While underwear is plentiful and abundant, finding the perfect pair, without going to a store to paw through piles of panties that aren’t your size or style, is something almost everyone wants. Which is possibly why the new underwear brand Parade, with its array of yummy colors like rainbow sherbet, patterns like mesh polka dots and styles like uber-comfy briefs and boyshorts, has been such a hit.
Since launching in October, the direct-to-consumer brand says it’s sold more than 150,000 pairs of underwear and attracted more than 70,000 customers, probably due in no small part to the ads you’ve seen on Instagram announcing its mission to create underwear for people of all shapes and sizes. While some mass-market brands only run up to size XL, Parade offers up to 3XL. Parade also makes it a priority to cast models of various sizes in its campaigns, so you can see what the panties will look like on different bodies.
Founder Cami Tellez explains the mission, saying, “I grew up going to the mall, seeing supermodels blown up on massive storefronts and thinking: This is what it means to be a woman. Brands inherently write cultural scripts and I’m excited that we’re launching Parade at a cultural moment that no longer embraces this one-note idea of sexiness.”
When I picked out my first pair, it was clear sizing and fit was something Parade paid close attention to. I followed the size chart exactly and ordered a medium, and they fit perfectly, clinging where they are supposed to, but not so tight they created bulges or weird lines. Two colleagues who also tested the underwear in sizes S and XL agreed that they fit perfectly for them, too.
The underwear is constructed with a core fabric that is made from 85% recycled polyamide, and all of its materials are Oeko-Tex certified, which means they are free of chemicals that can be harmful to the planet. Parade also donates 1% of its profits to Planned Parenthood.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the fabric, as breathability is a high priority for me, and I typically prefer cotton underwear. And polyamide (it’s nylon) didn’t really sound like it would let my lady parts feel free and fresh.
But I was pleasantly surprised at how nicely the fabric moved when I did a cardio sculpt class — yes, I put these underwear to the real test! — and how I didn’t feel completely disgusting afterward. The briefs gripped in the right places and didn’t give me a wedgie while I was touching my toes, which is amazing for a $9 pair of panties.
Parade is also priced at a wallet-friendly $9 per pair and $13 for limited-edition styles and prints, and is available in a range of styles and bright, fun colors. Here are a few of my favorites.
Cheeky ($9; yourparade.com)
These panties are super light and breathable. The cute mesh starts at the front and feeds into the rear coverage, which is invisible under clothes. They come in nine colorways (two are limited edition for the spring) and don’t show a panty line under leggings.
If you prefer the high-rise look, it’s available as a high-rise cheeky ($11-$13; yourparade.com) in its signature silky mesh with fun prints like checkerboard and polka dots.
Brief ($9; yourparade.com)
Also light and breathable, this brief is far from basic. It’s essentially the perfect everyday panty, with a cute mesh detail and full back coverage.
Thong ($9; yourparade.com)
Not everyone is a thong person, but this thong is definitely easier to forget you’re wearing than other thongs. Available in over 10 colorways (again, some are limited edition), the mesh across the front offers a sexy detail.
The brand also has a high-rise thong ($10; yourparade.com) that sits higher on your belly and would be ideal for wearing with high-rise jeans. Or try a high-cut thong ($11-$13; yourparade.com) in silky mesh for an even sexier look.
Boyshort ($9; yourparade.com)
These are the perfect under-your-jeans or yoga pants underwear, with full coverage in the back and front, and breathable mesh on the side. You won’t want to take these off. Consider these the perfect napping and lounging panty.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed prices at the time of publication.