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We love underwear because they are a canvas of endless possibility — from style to fit, pattern to color, there are so many alterations that it’s easy to forget some of the most basic information.

If you’re not familiar with the differences in women’s underwear styles, you are certainly not alone.

Something as minimal as strap placement or a three-inch difference in coverage can earn a pair a completely new classification. While these differences may seem small from the outside looking in, slight stylistic changes can truly be night and day for some wearers.

What's the difference between bikini and brief underwear?

Known for its minimalism in the front, bikini underwear (also known as cheeky underwear) is one of the most popular styles out there.

Much like your favorite swimsuit, this style typically has a lower rise on the hip coupled with a higher cut on the legs while still offering excellent coverage on your backside.

The bikini features slender sides with a waistband anywhere from one to three inches below the navel—not too low nor too high.

Because of the standard nature of the cut, bikini underwear tend to pair well with pretty much any everyday outfit with the exception of anything body-con or skin-tight (might cause VPL).

If comfort is your top priority then the power of brief underwear can’t be overlooked.

This style offers more full coverage and a higher waistband than the bikini, which sits on your natural waist as opposed to a couple inches below the navel.

It also should be mentioned that the brief typically comes in two cuts: high-rise briefs (designed for full coverage with slimming lines) and mid-rise briefs (designed for more of a day-to-day fit).

What's the difference between bikini and hipster underwear?

Now enter hipster underwear. As the name suggests, this style sits lower on the hips, falling just a couple of inches below the waist.

Unlike the bikini, the hipster style tends to have low-cut leg holes, appearing almost as a fusion between a boyshort and a bikini. If you’re looking for just a tad more coverage than the bikini offers, this style is definitely you’re saving grace.

You don’t have to worry about your waistband showing when you rock hipster underwear with a low-rise skirt or pair of jeans.

One thing to look out for when searching for the perfect hipster: the amount of coverage can vary somewhat, as some styles tend to flash a little more skin than others, so keep this in mind!

Products featured in this article:

Cheeky | Re:Play

Cheeky

Re:Play

Meet the perfect barely-there pair.
1363 reviews
Brief | Universal

Brief

Universal

Minimalism meets endless comfort. Shop your new everyday essential.
98 reviews
Brief | Universal

Brief

Universal

Minimalism meets endless comfort. Shop your new everyday essential.
98 reviews
Cheeky | Re:Play

Cheeky

Re:Play

Meet the perfect barely-there pair.
1363 reviews
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