How to buy the perfect undies for your body shape.

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Forget eating-chocolate pleasure and trailer-for-Magic-Mike-2 pleasure, nothing comes close to the between-the-legs pleasure of a great… brief.

It doesn’t sag, nip, pinch, bulge or annoy you. You’ve never had to get a friend to stand behind your back while you wrestle it out of your butt crack.

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What a good brief loses in status over the years – from date nights, to sofa nights, then period nights – it gains in love and weird dangly bits of elastic.

The reason we act like crazed stalkers around our best briefs is that buying knickers is a nightmare. For bras, there’s a sales assistant with a tape measure. For your bits, there’s a game of multipack roulette. It could end well, or it could end in thrush.

To make your odds of a good ending a lot higher, we asked lingerie experts where we’ve been going wrong.

1. Actually try them on

We get it: you can’t be bothered to get naked. (Sometimes it’s an effort even before bed). But this could be a game-changer. “Some stores won’t take briefs back if you simply change your mind, so you need to choose carefully,” explains Militsa Micalessi, General Manager of Intimate Apparel at Myer ( “Always try them on over the top of your underwear, and if they’re in a multipack, ask if the same style is available as a single brief to try.”

2. Go up a size

This is the official cure for the pinching problem. “Go a size up from your usual clothes size and they’ll sit on the skin rather than digging in,” recommends lingerie expert Renée Mayne (

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3. Don’t over-suck the Spanx

Good news for your ability to breathe: it’s not a case of the tighter, the better. “Shapewear should be bought in the same size as your regular underwear –trying to squeeze into a smaller size won’t produce a better result,” reassures Micalessi.

4. Laser-cut is the best no-VPL brief

“These have a clean-cut leg opening that’s invisible under clothing,” says Micalessi. But if you’re wearing trousers, a boy-leg or short is better, “because it moves the leg opening to a lower, less visible position – these are particularly popular in shapewear.” And for a superhero level of invisibility, always wear skin-colour briefs under light-coloured clothes.


5. Pay attention to what’s around the leg opening

Because, hallelujah, this is what determines whether knickers will ride up or not. Ideally, you want to see an elastic band running around the leg opening, which ensures they’re held in place. However, this will also ensure that you get a VPL if you wear them under pants or slim-fitting garments. In that case, opt for briefs with a lace or laser-cut leg opening – BUT look for a thin layer of silicon or flocked-ribbon applied to the inside of the leg opening. You need these, or your intimate parts might get an unwanted visitor.

6. Different knickers work for different body shapes

“Odd as it sounds, just as finding the perfect bra is a combination of your bra size and your bra shape, every body has a knicker shape that’s best suited for them. Find it, and your briefs won’t ride up, sag or pinch,” explains Mayne. Here are her recommendations:

Body shape: A – Your shoulders are smaller than your hips
High-leg briefs. You want the leg to sit above your thigh; it draws the eye up, so will make your legs appear longer. Go for shorts if you like full coverage.

Body shape: X – Nipped-in waist with stronger hips
Two options. High-waisted briefs and French knickers will totally show off your tiny waist. But low-rise works too: pick shorts that sit low on your bum, or a low-waisted bikini that’s narrow at the sides.

Body shape: I – Slim, with a less-defined waist
Can wear most shapes, lucky thing. Shorts that sit low on the hips create more shape through the middle, and French knickers are also great.

Body shape: O – Your waist is wider than your hips
Bikini brief. To elongate your body, you want to draw the attention down. A bikini brief that’s designed to sit low on the waist, with a low-rise fit, does just that.

What's your favourite style of underwear?