This query calls for a seamless underwear showdown
In fashion, not a lot of things double as a temperamental game of hit or miss quite like shopping for underwear. Granted fitting a pair in-store to size up and literally size check the merch is a no-no, there really is no other way to go about prospecting for the perfect pair of panties than to shop it and wear it to see if you got it right or better luck next time.
On the outerwear front, the end goal is a streamlined, harmonious relationship between the underwear and the clothes you wear. (Think: svelte curves and clean lines AKA the makings of a polished, well put together ensemble.) There’s nothing like an unsightly gartered panty seam to disrupt that ideal scenario, which is likely the case when clothes run tight and don’t grant any wiggle room.
The best bet and the sound middle ground between the daunting task of going commando and sliding into an uncomfortable thong is the no VPL knicker. But of course, not all variations of the seamless underwear are made the same. To claim that something is 100% seamless is pretty ambitious, so for this Test Drive Diaries, we put the spotlight on some of the most popular seamless underwear brands to see if they deliver precisely what they promise.
What are they up against today? Three types of bottoms: a pair of cotton culottes for the easy round, a pair of workout leggings for the intermediate round and, finally, a rayon blend pant that no regular underwear has been able to surmount so far for the difficult round.
DEBENHAMS High-Rise Full Invisible Brief with Lace, P795
The waistband of this pair of seamless underwear sits right below the belly button, which it great. It doesn’t cinch the body in awkward areas and hugs the smallest part of the waist. The side seam of this is also virtually invisible, so there are no disruptive bumps along the side and hip areas. Now, on to the lacy detail: the lace back area, no doubt, is a cute accent, but cute is a small price to pay for function. Off the bat, it was interesting to see underwear with lace in the seamless category. This pair did considerably well during the easy and intermediate rounds, but the lace bared itself in the difficult round.
WOMENSECRET 2x Braga Invisible Hipster Brief, P995
This seamless underwear is one of the stronger contenders in the bunch. It’s entirely made of microfiber material with no stitching on the outer areas, garters or bands. It’s essentially a single layer of fabric that’s virtually undetectable underneath clothing. The only con here is that it requires a considerable amount of smoothening out since it moves along with the clothes when they’re being worn.
UNIQLO AIRism Ultra Seamless High Rise Brief, P390
What’s great about a brand like Uniqlo is that it takes fabric innovations into every product line it carries: from outerwear to activewear down to underwear. For the latter, it does not disappoint. The AIRism Ultra Seamless High Rise Brief boasts the same DRY and Cool Touch technology Uniqlo is famous for and delivers on its promise: a flat, seamless design that stays invisible and a comfortable, moderately fitted feel that does not constrict the waist. It’s super soft, super elastic and really does register underneath clothing like second skin.
MARKS & SPENCER The Ultimate No VPL High Rise Short, P595
A high-rise silhouette combined with a boy short cut means two things: great coverage and a streamlined finish that flatters the body’s natural curves. Add the fact that the Ultimate No VPL High Rise Short is also super comfortable, the silkiest of the bunch and we have a new contender for the perfect everyday underwear.
BENCH/ BODY Seamless Low-Rise Hipster, P169.75
A pair of quality panties the same price as a premium cup of coffee? It’s almost too good to be true and yet, BENCH/ Body’s Seamless Low-Rise Hipster proves it’s possible. A fair warning: the packaging of this (where the underwear is folded into a plastic pouch and hung for display) may be a little misleading. While it reveals leg openings that feature fused seam, making it easy to assume that all edges get the fused seam treatment, what’s tucked underneath is actually a chunky, prominent elastic waistband. It requires some wearing in for it to hug the waist without unnecessary tension. The low-rise hipster is no friend to the muffin top either, so perhaps its best to sit this particular style out. Thankfully BENCH/ Body’s seamless underwear line comes in many other cuts and silhouettes such as the high-rise seamless panty with lace, mid-rise seamless cotton panty and the seamless tube panty.
MAIDENFORM Comfort Devotion® Tailored Boyshort, P1,350
Given Maidenform’s reputation in the shapewear and underwear arena, expectations were set high. Fortunately, with the Comfort Devotion® Tailored Boyshort our expectations were met. The brand claims that this particular line “transcends softness” and that, it does. Additionally, it claims that the silhouette “molds to the body for a seamless look,” which it delivers. Every bit of this test-driving experience only validates Maidenform’s reputation (and high price point, too). That said, it is absolutely vital that you consult with a Maidenform specialist (they hang around the store for a reason) to get you the size that’s right for your body. The Comfort Devotion® Tailored Boyshort only truly works if you get your correct size, so you get the perfect amount of coverage and a piece that doesn’t hug the curves of your bottom too tightly.
Only two variations of the seamless underwear truly got close to achieving the “Invisible” (or near-invisible) look: Uniqlo’s AIRism Ultra Seamless High Rise Brief and Marks & Spencer’s Ultimate No VPL High Rise Short. Maidenform and Womensecret get special mention, though, for holding a lot of promise and winning us over in other aspects like comfort and quality. But if all else fails and you just cannot seem to walk out the door given the sight of definitely-there VPL, by all means, go commando.
Shangri-la Mall 3/F Shangri-La Plaza Mall, EDSA corner Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City
Glorietta 4 Mall 4/F Glorietta 4 Mall Ayala Avenue corner Pasay Road, Ayala Center, Makati City
TriNoma Mall 2/F TriNoma Mall, EDSA corner North Avenue, Quezon City
Abreeza Mall G/F Abreeza Mall, J.P. Laurel Avenue, Bajada, Davao City, Davao del Sur
TriNoma Mall 3/F TriNoma Mall, North Avenue corner Mindanao Avenue, Bangong Pag-asa, Quezon City
Bonifacio High Street Central Square, Bonifacio High Street, Taguig
Shangri-la Mall Rustan’s Department Store Shangri-La Plaza Mall, EDSA corner Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City
Rustan’s Makati Rustan’s Department Store, Amorsolo Drive, Makati City
Art Alexandra Lara