What Knickers Are Best for My Shape?

When it comes to looking good over 30, knickers and bras compete for the #1 spot on your list of closet essentials! That's because...

The wrong knickers are often the cause of a downward spiral in body confidence that gives free reign to your inner critic!

This guide will help you understand which knickers are best for your shape so you can start each day with confidence...

the problem

There are 3 parts to this problem:

Tummy and Lace Knickers


This is a picture of me doing the pinch test. While I'm a size 'S' you can see I have a tummy. I could do this pinch test on my butt too and get the same result. That's because many women over 30, and all women over 40 lose skin elasticity so even if you don't have a lot of body fat you can still look like you do, especially if you are wearing the wrong knickers. Let me show you what I mean...

Knickers that make you look fat


The problem with your average knickers is they have elastic, lace, or seams that bite into soft skin. In my case the elastic in the waist of my lace knickers bites into my tummy skin giving me a 'spare tyre' of fat around my midsection. Your case may be different. Many women have soft skin on their butts so the leg elastic of their knickers bites into their butt cheeks giving them a 'double butt'. And your twin butt looks saggy which can make your legs look short! You can see examples of double butt cheeks in your next yoga or gym class. If you don't care about your appearance there's no problem. But, if you do...


When you combine 1A and 1B you give your evil twin permission to be critical. This makes you feel like you need to cover up your 'fat bits' and this in turn can make you look frumpy and older. This is the downward spiral you might get stuck in. Seeking a solution to 'your fat bulge' problems it's common to end up with a drawer full of compression knickers you don't wear. That's because...

Compression Underwear


There are 3 major problems with compression knickers. First, compression knickers like the ones I am wearing above, simply push your 'fat' up. And having a tyre of fat that sticks out like this looks weird. And if you are sitting down, this weird 'tyre of fat' is visible. You might also experience this problem on your thighs. Everything looks perfect until you hit the 'thigh bump' and like a pimple on your nose that's all you think people will see. So out comes your evil twin. And back to frumpy loose-fitting styles you go! But that's not all...


Compression knickers compress your digestive organs. Many women experience body bloating during the day, especially those approaching menopause, so compression knickers can feel unbearably restrictive. And...


Compression knickers are made from synthetic fabrics that make you feel hot. And if they don't have a cotton gusset they don't allow your girly bits to breathe. To solve this, many women wear 'normal' knickers underneath their compression knickers so they have a cotton gusset against their skin. This may be more comfortable against soft vaginal skin but it still doesn't allow your girly bits to breathe!

Knickers Comparison GIF


This image of me - normal knickers on the left, compression knickers in the middle - is the perfect illustration of the problem. The wrong knickers can put you on the highway to hell if you care about your appearance. I don't have a perfect body, no one over 30 does. But when I'm wearing the right knickers (image on the right) I look great and my evil twin is silent because there's nothing to say! So...what are the 'right' knickers?

Catherine's Tummy

how to solve this problem

If you have soft skin tissue and/or body fat...

The ONLY way to create a smooth uninterrupted body line is to wear knickers that don't bite into ANY of your soft skin tissue/body fat from bust to knee!

You can see the immediate benefit on me. It looks like my 'spare fat tyre' has been airbrushed away!

First, I'll show you how I solved this problem for myself and my customers. Then I'll share some other useful tips and suggested next steps to help you work out what's best for you...

how I solved this for myself

I have soft skin from bust to mid thigh. In summer, I suffer from thigh chafe because my upper thighs touch. If you're like me, you will find that ALL conventional knickers, including no VPL knickers, cut into your soft skin somewhere, so they won't give you smooth lines! That's because...

They are either not high enough in the waist or long enough in the leg to cover ALL of your soft skin. OR because they have some tight elastic or lace at the top or bottom! If you have a drawer full of failed 'no VPL' knickers, this is why...

The only way I could solve this problem for myself was to design a pair of knickers that were so high they almost touched my bra and long enough to finish below my mid thigh. I made them look like compression knickers but feel like a favourite pair of super comfy briefs I like to lounge around in at home. And...

I gave the legs a raw seam finish to avoid 'thigh bump' and to make it easy to cut them to different lengths. And because I live in hot, humid Hong Kong, I designed them in cooling cotton so my skin can breathe. Even on the hottest days, they feel cool and comfy to wear. As an added bonus, they solved my summer thigh chafe issues too!

I call them "Passion Killer Knickers". This is what they look like on me...

Passion Killer Knickers
PKK tummy view
PKK Front View
Pkk butt view

the benefits

Confidence and comfort from all sides

Thong Options That Don't Bite

the best thong solution

If the idea of granny knickers on steroids leaves you cold, or you want to rock a cool pair of shorts or skinny jeans, this is my top recommendation for thongs...

This is the cotton lace top thong by Victoria Secret. NB: I have no affiliation with VS, I just believe this thong is the best of the hundreds I have tested. Here's why...

The lace VS uses for this thong is super stretchy. Most thong lace is either scratchy or it's not that stretchy so it looks good, but bites into soft skin. But buyer beware...

To ensure this VS thong doesn't cut into your butt or tummy skin you need to go up in size. For example, I wear a Large in this thong even though VS size guide recommends Small!

how to know what knickers are best for me?

Follow these steps to work out whether the knickers you already own are right for you and the key considerations before you buy any more...


DIY Tools:
  • A full-length mirror 
  • Good light
  • Your knickers
  • A long fitted layering tank/slip


  1. 1
    Do the pinch test from bust to knee 
  2. 2
    Do the pinch test from shoulders to butt
  3. 3
    Do the pinch test from underarm to side thigh   
  4. 4
    Wear your most supportive bra  
  5. 5
    Try each pair of knickers you own under your long fitted layering tank/slip and check for the bumps/fat tyres etc they cause
Tip: If you're not sure, try your long layering tank with and without your knickers so you can see the difference


What's Next?

If you're like me and have soft skin tissue from bust to knee your best choice (if you want to wear softly contoured styles without bumps) is to buy knickers that almost touch your bust and finish just below the mid thigh

If you're a very small size but can still do the pinch test, a VS thong will be ideal but remember to go up in size until the panties don't bite into your skin

General Tips
Tip 1: No matter what knicker style you prefer, as a rule of thumb, you don't want your knickers falling down when you're walking down the street, but you want them loose enough they don't leave any marks on your skin if you've been sitting down in them all day. So ignore vanity sizes and choose the size that gets you there!
Tip 2: If you are menopausal, feel hot or sweat a lot choose knickers that are made from natural fibres like cotton or bamboo. 4-6% of Lycra is ok too
Tip 3: If you can pinch any part of you and grab a small amount of skin avoid all knickers that have elastic or snug lace on waist or legs! 



Before you buy new knickers you might like to consider whether the styles you have in your closet are best for you. You may find that changing your knickers gives you the correct foundations to try more contoured styles that in turn make you look and feel younger, slimmer, and more confident

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