As much as we love swapping tips and tricks to solve our biggest fashion and beauty dilemmas, there are some questions we may not feel comfortable asking our friends about, let alone Google without going incognito. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. In this series, we’re tackling those embarrassing queries by turning to experts in the field to get you the answers you need — minus any awkward feelings.

Most of us know the confident feeling of slipping on a fresh pair of tights or leggings over our favorite pair of undies before heading out for the day. Fast forward to lunchtime and we’re feeling pinched in all the wrong places, constantly picking uncomfortable wedgies, sporting the dreaded panty lines, and in general, just not living our best outfit life. And it seems we can’t win with a thong or a brief because neither ever seem to lay flat. Then comes the day when we just say f*ck it and skip the panties altogether. Sometimes it’s because our laundry heap is piled high, but other times it’s because we just can’t deal with the constant fuss. But then we wonder: Is it okay to go undie-less under tights or leggings? Do we ditch the panties forever? Are there *other* underwear options? Can we have the best of all the worlds?

which underwear pairs best with tights?

Aside from looking tacky, underwear lines are the result of two styles or fabrics that don’t belong together. Or one of them is likely a bad fit. “Lines mean your underwear is digging into you, which usually means it’s uncomfortable!” says Kerry O’Brien, founder, designer, and CEO of Commando, a company that specializes in intimates and leggings. “A smooth foundation always looks best under clothes. You don’t want your undergarments to create lumps and bumps on your body.” Instead of struggling to make just *anything* work, save yourself the discomfort and embarrassment and opt for seamless underwear styles. “In today’s market there are so many amazing line-free undies,” says style editor at Brit + Co, Jenny Altman. “For all the tight-fitting clothes we wear — like knits, leggings, and denim — seamless is always the answer.”

Bottom line: If you want to continue wearing undies with your tights, go seamless.

is it okay to go commando?

So you’re still not happy with the seamless option? We get it. And generally speaking, going commando is fine, but there are a few rules to follow. If you’re going without panties regularly, be sure to consider the health risks. Vaginal folliculitis, yeast infections, UTIs, and chafing are a few possible ailments that are even more uncomfortable than wearing undies under tights. “Moist and warm environments, unfortunately, create ideal conditions for bacteria and yeast to grow,” says Gail Mautner, a New Jersey-based dermatologist. “Avoid lacy underwear and tight thongs as both can contribute to irritation and friction that can lead to abrasions and urinary tract infections.”

When choosing tights, opt for natural fabrics when possible, preferably with a built-in cotton gusset. “This gusset basically acts like undies because it’s a cotton lining sewn into the tights,” says Altman. When picking yoga pants, moisture-wicking fabric is ideal because it catches sweat. Mautner recommends investing in high-quality athleisure, noting that it can actually be more effective than cotton undies when it comes to keeping you dry down there. “If yoga pants are made up of moisture-wicking performance material, then underwear’s not necessary,” says Mautner.

Bottom line: Feel free to go sans undies every day; just be sure to wear natural fabrics with built-in cotton gussets, moisture-wicking materials, and always wash the garments after each wear.

how do I choose which tights to buy?

To avoid health risks and embarrassing camel toe and to prolong the lifespan of your favorite tights or leggings, opt for high-quality brands. Be discerning when shopping for new tights and new undies to avoid uncomfortable layering situations. “The tights you wear make a difference,” says O’Brien. “If they have an elastic waistband, they will create lines, no matter what underwear you have on.”

Although higher quality styles will generally cost a bit more, it’s worth thinking about a good pair of tights (or leggings) as an investment — especially if you wear skirts or work out a lot. “Bargain tights are fairly disposable and have a short life span,” says Altman. “High-end tights are made much better and hold up the longest when washed carefully.” She recommends choosing time-tested brands like Wolford, Falke, and Commando. “They’re made of superior fabrics and are meant to last forever,” she says. “They don’t pill, rip, or stretch out and will often last 10 years!”

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(Photos via Getty; Illustrations by San Trieu)

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