothes. Not only will the right underwear make your outerwear look and fit better, but it will also protect your most sensitive regions.
Whether you prefer the boyish charm of boxers, the snug support of briefs or the boxer-brief hybrid, your underwear drawer should have plenty of breathable cotton options. Skip the standard white, and opt for darker and busier color schemes that will stand up to wear and tear, like green plaid or navy polka dots.
While you might think your basic undershirt should be white—there’s a lot more to it than that. A complete collection of undershirts should not only include, white, gray and black T-shirts but also an array of cuts and styles, like crew neck, V-neck and long-sleeved tees.
Calf-length, tube socks or ankle grazers, you can never own enough white socks—so feel free to stock up. That being said, they should hardly be your only socks. Even if you aren’t an office jockey, you should have a few sets of black dress socks in case you ever need to slip on a suit (and trust us, the day will come). You will also need, a good set of thick boot socks and a pair of moisture-wicking running socks.
Lifting and shaping your chest, the proper bra will help your clothes fit and look their best. For the most versatile bra, opt for one in a similar shade of your skin. The workhorse of your underwear drawer, you’ll want to let your bra rest once in awhile, (ideally not wearing it two days in a row) so when you find one you love, buy two. Speaking of hard work—sports bras aren’t just for gym bunnies, have one on hand even for light workouts.
We all need a few lacy skivvies, but the bulk of your underwear drawer should be cotton. From low slung bikinis to boy cut, compile a slew of styles you feel comfortable in and a couple that are pure function. A thong will come in handy when you’re wearing white pants or a skin-tight skirt while control top panties that tuck in your tummy are perfect for days when you’re feeling bloated.
Your sock collection should mirror that of your shoes. If you wear a lot of ballet flats, buy a lot of low cut socks. If you love your boots, buy plenty of boot socks. If you’re an avid runner, have athletic socks on hand. Other than that, a few pair of basic sneaker socks should be in every girl’s sock drawer.
Tights have gotten a bad wrap over the years for being stuffy. But even in the most fashion-forward wardrobe, tights still have a place. Perfect for layering under pants on a cold day or polishing of your interview attire, the three standard pairs every woman should own are: black opaque tights, black semi-sheer nylons and sheer skin-tone pantyhose.
Start building the perfect wardrobe with the right foundation of underwear.