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High-rise women's underwear: 5 situations where you seriously need it

Each extreme end along the spectrum of women’s underwear cuts has its devotees and its detractors, all denouncing and decrying or extolling and exalting the style in their sights with equal passion. 

Some say the thong is a horrid invention meant to torture the wearer with crack-invading fabric that irritates and annoys. Others argue high-waist briefs are nothing more than “granny panties” whose days in the fashion spotlight are long over and for good reason: they’re shapeless and baggy, stodgy and conservative, with little sex appeal and their own discomfort issues when they bunch up under clothes. 

At Tommy John, we think all of these negative judgments go too far - since anyone who thinks thongs can’t be comfy obviously hasn’t tried our feather-light Women’s Air Mesh Thong. Ditto for partisans who equate all high-rise briefs with sagginess, bunching and antiquated style - they’ve clearly never had the pleasure of slipping into the Tommy John Women’s Second Skin High Rise Brief. With fresh color options, luxe fabric that’s silky soft against the skin, and a stay-put design that never needs adjustment, there’s nothing old-fashioned or fussy about these gorgeous panties. 

The truth is, underwear is a very personal choice and there are good cases to be made for a variety of cuts. Great design, premium fabric, and a perfect fit can make all the difference in whether a cut works for you (or really doesn’t). After that, it all comes down to personal preference - and knowing what style of underwear works best for a given situation. 

Whether high-rise panties are already your go-to style or you’re considering trying out a pair now that you have a trusted purveyor of all things “under” (Tommy John, of course), read on to learn the five situations when women’s high-waisted panties will outshine all other cuts.

1. As a panty-line-free thong alternative

Many women think that a thong is a necessity to remove the risk of VPLs (visible panty lines) under form-fitting dresses and pants. It’s true that thongs do this job very well, but - great news for women who don’t love thongs - so does the total opposite cut on the other end of the panty spectrum! (Amazing, right?) 

High-rise briefs with full-coverage bottoms place their waistbands and leg openings in the natural creases of your body. This means that as long as they fit well, they are often just as effective at disappearing under clothing as thongs, without getting all up in your business (ahem, rear) the way thongs do - very welcome news if that’s not your thing, but a smooth, sleek look is. 

Don’t reserve high-waist briefs for just under body-hugging dresses and pants. While many women don’t realize it, almost any dress can reveal panty lines if the fabric drapes a certain way and doesn’t play nice with your underwear. So consider high-waist briefs a great go-to panty choice under basically any dress at all. 

2. To avoid plumber’s crack

Obviously, a higher cut at the natural waist means high-rise panties are great at covering your crack when you bend over. While most of us don’t want to share a peek at our anatomy or our panties in this situation, a glimpse of the top of your panties is probably preferred over the alternative - and can go unnoticed if they’re a similar color to the pants. 

Just make sure the waistline of your pants isn’t too low for your high-rise underwear, or you could share more information with spectators than you want to. 

3. With high-waisted bottoms

High-rise briefs are an obvious coordinating choice for wearing under high-waisted pants and skirts. Matching the waistline of your underwear to your outerwear is a solid way to avoid making unseemly adjustments throughout the day as you move. 

Another good reason to coordinate under and outer- wear in this way is simply to create smooth, consistent lines in your look. 

Finally, you’ll appreciate your own consistency and feel ultra put-together and with-it when you pay attention to this kind of detail. Sometimes there’s value to going the extra mile for style - even if you’re the only one who knows it!

4. To accentuate your waistline

Whoever believes that high-waisted briefs can’t be sexy is ignoring all those oh-so-glamorous post-war pin-up beauties that continue to inspire feminine fashion in retro chic style today. 

Well-fit briefs are actually inherently flattering to a woman’s figure because they follow her body’s shape, accentuating the natural waistline and hugging her curves with continuous coverage that hits at natural creases beneath her cheeks. 

This is the same reason high-waisted pants are back in style: because there’s nothing more attractive or stylish than a woman’s natural figure. 

5. For comfort and security 

Many women opt for high-rise briefs because they find them the most comfortable underwear choice, providing fuller coverage and a greater sense of security under clothes. That comfort and security can be physical and psychological. High-waist briefs provide tummy-smoothing coverage that doesn’t cut into the belly on period days, post-pregnancy, or anytime a woman might be feeling bloated or just wants to avoid a waistband across her stomach. 

And for a more secure feeling at the gym, for women who prefer to wear underwear with leggings, high-rise panties are the best option. The fuller coverage and more cinched waistband at the natural waistline helps to keep them in place with lots of movement. And they’re the only style of underwear beside a thong that won’t show visible panty lines under form-fitting leggings, since they hit at those natural creases of your body.

The bottom line

There are plenty of situations where high-rise briefs are a perfect choice, for their beauty and function alike. With a nod to retro style and glamor, this cut has been reimagined as a practical, comfy, and alluring choice in panty styles for the modern woman. 

To find the best women’s high-rise briefs on the planet, look no further than Tommy John’s - in a range of premium fabrics ranging from feather-light Air Mesh to everyday Cool Cotton, to luxuriously soft Second Skin.