20 Types of Women’s Underwear Styles

Renata Black, EBY Co-Founder & CEO

Underwear:  it’s more than just protective underwear. The panties we wear should be an expression of personality, freedom, and individuality. Prints and designs can be a great way to accomplish this, but so can styles. When we think of women’s underwear styles, we tend to think of the classics — bikinis, thongs, hipsters, etc. But in actuality, there are over a dozen different panty silhouettes to choose from. Before you go expanding your wardrobe, though, let’s break down each style from slimming to G-String, to figure out which types of underwear are best for you.

Women’s Underwear Styles and Features

Panties are an intimate part of a woman’s wardrobe. Different types of panties can elicit different emotions, memories, feelings, and more. There are so many different styles of panties to choose from it can be overwhelming at times, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with all the variations of the undergarment to understand when it’s time to break out the thong, and when coverage comes in clutch.

1. Bikinis

Just as the name suggests, bikini panties mimic the shape and fit of most bikini swim bottoms. Bikini underwear are typically low cut with full coverage in the back and higher leg openings than more conservative underwear, making them great to pair with some low-rise pants. Bikinis are one of the most popular types of underwear styles, due to the fact that they can be worn without risking any visible panty lines and are great for everyday wear. 

2. Caged Bikini

Caged bikini underwear are a sexy, sultry form of lingerie that are made to be taken off rather than worn for an extensive amount of time. Scalloped trimming and an excess of straps are rather common in the design, and the silhouette helps give the body a flattering V-shape to draw attention to the area that matters most. 

3. String Bikini

Once again, string bikinis are almost exactly like the swimsuit design of the same name. String bikini panties include ties on either side of the hip, which makes them a much less popular style of underwear than the swimwear.

4. Boyshorts

The female equivalent to boxer briefs, boyshorts follow the same silhouette as boxers, but consist of a much tighter fit. Due to their rectangular shape, boyshorts provide the most rear coverage you will find in an underwear. Whenever you find yourself wearing a loose skirt or dress ensemble, make sure to opt for a boyshort to protect yourself from a Marilyn Monroe moment. 

5. Hipster

Another low rise style that hits the hips exactly where you want it to: below the waistline to prevent a peeping panty catastrophe. Plus, with wider fabric panels around the hips, they make for a much less cheeky underwear silhouette than, say, a bikini. 

6. Thong Panties

Thongs — you either love them or you hate them. Thongs are rather infamous for the minimal coverage they provide. With just a single piece of fabric on the backside to combat panty lines, some people find them uncomfortable, while others consider them to be their holy grails. However, experts agree that thongs shouldn’t be uncomfortable, and if they are, they are probably a size too small. 

7. G-String

With even less fabric than a thong, G-Strings are often reserved for super tight dresses and revealing outfits that call for leaving things up to the imagination. The G-String silhouette consists of a thin thong back and a tiny, triangle-shaped cloth in the front. 

8. C-String

You’ve heard of a G-String, but what about a C-String? C-Strings have been referred to as “extreme thongs,” thanks to their minimal coverage and material. Essentially, a C-String is just a sanitary towel made with enough fabric to cover the crotch, and is kept in place by a slim, curved wire that is stored between the cheeks. C-Strings are supposed to give the illusion that an individual is not wearing underwear, but considering how many more underwear styles there are to choose from, there are definitely other ways to achieve this look without having to use hard wire on such a sensitive area. 

9. Tanga

Tanga: a fun name for a fun panty! Tangas are considered to be in the thong family, with more, but still less than average, coverage. The tanga silhouette manages to provide front and back coverage with triangular pieces of fabric and wider side panels. Because they fall somewhere in between a bikini and a thong, tanga briefs make for a great transitional underwear to help adjust to the decrease in protection. 

10. Seamless Panties

Seamless panties are just about the greatest thing to happen to underwear. Seamless underwear are a great way to achieve that desired “invisible” look without having to compromise fit, comfort, or coverage. Named #1 in seamless technology, and with the help of our one-of-a-kind no slip grip siding, EBY is constantly raising the bar in the world of seamless! Say goodbye to panty lines forever by clicking here

Women's Underwear Styles - EBY

11. Crotchless

To put it in plain terms, the crotchless style of underwear is designed for easy and immediate access to a woman’s private area. It doesn’t do a great job of protecting the goodies, though, so don’t be quick to make them your everyday panty of choice. 

12. High Waisted Briefs

High waisted briefs should be a staple in every high waisted pants lover’s wardrobe. Some people may call them granny panties, but don’t listen to the hater. High waisted briefs are designed to help pull everything in for natural, slimming lines. They also make for a great barrier between your skin and your jeans, so you don’t have to worry about any rubbing or chaffing. What a concept!

13. High Cut Briefs

High cut underwear most commonly comes in a soft silk or cotton fabric. Like the name implies, this style has high cut leg holes on both sides for an attractive, leg-lengthening look. 

14. Control Briefs

Not to be dramatic, but control briefs, or shapewear, are one of the greatest creations known to man. Control briefs help keep your body looking slim and trim, so whether you’re looking for an easier way to get in and out of clothes, or just want to put your best gut forward, shapewear is always the solution. 

15. Cheeky Underwear

Cheeky panties, otherwise known as Brazilian briefs, are as explanatory a name as they come. As you could probably guess, cheeky style undies are made with a narrower band of fabric on the backside for a more exposed rump than regular underwear. 

16. Sheer

Sheer panties are, well, panties that are made with sheer materials. Lace is a popular sheer style of panty, due to society’s association with lace and sensuality, as well as its seductive undertones. 

17. Maternity

Maternity undies are a growing belly’s best friend. Made from extra stretchy fabric, they are meant to hug the body without squeezing the baby. Sounds like a maternity miracle!

18. Garter Belts

A classic lingerie piece that will never go out of style is the garter belt. A garter belt is exactly what it sounds like — a belt. This means that garter belts are not technically underwear, but because they are intended to be worn with a pair of panties, they have been added to our list. Garter belts are meant to be worn around the waist and to be attached to a pair of stockings or knee-high socks with metal clips or snaps. They were a practical innovation back in the day — when elastic hadn’t been invented yet — but nowadays their usage is reserved for good, unadulterated fun. 

19. Butt Lifter

Butt lifters are one of the few types of underwear with an agenda. Butt lifters are a certain type of shapewear that either contains padding on the rear or two cut-out holes on the buttox for an extra lift and emphasis. The latter is recommended for those who experience sagging, while the former is for women who are just looking for a little bit more shape below the waist. 

20. Tap Pants

You can debate all you want about whether or not a pair of underwear with the word “pants” in the name is actually underwear, but as long as they are lingerie, they deserve to be counted. Tap pants, or side-cut shorts, are a type of shorts with slits up the sides that mimic French knickers in style and fit. Of all the types of underwear listed, tap pants provide the most rear coverage, but as mentioned, the slits on the sides can be just as revealing as a cheeky undie. With all of that said, this style probably works best as loungewear or a beach cover-up rather than an actual pair of panties. 

Conclusion

Now that you’re familiar with all the different types of women’s underwear styles, which do you think you’ll try next? Do you fancy a cheeky panty, or do you prefer to kick back in a pair of boyshorts? Are you ready to try a slimming style, or a lusty lingerie look instead? Will this inspire you to wear thongs, or are you staying true to your full coverage? Whatever underwear style you choose, make sure to opt for the seamless version to avoid visible panty lines and save yourself from shame! EBY makes it fun to wear seamless panties with our unique patterns, limited-edition collections, and frequent underwear releases. Plus, EBY’s subscription program allows you to purchase fresh new undies four times a year! So what are you waiting for? Join the movement here.