Ask the Editor: Underwear for Summer Dresses

Jul 15, 2019

It’s mid-July, which means the humidity and sweltering heat of August is just around the corner.  When it’s unbearably hot, there is no chance that I’m wearing pants.  But wearing dresses means having the right undergarments, so let’s talk.

Hi Abra!

Quick question about, well, underwear….any recs on the best stuff under summer dresses/clothes? I’m in need of a refresh and am leaning toward Third Love on the top, but wondering if there are smart options for under summer dresses (i.e. what are slipshorts? Should I be involved?). Mainly, I don’t want to end up with the “hungry butt” situation where it eats my dress when standing up. Thanks in advance (if this gets picked. Maybe I’m alone in my struggles…)

– Erica

For the bras, I adore Third Love.  Their new lace racerback bra is the perfect mix or pretty and functional.

As for underwear, I always wear Hanky Panky thongs.  I particularly like their barely-there Eve thong because it’s invisible under clothing.  But I know thongs aren’t for everyone, so if you’re not a fan, try these Soma Vanishing Edge microfiber boy shorts.

As for slip shorts…

These are the Jockey Cooling Slipshorts.  They’re lightweight, seamless and perfect for wearing under dresses.  These are not Spanx, they are not constricting, just smoothing.  I wore them during the legislative session last winter and they are the only “shape wear” that didn’t make me feel like I was being squeezed  to death by a Boa Constrictor.

If you need a pair with a shorter inseam, they also make a mid-thigh-length short, but they’re in the original fabric.  So you will forgo some breathability, but the shorter inseam means they won’t peek out from the slit in the back of your skirt.

It’s also worth mentioning that the Jockey Slipshorts come in a myriad of colors, some of which would be ideal “nude” shades for women of color.

Lastly, if you have a problem with chafing in the summertime, I feel your pain.  I use the Megababe Thigh Rescue to keep my skin from catching on fire when I walk.  If you’re on the hunt for a drugstore option, Monistat Anti-Chafe gel is the best.

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  1. Jessica says:

    I’m a big fan of the Jockey Skimmies shorts. I think they are a little higher rise than the ones that Belle posted. They are non-compression and a godsend in the summer. Costco carries 2 packs for $15!

  2. Sarah says:

    I’ve been looking for a simple, plain white summer dress much like the one the woman is wearing in the slipshorts picture. Anyone have any ideas where I could find that?

    • CAROLINE says:

      I love Universal Standards for basics like this if you’re looking for something quality. Not sure if they have something identical.

  3. Jareesa says:

    I discovered Jockey Slipshorts a few summers ago and I wear them under dresses exclusively. I used to wear Spanx/Spanx knockoffs to try to avoid the plus size chub rub but they don’t breathe and are too restricting.

    Also for fellow plus size babes – Jockey slip shorts go up to size 3X which I hear can fit up to a size 24 – I wear a 20/22 on bottom and I wear 3X and they are so comfy. You can also find them almost everywhere – Target, Kohl’s, Macy’s, etc.

  4. pomm says:

    No advice, just chiming in to say I love the “hungry butt” moniker. Such a perfect description ha!

  5. TheLOOP says:

    These are the slipshorts I bought; they are short and non constricting. And VERY well priced: https://tjmaxx.tjx.com/store/jump/product/2pk-Mirco-Long-Leg-Slip-Shorts/1000503890

  6. B says:

    Buy the Megababe thigh rescue and don’t think twice about it – or the price! I use it with moderate frequency and still have plenty of my stick from the beginning of last summer left.

  7. Mack says:

    I recently purchased some fast dry workout underwear from New Balance on amazon. I purchased them for my vacation in Costa Rica because I was visiting in the rainy season and wanted all of my cloths to dry fast. I still wear them all the time now that I’m back in the Texas heat. They make a difference when you’re sweaty. They wick the sweat away from the body, they dry fast, and they don’t smell like sweat. The only problem is that they will cause major VPL with any tight clothes.

    • Kelly says:

      Oh, I’ll check these out! I need something to wear under my ultimate shorts. There’s SO MANY workout clothes, and the second I start looking for underwear I’m lucky to get 1 option. What do people wear under soccer shorts??!

      • Anna says:

        I haven’t worn soccer shorts in ages, but most running shorts at least have built-in briefs, if that’s an option. I know I’ve seen underwear options from most activewear companies (for sure Lululemon does), not sure on quality or price since I only wear things with gussets or built-in briefs, so I can go commando. Runningwarehouse.com has a whole underwear section (UA ones are on there), and their prices are generally pretty great.

        • Kelly says:

          Thanks for the RW suggestion! I’ve been wearing the shorts with the built-ins (or leggings) for YEARS, but our uniform shorts are just the shorts. No liner. 🙁

      • Mack says:

        The Newbalance underwear would be perfect under soccer shorts that don’t have the built in underwear. They performed better than the Patagonia underwear I bought at REI and these were a lot cheaper.

        https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0747ZDH2G/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    • SarS says:

      Just coming here to suggest this. They have been a life changer in sweltering heat of Dallas.

  8. Danielle says:

    Can anyone speak to the material of the Jockey slipshorts? A number of my summer skirts and dresses are unlined, and I worry that the fabric would ‘catch’ on these shorts – or are they more of silky texture that fabric will glide over?

  9. L says:

    I’ve never particularly been a fan of the under-shorts because I find they either ride up to my crotch or they create thigh bulge, but I will sing the praises of half slips any day – especially necessary under unlined dresses. (I’m on the petite side so I don’t have much thigh to work with for longer length under-shorts)

    If I know I’m going to be walking a substantial amount in the heat, I just use my antiperspirant on my inner thighs – no need for an extra product.

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