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A Dozen Lifesaving Pieces to Wear Under Your Summer Clothes

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Negative Underwear
Negative Underwear

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In the same way that winter has outerwear, summer has innerwear—those key pieces that provide just the right amount of modest protection between your skin, your sheer linen blouse, and the world at large. Innerwear is a "less is more" game, though, and needs to be smartly designed to be lightweight, breathable, and virtually undetectable. It's a tall order.

Below, find a dozen of the best solutions for hot, humid, sticky, wonderful summertime and all the breezy clothes that come with it, including the best bras, undies, slips, and shapewear.


  1. True & Co. bralette

    Online lingerie boutique True & Co.'s in-house brand upped the bralette ante with this one. The cups are brilliantly lined in a breathable micromesh, plus it has double straps that are adjustable, so it actually offers some support despite its barely-there ethos.

    $44

  2. Spanx 'Bra-llelujah'

    Before you roll your eyes at a.) the idea of Spanx in the summertime or b.) the cringe-worthy pun, consider that this front-closing bra is made entirely of a material similar to pantyhose, so it's light, flexible, and doesn't dig in, like, at all. There are five neutral hues to choose from, as well as racerback style, for a number of comfortable, supportive options.

    $62

  3. Negative Underwear 'Essaouira' demi bra

    Because Negative Underwear sells direct to consumer (you!), it's able to use the same materials as high-end brands without needing to account for markup (higher prices), which you'll notice as soon as you touch its featherweight undergarments. This bestseller, in a perforated fabric called the "anti-lace," was just released in a new, pinkish hue that compliments most skin tones without attempting to match them, and disappears under white blouses.

    $80

  4. Hanky Panky thong

    Simply put, there's a reason these lace thongs have such a following—they really are that comfortable. Yes, even for a thong.

    $20

  5. Nubian Skin brief

    This London-based brand specializes in nude lingerie for women who aren't Band-Aid hued. This medium-rise bottom is made of a silky blend with some stretch, so it vanishes under clothing and moves with you throughout the day.

    $24

  6. Ten Underwear 'High' panties

    Sometimes you just need a solid pair of high-rise cotton undies. Ten Underwear has you covered—literally—with the perfect blend of Italian cotton and elastane. It offers comfort without the risk of sagging or bagginess.

    $45

  7. Skin 'City' chemise

    In ribbed cotton, this thigh-length tank dress takes all the preciousness out of a fancy-sounding chemise with an easy, body-skimming layer.

    $75

  8. Base Range slip

    Finding a slip that isn't also a shaper is, for some reason, really hard. Base Range nails it with this bamboo jersey piece. It's slinky enough for dresses to float over while remaining breathable and not at all restrictive.

    $130

  9. Jewel Toned 'major mini' dress

    This LA-based company is out to "take the shame out of shapewear." Everything it produces is meant to be seen and comes in pop colors (as well as black). Its best seller is this little dress, which is smoothing and wouldn't be out of place as part of your outfit.

    $44

  10. Uniqlo 'AIRism' Racerback Bratop Camisole

    The Japanese superbrand's AIRism line is the breezy summer counterpart to winter's HeatTech. This racerback tank has built in bra cups, comes in plenty of colors, and is made of a smart fabric that dries quickly and is anti-microbial (sweat wicking, smell fighting).

    $25

  11. Yummie by heather thompson 'Nina' shorts

    These are the ultimate in the fight against thigh chafing and sudden breezes. They're lightly smoothing, the rise hits right at the natural waist so there aren't any weird lines, and the inseam is short enough to wear under little dresses yet long enough to stay put.

    $18

  12. Commando half slip

    Commando's seemingly simple half slip checks all of the intelligent design boxes: It's seamless and laser-cut, so it lays completely smooth, plus there are teeny weights in the hem, so it doesn't roll or blow up.

    $48