Maybe THIS Is Why Your Vagina Is Always So Uncomfortable

Silk has a reputation for being the ultimate nice fabric. Cotton? Sure, fine. Polyester? That's for riff-raff! But silk — especially for intimates and lingerie — seems to be the gold standard. But, your gyno may not agree.
Truth is, even though silk sounds and feels luxurious, the best fabric for your vagina may actually be plain old cotton. "Cotton in general tends to be non-irritating to your skin," Raquel Dardik, MD, of the Tisch Women's Health Center says. "The external skin around your vagina is like regular skin, but just a little bit more sensitive. So if you have material that irritates your skin normally, you might have minor inflammation to the area."
It's not just a skin issue, though. Cotton is known to be one of the most breathable types of fabrics out there, which makes it better for your skin — and also your vagina. "Most of the synthetic fabrics, as well as silk, are not that breathable," Dr. Dardik says, "and for women who have sensitive skin and yeast infections, the most breathable material is really what works best."
Why? Well, yeast thrives on moisture — so if you trap moisture in your fussy silk underwear, you're creating a prime breeding ground for an infection (ouch). "Of course, if you're the kind of person who never has issues with vaginal irritation and infections, you can wear whatever you want," Dr. Dardik says. But if you're prone to annoying vaginal problems, opting for an all-cotton underwear — or at the very least with cotton lining — is your best bet.
Still, we wouldn't want to deprive you of buying cute lingerie, chill boy shorts, even the thongiest thongs that your underwear drawer needs. So we went ahead and rounded up 30 pretty — and breathable! — underthings for you, your wardrobe, and of course your vagina.
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The problem with thongs isn't so much the shape, but the fit. Some doctors might say that using a thong increases your risk of a UTI, due to the fabric moving around and thus redistributing bacteria in the area. Generally, however, if the thong fits well — and it's breathable — you should be in good shape. If not? "When the edge of the thong rubs against the side, that will cause irritation," Dr. Dardik says. "You don't want the fabric rubbing right against the labia; you want to cover your vaginal area without rubbing in-between."

This means there's no particular right or wrong type of underwear. Instead, you have to find the underwear that fits you best. One known favorite? This lacy — but still cotton-lined — pair from Hanky Panky.

Hanky Panky Low-Rise Thong, $20, available at Journelle.
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A breathable, flexible, cotton-lined pair to stockpile.

Knockout! Thong, $16, available at Knockout Panties.
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Made of Peruvian pima cotton, these panties are so soft, you'll only want to wear these from now on.

On Gossamer Cabana Cotton Hip-G Thong, $16, available at On Gossamer.
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Great to wear under your "naked dress" on gala day.

Gilligan & O'Malley Women's Cotton Modal Thong, $5, available at Target.
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This lace-y black thong is what you might consider a classic — versatile enough in color, and easy enough to wear under any non-sheer pants, skirt, or leggings.

Hanky Panky Low-Rise Lace Cotton Thong, $53, available at Lord & Taylor.
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A nude G-string has all the girly flairs of lace and tulle, but 100% wearability with a cotton lining.

Intimissimi Elegant Touch G-String, $22, available at Intimissimi.
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Lacey thong + a cotton lining = the perfect marriage of form and function.

Natori Feathers Thong, $30, available at Anthropologie.
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Skin's luxe organic option is — incredibly — also machine washable.

Skin Organic Cotton Thong, $25, available at Barneys New York.
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This sexy little, cotton lined thong is a staple from Italian brand Cosabella.

Cosabella Italia Lowrider Thong, $25, available at Coscabella.
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Everyday Underwear
A few things to look out for here: You don't want the underwear to ride up — because it'll cause the same problems as a thong — but you also don't want it to be too tight. "You want to minimize friction as much as possible," Dr. Dardik says, "because if there is friction, it's likely to cause irritation." This not only goes for the seat of the underwear, but also the waistband.

This basically invisible underwear comes in a variety of neutral colors, adhering to your curves with ultra-stretchy fabric.

Mina Hipster Briefs, $24, available at Princess Tam Tam.
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Not one for all-lace undies? This Hanro option offers just a hint of it, in 100% cotton.

Hanro Delicate Bikini, $35, available at Bare Necessities.
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Who says comfortable can't be cool?

Calvin Klein Modern Cotton Brief, $21, available at ASOS.
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Thinx's Cheeky cut is perfect for light period days, holding a tampon's worth of liquid.

Thinx Cheeky, $30, available at She Thinx.
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There's a reason these are called "bliss" briefs. The soft pima cotton and spandex blend is both form-fitting and comfortable — and the lining? Cotton, of course.

Natori "Bliss" Girl Briefs, $18, available at Bloomingdale's.
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For extra comfort — but also a flawless finish — boyshorts offer more coverage but a thong-like line, meaning these will hide under short skirts and pants seamlessly. Still, the same rules apply: Opt for 100% cotton if possible, and find the right fit to avoid any friction.

Cosabella Never Say Never Cheekie Extended Hotpant, $36.50, available at Cosabella.
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A sweet lavender take on the classic boyshort.

Free People Truth or Dare Boyshort, $12, available at Free People.
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This stretchy fabric means you won't be lying when you say, "Let me slip into something more...comfortable."

Fleur't Lulu Boypant Boyshort, $35, available at Journelle.
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A sexy, lacy boyshort that fits like a thong — meaning you won't have any VPLs here.

Eberjey Women's Colette Boythong, $26.50, available on Amazon.
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Mesh, lace, and a sewn-in cotton lining makes this a perfect choice to wear under a semi-sheer dress.

Wacoal Embrace Lace Boyshort, $32, available at Wacoal.
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A brightly patterned, perfectly cheeky cut.

B.Tempt'D by Wacoal Spectator Night Boyshort, $13, available at Lord & Taylor.
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Lace-trimmed, cotton-lined, and a comfy elastic waistband.

Hanky Panky Floral Lace Trim Boyshort, $34, available at Macy's.
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This basic high-waisted brief gives you extra coverage under skirts and dresses.

Hanes Women's Cotton Boy Brief Panties 6-Pack, $10, available at Hanes.

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