Cotton underwear

I really love the look of high-waisted, retro underwear, but I really can’t wear non-cotton underwear. I’ve noticed that most of the retro-style underwear is made from lycra or other non-breathable fabrics. Do you have any suggestions for 100% cotton retro underwear? I’ve found some pretty bland, all white granny panties, but that’s it!



 Hi Grace,

This is an interesting question, it’s very valid and not something I have given much thought to previously.

Most girdles, panties or anything that else that is supportive and sits around the waist (with our without a crotch) is made with either synthetic fabric or a mix of cotton and synthetic fabric, but not usually cotton alone. Cotton doesn’t contain the right properties for shapewear, unless it is structured with boning.

You therefore have several options:

1. Vintage cotton boned girdles – These sorts of garments are very structured and I wouldn’t recommend them for newbies but they are usually made of pure cotton.


2. Wear suspender belts with cotton knickers (under or over the belt) – This should allow your skin to breathe. I have also found some pure cotton suspender belts which may be of interest to you, I’m wearing one in the below photos and I have one or two left in my shop.

Screen Shot 2015-07-11 at 5.31.09 pm

Russell Thomas Photography

3. Wear cotton knickers under a light open-bottom girdle – this will allow your skin to breathe a little more than it would with a panty girdle.


Rago Shapewear

4. Most brands use cotton in the crotch area of their firm control panties, this might help.

Rago Shapewear

Rago Shapewear

I hope my answer has been of some assistance. If you find another solution, please let me know as I would be interested to hear about it.


One thought on “Cotton underwear

  1. You could dye the white grannie panties and add lace and other embellishments. Or you could start sewing your own. Ohhhlulu has great patterns and woven cotton fabric can be used for the main panels.and I’m sure Mrs Depew has some vintage all woven cotton options.

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