The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Summer Underwear Essentials

The right undergarments lay a solid foundation for sexy summer styles.

Summertime means lots of light colors, light fabrics and skin-baring styles, which means you need an entirely different set of underwear for warm-weather fashion than you do for fall and winter. Of course the most cost effective thing to do is always buy quality camis, bras, and panties in a color that matches your skintone which you can wear year round, worry-free. But if you're like me and you love colorful undergarments, just pick up some affordable flesh-tone items at places like Target that you can wear all summer long.

Here's a quick breakdown of what you'll need:

  • Flesh-tone bras: Not white, not ivory, not black but flesh-tone bras are a requirement for tank tops, semi-sheer blouses and revealing dresses. Your bra should not be visible. We all slack off from time to time, especially with tank tops (who wants to wear a strapless bra all the time), so at least if your bra-strap slips, it'll "match" your skin.

  • Flesh-tone bikini underwear: Whether you're wearing a white dress, skirt, slacks or shorts, you will absolutely need to have flesh-tone panties underneath. Again, the objective is to make sure your panties are invisible. Bikinis have a lower rise, so they won't creep up past your waistline, especially with low-rise jeans.

  • Flesh-tone thongs: Seamless bikinis are appropriate for most situations but definitely stock up on flesh-tone thongs for those occasions when you'll be wearing a clingy dress or white trousers. Can't have that panty line showing, ladies!

  • Flesh-tone slip: Bet you haven't worn one of these babies in ages! The last time I went looking for one, I couldn't even find a single slip at the mall—thought they had gone extinct—but they are really a necessity. Why? Today's cheap-chic skirts are often unlined and made from cheap fabrics that turn transparent when so much as a light is turned on. A slip will ensure you're not showing the whole world your lady parts and that your skirts drape nicely and don't bunch up (another unfortunate reality with cheaper fabrics). The good news: You can get a simple short slip at Target for under $10 (I saw them on my last visit) that will even fit under minis.

  • Breast Petals: When you're going braless, these are essential for keeping people focused on your beautiful face, if you know what I mean.

  • Backless Strapless Bra: As the name suggests, these bras defy gravity for those times you are wearing a backless, strapless dress. They're not the most comfortable things in the world but they do work.

  • An assortment of white, black and flesh-tone camis, tank tops and tube tops: Look for cotton/spandex blends that breathe and stretch, seamless if possible. You'll be reaching for these all summer long. Plunging sundress? Wear it over a white tank. White blouse? Wear it over a flesh-tone cami. Sheer blouse? Style it over a black tube top. You get the picture.

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Great and timely article BB! I especially love the slip comments and you cannot overplay the importance enough! Yet every day seemingly sensible women refuse to wear them. I've seen too much (literally). Also a problem is bra straps showing—Just because everyone's doing it doesn't mean it's fashion. Have tried those "As seen on TV" bra correctors? I keep seeing them at Walgreens and wondering "what if...."
#1 Shelle on 2009-05-16 02:29 (Reply)
I'm tempted to try those bra strap correctors, too! They have a version at Target now...

As a sidenote, my Gap Body bras have a little hook on the strap so you can convert them from parallel to racerback, it's like the bra corrector is built right in (and I'm sure other brands must do that too.) Maybe something to look for when you buy your next bra?
#1.1 The Budget Babe on 2009-05-17 09:37 (Reply)
I couldn't find a cotton slip anywhere either (and I'm big on skirts so I needed one), so I just went over to the Junior section at Ross and got one of those small cotton pull-on skirts. You find a lot of those in the warmer months and they're very cheap. Voila! Perfect underslip. :-)
#2 Anusha (Homepage) on 2009-05-16 10:10 (Reply)
Wonderful tip, Anusha. Thanks for sharing.
#2.1 The Budget Babe on 2009-05-17 09:35 (Reply)
Those are such good practical tips. I always loved summer dresses and find myself puzzled about how to dress underneath it. I will definitely try out your tips, I already struggling to find the slip but I will check out the local Walmart or department store.
#3 Kay on 2009-05-18 22:42 (Reply)
An update on my summer essentials acquisitions and trials. I tried the breast petals as you suggested BUT I was silly and I didn't realize it was too hot and humid that day to be wearing a piece of silicone that is suppose to stick to your body. As a result, one kept falling off (not on the floor but still...). I will be trying the non-reusable ones and see if it works better.
#3.1 Kay on 2009-06-29 13:19 (Reply)
Such great tips. I've never tried the breast petals. Any tips on wearing them? And I shared your advice with readers of my blog, the Deal Divas. We're based in Florida, so summer underwear is a year-round essential!
#4 Deal Divas (Homepage) on 2009-05-25 14:33 (Reply)
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