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Thongs for women: When you should (and shouldn't) wear one

Like most controversial topics, thongs have their place. That place is between your cheeks, of course. But when should you let a little fabric get in your groove, and when should you opt for fuller coverage underwear?


Here’s Tommy John’s definitive guide to the do’s and don’ts of thongs for women, so you can be the expert the next time this debate arises.


When you SHOULD wear a thong…


  • To prevent panty lines when wearing tight clothing. This is the #1 reason women give for donning a thong. Whether it’s a skintight cocktail dress for a special event, or a favorite pair of skinny jeggings on date night, form-fitting styles are usually meant to grab attention along with our curves. Nothing can interrupt that sensuous impression like odd lumps and bulges. They can distract the eye from smooth sailing, like a visual speed bump. Shapewear can do wonders to smooth and flatter – but without the right undergarment for your outfit, you still might be calling attention to your rear for all the wrong reasons. A thong is a must-have wardrobe staple under any clothing meant to show off the finer details of your lower half.

  • To prevent panty lines when wearing thin and delicate fabrics. Some looser styles of pants, skirts and dresses can also be prone to showing panty lines, especially if garments are made of delicate fabrics, like silk. Anytime you bring home a new clothing item, try it on using two mirrors if possible to get a realistic view of how it looks from behind. What you find may surprise you. But knowledge is power! You can then choose your undergarment accordingly.

  • To feel sexy and boost confidence. This is the #2 reason women give for opting for a thong. The fact is, a thong puts your bum on display. It frames your cheeks and highlights their shape – not unlike a lovely frame for an art print or painting, we dare say. Rather than concealing your rump, a thong revels in its glory. Whether it’s a new flame you want to entice, a playful gift to a partner, or simply your own private knowledge of what you’ve got going on under those work trousers, a little bit of sexy can be a fun indulgence and even a serious confidence-booster in the right moment.  

  • Anytime you feel like it! Some women just prefer thongs. If you’re new to them, it may take an hour or two of getting used to, but once they’re familiar, many women find them quite comfortable and even preferable to briefs or cheekies. If you prefer them and they don’t cause you any problems, you should wear them as often as you like!

When you should probably NOT wear a thong:


  • If you have hemorrhoids. Thongs are more likely to cause external irritation to delicate skin areas than other styles of underwear, so if you have a condition like a rash or hemorrhoids, or are just especially sensitive, a thong may not be the best undergarment option for you. It can rub and cause or exacerbate chafing. 

  • If you’re pregnant. Doctors recommend breathable underwear and keeping your undercarriage clean and dry to prevent infection that could affect pregnancy. There’s always a risk that a thong’s more intimate contact with your body can increase moisture level, which is something pregnant folks don’t want. For all these reasons, it’s a good idea to stick with briefs and other fuller-coverage styles, with breathable cotton crotches, while you are pregnant.

  • While you exercise. The greatest risk for chafing occurs when you’re both sweating and moving a lot. Add in a thin bit of material between your anatomy and you could have a recipe for serious discomfort if you wear a thong while exercising heavily. Instead of wearing a thong with workout leggings, make sure the leggings themselves are opaque, sturdy, and have a cotton crotch for breathability. Otherwise, you can opt for looser shorts or pants during a workout and wear fuller-coverage briefs. (Tommy John underwear is designed to move with you and not scrunch or bunch.)

  • During any activity that could lead to “whale tail.” If you’re not familiar with this phenomenon, “whale tail” occurs when the waistband of a thong pulls up above one’s pants or skirt and becomes visible – in the shape of a whale’s tail – on that person’s upper rear end. Similar to plumber’s crack – a bit too much information for the audience, usually. So, if your profession is plumbing or you’re helping out a girlfriend with her leaking kitchen sink pipes, you might want to leave your thong at home and opt for a fuller-coverage style. Same for gardening, changing tires, and any other activity that might leave you vulnerable to this wardrobe malfunction. And whatever your activity, be aware that thongs may peek out of any clothing with a lower-rise rear. Be sure to try on your style and move around a bit in the mirror before leaving home, so you know what to expect.

This guide offers some suggestions, but remember that you’re the authority on your own health and comfort! Some women wear thongs almost exclusively, never have any issues and prefer the way they feel. If that’s you, then don’t let anyone talk you out of your thongs. 


Whatever your style or occasion, we’ve got you covered… more or less, depending on your preference, of course. Check out our thongs here.