Some days, finding panties to fit a long rise can be as frustrating as finding a bra that fits.
I can honestly say that while I have developed patience for bra and clothes shopping via mail-order, I am not willing to extend the same to my everyday underwear shopping. I think I’m determined to find inexpensive, well-fitting panties within driving distance just to prove I can find one piece of clothing without resorting to exhaustive web searches, UPS, and mail-order returns.
You’ll notice I’ve used retailers’ websites as tools to check styles, size availability, and sometimes stock levels at local stores. Some retailers offer free shipping or returns to local stores, which can be extremely helpful if you decide to order online.
So here’s my strategy and some of my top picks.
First, an explanation of ‘long rise’. Your rise is the distance from bellybutton to crotch. If you are a woman with a long rise or a Figure 8 hourglass shape (shelf hip) all bottoms – pants, skirts and even panties can be challenging. Short rise panties on a long rise can lead to Superbowl-style wardrobe failure, muffin tops and plumber cracks. The best explanation I’ve found of rise and it’s affect on fit, is oddly enough, from Primer (an online men’s magazine). The focus may be on men, but the advice and pitfalls are spot-on for women, too (I wouldn’t necessarily apply the rise measurements to women, though).
When it comes to panties for long rises I have three words of advice: High-Cut and Brief. High cut generally refers to high cut leg openings…but with the cut generally comes high rise. Brief cuts are more varied but generally imply full coverage and frequently include high rise options.
There’s no rule that inexpensive can’t be flattering, and I really stick to this mantra when shopping for everyday panties. These aren’t coordinate-with-Freya’s-new-Deco-colorway panties… I’m talking about everyday cotton or nylon workhorses. My personal favorites are the Hanes High Cut in Cotton.
One of my favorite things about shopping at WalMart and Target is the ability to check if the item you want to purchase is in-stock at a local store.
Your local department store can offer a variety of brands and sizes in both high-cut and briefs; however, I find less of the former and more of the latter (in low-rise options) is the usual fare. My advice for department store panty shopping is visit often, buy on sale. There’s usually a sale rack of panties somewhere…dive in.
I would like to mention the Modern Movement brand from Dillard’s because the Seamless Briefs and Microfiber and Lace Brief cuts are by far the best fit I’ve found for my 8-Hourglass shape and long rise. One universal fit issue I have is the need to size up to fit my wide hips, resulting in extra fabric on the buttocks and waist that I don’t need. These Modern Movement styles fit me best in those areas, and don’t cut into my leg.
Nordstrom and Sears websites allow you to check stock at local stores. Belk offers the local in-stock feature for some items.
Panty shopping isn’t complete without a cruise through Victoria’s Secret. Bad news for a long rise – the tallest rise is a mid-rise – The Brief Panty, and no way to check stock online before visiting your local store.
Aerie is another popular option for panties, and they have two high rise options for long rises in their Smoothing Wear collection (this is where you imagine my eye roll at high rise= exclusively smoothing): the Smoothing High Rise Bikini and Thong. Aerie has a wonderful find a store/check stock feature on their website.
Cacique has quite a few pretty options to fit a long rise, many which can be found at Lane Bryant stores in the U.S.; unfortunately they don’t have a check stock feature but will ship free to your local store if you order online.