The Best Underwear for Leggings of 2021

Erase panty lines for good

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Commerce Photo Composite

Verywell / Chloe Jeong

If you have a closet that’s brimming with leggings, you know the struggle of finding complementary underwear to go along with form-fitting activewear. The never-ending quest to eliminate panty lines stops here. 

The great debate is whether there’s another way to banish visible panty lines—also known as VPL—without going commando or wearing a thong. We’ve got news for you; there sure is! In a sea of styles, from thongs to high-cut briefs, pick your favorites. It all comes down to the details: fit, fabric, and construction.

Here are the best underwear for leggings that'll create a VPL-free look.

Our Top Picks
These are featherlight, moisture-wicking seamless underwear that are available in a wide range of sizes.
The smooth, laser-cut edges make for the ideal no-show undies and it's offered in a wide variety of neutral color tones.
A must-have for all types of athletes, the body-skimming boxer briefs feature sweat-wicking, anti-odor technology.
Made from soft, durable long-staple cotton with a slim elastic satin edge, these undies are a timeless wardrobe staple.
An absorbent, stylish undie, this revolutionary thong features a quick-drying inner liner and delivers expert breathability.
Completely seamless with a touch of lace, they stay glued to the body for distraction-free and panty line-free wear.
Without cheek coverage, this V-string thong eliminates panty lines all together for a smooth, clean silhouette under leggings.
Sexy, sophisticated cheeky undies, they're cut specifically for no-show wear under leggings.
It's made from an ultra lightweight version of Alo’s signature Airbrush fabric that disappears under leggings.
It features a female-specific 3D chamois padding that helps to reduce pressure points and disperse vibration during your ride.

Best Overall for Women: Girlfriend Black High-Rise Brief

Black High-Rise Brief
Pros
  • Buttery soft feel

  • Inclusive size range

  • Seamless

  • Breathable, sweat-wicking material

Cons
  • Limited color options

  • Some would prefer a higher rise

Checking all the boxes, this high-rise brief boasts an unbelievably smooth, featherlight fabric that molds to the body for a comfortable, confident workout. The Girlfriend Collective High-Rise Brief hits a little below the belly button—about 1-inch below the brand's signature high-rise leggings—and is made from soft, stretchy, moisture-wicking material. Each pair of Girlfriend Collective High-Rise Briefs is both recycled and recyclable—made from 80 percent recycled plastic bottles blended with 20 percent spandex, with a moisture-wicking COOLMAX lined gusset.

For a secure, comfy fit, these undies feature a bonded waistband that stays put through vigorous workouts with raw-cut edges that lay smoothly on the body and eliminate pesky panty lines. This legging-ready pair of underwear is offered in Black, Copper, Shell, and Lavender in sizes extra-extra-small to 6XL.

Material: 80 percent recycled plastic bottles (RPET), 20 percent spandex | Style: High-rise brief | Sizes: Extra-extra-small to 6XL

Best Budget: Old Navy Soft-Knit No-Show Hipster Underwear for Women

Old Navy Soft-Knit No-Show Hipster Underwear for Women
Pros
  • Laser-cut edges

  • Wide range of neutral tones

  • Affordable

  • Smooth, barely-there feel

Cons
  • Sizes sell out quickly

  • Low rise

For a smooth silhouette, these buttery soft hipsters deliver a semi-seamless construction with a laser-cut, panty line-free design. The no-show panties are made with a smooth nylon tricot and spandex with an interior cotton gusset; delivering plenty of stretch and comfort. The wide elasticized, low-rise waist is fitted without digging into the body. These hipsters provide moderate backside coverage while the fabric is fully invisible under leggings.

These cute and comfy panties from Old Navy are offered in an assortment of neutral color tones including Waves, Cocoa Mocha, Frappe, Dark Walnut, Sugar Coral, White Lilies, Black Jack, and Surplus Khaki in sizes XS to 4X. For easy care, this underwear can be machine washed in cold water on a gentle cycle and tumble dried on low.

Material: 82% nylon, 18% spandex | Style: Hipster | Sizes: XS-4X

Best Overall for Men: Under Armour Men's Tech 6-inch Boxerjock

Under Armour Men's Tech 6-inch Boxerjock
Pros
  • Anti-odor technology

  • Moisture-wicking, quick-drying material

  • Tight but not too tight

  • Articulated mesh fly panel

Cons
  • Tag sewn on the inside

  • Not highly compressive

Under Armour's sweat-wicking, ultra-cool performance fabric is a must-have for all types of athletes. UA Boxerjock boxer briefs provide a distraction-free fit that stays put all workout long and doesn't ride up under leggings, running tights or shorts. They're snug but not tight for a barely-there sensation. The soft and breathable fabric features anti-odor technology that keeps the body fresh with quick-drying technology for the ultimate athletic uniform. Complete with four-way stretch and seamless side and back seams, these comfortable boxer briefs enable you to perform your best while disappearing underneath performance wear.

The Under Armour Men's Tech 6-inch Boxerjock boxer brief is made of 90 percent polyester and 10 percent elastane, and features an articulated mesh fly panel and gusset with a functional fly. This two-pack is offered in a wide variety of colors in sizes small to 5XL.

Material: 90 percent polyester, 10 percent elastane | Style: Boxer brief | Sizes: Small to 5XL

Best Cotton: Hanro Cotton Seamless Hi-Cut Full Brief

Hanro Cotton Seamless Hi-Cut Full Brief
Pros
  • 100 percent cotton

  • Seamless in sizes XS-L

  • Full coverage back

  • Mid-rise

Cons
  • Size XL features side seams

  • Material can stretch out

The HANRO Cotton Seamless Hi-Cut Full Brief boasts a 100 percent cotton construction, the best choice for letting your parts breathe. These mid-rise briefs deliver full cheek coverage with high-cut sides, which is code for legs for days. Made from soft, durable long-staple cotton with a slim elastic satin edge, these HANRO undies are a timeless wardrobe staple. 

This simple yet sophisticated pair of cotton underwear delivers a seamless construction in sizes extra-small to large, while size extra-large features side seams. These 100-percent cotton full coverage briefs are offered in Black, White, Beige, Cobblestone, Pale Cream, Skin, Geranium, and Nightshade. 

Material: 100 percent cotton | Style: High-cut, mid-rise brief | Sizes: Extra-small to extra-large

Best Leakproof: Speax by Thinx Thong

Speax by Thinx Thong Women's Underwear
Pros
  • Non-toxic, EPA-approved materials

  • Absorbent liner

  • Inclusive size range

  • Contemporary style with flirty lace

Cons
  • Some people report that the lace rolls down

  • No option for non-lace, plain thong

Say goodbye to panty liners and panty lines thanks to Speax by Thinx absorbent, stylish undies for light to moderate bladder leaks. Run, jump, laugh, and sneeze without fear. Holding up to three teaspoons of liquid, this revolutionary thong not only features a quick-drying inner liner—so you don't feel damp down south—but also delivers expert breathability backed by an anti-odor treatment, so you smell fresh and feel comfortable.

This leakproof thong is made from a nylon and spandex body and gusset, while the inner liner is composed of polyester. All materials are both non-toxic and EPA-approved. The pretty lace waistband comfortably lies on the hips without digging in or pinching, resembling a contemporary style you'd find at Victoria's Secret. 

For easy care, machine-wash these leakproof panties in cold water and either tumble dry on low or hang them to dry. Do not iron, bleach, or use any fabric softener.

The Speax by Thinx Thong is offered in Black, Earl Grey, Beige, and Cranberry in sizes extra-small to 3XL.

Material: Body 78 percent nylon, 22 percent spandex; Gusset: 80 percent polyester, 20 percent nylon; Gusset Lining: 100 percent polyester | Style: Thong | Sizes: Extra-small to 3XL

Best Style: Free People Movement Happy Seam Undie

Free People Movement Happy Seam Undie
Pros
  • Pretty lace detail

  • Seamless, no-show fabric

  • Lightweight, ultra thin

  • Fabric stays put during exercise

Cons
  • Tends to run large

  • No plus sizes

The perfect marriage between a bikini and a boyshort, these hipster undies deliver the ideal balance between coverage and comfort with a stylistic twist. Designed exclusively for FP Movement—by Free People—this ultra thin and breathable pair of Uwila Warrior underwear features an 8.5-inch rise with a fully covered caboose. The glorious cotton lined gusset provides expert breathability to keep your nether regions happy and comfortable through all your sweaty endeavors. 

The Movement Happy Seam Undie is completely seamless, making it the ideal no-show underwear for VPL-free wear under leggings. For a flirty touch, each pair features a matching horizontal lace inset across the front face of the fabric. This underwear—not including the lace—is made from 59 percent nylon and 41 percent elastane.

It's offered in Winter White, Cobalt, Smoke Grey, Toffee, Black, Camilla Rose, Back / Gold, and Dress Blue in sizes extra-small through extra-large.

Material: 59 percent nylon, 41 percent elastane | Style: Hipster | Sizes: Extra-small to extra-large

Best Thong: Victoria's Secret Stretch Cotton V-string Panty

Stretch Cotton V-string Panty
Pros
  • Extensive selection of prints and colors

  • No visible panty lines

  • Barely-there feel

  • Affordable

Cons
  • Low-rise

  • Limited size range: XS-XL

Go commando without fully committing with a barely-there, stretchy cotton V-string thong from Victoria's Secret. These low-rise panties feature a light, ultra thin waistband for an almost naked sensation. Without cheek coverage, this V-string thong eliminates panty lines all together for a smooth, clean silhouette under leggings. 

This thong is a staple in Alexa Idama’s wardrobe, NASM certified personal trainer, certified Pilates teacher, and creator of @lowimpactfit. “The Victoria's Secret Stretch Cotton V-string Panty is completely no-show with enough cotton in the right places to be breathable,” she said. “It also has a good waist to hip and thigh ratio for my athletic body.”

The Victoria's Secret Stretch Cotton V-string Panty is made from 57 percent cotton, 38 percent modal, and 5 percent elastane. This style comes in an extensive assortment of prints, colors, and fabrics—ranging from velvet, smooth stretch cotton, and daisy lace.

The velvet and daisy lace styles come with different material makeup, but both have a 100 percent cotton gusset. For those who desire more glitz and glamour, some styles even feature decorations like bows or charms. This V-string thong is offered in sizes extra-small to extra-large and is machine-washable.

Material: 57% cotton, 38% modal, 5% elastane | Style: V-string thong | Sizes: XS-XL

Best High Waisted: Aerie OFFLINE No Show High Waisted Cheeky Legging Underwear

Aerie OFFLINE No Show High Waisted Cheeky Legging Underwear
Pros
  • Buttery soft material

  • Smoothing, high-waisted fit

  • Anti-microbial finish

  • Raw cut invisible edges

Cons
  • Tends to run large

  • Can stretch out

Aerie's retro, high-waisted cheeky undies are so smooth and lightweight, they're basically begging you to put on a pair of body-hugging leggings. The OFFLINE No Show fabric hides seamlessly under clothing, especially leggings, with raw-cut, invisible edges. 

This underwear boasts a high-rise fit that lets a little bit of cheek peek through without being visible under clothing, of course, thanks to the featherlight fabric. Fitting above the belly button, these high-rise panties deliver a sleek and smooth silhouette.

OFFLINE No Show High Waisted Cheeky Legging Underwear is made of 87 percent nylon and 13 percent elastane and features an anti-microbial finish to keep you feeling fresh. This dreamy fabric is super smooth, stretchy, and lightweight—it's almost like you're wearing nothing at all.

OFFLINE No Show High Waisted Cheeky Legging Underwear is machine-washable so there's no need to spend extra time doing laundry. These panties are offered in a wide selection of prints and colors, including True Black, Dawn, Sands, Olive Fun, Silver Shadow, Relic, Cedar Expedition, Sycamore, and Cocoa Cream in sizes extra-extra-small to extra-extra-large.

Material: 87 percent nylon, 13 percent elastane | Style: high-rise cheeky | Sizes: Extra-extra-small to extra-extra-large

Best for Yoga: Alo Airbrush Invisible Cheeky

Alo Airbrush Invisible Cheeky
Pros
  • Raw-cut edges

  • Breathable material

  • No-show

  • Lightweight, barely-there feel

Cons
  • Limited size range: XS-L

  • No cotton gusset

Armed with the power of invisibility, Alo’s Airbrush Invisible Cheeky undies are light as air and ultra-breathable, feeling like a second skin. The feathery soft fabric molds to the body, which moves with you, not against you as you flow through your yoga practice. This luxurious fabric features raw-cut edges with a soft, silky finish that remains completely unnoticeable under leggings. 

Alo's lightweight version of its signature Airbrush fabric delivers odor resistance that keeps you smelling fresh and clean on and off the mat. This fabric is a blend of nylon, polyester, and spandex.

The mid-rise Airbrush Invisible Cheeky is a fuller coverage thong that offers more fabric support around the waist and lower back compared to its Airbrush thong counterpart. In fact, Alo calls this pair “cheeky” instead but since it doesn't feature any cheek coverage, we’ll call it a thong.

For easy care, the Airbrush Invisible Cheeky can be machine washed in cold water and tumble dried on low. These dreamy undies are offered in Champagne, Raisin, Sand, Black, Smoky Quartz, Powder Blue, Candy Pink, Powder Pink, and Cherry in sizes extra-small to large.

Material: A blend of nylon, polyester, and spandex | Style: Fuller coverage thong | Sizes: Extra-small to large

Best for Cycling: BALEAF Women's Bike Underwear

BALEAF Women's Bike Underwear
Pros
  • Affordable

  • 3D chamois padding

  • Four-way stretch

  • Moisture-wicking material

Cons
  • Some people need more padding

  • Tends to run small

Ride comfortably wearing BALEAF Women's Bike Underwear. This moisture-wicking, high-rise briefs feature female-specific 3D chamois padding to reduce pressure points, disperse vibration, and provide comfort throughout your ride. These padded undies are even popular among horseback riders to protect and cushion the bum. 

Equipped with an elastic waistband, this pair of padded underwear stays put while creating a secure, roll-free fit. Made from 79 percent nylon and 21 percent spandex, this moisture-wicking, breathable fabric keeps the body cool and dry throughout a workout. This pair is also designed with flat lock seams to minimize friction and chafing.

The BALEAF Women's Bike Underwear is designed to be worn under shorts, leggings, and yoga pants for a seamless barely-there look. These cycling undies are offered in black, hot pink, light blue, orange, purple, taro purple, blue, and pink in sizes extra-small through extra-extra-large.

For a looser fit, BALEAF suggests sizing up. 

Material: 79 percent nylon, 21 percent spandex | Style: High-rise briefs/padded cycling underwear | Sizes: Extra-small through extra-extra-large

Best Plus Size: Torrid Seamless Boyshort Panty

Torrid Seamless Boyshort Panty
Pros
  • Seamless

  • Soft and stretchy material

  • No VPL

  • Sizes 10 to 30

Cons
  • Limited colors

  • Must be washed and handled delicately

One of the best tricks of the trade for eliminating panty lines is to wear boyshort-style underwear. Torrid's Seamless Boyshort Panty offers VPL-free, smoothing coverage in a seamless panty. The stretchy knit fabric keeps you comfortable during workouts with a tailored fit that stays put and disappears under clothing. This full-coverage, seamless pair of underwear is made from a blend of polyester, nylon, and spandex that can be put in both the washer and dryer. 

These high-rise boyshorts hit just below the belly button and offer full butt coverage. The Torrid Seamless Boyshort Panty is offered in heather grey in Torrid sizes 00 to 6, which spans sizes 10 to 30.

Material: Polyester, nylon, and spandex | Style: Boyshort | Sizes: Torrid sizes 00 to 6 (sizes 10 to 30)

Best for Comfort: Gap Breathe Thong

Gap Breathe Thong
Pros
  • Soft heathered jersey

  • Breathable

  • Stretchy

  • Comfort-driven design

Cons
  • Sizes and colors sell out quickly

  • Limited size range: XS-XXL

This soft and comfy pair of underwear feels like a cozy worn-in T-shirt that only gets better with age. It’s made from breathable, lightweight heathered jersey with a lightly elasticized waistband and leg opening, which you can barely feel and doesn’t dig into your skin. 

The Gap Breathe Thong boasts a low-rise, high-cut fit and is made from 74 percent polyester, 18 percent lyocell, and 8 percent spandex. It lies smoothly on the body without causing ride-up, digging, or irritation. It’s lightweight, smooth, and comfy—the complete opposite of what you normally think of in a thong. 

The Gap Breathe Thong will undoubtedly become the most comfortable pair of underwear in your wardrobe. This classic, everyday basic is machine washable and is offered in cerulean blue, rugby tan, true black, light heather gray stripe, and preppy stripe blue in sizes extra-small to extra-extra-large.

Material: 74 percent polyester, 18 percent lyocell, 8 percent spandex | Style: Thong | Sizes: Extra-small to extra-extra-large

Final Verdict

The Girlfriend Collective High-Rise Brief (view at Girlfriend) is seamless, smoothing, and moisture-wicking—providing the perfect base layer for under leggings. These high-rise briefs are featherlight and disappear completely under clothing. The moisture-wicking COOLMAX lined gusset helps absorb moisture to keep you cool and comfy throughout the day. Made from recycled materials, the Girlfriend Collective High-Rise Brief is offered in sizes extra-extra-small to 6XL.


For those who like the idea of wearing a thong but are still skeptical, we recommend the Gap Breathe Thong (view at Gap)— it won't feel like you’re wearing a thong at all! The lightweight heathered jersey resembles your favorite worn-in T-shirt. It's soft, breathable, and super comfy. This low-rise, high-cut thong is offered in sizes-extra small to extra-extra-large.

What to Look for in Underwear for Leggings

Style

Underwear styles range from maximum coverage cuts to barely-there fashions. There are options in every category that can provide a smooth foundation under leggings, free of pesky panty lines. 

Thongs: These cheekless panties provide the least coverage with an open back. The lack of fabric eliminates VPL.

Cheeky: Striking a balance between a thong and a brief, cheeky underwear flaunts some cheek without totally sacrificing coverage. You can even opt for a high-rise cheeky style for a little extra tummy support, like the OFFLINE No Show High Waisted Cheeky Legging Underwear by Aerie (view at American Eagle Outfitters).

Boyshorts: For those who aren't a fan of thongs but want a panty line-free caboose, a boyshort can provide the same effect, since the fabric doesn’t stop at the cheek. These booty shorts come just over the buttocks into a short-short style for a seamless, smooth look.

Classic Styles: For those who desire a classic underwear cut, choose a combination of the desired cheek coverage and rise for the perfect fit. Popular styles include bikini, hipster, brief, and high-cut brief.

Fit

When underwear is too tight, you guessed it, it creates panty lines—especially when styles incorporate elastic. Nobody likes the feeling or look of undies digging into their skin. On the other hand, if underwear is too loose, it can ride up and cause the fabric to bunch or wrinkle, which can show through your leggings.

Seams and Tags

Rough, raised seams are not only uncomfortable but can be unflattering. To avoid chafing and visible panty lines, look for seamless underwear with bonded or laser-cut seams for a no-show, invisible look under leggings.

Always go tagless—not just for the sake of vanity, but for comfort. Nobody likes the feeling of an itchy, rubbing tag on their bum. Avoid extra lines and added discomfort with a tag-free pair of underwear. 

Material

Cotton and sweat-wicking materials are your best bet for sweaty endeavors. You can even find a combination of the two, with a sweat-wicking body and a cotton crotch. If you have sensitive skin down south, natural breathable cotton is the best option. Just be sure to bring a dry pair for after your workout. 

Personal trainer and Pilates teacher Alexa Idama prefers wearing a cotton thong under leggings. “Cotton thongs are breathable, fit well, and tend not to overstretch like some of the other thongs on the market,” she said. “They are also the least visible under my workout pants and fit well over my thighs without sagging around my waist.”

For high-intensity workouts, quick-drying underwear made from sweat-wicking fabrics helps wick moisture away from the body, rather than absorbing it and making you feel damp. This helps you stay dry and comfortable. Sweat-wicking performance fabrics are a popular choice under leggings since the tight nature of activewear makes you more susceptible to sweat down under. For the closest thing to feeling like you’re wearing nothing, choose an ultra-thin, sweat-wicking fabric that molds to the body for a wrinkle- and ride-up free fit.

FAQs

Is it ok to not wear underwear with leggings?

Yes, research shows it’s ok to skip wearing underwear with leggings. In fact, for those who dare to go bare, many styles of leggings feature a gusset—a triangular piece of fabric sewn into the crotch—which acts almost like a built-in pair of underwear that absorbs moisture.

Just as some people prefer cropped leggings and others prefer full-length, what you wear underneath is a personal preference. For both pro-panty people and fans of going commando, the rules are the same. Bacteria and yeast thrive in dark, moist environments—whether one goes bare or layers up.

Opt for breathable and sweat-wicking materials—whether choosing underwear or going straight for leggings sans underwear. 

What happens if you don’t change your underwear after working out?

Lingering around in damp, sweaty clothes is a bad idea. By doing so, you become susceptible to a slew of bacterial and fungal infections—not to mention body odor—including a yeast infection, clogged pores, acne, chafing, and skin irritations. At a minimum, always pack a spare pair of underwear.

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

Emily Stone is a Chicago-based journalist specializing in fitness and lifestyle content. As a health and wellness writer, she researches and reviews products for Verywell Fit, Verywell Health, and Verywell Mind. 

Was this page helpful?