The Cotton Underwear That Made Me Reconsider My Commando Lifestyle

Blame it on the fact that I run hot or my mom's propensity for going commando, but I've never loved underwear — and, as far back as I can recall, I've avoided wearing it entirely. While all of my friends were coveting lace thongs from the likes of Hanky Panky and Victoria's Secret, I was baring all. Forgoing the extra layers down there that often left me sweaty and constricted just felt better, feer, right. Although I've been content with a life lacking panty lines, wedgies, and extra laundering, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the moments where, in hindsight, underwear was warranted: that time my dress blew up over my head while walking down a flight of restaurant stairs; when I spent the worse part of a 90-degree day walking around NYC in some particularly unforgiving jeans; the surprise-period-in-white-pants situation. It was in these instances when I wondered if maybe I just hadn't found the right pair of panties worth wearing, even if only on a by-occasion basis. Enter: Pact

I first learned of the fair-trade, GOTS-certified brand via my job as a daytime product hunter on the Most Wanted team. Pact not only exceeds a positive shopping reputation due to the company's earth-friendly initiatives but also for cultivating an impressively best-selling lineup of unassuming basics. Despite its stylistic simplicity, Pact's organic cotton underwear (available in sizes XS-2X) has been a persistent crowd favorite among both internet reviewers and Refinery29 readers alike — with its Classic Fit Bikini ruling the top-purchased ranks in our roundup of the best cotton underwear for women and amassing over 1,000 reviews that have awarded it a 4.2-out-of-5-star rating. Highlights include praise from yeast-infection-prone reviewers that swear by its breathability, appreciators of its full-coverage comfort that doesn't tread into granny-panty territory, and props from my fellow undie-free enthusiasts who speak to its barely-there body feel.

With this knowledge and a need to reconsider my commitment to the commando lifestyle, I decided Pact's $14 panties ($6 less than Hanky Pankys!) were the ones to try. I spent a week in the brand's five most popular pairs, holding each to my preferred standard of being just as good or better than wearing nothin' at all. Monday was dedicated to the classic-fit bikini, then it was high-rise hipster Tuesday, Wednesday was for the boy shorts, followed by lace-waist Thursday, and a Friday thong song.
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I began my week of under-wearing with Pact's most popular pair: the Classic Fit Bikini. Whether coincidentally or not, bikinis are my least favorite of all the panties. I lack hips but have a fairly muscular butt and upper thigh area so have never felt that the lower-rise, fuller-coverage cut flattered my frame; always seeming to dig into my cheeks, creating a noticeable line when worn underneath tighter clothes. But, preferred silhouettes aside, the Classic Fit Bikini did feel different. Crafted from the brand's signature 95% organic cotton and 5% elastane blend (as is all of its underwear), the material was a far cry from the thick, constricting memory of bad bikinis past. Pact's material felt much lighter, cooler, and dryer against my skin, which provided a fit that didn't dig in the way I expected it would. The bikini moved with me throughout the day, remaining dry and fairly undetectable beneath my lounge pants. I was impressed, but still relieved to remove them by nightfall.

These undies were the perfect fit and wonderfully soft. They have the perfect amount of coverage and don't wedge when you move.

PACT REVIEWER
Tuesday morning brought on a pair of underwear that I've always held near and dear to my commando-loving heart: the High-Waist Hipster. Cut from the same structured-yet-incredibly-soft cloth as the best-selling bikini, Pact's High-Waist Hipster featured a fit I found to be more comfortable and flattering. As someone who's partial to high-waist bottoms, this style naturally conformed as a barely-there layer under (and added protection against) my favorite jeans. I appreciated their higher positioning on my hips, cheekier coverage on my butt, and no need for readjustment between sitting and standing. (Honorable mention goes to the pink tie-dye colorway, I adore it.) By the end of the day, as with the Classic Fit Bikini, I still felt fresh and dry down there — only this time, I was a little sadder to remove these and toss them in the laundry bin before bed.
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These are my holy grail underwear and they are all I wear now. They are truly high rise, don't ride down, hold things in nicely but are very very comfortable.

PACT REVIEWER
Wednesday was for the Boy...Shorts. Growing up, instead of wearing PJ pants or boxers to bed, I would buy 5-packs of Hanes boy shorts to sleep in — so I was actually eager to see how Pact's version stacked up against those nostalgic favorites. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the organic-cotton material does not disappoint; it felt like a gentle, breathable, and comfortably dry nether-region embrace. As far as fit goes, these boy shorts felt less cumbersome than the Hanes' styles I was used to with a lower-rise profile and more minimal seam detailing. I chose to layer them under a loose house dress for the day, which worked well to quell my fears of exposure to random gusts of wind. I don't think I would ever wear these with a tighter pair of lounge pants or jeans, for panty lines' sake, but I appreciated the extra security they gave me beneath a flouncy dress AND would 10/10 sport them to bed.

I never realized how uncomfortable all my other underwear was until I bought my first pair of these boy shorts. Great coverage, super comfy and cute!

PACT REVIEWER
Having already established that bikini-cut underwear is really not my thing, I was surprised to find myself a little more won over by the lace addition on these briefs; it made the fuller coverage feel sexier and, instead of the itchy sensation I've experienced with other lace undergarments, this organic-cotton-elastane blend felt super smooth against my waistline. I wore them beneath a tighter skirt for all of Thursday and, although I felt mostly unbothered by their presence, they were the most noticeable to wear layered under clothing (likely due to the lace addition). But, I will admit that I do love the look of them! And so, I will be putting this pair to work on my bedtime circuit for nights where I'm feeling more sexy than boy-short sporty.
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I have sensitive skin and am always hesitant about lace, but these don't bother me at all. They stay in place and offer full coverage, very comfy, I love sleeping in these. Plus they're so pretty!

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And now, the moment all you thong-enthusiasts might have been waiting for! While I appreciate a thong's low-profile and no-panty-line promise, as a commando-club member, I'm fairly sensitive to constrictive fabric down there — and, have experienced serious irritation from overpriced thongs of my past. Although this style had the greatest wedgy potential of all Pact's underwear, thanks to its A+ organic material, it felt good down there for a full day's wear (I usually only don thongs for a few hours at night on "special" going out occasions). I didn't feel like someone was giving me a wedgy after walking around, and I also didn't feel itchy or twitchy after prolonged periods of sitting. Instead, by sundown, I felt fresh when pulling these off. Pact's Thong wasn't as good as going commando but, as far as butt floss goes, it was by far the most comfortable experience my crack and vagina have experienced to date. I will definitely reach for these again when in need of a performance-quality thong for prolonged wear, ultimate comfort, and added protection against the inevitable period-in-white-pants fiascos.

The words comfortable and thong don't generally go together. Bought these as protection from harsh fabric in crotch of my favorite hiking pants but find them comfortable enough to wear any time—even to sleep.

PACT Reviewer
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