Brief vs. Bikini

Brief vs. Bikini

Few among us have the luxury to spend time and energy deliberating on what pair of undies to don for the day, but anyone who’s ever had a wedgie knows that picking the wrong pair is like having a papercut: a mild but constant irritant that tends to disrupt your day at the most inopportune times.

Even so, choosing the right pair of women’s underwear can be bewildering. Forget figuring out when to wear a g-string vs. thong - when it comes to bikini vs brief underwear, how do they compare? When should you choose one over the other?

Let’s debrief on some key differences between these two types of underwear for women so you can make your next selection without giving it a second thought.

Brief vs Bikini: What’s the Difference?

The main difference between briefs and bikini underwear comes down to coverage: while briefs usually offer more support up top, bikinis tend to be the low-rise—and on the cheekier side.

That said, you’ll find quite a few variations on each of these classic styles.

Three woman in bamboo viscose underwear, sitting on the floor

Types of Briefs

The most common types of women’s briefs are:

  • Full briefs – This type of traditional brief has a higher waistband, typically slung just below the belly button, offering maximum coverage and control up top. Because there’s much more fabric involved for a full brief, choosing a soft, non-irritating textile is essential for making sure you’re comfortable in this underwear style.
  • Midi briefs – As briefs have become a staple underwear, the midi brief style has undergone several design tweaks over the years. One of these developments was a move away from the high-waisted and into hipster underwear territory. Mid-coverage briefs expose more of your belly, enabling you to pair them with pants or skirts that ride lower on the hips.
  • Boyleg briefs – Taking a cue from the “boxers or briefs?” crowd, boyleg briefs offer more coverage of your derrière. Their leg incisions cut straight across the thigh, rather than hiking up the hip. While this underwear style gives your bum more coverage, your belly gets a bit more exposure.

Whatever the style, briefs are best for everyday wear—think jeans, trousers, and relaxed skirts and dresses that don’t leave you concerned about revealing any panty lines. The ideal WFH undies, choose briefs in a silky, sustainable fabric whenever coziness is your #1 priority.

Types of Bikinis

While briefs keep your bum snug and cozy all day long, bikinis skip the extra fabric around the rear and waistbands while still being a practical choice for everyday wear.

There are 3 different styles of bikinis to look out for:

  • Classic bikini – The classic bikini panty is one of briefs’ closest cousins: their waistband hits midway up to the belly button, with slimmer waistbands that conform to your hips and derrière for zero bunching or sagging. 
  • Hipster bikini – Hipster bikinis keep waistbands slim and sit lower on the hips. They offer medium coverage around the bum, for a slightly sexier feel while still being casual enough to wear with your favorite pair of hip-hugging jeans.
  • String bikini – String bikinis strike a perfect balance between form and function, with ultra-slender waistbands (hence the name) but still enough fabric to offer coverage where you need it. They’re perfect for days when you want to feel sexy without sacrificing comfort.

Bikinis are one of the most versatile styles of underwear, always ready to meet you where you are and wherever your day is headed. They’re particularly well-suited to warm weather apparel—think sundresses, shorts, and loose trousers—but with the right material, you can sport these babies in all types of climates.

Making Your Undies Selection: What to Look For

Bikinis and briefs are both must-have underwear styles to keep in your top drawer that can come in handy for every type of occasion. 

Fit and cut are two of three factors essential for choosing the right style—the final one is material. For maximum comfort and fit, make sure to choose a fabric that is:

  • Sustainable
  • Breathable
  • Soft
Woman in bamboo viscose underwear

Cotton is one of the more popular textiles traditionally used to produce undergarments, known for its durability, softness, and thermoregulatory properties.1 However, as moderating ecological footprint becomes more and more critical to both designers and consumers, other types of natural fabrics have grown in popularity.

Bamboo viscose is a fabric derived from bamboo plants, a type of grass with an almost supernatural ability to regrow. When converted into bamboo viscose, this textile is renowned for its silky feel, moisture-wicking properties, and breathability.2

Choose The Perfect Pair With Boody Eco Wear

Whether you’re partial to briefs and bikinis for everyday wear, you’ll want to keep at least one of each on hand so you’re ready for any occasion. Need organization and care tips? Learn more about how to wash underwear and the best way to fold underwear.

Boody Eco Wear’s collection of briefs and bikinis use bamboo viscose for an airy, form-fitting feel that conforms to your shape no matter which style you feel most at home in. For luxury-quality intimates that suit your life from the work week to lazy Sundays, shop our collection of undies, bras, and basics to take the guesswork out of online intimates shopping.

About the Author: 

This article is written by Heather Bien for Boody USA, she is a copywriter and writer based in Washington, DC. She works with retail, ecommerce, and creative brands on their website copy and digital presence, and her freelance writing has appeared on MyDomaine, Apartment Therapy, The Everygirl, and more. When she's not with laptop and coffee in hand, you'll find her planning her next weekend getaway, working on her budding green thumb, or scouting for her next great vintage find.



  1.  Peterman, William. "The Advantages of Cotton Clothing." Live Strong
  2. "A guide to bamboo viscose clothing." The Honest Consumer
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