Plus-Size Underpants (Good Morning!)

I would like suggestions for plus-sized underwear. The kind I like has been long-since discontinued, and I have cherished my remaining pairs so long I can no longer pretend the holes in the sides are sexy lace accents.

The ones I had before were Hanes, and they had the following attributes:

1. They were 100% cotton, except for the elastic. I have noticed that finding anything in 100% cotton is a bit of a challenge, so I am willing to go for a cotton-poly blend—but I would be much more reluctant to try nylon or anything slippery.

2. The elastic waistband was covered with cotton fabric. This was called a ComfortSoft waistband, I think. I really liked this, and would be drawn to similar.

3. They were the style known as hi-cut. I would be willing to try another style, I guess. But I don’t like briefs, especially in plus sizes. I suspect I would look dumb in the boy-short style, but I guess I’ve never TRIED. I used to like the bikini style, but now they bother my c-section scar; I suspect the hipster style would have the same issue.

4. They could be purchased in 3-packs for about $10. I am willing to pay more these days, but I did so appreciate being able to just pick up a pack at Target.

5. They were available in solid, non-neutral colors. I don’t like beige or white (black and grey are fine); I dislike most patterns. My favorite is if I can have an assortment of pretty colors: one pair turquoise and one pair bright pink and one pair aqua and one pair royal blue and one pair purple and one pair light green and so on.


I don’t know why I hate the regular Hanes hi-cuts. I’d THINK they’d be pretty much exactly like what I used to buy, except for the uncovered elastic—but no, everything about the fit is wrong. I bought a pack, threw away the pair I tried on, and donated the rest.


These are the ones I started buying instead, when my supply first started getting skimpy:

(image from

(image from

They’re Hanes, they’re a cotton-poly blend, the waistband is soft, they’re hi-cut, they can be purchased in 3-packs for about $10. Unfortunately:

1. The last, say, twenty times I’ve gone to the two Targets near me, they haven’t had them in my size/cut. I could buy them online, but then I don’t get to approve the color/pattern selection.

2. The last time I DID find them at Target, they were smaller than they had been before. It is hard to know for sure who is to blame for this (maybe they’re the same size as before but my older ones have gradually stretched?), but there are online reviews that say the brand is now running a size small. And I am buying the top size Target sells already, so I can’t just go a size up.

3. In each three-pack, there tends to be one solid-colored pair I like, one solid-colored pair I dislike (beige, for example, or taupe), and one patterned pair I wear only one week a month because I dislike them so much I don’t care if they get ruined. This feels like a waste of money. I wish I could pair up with two other women my same size, one of whom likes patterns and one of whom likes neutrals, and we could swap. As it is, I was thinking if I bought three packs at a time, I could carefully re-package the three patterned pairs into one pack and donate them.


So anyway, I am open to suggestions.

44 thoughts on “Plus-Size Underpants (Good Morning!)

  1. Jessemy

    Let’s talk about underwear!!! I love cotton underwear, too, and I don’t love a lot of the colors they offer. I am your color opposite: I like the black, nude, white, not so much the brights. If you buy a whole bunch online at KMart, they cancel shipping, apparently:–gWx27NqSn14kjCToOX-XIxB26AtcCNNGOwZgYLZzoaAgdf8P8HAQ

    1. Lorraine

      Thanks for this recommendation! I got the 3-pack for $5 at Kmart yesterday. I would have liked brighter colors, but the pack that I settled on is leaf green, colonial blue, and white with blue pattern. They’re very comfortable, especially with no tags and the rolled waistband.

  2. Suzanne

    I have no suggestions, just solidarity in terms of Underwear Frustration. There are so very very many options in the world and so very very few that are simultaneously comfortable and attractive and durable.

  3. Jesabes

    I’ve found, for my particular plus-size (non-pregnant) belly, maternity underwear are cut perfectly. I wear Motherhood Maternity hi-cut cotton underwear. They have 5 for $20 or $25 sales frequently and, in the store, sell it by individual piece, so you can pick the colors/patterns you want. There’s not usually a big selection of colors/patterns, and to get to 5 I sometimes have to get one I don’t prefer, but I wear it anyway…

    They always ask for your due date at the register and I find it fun to find out what their expression will be when I cheerfully say “Oh, I’m not pregnant, I just like the underwear!” So far almost always boring professionalism, but one clerk said “Oh my goodness, ME TOO. They’re the best, aren’t they?”

    1. Jess

      Ha!! Related: my FAV sports bra is a nursing one I got there when I was last pregnant. Still go there to buy them. The last time the clerk said ” these are the best for nursing”. I agreed because I felt the same when nursing. She asked how old my baby was and I wish I could have recorded her face when I said “five and a half years”. I provided no further explanation.

  4. Amanda

    I’m going to make a suggestion that may be a backup option, as it doesn’t tick ALL of your boxes, but I come back to these again and again because I begin to think, SURELY there is a better option in a 3- or 5- pack that I can toss in my cart at Target! And I try some, and I hate them, and I go back to the old standbys: Lane Bryant’s Cacique underwear. They’re a bit (more than double… oops) more than the $10 for 3 pair of Hanes et al but in case you get to the point that nothing else works and you just want to throw money at the problem, here you go. These are cotton full briefs that come in lots of colors (yay!) and prints (ehhh) so you can choose your own variety. And obviously they are plus sizes only so if you need a bigger size than you think, it’s available. These regularly go on sale for 5/$35, which seems like a lot – IS a lot – but they last forever and if you time additional coupons/”Real Women Dollars” right with this sale you can do much better, though when I’m frustrated about the state of my underwear drawer throwing $35 and getting nearly a week’s worth of pretty, fresh stock seems like a nice treat for myself. YMMV.

      1. KeraLinnea

        I was coming to suggest these as well. So expensive that I get annoyed whenever I realize it’s time to buy more, but I always end up happy. Tons of color and style options, they last forever–seriously, I’ve had pairs that lasted three or four years in regular use, and I usually get another year out of them as time of the month panties. I find them really comfortable.
        Recently, I realized it was time to buy more, but we’ve had a bunch of expenses come up that weren’t terribly large themselves, but coming all at once and on top of regular life expenses that I was feeling panicky about my personal spending. So I grabbed a ten pack of Hanes at Target and even if I get dressed in the dark, I KNOW when I am wearing the Target underwear. If I had never worn the Cacique, the Target unders would be fine, but the cacique just fit so well and feel so good on, that I am ruined for lesser underwear.
        Another thing I like about them is that they are designed for plus size shapes. Some manufacturers don’t take into account that those of us who’ve carried children or gained and lost weight many times have a different build and shape than those that have not had those experiences, and so their plus size lines are just the same clothes cut bigger. The Cacique stuff seems to be patterned differently, like they took into account that some areas will be a little softer or there might be a curve here or there that a not plus-sized person wouldn’t have.

        Oh, they also make some seamless styles and those are amazing. It’s as close as you can come to going commando without actually going commando.

        Anyway, sorry for writing a novel-length commercial in your comments. :)

      2. Kate

        I also love the Lane Bryant Hi-Cut briefs. They fit so well and maintain the fit and shape through many, many, washings.

        1. Shawna

          Yes! I love the high cuts from Lane Bryant as well. They really hold up well,and they are so comfy, they never roll down or anything.

    1. Swistle Post author

      Those look VERY PROMISING, and also they let you CHOOSE your three-pack. Also, I see them for a somewhat lower price on Amazon—I just ordered the black-and-greys pack to try them.

      1. Westie

        Another vote for Jockey! They are super comfortable and last a long time. I think you will like them!

        1. Westie

          Also this is sort of OT but I love beige panties because they are perfect for when you have something a little see-through (like white pants) and you don’t want your underwear to show. You’d think white underwear would be good under white pants, but no! Beige/mocha colors are the best.

          I learned this tip years ago on “What Not to Wear,” and it has served me well.

    2. KD

      Yes! I only wear Jockey French Cut Elance underwear. Comfortable, 100% cotton, nice colors, and they last forever. Sometimes they go on sale at places like Macy’s. There are also Jockey outlets at some malls!

  5. Julia

    Jockey has exactly what you’re looking for. it’s what I’ve worn for years. there is a reward program so eventually you get $$ back. it meets the sizing, styling, fabric and price points but I’m not sure about colors.

    1. Liz

      If you have a jockey outlet close to you, when you buy three packs, they go to 40% off, and if you give them your email, you get an additional 5% off. My husband only wears jockey undershirts and they are SO expensive.

  6. Celeste

    I had the Jockey plus size hi cuts for years from department stores, then started getting them cheaper from the outlet store. I discovered I like Cacique so much better. They last longer and the fit is better on me, so it feels worth the cost to me. There is a LB outlet store so you might get better deals there. I don’t have one locally so I only get to it every few years.

    1. Swistle Post author

      Which style do you like of the Cacique? It looks like they don’t have a hi-cut, but have briefs and bikinis and boy-cuts and hipsters (notice I do not even ACKNOWLEDGE the thongs).

  7. Katie McNaughton

    I feel your pain.
    I second Cacique underwear- I’m not a cotton undies person anymore and I do love the hipsters, and used to be a hi-cut person. You are allowed to try them on.
    A cheaper suggestion is the brand Best Fitting Panty, ( I really really really like their seamless hipsters and they have cotton hi cuts. Their seamless ones have a ton of stretch so they fit my 49″ butt. They go up to size 9 or 10 which isn’t super big but it’s worth a try. They’re available at Walmart! And right now their website isn’t up, I don’t know why.
    You really might try on some hipsters to see. They don’t come up quite as high as briefs but higher than bikinis for sure- they’d cover a c-section scar on me. I like them because they have the larger leg holes like hi-cuts but are less likely to creep in the back.

  8. Nora

    I have also discovered Jockey and love the comfort of their fabrics and variety of styles. I prefer all black and always have trouble finding a three pack in my size/style, but the last time I went to the outlet store near me the woman offered to open several other three packs of assorted colors (containing one pair black) to make a NEW three pack of all black for me. I was thrilled and bought 6 pairs and it was no problem at all, as though they did this all the time. I’ve also occasionally had luck with clearance sets on their website but never in an all black set.

  9. Teresa

    No suggestions, really, but I share your frustration. Hanes changing up their styles has been the worst. I always used to wear the bikinis, and the new version provides zero coverage. They just slip right down below my belly. I have some of the ones you’ve pictured and I like them, but not as much as the old bikinis.

    I finally got some of the briefs out of desperation and liked them better than I expected. They aren’t as high on my waist as the old version. I tend to like neutral and light colors, so the available packages work out ok. They’ve become my go-to, but my Target seems to run out of them frequently.

    I also happened to catch a sale a Jockey and got a few pairs I liked a lot, but now I can’t remember which ones they were, and none of the photos on the website look right.

  10. Natalie

    Hanes are definitely running a size small these days. I hope you have luck with the Jockeys! I’m a diehard bikini girl personally, cannot stand anything on my waist or belly. But this is interesting to read nonetheless.

  11. Sarah

    All I can say is THANK GOODNESS for this post. I thought I had suddenly gained a ton of weight after having to go up a size in underpants the last time I bought them. WHEW!

  12. Ann

    This post and the comments are amazing! I thought I was just picky (or maybe just overweight and not entitled to find what I want). I loved the Hanes hipsters because the briefs tended to be above my pants wait and and God forbid I have to wear a belt! All of a sudden I couldn’t find them anywhere, although I was able to order them online once. Then I found some Just My Size brand that worked at Walmart, but again, tough to find the size in stock. It’s time for me to begin the search again, so thanks for all the suggestions!

  13. Gigi

    It sounds like your preferred style is/was the same as mine and I can’t find them anymore either. After a bit of trial and error, currently I’ve settled on Hanes Premium (I think). But after reading about the Jockey’s, I may have to try those.

  14. Jenny

    I too am a fan of Lane Bryant undies, on sale of course. I generally prefer patterns to solids, though. Just, if you get ones with lace or any other delicate/fancy trim, I recommend clipping them onto a pants hanger to dry, rather than throwing in the dryer.

    Also, boyshorts may be worth trying out. I’m told they are quite flattering, put it that way.

  15. liz

    I adore my Wacoal style 834241briefs, but they are one-size. I see they also have other undies in an assortment of sizes. They are quite a bit more expensive ($39 for a three pack), but they come in fun colors. I think you might like the cappachino/denim/wineberry assortment. They’re not cotton, though

  16. Leeann

    I like Jockeys for the sole reason that I NEVER have to pick them out of my butt. They NEVER give me a wedgie. Revolutionary!!

  17. Cassie

    The only suggestion I have are for the ones I like. Which may or may not mesh with your needs. Being a plus size woman myself I find underwear shopping a bit difficult. I found a brand that I love though. Delta Burke boy shorts. They don’t dig or pinch AT ALL, panty lines are not an issue. They ARE a very synthetic type blend with spandex like elastic throughout. The sort of hold the skin down and smooth the bumps and dimples out, but they are still so comfortable. I have only ever seen them in either solid colors or wide stripes. I personally have blacks, blues, pinks, purples, browns and a few striped pairs. They can get a little spendy but they hold up really well. I usually buy them in 2 packs at Ross for about $6-$8. They don’t really ride up even after squatting down, they don’t roll, and they are fairly high rise.

  18. Barb.

    My own personal favorite is the Torrid brand “cheeky panty” which have spoiled me for life as far as getting less-expensive underwear from Target et al. They have a huge range of colors which change constantly, and although the lace LOOKS like it would be terribly itchy, it is in fact very soft and comfortable. The best ones are the plainer ones that are cotton and spandex. Having said that, they are nowhere near cheap: but they last forever. Like the LB underwear, they’re made specifically for plus-sized ladies and have a nice range of sizes, plus they seem to be designed for women with curves.

  19. Misty

    My personal favorites are the Fit for Me cotton/poly blend hi-cuts by Fruit of the Loom, buyable at Walmart/Kmart in 5-packs of solid heather colors (which vary by size) for roughly $9-10. The band isn’t covered, but it’s soft enough that it doesn’t irritate me like many do.

    Links –
    Kmart: — Some sizes are on sale for $4 there as of right now!
    FotL website (can’t purchase there, but it has a “where to buy” link):

  20. Jenny

    This is a good topic for me. I have for years been getting the high cut cotton briefs from Victoria’s Secret in XL. They go on sale pretty often 7 for $25, which is something I”m willing to pay. But…their design is somewhat different the last few times I’ve ordered. They are more ‘slippery’ for lack of a better term. Maybe I’ll try the Jockey’s.

    1. Teej

      I used to always get the cotton bikini cut from Victoria’s Secret, but the style/cut has definitely changed in the past 5 years or so. Nothing there fits me now.

  21. StephLove

    Have you tried Jockey? I have a lot of your preferences, except I always buy white, so I’m not sure if the 100% cotton, covered waistband, plus-size hipsters I buy come in colors. I have a c-section, scar, too, but it’s not sensitive so I’m not sure they would bother yours.

  22. Rayne of Terror

    I’ve thrown all my underwear away except the CACIQUE. It is the best brand. They last a very long time. They are completely worth the $$.

  23. Tasha

    I see your ignoring the premium brand Cacique. I know it costs too much. I agree who land have been po’d for years over the fact. Problem is, they are the best. They just are. They are super comfortable. Pretty and last several years.

    I’ve recently learned Torrid’s panties are equal in quality. Plus they offer panties I haven’t seen elsewhere like Marvel comics, Harry Potter, ect.

    They cost the same as Cacique. It’s too damn much. I’m replacing my entire drawer w premium panties, 5 at a time. Life is too short for lame underwear.

    I love the hipster cut. Covers my butt completely. Doesn’t show over my pants/jeans. Do not appear elderly. When you’re done with the box chain panties, get you some of these.

  24. Jo

    These are my fav…Women’s Comfortsoft Cotton Stretch Extra Size Low Rise Brief (Pack of 3)

    I order on Amazon. I DO but a size bigger than I THINK I wear…but…so comfy!

  25. Lindsay

    Can we can an update here, Swistle? How are the Jockey’s holding up? Did you try any of the other suggestions? Help me shop!

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