As a woman, I write a great deal about men who wear lingerie. To be honest, it has become rather a passion of mine over the past few years.
One of my readers pointed out that his biggest concern as a man who wears lingerie out and about during the day is the fear of visible panty lines. Visible panty lines (VPL) are barely acceptable when seen on women, let alone when seen on men, so if you want to wear panties discreetly, its something you'll have to think about. Nothing ruins that big presentation like leaving the CEO of your company wondering where you get your panties from.
What to Wear to Avoid VPL
Here are some tips on what to wear to avoid the curse of visible panty line. They're all fairly common sense and straightforward.
1. Thick Pants
It's pretty hard to get VPL under jeans, because the thickness of the fabric doesn't allow for the contours of your underwear to show through. If you want to wear panties to work and you work in a corporate environment, look for thicker dress pants made of stiff, substantial fabrics.
2. Thin Panties
Another way to cut down on visible panty lines is to wear thin panties with just a little elastic around the legs. Not all panties are made with the same kind of elastic, and whilst some have quite thick, strong elastic which stands out in relief against your skin, there are some with lighter elastic that does not grip so tightly and is not so easily noticeable.
3. Loose Panties
Loose panties make for far less VPL than tight ones. VPL is essentially what happens when your pants pull tight over a tight pair of panties. If the panties underneath are quite loose, then there is much less VPL than if they were tight.
The woman's eternal answer to VPL, wearing a thong is a surefire way to make sure that there are no visible panty lines showing when you wander around the office. Of course, the trade-off is that you're likely to get sweaty cheeks and severe chafing on a hot day.
If you don't like the idea of wearing a thong, you can always go in the opposite direction and put a pair of full brief panties on. While you're wearing these panties, the panty lines will run around under your backside instead of across it, leaving far less scope for visible panty lines.
Then Again, Who Cares?
Whilst you might be all atwitter about wearing panties to work or out and about, the odds are that nobody else is going to notice, even if you bend over right in their face. Because they don't expect a man to be wearing panties, they're not going to attribute lines under your pants to panty lines; rather, it is much more likely that they'll think they're some tighty whities or something of that nature—assuming they think about what's covering your ass at all.
Anita Cosmolover on February 20, 2020:
I've more lingerie than my wife. I'd wear lingerie exclusively and nothing else 24/7 is I could. I've been cross-dressing for many years. My wife isn't happy with this, but at least accepts it - so long as she doesn't have to see me wearing lingerie. I have custom printed dresses with images of COSMOPOLITAN magazine on them and I wear these publicly - and even had favourable comments by women on them which is really nice. It's pretty weird I know, but I just want the world to know just how much I love COSMO and how much I'd love to be a COSMO girl. I sure can relate to Pinocchio!
Danny on November 18, 2018:
I've worn panties for the last 23 years i dont really care who notices. Ive got more panties and bras that most girls have. Ive got dresses and nighties I kinda like it when im out and i know my lines are showing. I've been happily married for almost 18 years.
tim on September 04, 2018:
Hi I waer panties 24/7 wife knows we both waer vs fruitbof the loom and hanes all in bikni syle or hip hugger and boyshort
PaulaPlaytex on August 20, 2018:
I no longer hide my Bra and Panty wearing...I am a natural 46B/46C Bra wearer...It is hard to hide my Breasts...So I don't bother anymore.
Paul wears Panties on August 06, 2018:
When I wore my Panties to work I didn't want them to peek out, so I chose plain colors & non frilly waist bands, now that I'm retired ,all the Panties I wear are Lacey, bright colors & flower prints, even have some high waisted Satin Panties that ride above my pants, don't care who sees what, I Like to Wear Panties! I have found that Hi-Cut Brief Panties fit & feel the best, & they do peek out some. Vanity Fair makes some of the best fitting Panties for Men.
Sam on May 09, 2018:
I wear string bikini panties daily and love them. My favorite are thongs. I’m married and straight.
Jwine on October 23, 2017:
I wear panties I'm a straight male i don't care who knows I've had exams done in panties I wear shorts with the string bikini straps on my hips they are the softest and most comfortable I've ever felt my x girlfriend had me try on hers and I've never went back to boxers
Johnny on February 02, 2010:
I have worn panties all my life, I like the pantie lines I want people to know I am wearing bikini underwear, and yes I am a man.
Dani on December 01, 2009:
You missed one, wear tights or pantyhose, they mask VPL completely. Of course, the addition of a 12 strap garter belt would increase your VPL, or GSL (garter strap lines) as it may be.
Melinda 1 on November 02, 2009:
No one cares what you wears.
Vanityfair on October 24, 2009:
Oh Hope.... give it up on this one sweetie....you're outvoted! It's okay to occasionally admit a humble defeat and recognize that VPL is not really that bad and I agree that it is the media in general that has sensationized it to increase profit margins. Here in Europe, they definitely don't worry about VPL, as it is still the style here for women to walk around in the tightest pants possible! hehehe
Love you Hope!!
Hope Alexander (author) on July 01, 2009:
All I can say is that a bra is not the same as VPL, and many women consider showing a bra strap to be fairly trashy anyway. Also, just because men 'love' to see VPL, it doesn't mean women want to show it, not every woman enjoys being oogled as a sex object whilst she's trying to work or going about her day. Pantylines have never been 'in', we used to wear petticoats, but you can't do that under pants, hence thongs or avoiding thin, tight pants.
Shelley on July 01, 2009:
Dear Hope I have to entirely disagree with your point when you say that women are embarassed if men can 'see' the outline of their panties. As a woman this maybe your personal point of view but as a matter of fact most women do openly show off their bra straps and then the bra itself too through sheer tops. Why should a woman try to hide her panty when she is showing off her bra? No reason. I think VPL is more of television and magazine propaganda by some lingerie manufacturers in order to boost up the sales of their 'no visible pantylines' panties. Unfortunately women have fallen for this trick even though the profound truth is that most men love to see pantylines on any woman.
Last year, partly as fun, I did a survey on 78 men regarding visible pantylines. This included both lingerie-wearing and non-wearing men. The question was whether they liked to see pantylines through a woman's trouser or skirt. The results were astonishing! 93% of the men said they liked to see pantylines, 6% said they didn't care and only 1% said that they did not like it. I think women should give a serious thought to this.
And as for men, it is always nice to show off your pantylines. Most men won't bother about your behind and even if some take notice they will think it is some new kind of underwear. It is only women, who know panties intimately, that'll find out the truth. And can there be anything more exciting than the knowledge that all the women out there know you are wearing panties!!!
Cantsay on May 23, 2009:
And something else I noticed yesterday - women often wear sheer tops, showing the detail of the bra's they wear - yet don't want people seeing their knickers? Seems a bit of a hypocritical stance to me!
Cantsay on May 21, 2009:
I have to agree with an earlier comment - I think seeing a panty line is kind of innocent, better than seeing the lines a gstring can leave - and if you can see the lines of cheekies or a tanga, even better, sexy and innocent at the same time! I always wear cheekies or a tanga if I am wearing tight trousers for exactly that reason! :) Just loving your stuff Hope, thanks for all your fantastic effort!
Hope Alexander (author) on May 02, 2009:
:) The point about not wanting visible panty lines isn't that men don't want to see them, its that, as a woman, it is embarassing to know that men can 'see' your panties.. it is also seen as trashy by other women... hence the scourge of VPL
50 Caliber from Arizona on May 02, 2009:
The visible panty line being undesireable on women is a myth television and magazines have created. I'd bet if you polled non-panty wearing men they would go at least 80% in favor of being able to see them, and if they are ass men, they'll go at least 95%. I have tested this on a small poll of 12 men on a week long horse riding trip the 10 women on that trip were surprised. Why?
The media had programmed them to think it was undesireable. The discussion was brought up by me at the nightly campfire talking about seeing the women raise up in the stirrups doing the tight Jeans bend over and admiring the panty lines. The women were surprised asking "really"? we had a 100% vote for visible panty lines The next day every one of them were showing off their panty lines.
I wonder if they saw mine....LOL
GoneNylon on February 02, 2009:
The cause of a VPL on a woman is, to a certain degree, anatomical, and has to do with the interplay between female body shape and cut of clothing. Most womenswear slacks and pants are cut snug in the derriere and that, combined with the delightful curvature of the female bottom is what yields up the VPL. I, too, love a nice VPL on a curvaceous bottom and find it quite charming.
At any rate, those same factors usually do not come together for most men, even the ones wearing panties. So guys, don't sweat the possibility of a VPL. While you're doing that, you're much more likely to be "outted" by that stray satin tag popping over the waistband of your trousers. Why panties often have a "tag flag" at the center of the back of the waistband is still an unsolved curiosity to me.
Satin on February 01, 2009:
I agree with the comment Element. I love seeing VPL on a woman. It makes the mind wonder wondering what they have on!! I don't care if anyone sees my VPL. Whoever started the trend that a woman's VPL is not acceptable is an idiot.
HalfMoonMan on January 30, 2009:
I happen to LOVE vpl on women and think 80% of men woild agree with me. As far as VPL on MEN......I think those of us who wear panties on a regular basis often WANT to show VPL. The assumption is....other men won't know they are panties but women....because of their personal knowledge (and disdain) for VPL...will recognize a panty line when they see it, especially if your panties have a large gusset.
Keep up the good work Hope but how about some tips on how we can SHOW OFF our panty wearing.....lol
element on October 31, 2008:
Just a note, I don't think visible panty lines are not acceptable seen on women, instead I find them sexy. ;)
bsex on October 03, 2008:
Try Jockey brand panties for women. They have a'no pantie line promise' line of underwear. Myself I wear the briefs, hi-cuts and bikinis in micro-fibre with tactel. They are so soft and can stretch to fit the parts. Wear them 24/7!
ILoveLingerie on August 23, 2008:
Those are some great tips again. I always wonder if others see that I'm wearing panties...
sam_t on August 22, 2008:
Thanks for the tips, Hope. You have to be the personal hero of a lot of men like us
out there. As usual, you make valid and useful points. 'likewhatiam' & you makes a good point as well regarding whether or not anyone would even notice the disparity in the first place. I suppose paranoia has its uses up to a point... lol.
likewhatiam on August 22, 2008:
Hi there I personally don't care if my pantie lines show as you say no one is expecting me to be wearing panties much less a bra and stockings under my male clothes, and besides I don't care if any one sees my pantie lines because what are they going to say. No one would dare walk up to you and ask you if you are wearing ladies lingerie for fear of reprisal.Love your hubs keep up the great work.