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In Praise of Gap Underwear

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It’s comfy, it’s affordable, and it gets the job done.

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Gap body underwear Photo: Gap

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Hi! We’re Elana and Alanna, and we have at least two things in common: our homophonic names and our abiding love of Gap Body underwear. While you may not share our moniker, you should absolutely know about the comfortable, affordable plethora of panties* waiting for you at your nearest mall. Please, let us tell you all about it.

*We are both staunchly anti-“panties” but sometimes, you run out of synonyms for “underwear.”

Elana: So when did you start preaching the gospel of Gap underwear?

Alanna: I think I wore them as a kid, but I started buying them in earnest as an adult once I realized how unsustainable my Hanky Panky habit was. ($20 a pop!!!! And you need to wear different ones EVERY DAY!!!!)

Elana: Yeah, I’ve never been the type to spend a lot of money on my underwear. I think it’s a big ol’ waste. After all, no matter how pricey your undies, they’re going to eventually rip, stretch out, develop holes, and/or pill.

Alanna: Totally, and price barely seems to mean a difference in quality.

Elana: Let it be known: A $28 lace thong is not going to last you any longer than an $8 one in the long run. I know this because I enjoyed a brief dalliance with Cosabella in my early 20s and wound up destroying a lot of pricey panties during that time.

Alanna: Lolol yesssss. Gap Body makes an extremely respectable Hanky Panky dupe: the Super Soft Lace Thong, which is very aptly named and costs $12.50 per pair or three for $25. (You should always do the three-for-$25, or, miracle of occasional miracles, the FIVE-for-$25.)

Elana: So as the entirety of Racked’s staff knows, I don’t do thongs unless absolutely necessary. But the bikini version of that same style — the Super Soft Lace Bikini — is reliably excellent. My all-time favorite, though, is the Lace Trim Skinny Bikini, which is so comfortable and soft you can barely feel it when it’s on your body. I know that sounds like a ‘90s tampon commercial, but trust me — it’s a good thing.

Alanna: I’m a fan of thongs when they’re comfy and easy to ignore, which these totally are. They hit that elusive balance of being totally invisible under clothes but also not ugly on their own, and they come in enough colors that you’re bound to find a few you like. I must own 15 or 20 pairs, and I am not above running out to buy more instead of doing laundry every now and then.

Elana: Honestly, that’s part of the reason why I don’t own more of the Super Soft Lace styles. I always feel weird about throwing lace underwear in the washing machine, even when the care label says you can. I always feel like I need to hand wash lacy things, like they’re delicates that actually are delicate.

Alanna: Tbh you’re right, and they’re not without drawbacks: Mine amass holes and sprout elastic with alarming frequency, probably because I don’t hand wash them. But ugh, effort! Also, a lot of the colors are truly hideous, and it gets kind of boring wearing a variation on the same thing every single day.

Elana: Call me a creature of habit, but I find it kind of comforting to reach for the same underwear (style, not exact pair!!) day after day. That’s actually how I knew I was becoming a Gap Body convert in the first place. A few years ago on a whim (and desperate to delay doing laundry for just one more week), I took advantage of that glorious five-for-$25 underwear deal — and before long, I’d shoved all my old undies to the back of my lingerie drawer because I just didn’t want to wear them anymore.

Alanna: What did you wear before?

Elana: Victoria’s Secret Pink, mostly. I’ve been shopping there since I was in middle school. Pink still makes the best T-shirt bra in the world, for the record — I have yet to find anything as good. I still like the brand’s undies, too, but I remember that it was always tough to find pairs that weren’t covered in leopard spots, lip prints, logos, or a combination of all three. My Gap Body bikinis just feel more grown-up. They’re mostly striped or solid; the craziest Gap ever gets is, like, a tone-on-tone cherry print or subtle floral.

Alanna: Yeah, lately I’ve experimented with hella somber Muji underwear, which I obviously love because I’m a parody of myself, but they come in even fewer varieties than Gap so there’s no real danger of unseating.

Above all, Gap is consistent, and in these uncertain times it’s nice to cling to a couple of stretch-lace scraps of reliability.