I have zero qualms about going braless almost anywhere, and I’m completely comfortable practicing yoga without props or a mat — so why not try it sans underwear? I'd been hearing about this whole going-commando-to-exercise thing, and I thought I’d have no problem testing it out.
Going panty-less in my usual yoga duds ($6 cotton leggings) would be ill-advised, since they’re super-thin and would provide way too much information to anyone in the vicinity of my downward dog. So, the folks at Dear Kate — the ones who make those high-performance sports skivvies — hooked me up with a pair of their new yoga pants, which are designed to let you ditch the drawers and (as their hashtag insists) #gocommando. The brainchild of former chemical engineering student Julie Sygiel, these pants are fancy and breathable and wicking and chemical-free and anti-pill and high-tech and supposedly you’ll never want to wear undies again. Plus, they’re guaranteed to be “anti-cameltoe,” with an extra-thick, absorbent crotch lining that my crappy (but comfy) standbys are certainly lacking.
I tried the Dear Kates out and they checked all the boxes: fit, stretch, cuteness, high enough waist to avoid plumber’s crack...all the important stuff. They held up through yoga, running, and biking — my great trifecta of I’m-too-cheap-to-buy-a-gym-membership workouts. The pants may have even gotten more comfortable after a couple of spins in the wash. But, overall, I was not enjoying my commando adventures. To be clear, it wasn't the leggings that were the problem; it was the underwear, or rather, the lack thereof.
Having never actually parted ways with my panties for reasons other than showering, swimming, and sex, I had no idea how much I would miss them. They’re cotton, for one thing, and to me that makes them more comfy than any high-tech fiber. (I don’t sweat a ton, so getting weighed down by wet cotton isn’t a huge concern.) Plus, I’m lazy, and was used to doing a 30-minute, at-home yoga practice for, say, three days in a row without washing my yoga pants — NOT an option when you’re going commando, for obvious reasons.
Photo Courtesy Of Dear Kate.
Then there was this recurring process: I’d finish my work day, change out of my underwear and into my yoga pants, take a yoga class, proceed to wear said yoga pants to the grocery store and Duane Reade and on the subway, all the while the aforementioned dirty pair of underwear floated around in my purse. Ew.
My end-of-experiment verdict is that my panties belong in certain locations only: on my body; in the hamper/washer/dryer; tossed on the floor in a fit of passion; or in the delightful, cottony, clean-smelling pile that is my underwear drawer — to which I calmly but quickly returned. I put my panties on, I pulled my Dear Kates on top, and all was well.
So, I may have missed the point of the #gocommando pants — but, I’m still wearing them, undies and all. The big three advertised reasons for going commando to work out are getting rid of chafing, bunching, and the (apparently) dreaded VPL. I guess I never actually felt “victim” to any of those. Sure, people can probably detect a boy-shorts silhouette under my old yoga pants when I’m getting all bendy, but I’m not actually that bothered by strangers knowing I have underwear on. Evidently, since I just told all of the Internet.