The 12 Best Pairs of Lace Underwear to Add to Your Lingerie Collection
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Add brands like Skims, Knix, and Hanky Panky to your lingerie drawer ASAP.
Forget what you think you know: Your delicates shouldn’t be treated lightly. By that, we mean when shopping for lingerie separates — whether a high-cut brief or an embroidered thong — you should think of underwear as the fashion base layer of your personal style. “Though they may not be the most visible pieces you wear, a great lingerie set can establish that foundation for your wardrobe,” fashion content creator Ida Giancola tells InStyle. According to her, lace is an exquisite way to bring unique ilks into a lingerie wardrobe.
With so many different forms, from daring silhouettes to romantic ideations, it’s sometimes hard to know where to begin, but know that there’s a version for everyone—vintage-inspired gardenia lace; scalloped edges mixed with tulle; clean-lined bikinis with subtle, feminine elements. There are plenty to gawk at and think that’s so pretty while adding to the cart, from Dora Larsen’s brightly colored lace sets to Hanky Panky’s smooth and comfortable underthings.
That said, intimates shopping is, well, intimate. That’s why we’ve provided plenty of different styles, cuts, and colors to shop, depending on your preference.
Hanky Panky Signature Lace Original Rise Thong
What We Love: Talk about an ultra-comfy underlayer.
What We Don’t Love: We wish there were more size options.
Possibly the only complaint to be had when buying this signature lace thong from Hanky Panky — the beloved, renowned lingerie company founded in the 1970s — is that there are so many color options to choose from. (Read: You’ll want them all.) Whether you’re feeling fascia or coral, they all deliver the same uber-soft, high-quality fabrics that don’t wane with wear. Therefore, these earn our top spot: They have superior softness, a comfortable cut, and a flatting v-cut waistband. They also offer quite a bit of stretch for that just-right feeling on the body. It only comes in one-size-fits-all, thanks to how much stretch each pair has, but it still will only fit up to a size 14 or anyone with 45-inch hips.
Price at time of publish: $24
Size: One size | Colors: 69 | Cut: Mid-high rise | Material: Nylon
Intimissmi Pretty Flowers Panties
What We Love: Intimissimi offers matching babydolls and bras to complete this look.
What We Don’t Love: We’d love to see more neutral colors.
An embellished overlay is a no-fail formula for those not entirely committed to a full-on lace look. This Intimissimi pair does that best. Contrasting colors lightly lined with delicate ornament detailing? Sign us up. These panties are low-rise, with a leavers lace to give an antique feel to vibrant pops of color. They come in very few neutral colors, so perhaps avoid wearing these under white or thin garments, but there are little to no pesky panty lines, since the outer lace lays on the skin, providing a seamless feel — rather than uncomfortable digging — and a soft microfiber front. For the quality of the underwear (and with brand ambassadors like Jennifer Lopez) we expected these to be much more expensive.
While we have you, we suggest pairing it with the matching bra from the brand if you’re looking to up your lingerie game.
Price at time of publish: $15
Size: S-XL | Colors: 9 | Cut: Mid-rise | Material: Polyester, polyamide, cotton
Le Petit Trou ARDEUR High Waist Briefs
What We Love: The keyhole detailing on the waistband of these looks high-end.
What We Don’t Love: These briefs only come in one rather bold color.
“Le Petit Trou is a dream,” says Giancola. She describes anything by the brand as “delicate, ultra-femme, and whimsical,” noting the Parisian flare that Le Petit brings to your lingerie wardrobe. Ruffles tracing longline hems, sheer tulle, dainty accents, you name it — the execution of a romantic underlayer is exquisite. “My heart just melts for anything with an embroidered detail,” adds Giancola. Even with a full-coverage high-waist style, this brief, which has a matching lace bralette to go with it, has a cheeky fit with an open keyhole back. They also offer a shapewear-like silhouette on the body, accentuating your natural curves, and are constructed with high-quality feeling fabric. But we hope you like the color orange because that’s all this pair comes in.
Price at time of publish: $61
Size: S-XL | Colors: 1| Cut: High rise | Material: Nylon, polyester
Related:The 14 Best Lingerie Brands of 2023 No Matter Your Aesthetic
Knix Lace Essential Boyshort
Best Plus Size
What We Love: They’re comfortable enough for everyday wear and sexy enough for special occasions.
What We Don’t Love: We wouldn’t fully categorize these as a boyshort.
The Knix Lace Boyshort has a buttery, seamless front with a lacey and sultry detailed back, proving the best of both worlds. We love this pair because of its day-to-day wearability thanks to the comfy nylon-jersey blend that molds to your body in front. But you still could wear them on special occasions and feel deeply sexy when you do because of the sultry lace back that also feels as breathable as the front. But Knix calls these a boyshort, when we’d argue they’re more of a brief than a boyshort, which traditionally has longer sides. They do have a full-coverage back — we just expect longer sides from our boyshorts.
Price at time of publish: $24
Size: XS-4XL | Colors: 7 | Cut: High rise | Material: Nylon, spandex
Skims Fits Everybody Lace Tanga
What We Love: The lace looks more modern.
What We Don’t Love: The logo on the band gives this pair a sportier look.
“Lingerie is something I’m always happy to spend a little more on; nothing is more empowering than slipping on a quality set. It hugs my body beautifully and makes me feel confident,” plus-size model and body positivity advocate Sophie Hughes tells InStyle. For Hughes, that means slipping into something “sexy and feminine” by Kim Kardashian’s lingerie and shapewear line, Skims. She digs the “Fits Everybody” line because it “embraces your natural curves” and leaves you feeling “all kinds of beautiful.” But unless you want to join the waitlist, we suggest trying out this knit lace brief instead, which consists of the same materials (polyamide and elastane with a 100 percent cotton gusset) and cheeky fit. The mid-rise brief feels like butter on the body — and they’re super stretchy, too — meaning the silhouette lays and hugs the body, providing maximum comfort. We love how sexy the all-over sheer lace looks, but we feel like the branded waistband adds a sporty element we weren’t expecting on a sultry lace panty. To lean into the sporty look, though, you can pair it with the matching scoop bralette.
Price at time of publish: $20
Size: XXS-4X | Number of Colors: 5 | Cut: Mid-rise | Material: Polyamide, elastane, cotton
Cosabella Never Say Never Comfie Thong
What We Love: The seamless feel of this panty.
What We Don’t Love: The size range could be more inclusive.
This lacey number from Cosabella will be all you think about — or, instead, all you don’t think about, if you catch our drift, because with its invisible feel while on the body, you’ll forget you’re even wearing it. Appropriately named the “Comfie Thong,” this pair of underwear doesn’t come with any typical, pesty annoyances associated with lace thongs: No digging or rolling or itchiness. It features a wide array of colors (yes — there are 43 to choose from, which is almost as many as Hanky Panky, in case you’re in the mood for anything from maroon to mango) in impressively soft lace, but it does not have a large size range — we hope they expand soon.
Price at time of publish: $30
Size: S-XL | Number of Colors: 43 | Cut: Mid-rise | Material: Polyamide, elastane
Dora Larsen Dorothee Lace High Waist Knicker
Best High Waisted
What We Love: The stunning two-toned color of these.
What We Don’t Love: While cute, the cut out detail in the back might show underneath garments.
Dora Larsen is a place where dreamy pastels blend seamlessly, from sugary blues and bubblegum pinks. This playful brand, founded by ex-lingerie buyer Georgia Larsen, is rightfully known for its candy-coated color palette — and the pairings feel intentional because they are. Larsen mixed her fashion background with her love for surrealist painting to create a cheerful, whimsical line carefully curated with bespoke shades according to color theory. Their delicate designs are mindfully made with sustainable and ethical fabrics, so the colorways are contemporary, uplifting, and consciously constructed. And speaking of construction — these high-waist briefs from the brand have a technical fit, meaning comfort and light shaping, with beautiful lace detailing. We love the attention to detail in this pair, specifically the keyhole detail in the back. However, that might cause a noticeable ridge underneath clothing.
Price at time of publish: $50
Size: 2-12 | Number of Colors: 2 | Cut: High-waisted | Material: Recycled nylon, elastane
Pinsy High Waist Lace Hipster Panty
What We Love: The buttery soft fabric feels amazing against the skin.
What We Don’t Love: We wish there were more color offerings than neutrals.
Pinsy offers a superior fit with this high-waist lace hipster. It’s comfy and, above all, stays put — an essential task for a reliable pair of underwear. They lay raised on the hips, giving a defined shape and structure, but appear seamless and feel non-restrictive. They also have the disappearing effect of a thong back. This unique pairing of a bonded waistband (the culprit of creating that smoothness you’ll feel when wearing them), and a soft lace designed to lay flat, make these undetectable with wear. That said, grab a pair of these for yourself if you want to look snatched. They’re a must-have for cultivating natural curves without the hassle of restrictive shapewear. We only wish it came in more than three colors.
Price at time of publish: $24
Size: S-3X | Number of Colors: 3 | Cut: High-Rise | Material: Not listed
Victoria's Secret No-Show Soft Lace Thong
Best No Show
What We Love: These go on clearance frequently, so chances are you can grab ‘em for even less than listed.
What We Don’t Love: The waistband is wider than other options.
You might be thinking, is no-show lace underwear even a thing? Well, believe it or not, these no-shows from Victoria’s Secret prove to be doing the impossible. They are both a lacey thong and an invisible underlayer. They are made with raw-cut edges (the first line of defense for completely invisible underwear) and a four-way stretch, breathable fabric. Even though the waistband is a bit thicker than other options, giving you more coverage than many expect from a thong, this only adds to their comfort — I can attest that I’ve been on VS panty train for years — while the material composition ensures they stay undetectable underneath leggings and tighter dresses. Don’t believe us? Snag a pair and try it for yourself.
Price at time of publish: $11
Size: XS-XXL | Number of Colors: 27 | Cut: Low-rise | Material: Polyamide, elastane
Related:The 10 Best Pairs of Seamless Underwear Actually Worth Your Money
Playful Promises Eyelash Lace & Mesh Hipster Briefs
What We Love: The mesh back of this flirty bikini brief.
What We Don’t Love: They are visible under tight clothes because of the bow detailing.
Playful Promises is a brand that — quite literally — promises to mix classic lingerie sets with everything on the extra sultry side. The multi-retailer destination does a great job of doing just that: You can find everything from sultry lace and bondage-inspired undies to more demure options in the same online shopping trip. Also, the brand is approved by curve model Olivia Campbell. She tells InStyle that Playful Promises is her go-to because they do “great retro retro-inspired lingerie and “fun, playful, and modern” pieces. “They also stock several other plus sizes and fuller bust brands.” There’s truly something for everyone, but if we had to choose, this mesh brief is our fave: They’re flirtatious, beautifully constructed, and offer the ideal amount of lace for someone opting for a less pervasive lace option. You will see this pair under tight clothing, though, because of the bow in the back, so plan ahead with your outfits knowing that will pop through.
Price at time of publish: $26
Size: XS-6XL | Number of Colors: 1 | Cut: Mid-rise | Material: Polyester, elastane
Natori Heavenly Lace Boyshorts
What We Love: These are just so comfy.
What We Don’t Love: The seam that runs down the front and back of these.
There’s something magical about a well-fitted boyshort. And this pair from NATORI brings that magic. “Heavenly” is an appropriate name for these, considering their divine feeling on the body. Crafted with superior softness and smoothness, these are an offshoot of the classic boyshort with a seam stretching down the back. This pair of underwear from the brand has edges of dainty scalloped lace for a more feminine approach. That’s not all, though, as they have an allover lace that lays flat on the body, so they slip right under clothes. In short: They're. So. Soft. Need I say anymore?
Price at time of publish: $32
Size: XS-XXL | Number of Colors: 4 | Cut: High-rise | Material: Nylon, elastane
Fleur De Mal Charlotte Seamless String Cheeky
Best Lace Back
What We Love: The sensual vibe of the string
What We Don’t Love: The gusset is a bit small.
Scalloped lace and smooth microfiber sound like they couldn’t be any more different. Still, this string cheeky from Fleur De Mal blends the two beautifully. It’s a no-frills pair of undies, meaning it disappears under clothing because of the seamless stretch design and pairs comfortably with the cheeky-cut scalloped lace on the back. And just because it’s functional doesn’t mean it’s not hot (Red hot, to be exact —- these come in closet staple colorways from a neutral black to a fiery rouge). And on the subject of sultry, a triangular cutout on the back makes them oh-so-seductive. Our only wish is that the gusset was wider.
Price at time of publish: $38
Size: S-L | Number of Colors: 4 | Cut: Mid-rise | Material: Polyamide, elastane
What to Keep in Mind
“Just like any foundation, consider what style is going to work with your outfits,” Sapna Palep, CEO of Journelle, the multi-brand retailer and leading online destination of luxury lingerie tells InStyle. “You will need different underwear for different outfits – so consider the rise: low rise, mid rise, high rise, as well as the style: briefs, boyshorts, thongs, g strings.”
If you’re looking for the utmost ease and breathability, look for fabrics with a four-way stretch. A four-way stretch means the material can stretch length and widthwise and is also available in lace styles. Palep also notes that soft stretch lace is a flexible intimates option that’s easy to sport while moving or with everyday wear.
Color is about personal preference. Still, Palep tells InStyle that if you’re stuck between two shades, consider the activity for the underwear. Are they for working out? Sleep? For a date night? Say you want to slip into something neutral for an extra invisible underlayer or something bold to pop for a special occasion; that’s when color comes into play. “You want your foundation to work for the activity you are currently in,” Palep tells InStyle. This rule applies similarly to cuts and styles.
Your Questions, Answered
What's the benefit of wearing lace underwear?
“Lace is comfortable, lightweight, breathable, and soft. It is also beautiful and flattering. It instantly elevates your style,” Palep tells InStyle. She also notes that, depending on which kind of lace you choose, it typically has a good amount of stretch and return. (See also: It won’t stretch out or dig in while you wear the style.)
How do you prevent lace underwear from ripping?
Intimates are delicate — especially those with intricate patterning like lace. We suggest hand-washing only if you want to keep your underwear from pulling. If you don’t have the time to lay flat and dry, though, we recommend using a delicates bag to keep them safe. We dig this one from Slip.
Is lace underwear breathable?
Simply put: Yes! Lace underwear is highly breathable, but if you’re not ready for the total commitment to an allover lace pattern, our rec is to try something like this pair from Journelle or the Seamless String Cheeky from Fleur De Mal (AKA the option on our list with the lacey back). This way, you’re tip-toeing into the land of lace without total dedication.
Why Trust InStyle
Morgan Sullivan is a commerce writer for InStyle with experience covering fashion and beauty products, testing which ones reign supreme. To write this article, she looked to fashion experts (Ida Giancola, Olivia Campbell, Sophie Hughes) for their lace underwear recommendations and even tried a few pairs herself. Sapna Palep, CEO of Journelle, also spoke to her to help determine which cuts and materials are best for wear.
Related:The 20 Best — and Most Comfortable — Underwear for Women of 2023
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Read the original article on InStyle.