It’s National Underwear Day, and we’re giving you five reasons to celebrate.
by Jillian Deutsch
illustration by Jillian Deutsch
Happy National Underwear Day! Don’t feel like celebrating? Well, maybe it’s because the companies you’re buying from aren’t exciting you. Peek in your drawer. Are they all the same cotton hip-huggers and “5 for $25?” It’s time to upgrade.
Most popular underwear companies sell you the same thing. At Victoria’s Secret, you can shop for hypersexual lingerie while Miranda Kerr’s perfect body stares down at you. Or you can head to Aerie where the company uses un-retouched photos of “real women” instead of models in their advertisements, but actually just cherry-picks “real women” aligning with the same beauty standards. With these options, it’s no wonder we’re not excited about our underwear.
Luckily, there are other companies that offer something different. I’ve rounded up five brands that are challenging the conventional idea of lingerie: from cotton undies with feminist statements across the butt to panties that won’t let your period leak, all of these purchases are sure to get you excited about your underwear drawer again, while feeling comfortable and confident in your own skin.
1. NEON MOON
It all began with CEO and Founder Hayat Rachi questioning the purpose of lingerie. So she created a Kickstarter campaign for Neon Moon, a body-positive, LGBTQIA-friendly lingerie company for all. The lingerie gets rid of padding or wires and uses a bamboo fabric that shapes itself to a woman’s body — not the other way around. People quickly fell in love, exceeding the company’s Kickstarter £5,000 goal by 155 percent. If you’re as excited as we are, hurry online and pre-order your favorite design. The lingerie begins shipping in October.
Price: £20 for underwear (about $31) and 35-45 pounds for bras (about $54 to $70)
Back in 2009, Helene Morris and Stephen Ferguson envisioned a brand that empowered women to be comfortable in their own bodies no matter the size. Years later, Lonely Lingerie’s vintage-inspired, padding- and push-up-free designs have captured the eyes of thousands. The New Zealand brand’s Instagram now has more than 230,000 followers and is sold around the world. They also started the Lonely Girls Project account in which women post photos of themselves wearing the lingerie and looking both comfortable and confident, including the likes of Lorde, Lena Dunham and Carey Mulligan. The company has even expanded into swimwear and everyday clothing. Take a look for yourself — it’s well worth the splurge.
3. Me and You
Nothing says you’re a feminist like splashing the label across your butt. Thanks to the company Me and You, you can finally make that statement while walking pants-less around your apartment. The company began when Mayan Toledano and Julia Bayless met in fashion school and decided to create a clothing brand about all things girly. They also sell T-shirts, crewnecks and dresses, all made in the good ol’ USA, so you can complete your whole feminist wardrobe in one order.
Photographs by Mayan Toledano, courtesy of Me and You
Though Victoria’s Secret’s cotton panties are comfortable, they often come with sexual phrases emblazoned across the bum, like “Ready for Anything.” Feminist Style keeps the same comfy cotton feel but sends a different message. Amulya Sanagavarapu created the company Feminist Style to challenge the way some marketers objectify women’s bodies and glorify sexual violence. Feminist Style replaces the hyper-sexual Victoria’s Secret phrases with consent phrases like “Let’s Talk About Sex” and “Only Yes Means Yes.” They even have men’s boxers with “#DontBeThatGuy” and “#AskFirst.” Feminist Style proves consent is sexy — take notes, Victoria.
What if I told you that you could stop wearing panty liners? Or better yet, tampons? Well, THINX allows you to do all that. The company began when three sisters realized there was no underwear company that protected you from a period disaster. So they decided to create their own. After three years of research, the women created an absorbent, stain- resistant and leak resistant product that nonetheless remained cute and comfortable. I know it sounds too good to be true, but try ‘em for yourself. So many women are interested that they’re on backorder, so get to it!
Price: $24-34 (but you can buy them in bulk for cheaper rates)
Jillian Deutsch is one of the editorial assistants at The Riveter. She’s currently studying journalism and women’s and gender studies at the University of Missouri. When she’s not reading feminist blogs, longform journalism or nonfiction novels, she’s probably looking at photos of cats or dreaming of French baguettes. You can catch her on Twitter or @JillianDeutsch on Instagram.