What Is Fashion Underwear?

Wanda Marie Thibodeaux

Fashion underwear is any underwear that is designed to match an individual’s personal outerwear style. The focus is on the look of the undergarment, to the extent that the underwear is trendy and can draw attention in the same way regular outerwear does. People sometimes see this type of underwear as the finishing touches to their wardrobes.

A woman wearing a fashion bra.
A woman wearing a fashion bra.

Normally, at its most basic, fashion underwear resembles regular underwear but comes in very bright or in unusual colors. More dramatic types of underwear use distinct patterns or prints. Some involve decorative buttons, chains, sequins, inexpensive faux gems or similar items. The most elaborate types are made from these items plus materials that aren’t used in everyday undergarments, such as silk or leather.

Fashion underwear is designed to match an individual's personal outerwear style.
Fashion underwear is designed to match an individual's personal outerwear style.

Fashion underwear usually is functional in the same way that regular undergarments are, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, some fashion underwear is so outrageously designed that it would not work well with outerwear. The idea with this type of underwear is just to have fun for a short time.

Men's fashion underwear typically is limited to boxers, briefs and thongs. Women have a wider range available. In addition to bras and panties, women's fashion underwear can include corsets, bustiers, nylons, tights and camisoles. For men, this type of underwear leans toward decorative prints on more everyday fabrics. Women's styles lean more toward the sensuous, with lace and sheer fabrics being more common.

Like outerwear, fashion underwear frequently is modeled on the runway. These fashion shows are marketed as flirty and steamy but generally are very tasteful, with hosts taking great care to protect the models’ integrity. Models who work in these shows have to be extremely confident, because underwear leaves no room for the model to hide physical imperfections or immaturity of movement.

Fashion underwear, like most articles of clothing, is available in both retail stores and online. Buying in a store can be advantageous in that the consumer has a chance to size the underwear and see if it works for him or her. A consumer also can get a professional fitting, just as he or she can for regular underwear. Buying online sometimes is the better option for getting variety, however, and can be more discreet if the underwear that one chooses sways toward the more provocative or exploratory side. No matter where one buys it, fashion underwear tends to be pricier than regular underwear, although some of the more simplistic options cost about the same as everyday undergarments.

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Discussion Comments


I am looking to buy my wife some lace underwear as a gift but I am really confused when it comes to all the different cuts of fashion underwear. I really want her to be comfortable and am not sure if it matters or not if I get something like a high-cut or briefs or bikini bottom et cetera. To be honest I am not even sure what half of the labels mean.

The fashion underwear is for my wife's birthday so they aren't really for me. I just know she likes lace stuff and has a bunch of it. I want to make sure I get something for her collection of underthings that she'll actually wear and like.

Can anybody give me some advice?


@Sara007 - If you don't want to go for a speedo look I think the best underwear for men is silk boxers. Guys find them comfortable and you can get ones that cling in the right places if you want to add a little spice to the bedroom.

Another option you might want to try is couple fashion underwear. You can buy men's underwear that matches yours and it will be your little secret. It can be fun going out on a date and knowing that you wearing matching pieces. Couple underwear is especially popular around Valentine's Day and can make a great mutual gift. Who says the man has to buy all the fun things?


I am looking for some men's fashion underwear and I am wondering if anyone can suggest a good style that would be comfortable too?

My husband is a real fan of the plain old cotton underwear you see in Hanes underwear commercials, but I want him to wear something a bit more fun for me. I figure if men can get women into sexy lingerie the guys should be just as willing to put on some men's underwear that is actually fashionable. I think it is bad enough that my husband has about 20 pairs of the exact same men's underwear. I want to add some to his collection that is more fashion than function.

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