What style of underwear should I wear?

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Underwear and lingerie should not only feel comfortable, but also complement your body shape and boost your confidence. However, with so many different options to choose from, selecting the right items for your body can be tricky - especially as you get older.

At Chums, we believe that you should love the way your clothes make you feel. To help you make the right decision when it comes to everyday underwear and lingerie, we’ve put together this handy guide. Below we take a look at the different types of underwear for older women you can choose from and explain which best suit and fit each body shape.

Different types of underwear

Before looking at which types of underwear complement each body shape, it’s first important to understand the characteristics of each style.

-       Briefs A traditional cut, briefs are a high rise type of underwear that provide a good level of coverage. These old favourites give plenty of support and are considered one of the most comfortable types of underwear.

-       Bikini Similar to briefs, bikini cut underwear provide slightly less coverage while offering a similar level of comfort. They tend to have a lower rise and higher leg openings. A popular style for women of all ages, bikini pants won't be as visible through tightfitting clothes as briefs.

-       Panty girdles This form of corsetry is designed to provide supreme support to your back and hips, as well as to smooth your outline and help control the shape of your tummy and backside. Panty girdles can also help to position your hips correctly and help you maintain a good posture throughout the day. Additionally, their comforting nature is thought to reduce feelings of anxiety and even provide relief from headaches and migraines.

-       Hipsters These low rise options sit on your hips rather than just below your navel. They are considered a comfortable middle ground between bikinis and panty girdles, providing a flattering look, few visible panty lines, and plenty of support.

-       Shapewear all-in-one corselettes All-in-one shapewear has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially among older women. As the name suggests, this type of undergarment covers your entire torso and is designed to help you achieve a smooth, streamlined look. As well as helping to shape your silhouette, these items also offer additional warmth during the winter months.

How to choose the right underwear for your body type

Although taking personal preference and lifestyle into consideration when choosing underwear is clearly important, you might also like to take your body type into account. Below we provide our top tips for five common body shapes.


By definition, those with a rectangular body type tend not to have a natural waist definition. For this reason, classic bikini style underwear is the best option. The additional fabric of briefs can feel bunched on these body types, while girdles and hipster style panties may fail to provide any additional definition. However, when looking for options that won’t leave a visible pantyline, all-in-one shapewear corselettes can also work well for those with rectangle body types. 


For apple body types, finding underwear that complements and supports a rounder midsection is key. With this in mind, more high waisted options like briefs and panty girdles can work best. For the same reason, low rise underwear such as hipsters and bikini styles should be avoided. These will make you feel shapeless, providing no control or support for your curvier midriff.


Although a coveted body type, when it comes to underwear, hourglass body shapes bring unique challenges. Due to full and rounded hips, underwear styles that provide little backside coverage can feel uncomfortable. This rules out low rise hipsters and bikini styles. On the other hand, high rise panty girdles and shapewear corselettes can provide you with a look that flatters your wide hips and narrow waist, while also offering more coverage and support.


Like hourglass body types, those with pear body shapes tend to have wide set hips and a narrow waist. However, this body type is also characterised by thicker thighs. For this reason, low rise bikini style panties that can restrict the legs and buttocks should be avoided. Briefs may be best for everyday wear, while panty girdles can also be tried if you are looking for a more defined waistline.

Inverted triangle

The inverted triangle body type is defined by narrow hips and an undefined waistline. To make the most of this body shape, shapewear all-in-ones are a great option. They are comfortable and able to add some definition to a shapeless waist. Alternatively, if you are looking for options with less coverage, panty girdles can provide the additional definition you need. As with rectangle body types, briefs should be avoided. The additional fabric can bunch around flat waistlines and backsides, meaning your underwear can feel as though it is hanging off your frame.

Here at Chums, we stock a wide range of underwear and lingerie for women. Whether you’re looking to restock your underwear drawer with everyday briefs or you are after pieces that are designed to flatter your figure, check out our range today.

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