Serious Question: Do You Wear Underwear When You Workout?

Welcome to Serious Question, a feature in which I ask a “serious” question and then answer it and cross my fingers that a few of you lovely blog readers will answer it too in the comments section. Be forewarned: This feature will at least sometimes tread into TMI territory.

A few weeks ago at book club, the conversation turned away from books — as it does often/what book? — when someone* posed the question: Underwear while working out… to wear or not to wear?

(We like to talk Shakespearean at book club because, duh, literary.)

Do you wear underwear when you workout?

What is fascinating is that the group was divided — half ALWAYS wear underwear, the other half NEVER wear underwear and one or two ladies were decidedly neutral with “It depends…”

I am on Team No Underwear. The more you know, right?

My journey to no underpants started when I took up running in 2006 and bought running shorts with built-in undies. It evolved from there when I eventually realized that I didn’t have to wear underwear with my workout clothes ever really. I mean, what’s the point? (I know you underwear enthusiasts have opinions on the point.)

For me, the choice to go commando while working out is threefold. First, comfort: Underwear just adds an unnecessary, potentially chaffing layer. Second, lazy (always up there on my lists of why I do or don’t do anything): Wearing underwear when I workout adds to my already unmanageable laundry pile. And finally, vanity: No more panty lines when wearing those yoga pants.

So, serious question: Do you or do you not wear underwear when you workout, and why?

*That someone may or may not have been me. I truly don’t remember. #toomuchprosecco

35 thoughts on “Serious Question: Do You Wear Underwear When You Workout?

  1. Ahhhh I laughed so hard at this one! For ages, I have stared at women’s bums in yoga and pilates wondering how they just got such a perfect SEAMLESS look, and now I know! No underwear at all!

    As you can tell, I”m clearly in the underwear wearing camp. Firstly, habit. Secondly, my most fatty parts are my backside and chest, both feel the need for extra support! hehehe

    • I find that the ladies who wear underwear in workout situations are typically very surprised to find out that about half of us aren’t wearing any. Haha! I love it.

  2. For some reason the rest if my comment didn’t appear. Oh well. I generally don’t wear any, but there are occasions when I need to (long run, lots of water, need extra protection). I’m interested in those Rundies….

    • That’s so funny. Your comment was so mysterious and I was just responding to it, like “WHAT ARE THOSE SITUATIONS?” I must know. I don’t know about these “Rundies.”

  3. I was drawn to your blog by the amazing title of your post. I love your bluntness, and kudos to you for reigning the commando kingdom. I many of time have thought about not wearing underwear while wearing a dress ( I had to do that once for the homecoming court in high school because my mom wouldn’t let me get a thong #satan’spanties) or while wearing workout clothes. But being a college student who hoards her laundry until she can take it over to her boyfriend’s or her parent’s house once a month, I wear the same workout clothes a couple times (because I’m just going to be sweaty anyway, so wine not?) and I can’t imagine wearing the same workout clothes if my bare butt is touching them. It would be like wearing the same underwear a few days in a row. Ew. If I’m wearing yoga pants for anything other than working out, it’s a thong day. (Because my mom doesn’t buy my undies anymore.)

  4. hahaha you’re funny! I do wear them, but I’m starting to question why. I guess it’s just never occurred to me not to, but now that you list the benefits of going without…hmm


    No, but seriously, I’m floored. I guess…what about the seams in your yoga pants? Or workout shorts? I mean, yoga pants are usually pretty form fitting, doesn’t that middle “up your butt” seam get…into the wrong place? I just…I can’t imagine how this would work. And am also simultaneously fascinated by the idea…and probably must try it, but first only at home so if I get the world’s worst v-wedgie I can immediately yank my yoga pants off and rescue my lady parts with some undies.


    • Honestly, I would that underwear would get into areas you didn’t want it in before pants would. This never occurred to me and has never happened ;). Give it a try!

  6. haha I wear underwear as a mom of a 2 year old, I’m still doing kagels trying to get it to the way it was so I am not comfortable yet going back to not wear underwear like in my pre baby days! Though, I don’t really need to because I only do yoga at home but I wear my boy shorts nonetheless. I find them comfy 🙂

  7. Oh my, I’m still laughing! I would’ve never written this! I do wear undies but find them bothersome while exercising. Now that somebody is doing it, I may go without. Lol

  8. I’m just going to say it “outloud”: camel toe. I was surprised to not find this search term on this particular post. Thoughts on the topic? Do you mind if it shows up (or out I guess)? Am I the only one keeping this (most awesome yogini’s) business in business?

    • Honestly, this has never been a consideration of mine. Part of my thinking with this no underwear thing is that I’m pretty sure no one is looking at my bum (or me) in fitness classes — mostly because I realize that I’m not really looking at anyone else either. I guess I’m not even sure if camel toe is a problem for me. Clearly I need to look in a mirror. I’m definitely intrigued by these underwear though.

      I just went and read your profile on City Mom Loves. Love meeting another mom blogger/writer. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. I am shocked and appalled by this notion. PEOPLE DON’T WEAR UNDERWEAR WHEN THEY ARE AT THEIR SWEATIEST?!?!? EWWWWWWWW.

    My reason? Two words: BUTT. SWEAT.

    • Counterpoint: Are underwear actually blocking this butt sweat? Or is it just another layer to soak through. Not convinced.

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