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Yoga Panties

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Updated June 19, 2013

I'll admit that I am a bit of a purist when it comes to underpants. My philosophy can be summed up (with apologies to food writer Michael Pollan) as: Wear underpants. Not thongs. Mostly cotton.

Until recently, these preferences caused me no trouble. But then I began to notice something. Yoga pants were getting tighter and clingier, yet I saw nary a visible panty line (VPL) in yoga class, except for my own. I asked around to find out what kind of miraculous panties were responsible for this disappearing act.

Have I mentioned that I don't do thongs? Well, I don't. I can't imagine anything more unpleasant. So, a lot of ladies wear thongs. Scratch that one off the list. A goodly number also revealed that they were wearing no underpants at all, an idea I also cannot get down with. Mark that one off, too.

Cruising some yoga-wear websites, I noticed a few were offering specialized yoga panties, high-tech, laser-cut briefs that promised to reveal no tell-tale panty lines. Intrigued, I made it my mission to take these panties out for a few down dogs and report back on which offered the best underpants experience. Is it possible to satisfy your vanity and your need for comfort at the very same time? Let's find out.

Lululemon Groovy Girlshort

Lululemon Groovy Girlshorts
Photo Courtesy of Lululemon

First out of the blocks was the Groovy Girlshort from yoga-wear behemoth Lululemon. Since they are largely responsible for the tight pants that cause regular old panties to stick out like a sore thumb, I figured they had to be all over creating a product that fixed that problem.

The Groovy Girlshorts scored high marks in the invisibility category. The laser-cut edge of these nylon and Lycra panties completely disappeared under my yoga pants. Now, about the coverage: It's not great. Though these panties cover both cheeks when you first put them on, pretty soon they begin to creep up until you find yourself in malasana with the world's biggest wedgie. The sweatier the class, the more egregious they became.

I sped home after class so I could change as soon as possible. I was beginning to suspect that panty lines exist for a reason: They keep your panties on your butt where they belong. Nonetheless, the search continued.

[Note: This product has been replaced by the Light As Air Hipster.]

Zobha Boyshort Panties

Zobha Boyshort Panty
Photo Courtesy of Zobha

Zobha's Boyshort Panties were my next assignment. I was encouraged to see that these underpants appeared to have a fuller cut than the Lululemon style. Upon trying them on, however, I discovered that most of this extra fabric just extended down the leg, which I guess is the difference between a girlshort and a boyshort.

Though also made of nylon and Lycra, Zobha's panties are much thinner and feature a cotton gusset, which is what we used to call the crotch in the olden days. Once again, a laser-cut edge insured that these panties became invisible under my yoga pants. And miracle of miracles, they pretty much stayed in place through a complete practice. No creeping, no wedging, very little adjusting required. I was able to make my way home at a leisurely pace, but I still changed into my regular panties when I got there.

Commando Cotton Bikini

Commando Cotton Bikini
Photo Courtesy of Commando

Commando is the genius name of a full line of anti-VPL underthings. Their genius tagline is "better than nothing," with which I wholeheartedly agree. I was super excited to try their panties since they offer so many different cuts. At last, a chance to get away from the boy and girl shorts and into a familiar bikini! Also, cotton!

I first tested the cotton bikini, which is, in fact, 71% cotton and 29% spandex, which is still over 70% more cotton than any pair I tried. Though they are perhaps a fraction thicker than their synthetic competition, the cotton bikinis are still all but undetectable under pants.

On my first go with the cotton bikini, I went on a outing with my family. A bike-riding outing. And the Commando bikinis were stellar. Completely comfortable, I wore them all day long without a second thought. They performed just as well at yoga class.

Commando C.Y.A Panty

Commando C.Y.A Panty
Photo Courtesy of Commando
I also tried the Commando C.Y.A Panty, which is a bikini cut in the familiar nylon/spandex vein. Unfortunately, these offered a quick trip back to wedgieville in yoga class. I'm all for pratyahara, but I prefer that my distractions are not caused by my underwear. However, your butt may vary (YBMV), and with the wide variety of cuts offered by Commando, you are sure to find your favorite style, minus the panty line.

Introducing: The Wedgometer

Since all the underpants I tried offered excellent panty line removal, my top choices came down to comfort, as measured by a proprietary wedgometer (remember YBMV). In order of preference, we got:

1. Commando Cotton Bikini

2. Zobha Boyshort Panty

3. Commando C.Y.A. Panty

4. Lululemon Groovy Girlshort

And, finally, a definitive answer to that all-important question. Though I prioritize comfort, I'm glad that I don't have to sacrifice my vanity to find it.

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