All women should have a basic wardrobe of underwear for all occasions and activities. Different undergarments are needed for active sports, formal wear, and everyday wear. Every woman should have at least three everyday bras and six pairs of panties. Slips, sports items, and formal items depend upon your lifestyle needs.
Begin with bras. Many women, if not most, are wearing the wrong size bra. Get fitted at a good department store or lingerie shop. The right size means superior comfort, support, and good appearance. For everyday wear, have a basic bra in white, beige, and black. Find a style you like and stock up. Invest in these bras that will be worn almost every day. For athletics, a sports bra in a fabric that wicks perspiration is a must. Finally, a special formal dress requires a bra that works with that particular dress. A bra with removable/convertible straps works with a halter or strapless gown or with criss-cross straps. Bridal shops sell longline bras with push-up foam cups that lift and support the bust while slimming the torso. For sleek dresses, consider a combination bra-slip with a tummy control panel to give a smooth line.
Panties must be suitable for the pants or skirts with which they will be worn. For good health, doctors recommend 100% cotton panties, or at least a 100% cotton crotch panel. Everyday panties can be boy-leg for good coverage and comfort, string bikini to avoid bulk at the waist, or weightless microfiber panties that leave no line. For tummy control or cellulite coverage, a hosiery-like panty with legs will give a smooth line under close-fitting garments. For sports, get panties in a wicking fabric for maximum comfort. In summertime, remember to have some plain white or beige panties to avoid embarrassing show-through under pastel fabrics.
Slips are a must for those who wear dresses. Half slips in appropriate lengths for your skirts are a must. Full slips are better under lightweight dresses. Under knits, consider a strapless tubular slip or half slip with lycra for stretch and control. Lycra eliminates panty lines and allows knits to skim the body without clinging.
For winter in cold climates, add some more layers. A tank top or camisole top with a built-in bra will provide lightweight warmth under a blouse or sweater. Thermal underwear pants come in knee length, capri length or ankle length. Thermal tops can be found with crew, scoop, or v-necklines, and with short or long sleeves. In addition to the traditional cotton thermal weave fabric, there are high-tech fabrics such as polypropylene that will keep you warm and wick perspiration away from the skin for comfort.
A small investment in these basic pieces will guarantee you are ready for anything.