5 ways to avoid a visible panty line, according to a stylist

Lightweight, figure-hugging clothes are not your friend 

Katie O'Malley
Friday 16 August 2019 17:23 BST
Sarah Ellen in a red slip dress, yellow bra top, Prada wallet, and silver sparkly booties outside the Dion Lee show at Pier 59 on September 10, 2016 in New York City.
Sarah Ellen in a red slip dress, yellow bra top, Prada wallet, and silver sparkly booties outside the Dion Lee show at Pier 59 on September 10, 2016 in New York City.

Everyone knows that before you get dressed in the morning, the golden rule is to first consider your underwear.

Not only does it provide support and comfort, but it also lessens friction and provides additional warmth.

That said, depending on whether you choose to wear a bra, a pair of briefs, hipsters or a thong, the majority of people prefer to keep their chosen undergarments a secret from the outside world. After all, Victoria’s Secret didn’t get its name for nothing.

To the uninitiated, a VPL visible panty line happens when the outline of your underwear is clearly visible through your clothes, providing onlookers an insight into the shape of your chosen underwear.

Here are five ways to avoid the dreaded VPL.

1. Avoid lightweight fabrics

Street style at fashion week

When it comes to choosing what clothing to wear in the morning, steer clear of lightweight, silky fabrics that cling to the skin.

“VPLs are extremely prominent in form-fitting, thin fabrics,” explains Lila Flint Roberts, fashion assistant at ITV’s This Morning.

For example, the infamous Topshop slip skirt that has been adorned by every fashion lover over the last year. It’s a satin tube skirt, the most unfriendly garment with regards to a VPL.

Instead, Flint Roberts suggests opting to wear “good quality denim” and textured fabrics that disguise underwear lines.

2. Wear print

Chiara Ferragni, wearing a leopard print decorated fur coat and black heels, is seen outside Schiaparelli during Paris Fashion Week - Haute Couture Spring Summer 2019 on January 21, 2019 in Paris, France

“Print hides a multitude of sins,” the fashion assistant explains.

Having a bit of a bloated day? Wear print. Wearing your best Bridget Jones pants and want to avoid a VPL? Wear print. It goes some way towards disguising a VPL, but total coverage is dependent on the fit on the garment.

Better yet, prints continued to be a staple trend on the autumn/winter 2019-2020 catwalks earlier this year with the likes of Versace, Richard Quinn and Louis Vuitton also displaying leopard and micro florals.

3. Choose a thong

Underwear drawer

Whether you prefer a bikini or short-sculptured cut, your safest best when trying to avoid a VPL is to rely on the classic thong, otherwise known as a G-string. While they might not be as comfy as a pair of larger briefs, they do get rid of visible underwear contours underneath outer garments.

That said, Flint Roberts says that for those who find thongs uncomfortable, they should opt for a short bodysuit, a pair of cycling shorts, or a seamless bodysuit”.

“As well as ‘sucking you in’, they smooth out all unwanted lines,” she notes.

4. Beware the slip dress

Marina wears ZARA boots and dress and Campomaggi handbag during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Madrid Sprint/Summer 2020 at Ifema on July 07, 2019 in Madrid, Spain.

Slip dresses have seen a resurgence in recent years on the runway thanks to the likes of fashion brands such as Calvin Klein and Balenciaga championing the “underwear as outerwear” trend.

However, when wearing the design underneath clothes as was their intended purpose in the seventeenth century Flint Roberts says that she doesn’t find them “too effective” in hiding a VPL.

“Sometimes they present more problems by riding up and creating more creases and lines,” she says.

5. Going commando is an option

Filippa Haegg wearing blue white dress, red mini Hermes bag, white shoes is seen during Stockholm Runway SS19 on August 28, 2018 in Stockholm, Sweden.

For those wanting to rid themselves of the possibility of a VPL altogether, they may opt to go commando wearing no underpants.

While it’s undoubtedly a brave option, if not only for a gust of wind, the fashion assistant says she doesn’t think going commando is “completely necessary” nowadays given the plenitude of VPL-friendly options available on the high street.

“There are so many underwear/bodysuit options out there at a range of different price points which are accessible to everyone,” she says.

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Stick-on thongs, side-seam free and shapewear designs are available to buy from the likes of Marks & Spencer, La Perla, and ASOS.

However, for those who prefer to bare all as opposed to risk a VPL, Flint Roberts advises people to first consider just how see-through the material they are wearing is and its length.

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