As combat athletes and especially wrestlers, we face a very different set of challenges when it comes to choosing our workout gear. Being in tight fitting leggings, shorts, or competition singlets requires us to look at our undergarments from a different perspective. Gone are the days where we can wear our favorite lucky neon pink undies for competition... especially if we appreciate some modesty. When it comes to wearing spandex, we have to know how "sheer is our gear" before we get into a stance. I have had my fair share of undergarment faux pas, at practices and competitions. Here are my recommendations to help you navigate the world of sport and underwear!
Look for underwear that is the closest to your skin color. Trying to match the color of your underwear to the color of what you are wearing will not always prove successful. Spandex is skin tight and you don't want to differentiate your underwear from your skin. This would be like giving someone x-ray vision to what you are wearing! Unfortunately, the underwear market isn't as diverse as it needs to be to fit all skin colors. You may have to do some digging, but once you find underwear that works for you, ask the company to provide more skin tones. Most likely you're not the only one looking for that product!
Seamless Thong, Briefs or Bikini
Stick to the underwear cut that is most comfortable for you. By finding underwear that has a seamless style, you wont have to resort strictly to a thong in order to prevent underwear lines. Briefs or hipster style will cut lower along the hips than a bikini style, which helps with the "no see" look. A thong can be ideal if you often are dealing with adjusting your underwear during practice or competition. However, never purchase a string thong as it has a thick seamed side and will be seen through spandex. Be sure to find a thong with a wider side, and avoid lace on any kind of underwear you choose. Below are some examples of seamless underwear.
Sweat and Moisture Wicking Fabrics
It is important to not wear cotton underwear for workouts and competition. Conventional thought told us that because cotton is absorbent, it would be the best material when sweating. However we have learned while cotton may absorb, it doesn't wick the moisture away from the body. This means moisture stays close to the skin, which increases bacteria and may lead to an increased risk of yeast infections. Choose breathable fabrics specifically designed for sport: combinations of microfiber, polyester, nylon, or spandex. The other advantage to sweat wicking fabrics are their convenience to wash and quickly dry if you have any accidental leaks during your period.
Your other alternative for practice and competition is wearing black spandex shorts underneath your singlet or workout gear. Now you can wear those lucky neon pink panties and not worry about them showing through! Spandex shorts are thicker underneath your gear, so be sure to find ones that are light and do not bunch as your move. They should have similar properties to the underwear you choose: moisture wicking and breathable.
Whatever undergarments you choose, make sure to have a trusted girlfriend do the "stance check." Can they see your undergarments through your spandex? Underwear isn't something we often discuss, but so many girls have questions about! Bring me all your questions about this topic if you want to see me write more on this subject!