The Best Knickers in the World?

I am in no way exaggerating when I tell you that these knickers by Hanky Panky are by far the best thongs that I have ever worn. I hate thongs. I even hate the word thong. But these lace beauties are just in a different league to the usual thrush-inducing arse-flossing scraps of nylon that are routinely offered to us by lingerie brands. “Here! Spend £38 on the matching thong why don’t you? You’ll possibly be infertile after three hours and have a strange rash in your special areas, but we don’t care! It’s MATCHING for Christ’s sake!” You know the scratchy ones that I’m talking about, don’t you? The ones that appear to have been pattern-cut by a madman. Or perhaps just a man.

The problem with thongs is that they are a bit of a necessity. Almost every outfit that’s figure-skimming requires a thong. At home, beneath the comfy tracksuit, M&S 100% cotton knickers rule the roost, but when it comes to stepping out into the world, something a little daintier is often needed. Yes, you can get away with those flimsy seamless pants (Debenhams do good ones, but they do tend to curl up in the leg and then dig in) and if you wanted to, you could wear Spanx, but it’s all a bit cumbersome and sweaty, isn’t it?

So for now, the Hanky Panky is my favourite pant. This knicker is one-size-fits-all, though, and I have a feeling that is why it is so supremely comfortable on my size 10 frame. Were I a size 18/20, I’m not so sure how comfy it would be, but I would welcome any feedback from various knicker-sizes – please leave a comment! As a little test, though, I have stretched a pair to their limits and they seem to have quite a bit of leeway. I could get two of me into mine without overly stretching them. (Now that would be a fun test, wouldn’t it?) There’s no singular piece of elastic sewn through, so you don’t get a cutting-in line as the knicker stretches, the whole piece of lace just stretches to accommodate.

I am not lying when I tell you that I have never been more pleased with my knickers – I bought four single pairs, and then I spotted them in the sale at Net-a-Porter and bought five more pairs! The best thing about these is that I’ll never grow out of them – they’ll last me my whole lifetime! (Visualises a 90-year-old self with Zimmer frame, wearing acid-green thong.)

£18 per pair, but you know what? I’ll pay that, I’ll pay that gladly – no muffin-top, no VPL, no vastly uncomfortable piece of fabric slicing my bottom in half. Just soft waistband, substantial gusset (I have ALWAYS wanted to say that) and brilliant, acid-bright colours.

Find them at  Net-a-Porter

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  1. Maria
    August 10, 2012 / 7:29 am

    haha! this is one of your funniest posts!

  2. Mel
    August 10, 2012 / 7:41 am

    I’d love to get them, but alas these will do me no favours at all. The lower stomach was never the same after I had my daughter.. I think it got stretched beyond capacity. I’ve diet and exercised to make it go but no.. its staying with me for the rest of my life. So love me, love my loose lower tum, only thing that would make it go is surgery. So my knickers always need to take this into consideration. xx

  3. kirsty forsberg
    August 10, 2012 / 7:54 am

    I completely agree Ruth! I bought one of these in black for a posh do and was so impressed. Once on, you basically forget you’re wearing them. Invisible! Any knicker that doesn’t try and bury it’s way up to daylight is a winner by me! x

  4. Jen
    August 10, 2012 / 8:52 am

    There’s nothing I appreciate more than a substantial gusset!


  5. liz
    August 10, 2012 / 9:13 am

    Is the lace-cotton version just as good as the pure lace ones? Just wondering, as the lace-cotton version comes in nude. Bright acid colours might not look so good under a white dress eek!

  6. liz
    August 10, 2012 / 9:16 am

    Oh my. Ignore my comment. Silly me. I just saw the trio combination which includes the nude version. Sorry!

  7. Catherine
    August 10, 2012 / 9:27 am

    Hi Ruth, These sound like a girls dream…however 18GBP…i wish..logged on…and a set of three are 78EUR!!! WAYYYYYYYY out of my pricepacket..ah well one can only dream of comfort in a thong!!!

  8. Richelle
    August 10, 2012 / 9:39 am

    will there still be visible panty lines if you wear a seamless panty under figure-skimming clothes? what is your advice?
    I read in a fiction book that thongs feels like a rubber band on your butt so I’m afraid of trying one on

  9. Charlotte
    August 10, 2012 / 10:05 am

    This was hilarious!

    Also I wanted to say that I saw your face in one of my wedding magazines! You had a huge floral headband on (quite Lana Del Ray-esque actually) and looked gorge!

  10. Clare
    August 10, 2012 / 10:34 am

    Oh Ruth, you do make me chuckle! Love reading your posts, they’re both informative and entertaining and your personality really shines through. Keep up the good work and enjoy those substantial gussets! :)

  11. August 10, 2012 / 10:40 am

    As soon as I saw the title of this post I thought ‘Hanky Panky’! I’m a size 12 and they’re really comfortable for me too. They’re often in the sale on netaporter and asos too.

  12. Vera
    August 10, 2012 / 11:00 am

    Hi Ruth and all readers, I have a question for you although it’s totally off-post: Does anyone know any Alpha-H stockist in the USA?

    I’m moving there soon (for the first time, which makes it all more difficult) and need to buy several Alpha-H products. However, I cannot find anything online and surely do NOT want to deal with the customs and extra fees. I read Nordstrom would start selling Alpha-H after July but I don’t see it on their website…
    I have preference to online shopping and, of course, wouldn’t mind to buy from BeautyBay, etc. but I’m afraid I will have to deal with custom.
    Sorry it’s not related to the topic, but it’s the only way I found to ask you this question since there’s no forum anymore. I reeallly wanted my Alpha-H :/

    Thanks everybody! xx

    • Ruth
      August 10, 2012 / 12:59 pm

      Hmmm. Anyone from the US ordered via BeautyBay etc and have any customs knowledge? x

      • August 10, 2012 / 2:35 pm

        Ruth and Vera, I live in the States and I’ve ordered some liquid gold and a few other things off Beauty Bay. It took about 3 weeks (on average) to arrive.

        • Ruth
          August 10, 2012 / 3:09 pm

          Thanks Katie x

          • Vera
            August 10, 2012 / 7:15 pm

            Thanks, Katie! But did you have to deal with the customs (mail them forms and fees for importing goods)? Or it was simply delivered at your place like if you have ordered it from the US?

          • Ashley
            August 11, 2012 / 4:41 am

            I also live in the states and Beauty Bay took 3 weeks both times I ordered from there. Cult Beauty, however, only took about 9 days.

          • Ashley
            August 13, 2012 / 5:41 am

            I never had to deal with customs when ordering from either of those stockists. I just placed the order and they showed up at my door. It just takes awhile to get there. I hope you’re right about Nordstroms though. It would be so nice to have a quicker option!

      • Julia
        August 11, 2012 / 7:43 am

        Hi, i ordered Liquid gold to The US and has no problems.

  13. Nicole
    August 10, 2012 / 12:00 pm

    I could not agree with this post more! In fact, I have a pair on at this very second. For your US readers – I often find these on sale for ~$8/pair, and my Nordstrom Rack almost always has them. Also, check out lingerie websites like HerRoom and Bare Necessities, as they are sometimes discounted there. Sometimes even Neiman Marcus has them on sale. I won’t pay more than $10-12/pair since they’re on sale so often, and I now have at least a dozen. If that’s still out of your price range, Gap and Steve Madden (also often at Nordstrom Rack) both make a decent knockoff. I tried both and they ended up with holes after a while, which my Hanky Panky thongs have never had (I always wash on delicate in a lingerie bag and hang dry), but they’re a lot less expensive.

    • Ruth
      August 10, 2012 / 12:58 pm

      Right. I am going to look on US sites for them in future, or just stock up when I go stateside! x

  14. August 10, 2012 / 12:18 pm

    I’m very skinny (size 4-6 UK) so im skeptical of the one size fits all thing?! If your hips are like 20″ bigger than mine how are they going to either stay on me or not need surgically removed from you :P x

    • pepper
      August 10, 2012 / 4:02 pm

      hanky panky has a petite version of the extra low rise thong on their website for us0-4 (not sure how that converts to uk sizes)

      • August 11, 2012 / 10:59 am

        Thanks! I’m a US size 00-0 so I will look into it :) xxx

  15. Marsi
    August 10, 2012 / 12:25 pm

    I have four pair of Hanky Pankys that are probably six years old and are still in perfect shape. (I machine launder them in cold in a lingerie bag and hang to dry. Care is important.) Cosabella makes a similar thong, but the lace isn’t nearly as nice, and it starts looking beat all too soon — for the same price as Hankys.

    • Ruth
      August 10, 2012 / 12:57 pm

      Yes, used to buy the Cosabella but went manky too quickly! x

  16. Emma Jane
    August 10, 2012 / 2:04 pm

    Have you tried the matching bra? x

    • Ruth
      August 10, 2012 / 2:06 pm

      The bandeau? I have the bandeau and it’s AMAZING! x

      • Emma Jane
        August 10, 2012 / 5:27 pm

        Ah no, I haven’t seen that one. I was looking at the bra with straps & a one inch band under the bust on Net a Porter. It looks lovely but It a may not support my huge knockers! :) x

        • Ruth
          August 11, 2012 / 9:36 am

          LOL! Yes, just looked – I’m not sure it’s really supportive enough for me. Neither is the bandeau, but I know where I stand with that! x

  17. August 10, 2012 / 2:05 pm

    “The usual thrush-inducing arse-flossing scraps of nylon” Hahaha, sitting alone at my desk, laughing my head off at this post.
    Thanks for making me look crazy!
    Will definately pick some of these up though, because everything you’ve said is so, so true…

    • Ruth
      August 10, 2012 / 3:09 pm

      LOL. Sorry Rebecca! x

  18. selma
    August 10, 2012 / 2:25 pm

    Intimissimi does really nice ones and not as expensive!

  19. August 10, 2012 / 2:28 pm

    Primark do thongs which look the exact same shape as these and they are also super comfy and fantastic to wear, I buy them in bulk and it’s all I wear now. They’re a slightly more bargainous £1 a pair. ;)

    • Joanna
      August 10, 2012 / 9:07 pm

      Totally agree Lyndsay…bought about 10 pairs yesterday and have been doing so for about a year now….. you cant argue with £1 and they are actually extremely flattering!

      • Ruth
        August 11, 2012 / 9:33 am

        I must have a look at these! x

        • Claire
          January 21, 2017 / 7:03 am

          Absolutely agree i tried the same ones from primark years ago. Super stretchy. Nice colours and look and feel sexy.

          Buy a hand full everytime i go and now they are all i wear.
          Definately some of the best thongs out there and for £1 you cant argue. Anyone who hasnt tried then give them a go x

  20. Cat Penfold
    August 10, 2012 / 2:37 pm

    Great post! And I absolutely couldn’t agree more! I am that 18/20 fat-arse and hanky-pankys are still brilliant! I prefer the retro thongs as I like the wide band but I do have a bunch of the regular thongs. Some of my thongs are 5 years old and still perfect. So although hankys may cost more at the start, they last forever, have no VPL and they are not made by child labor somewhere hot and sweaty. Money well-spent.

    • Ruth
      August 10, 2012 / 3:08 pm

      Good to know, Cat, thank you! x

  21. Karolina
    August 10, 2012 / 2:43 pm

    I hate thongs with passion, but I think I invest in one of these , just one for a lifetime and for God’s sake.


  22. Tiffany Rooprai
    August 10, 2012 / 2:47 pm

    Hanky Panky panties are like lace butter! They fit, even small hipped women, and they are flattering. (It’s a women-designed, women-owned company, go figure!) But under a skimming, skin tight dress I recommend going commando. Tight, poly blend dresses will catch a bit on the lace – it’s not the panty’s fault but the dress. Personally, I buy both the low-rise and high-rise panties as they are both useful in a varied wardrobe. And, as for the cotton-lace Hanky Panky panties, they do leave a bit of a panty line but they are also unbelievably comfortable, stretchy and forgiving. The cotton they use is super soft and wears well. I have about 50 pairs of panties, been collecting for years…love them! Any of my “matching” panties come out for nocturnal activities and therefore the torture lasts only a few minutes. But I buy my Hanky Panky panties in colors that match my bras, so I figure I still have the “matching panty” thing going on…just maybe not the same material. Then again, who is going to criticize?

    ps. They sell lingerie, too. Quality and sexiness in a comfy chemise…check it out!

    • Ruth
      August 10, 2012 / 3:08 pm

      Will do, thanks Tiffany! x

    • Cat Penfold
      August 10, 2012 / 3:21 pm

      To Tiffany’s lingerie point, they also sell tank tops and long sleeved tops made of the same lace. They are so soft and really nice for layering.
      I am sooooo glad you brought up this subject!

  23. Christine Saw
    August 10, 2012 / 7:48 pm

    hahahah! awesome. I am a hanky panky fan too! the fabric is lovely, and I’ve seen hanky pankies in Hollywood movies too. I’m a size 4/6. I wear size 25 paige jeans, and still hanky panky would be my preference to the cut of looking good naked. Not all laces are the same.

  24. Em
    August 10, 2012 / 10:41 pm

    Couldn’t agree more with how amazing these babies are, they are literally the only style I will wear now! I love that more companies are coming out similar styles, all price points deserve a comfy bottom :)

  25. Phil
    August 10, 2012 / 11:27 pm

    They may be made for women but they can fit a man just fine. But don’t ask me how I know that.

    • Ruth
      August 11, 2012 / 9:32 am

      HAHA!!!!!! x

  26. Lorna
    August 10, 2012 / 11:37 pm

    great post :) must try some, especially when they are on sale. is the bandeau top often available? it isn’t right now. Also, whats VPL?? :) hugs xx

    • Ruth
      August 11, 2012 / 9:32 am

      Visible Panty Line! x

  27. August 11, 2012 / 10:45 am

    I’m not sure that if these are comfy on your model sized body they will work quite the same on my size fourteen ass… One size fits all does not fill me with confidence!
    Although for reference the comfiest pants I’ve discovered are from Sainsbury’s! Who woulda thunk it?! The VPL free ones are fab :-)

  28. Ellen
    August 11, 2012 / 12:06 pm

    I am a size 16 and Hanky Panky panties fit me perfeclty too! They are very stretchy.

    Thanks for a great blog


  29. August 12, 2012 / 9:29 pm

    “thrush-inducing arse-flossing” and this is why I love you Ruth!

  30. Michelle
    August 15, 2012 / 9:17 am

    Hello Ruth & ladies.
    Just as a help for a lil’ lover prized panty out there, Victorias Secret does a similar thing they call the lacy (or something) which I swear by. They have 5 for 25$ sometimes. World wide shipping (just check custom rules for you country)
    Will never wear anything else after I started buying these. No marks, bulks, folding etc…
    Hope this was helpful.
    Love your page Ruth

  31. Andrea
    August 15, 2012 / 11:51 am

    I really don’t get it when people say that thongs are unconfortable! I actually find normal knickers uncomfortable, you can’t feel a thong (if you’re wearing the correct size). I did have a look at these but the colours aren’t really for me and I do like to match my colours. They need to make some in black and nude and make a decent matching bra for the bright colours!

  32. August 15, 2012 / 12:48 pm

    “…beneath the comfy tracksuit, M&S 100% cotton knickers rule the roost” HA. Preach it! As always, a brilliant post!

  33. Karolina
    September 15, 2012 / 9:45 am

    I want to report back. I had thongs on me once in my life because I hate it wuth passion.
    I got it.a new said it’s good.
    I tested it.
    I love it.

    thank you? heck yeah!

    • Ruth
      September 15, 2012 / 11:36 am

      Woooohooooooo! x

  34. Cherry
    October 8, 2012 / 12:10 pm

    I just can’t resist the things you recommend. Saw them at 10% discount and just grab one to try.

  35. Gorgonzola
    October 8, 2014 / 1:18 am

    Hanky Panky’s Original Rise thong is the greatest article of clothing ever made. Hanky Panky should start making men’s underwear because they have certainly mastered making underwear intended for women.

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