The Undergarment Essentials Every Woman Should Own (2022)

Fashion Tips

When it comes to fashion essentials, nothing is more universal than the all-important base layer: your underwear! A great outfit can easily be derailed by the wrong underthings, so we’ve created this handy guide to the most important element of any good closet—a well-stocked underwear drawer.

Here’s our guide to wearing undergarments, whatever the outfit!

Like buildings, outfits require solid foundations. Stocking your drawer with well-fitting and versatile undergarments will not only help bring your wardrobe to life, but can even help keep the clutter out. When it comes to lingerie, a few essentials can go a long way.

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Camisoles are a quick and easy way to add a little modesty when needed. Gaping on your favorite button up? Add a cami underneath to keep it office appropriate. Unsure how to keep that sheer blouse sexy and not salacious? A black cami will keep it classy. Camisoles can also function as an extra layer under sweaters for chillier days.

The camis you should own:

  • Nude cami: A nude cami is perfect for a little extra coverage under blouses and button-ups. Sticking to a camisole close to your skin tone will keep it barely noticeable.
  • White and black cami: Need that plunging neckline to come back up a bit? A black cami can add a few inches without sacrificing the look.

Camisole Care

Like any top, mind the care label on your camisole and pay careful attention to the fabrics before tossing them in the wash.

Stylist Tip: A silk cami with a little lace along the edges is a classic example of lingerie as outerwear. Pair it with a cardigan and dark jeans for an easy and flirty date night look.

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We’ve all had those moments: putting on a beautiful dress only to realize that the fabric may not have been as forgiving as we thought, or realizing that last night’s dinner seems to have made today’s outfit a little…tight. Shapewear exists for these moments, so skip the zipper battle and get ready to smooth your silhouette!

The shapewear you should own:

  • High waisted slimming pants: These little miracles are like a nip/tuck without going anywhere near a doctor’s office. A good pair will flatten the tummy, lift the booty and reduce any thigh-chafing. Perfect for pencil skirts, form-fitting dresses and slim trousers.
  • All-in-one body shaper: A body shaper is perfect for smoothing out trouble spots and ensuring a perfect silhouette in your favorite fit and flare dress. You guessed it, it usually covers (literally) your bust to your kneecap.

Shapewear Care

When storing shapewear, be careful not to bend any structural boning, or you’ll risk ruining the piece. Rather than folding, roll the item carefully keeping the boning flat.

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It doesn’t get more “back to basics” than this! Clear out the clutter and refocus your underwear drawer on these three top-drawer necessities.

The essential underwear you need:

  • Thong: In the case of clingy fabrics versus visible panty lines, thongs are clearly the winner. As with any undergarment, be sure to invest in well-fitting pieces.
  • Bikinis: Bikini panties typically have a higher leg cut than briefs and are great for everyday wear, like underneath loose jeans and skirts.
  • Briefs: Briefs offer a little more coverage and are also a great everyday basic under flowy skirts and more.

Underwear Care

Minding the fabric content, wash your underwear with delicates wash in lingerie bags to keep them in circulation longer. When the elastic is shot, it’s time to toss and replace.

Stylist Tip: These three essentials in black or nude can get you through just about any look.

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As one of the most visible undergarments we wear, tights can be a little tricky at times. That said, when done well tights are a great functional accessory to add to dresses and tailored shorts.

The tights you should own:

  • Black opaque tights: Opaque tights aren’t just a cute add-on to fit and flare dresses and a-line skirts – they’re also a chic survival tool for plunging temperatures! Pair them with knee high boots or ankle boots during colder months to keep your favorite dresses in rotation.
  • Black sheer tights: Black sheer tights work with most looks, but are best for adding a little va va voom to a dress and heels combo. They’re also your best bet for a look that goes from the office to happy hour with ease.
  • Patterned tights: Patterned tights are perfect for livening up solid colored dresses paired with boots or chunky heels, but keep it simple. A swiss dot or diamond pattern is all you need to accessorize this look.

Tights Care

Go easy on this fragile undergarment! Hand wash tights with a gentle detergent and hang them to dry to ensure many more snag-free wears to come.

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There’s been an ugly rumor that bralettes aren’t for busty gals for years, but rest assured that these wireless wonders are for every size and shape!

The bralettes you should own:

  • Black lace bralette: Let your black lace bralettes serve a little “peekaboo” style under sheer blouses and other date night ensambles.
  • Everyday bralette: Keep an everyday bralette for go-comfort under sweaters and other relaxed looks.

Bralettes Care

Machine wash your bralettes in a lingerie bag and let them hang to dry. They may require a little reshaping and adjustment after.

Stylist Tip: For bigger bust sizes, find a structured bralette in a longline cut to stay supported without the underwires.

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First things first, get yourself properly measured. Bra sizing is more complicated than most people realize, so don’t play guessing games. Find the right fit from the start and leave the prodding wires, gaping cups, and overflow behind.

The essential bras you should own:

    • T-shirt bra: Perhaps the most essential bra to have in your drawer, the t-shirt bra should be a comfortable and versatile basic that works with most of your clothes. Stock up on nude and black!
    • Lacy feminine bra: A beautiful lace bra is not only a must for under blouses and as lingerie, but also looks fabulous paired with a sheer top and high-waisted pants.
    • Plunge bra: Have at least a few hangers of v-neck tops? Stock up on at least one plunge bra to avoid your undergarment from peeking through under a low-cut top.

Bras Care

Your bras will last longer if you hand wash and hang dry them. Adjust the straps after washes to make sure you’re still getting the best fit!

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Like clothes, you’ll do your shoes better justice if you lay down the right foundation first.

The socks you should own:

  • Thick boot socks: Save your feet the pain and invest in some cozy, cushy socks intended for wearing boots. They’ll save your ankles from chafing and ensure your toes stay put instead of sliding.
  • Liner socks: Pair your ballet flats with barely there liner socks that just cover your toes and heels to reduce friction and extend the life of your kicks.
  • Ankle socks: Ankle socks are a must for ankles boots and tennis shoes alike! They provide the comfort and coverage that you need while giving the illusion of going barefoot.

Socks Care

Most socks can be easily machine washed and dried without worry. However, use precaution when drying wool socks or liner socks that feature grips on the ankle. Remember, when in doubt always hang dry!

Our Undergarment Brands

We’re excited to now carry brands like Free People, Wacoal, Hanky Panky and our own brand, Everyday by Stitch Fix. You’re in control with the Extras your underwear drawer needs!

What’s your favorite undergarment? Refresh on these fantastic foundations with our Extras. Take your style quiz and schedule a Fix. Click on Extras to add new undergarments to your next shipment. Keep what you love and send back the rest. Shipping, returns and exchanges are free. It’s as simple as that.

(Video) Underwear 101 | The Elegant Lady's Guide to Undergarments

By: Laura Braun

February 22, 2018

(Video) clothing items every woman should have in her wardrobe | underwear, tops, bottoms, bag, accessories.


What was the purpose of wearing such an undergarment? ›

They serve to keep outer garments from being soiled or damaged by bodily excretions, to lessen the friction of outerwear against the skin, to shape the body, and to provide concealment or support for parts of it. In cold weather, long underwear is sometimes worn to provide additional warmth.

How many pairs of undies should a woman own? ›

So, give or take 20 to 34 pairs, this number works for the majority of women's lifestyles. While there are exceptions to the rule, this is the general estimate you should aim for. However, more important than how many pairs of underwear you own, you need to know when to throw them out and replenish one with a new pair.

How many pairs of undies should you own? ›

On average, you should own between 20 and 25 pairs of underwear. The amount of underwear you should have depends on how often you do laundry, your activity level, outfit choices, and personal preference. Having roughly 20 to 25 pairs ensures most people that they will never run out of underwear.

How many undergarments do I need? ›

A: 24 pairs is ideal, the very minimum is 14. The 14 covers your basic two weeks (or less, depending on when you do laundry), with the next 10 pairs including specialty underwear for your lifestyle.

What is another word for undergarments? ›

What is another word for undergarments?
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What are women's undergarments called? ›

The word lingerie is a word taken directly from the French language, meaning undergarments, and used exclusively for more lightweight items of female undergarments. The French word in its original form derives from the French word linge, meaning 'linen' or 'clothes'.

How many bras does an average woman own? ›

"On average, they own 16 at any one time, topping up their collection with four purchases each year." And then the story goes on to reveal that while we women have enough bras to go at least two weeks without doing laundry, on average we wash them only every two months.

How many pairs of shoes should a woman have? ›

You probably need only 5 pairs of shoes

The number of shoes you need is relative to your lifestyle. I'm certain some women can live happy, stylish lives with only a few pairs of chic sneakers. But assuming you sometimes go out, work out, dress up, or dress down, you probably only need five pairs of shoes: What is this?

How often should you get new bras? ›

Even with gentle usage and care, all bras will lose their shape over time as the elastic fibres in the band and straps begins to deteriorate. It's generally recommended that a bra should last anywhere between 6-9 months, although we think that with good care your bras should last a lot longer.

How many bras should I own minimalist? ›

If you want a minimalist wardrobe, you can start with 7 bras. This will give you enough options while keeping your closet functional. With this strategy, you can have 4 everyday bras and 3 bras for specialty use (such as going to the gym or for wearing certain types of dresses, etc).

How many clothes should one woman have? ›

With the increasing popularity of minimalism and capsule wardrobes, many influencers suggest that a woman should not have more than 50 pieces of clothing (including shoes and accessories) in her closet.

How many dresses should a woman own? ›

In general, aim for 40 to 50 items, including 3 to 5 casual dresses or skirts. Refer to this ultimate guide on how big your wardrobe should be for inspiration. Only keep the essentials and what you truly need to earn more time, space, and money for the things you truly love.

How many bras is a good amount? ›

A good rule of thumb is three everyday bras: Two in a neutral color or skin tone shade. At least one darker color, like Black, Espresso, or Olive, for outfit variety.

What is bra called in English? ›

A bra, short for brassiere or brassière (US: /brəˈzɪər/, UK: /ˈbræsɪər/ or /ˈbræzɪər/; French: [bʁasjɛʁ]), is a form-fitting undergarment that is primarily used to support and cover breasts.

What is another name for a bra? ›

In this page you can discover 16 synonyms, antonyms, idiomatic expressions, and related words for bra, like: bustiers, bandeau, brassiere, halterneck, strapless, underwear, thong, underwired, g-string, tights and v-neck.

What is the meaning of inner wear? ›

Noun. innerwear (uncountable) clothing worn underneath other clothing, nearer to the skin.

Who invented undergarments? ›

The men's underwear we all know and love today dates back to about the 1930s. On 19 January 1935, the first pair of briefs was sold in Chicago. Designed by an apparel engineer named Arthur Kneibler, the original brief had leg sections and an overlapping Y shaped fly.

When did people start wearing undergarments? ›

The first known underwear dates back almost 7000 years, when prehistoric man used leather to cover and protect his loins while running prehistoric errands. For several millennia, not much changed. Ancient Egyptian art shows everyone from the pharaohs on down the line decked out in loincloths of their own.

Is it healthy for a woman to go commando? ›

Can going commando do any good for your health? The answer is yes, it can! While it might get a little uncomfortable in the beginning, and that's what stops most people from trying it out. But once you get the hang of it, you'll see plenty of health benefits after a few weeks.

Is wearing no undies good for you? ›

Wearing underwear keeps that moisture close to your genitals. This allows bacteria and yeast to grow, which can cause infection and other problems. If you are prone to yeast infections, vaginal infections or vaginal irritation, going commando at bedtime could be a great—and healthy—choice.

When did men stop wearing union suits? ›

The garment remained in common use in North America into the 20th century. As its popularity waned, it became chiefly working men's wear, increasingly replaced by two-piece long underwear, also known as "long johns".

Who invented undergarments? ›

The men's underwear we all know and love today dates back to about the 1930s. On 19 January 1935, the first pair of briefs was sold in Chicago. Designed by an apparel engineer named Arthur Kneibler, the original brief had leg sections and an overlapping Y shaped fly.

What happens when a woman goes commando? ›

You can expect a range of skin irritations and even some skin damage when opting to go commando. Without that protective layer between you and your pants, there are some things you'd be putting at risk that you might want to think wisely about before opting for no panties. Skin chafing is one of them.

Why are union suits red? ›

The general principle behind the Red union suit is quite simple. Typically when a person gets stuck out in the woods stripped down to nothing but their skivvies, it's obvious that they are in a bind of some sort. Producing union suits in red helps make this situation a little more obvious.

Do union suits keep you warm? ›

While the main function of the union suit is still to provide an extra layer of warmth, these would make some pretty rockin' pajamas too–especially in the cold winter months.

Why did people wear long johns? ›

All men, women and children wore knit cotton underwear called “long johns” or “union suits” in the early 1900s in America to keep warm in the winter. Even the best of homes was drafty and chilly.


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