I have always been fairly utilitarian when it comes to my underwear. Basic cotton bikinis served me well for many years. They did their job, and so I wore them. They were always reliably functional, but, did they actively make me feel good about myself? Next question. Around the time I began questioning all of my preconceived notions about underwear, I started seeing beautifully imperfect people of all shapes, ages, and color on my Instagram feed flaunting their stuff in the funkiest looking underwear I’d ever seen. They weren’t influencers, but instead, were my friends and peers. I never thought about my underwear being a source of body confidence until Parade offered me a fresh perspective.
I ignored the voice in my head that said “it’s just underwear” and bought five pairs. Parade encourages you to create your own pack of six so you can mix and match styles. I chose three high-cut thongs, one regular thong and two high-rise boyshorts. Their high-rise options excited me most, as I pretty much only wear high-waisted pants and needed undies that would flatter those shapes best.
I had to break up with my bikinis. Our relationship just wasn’t going anywhere and we were after different things. I wanted to check myself out while getting dressed in the morning and then barely feel my underwear all day. I wanted to wear a boring work outfit and think to myself, I bet no one else’s underwear is as fun as mine. I wanted to open my underwear drawer and see a neon rainbow, not a sea of black, white and beige. I wanted to never have to worry about panty lines again. Trying on the high-cut thong in Maraschino (they arrived about a week or so after I ordered in cute, compostable packaging) allowed me to do this—my old bikinis, not so much.
I’m having a lot of fun with my new underwear and that’s more important than it sounds. It feels really freeing to be exploring and reclaiming something society always told me should be hidden or only available to sizes much smaller than myself and most women around me. Their inclusive sizing and commitment to visually fun underwear means that women sizes XS to 3XL can feel joy about their bodies, both in and out of clothes, instead of shame. Parade’s values go beyond just promoting body positivity to include sustainability and responsible sex education in their core values as a company. Wearing their underwear hits the trifecta of feeling good, while making me feel good about myself and where my dollars are going. Needless to say, I’ve broken up with my old underwear and joined the Parade.
Build Your Own Pack
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