Underwear is marketed in an incredibly gendered way, with branding that relies heavily on stereotypes and advertising imagery that is often alienating, or even triggering, for many people—particularly those who already grapple with being misgendered in their everyday lives. Feeling excluded or underrepresented in an area that feels so personal and private can be incredibly discouraging.
There are, though, brands that don't rely on stereotypes or the gender binary when they create underwear, and they are a welcome relief from the male gaze-y "fantasy" of ultra-feminine undergarments. These brands also tend to feature size and ability inclusivity as well, offering a wide range of sizes, and either already are or can be tailored to fit people of all abilities comfortably.
Especially right now, when our current administration is trying to make sure that trans people have as few rights as possible, and when our society still spouts outdated views on gender and sexuality, we need brands that don't conform to the prior outdated norms. Below, we rounded up some underwear brands that operate without gender labels.
Photos courtesy of TACK Lingerie
TACK's pieces are silky and soft, but gender rules don't exist here: In fact, TACK's founder and designer Charlotte Chanler says that the brand's aesthetic is derived from "places where rules never existed at all."
Photos via JBC Lingerie
We talked to the founders of Just Babes Club, aka JBC Lingerie, earlier this year, and they told us that the brand is committed to "[representing] lots of different punk and badass babes" of every gender. The brand is also incredibly inclusive in its sizing, because everyone needs a good lingerie set.
Photo courtesy of Tomboy X
Brand founders Fran and Naomi say they founded Tomboy X because they wanted "underwear that fit regular bodies and fit how we saw ourselves." From that, they've launched a wide range of styles, so everyone can find a fit that reflects themselves.
Photos by Kiam Marcelo Junio/Christopher Sonny Martinez, courtesy of Rebirth Garments
Specifically created for the trans and disabled communities, Rebirth Garments focuses on providing clothing for people who have the most trouble finding things to fit their bodies. It notes that these communities "have very particular clothing needs that are not adequately served by mainstream clothing designers," and it aims to provide a colorful, uplifting solution.
Photos courtesy of Origami Customs
Origami Customs is hell-bent on making sure its products are available to every size, shape, gender, and ability. It offers free upgrades of fasteners and style designs to make its pieces comfortable and easy for everyone, and even offers studio fittings if customers are unable to take their own measurements. The brand also works with Planned Parenthood, Point of Pride, and the Unmentionables to offer free products to people who can't access gender-affirming garments.
Photos courtesy of Play Out Underwear
Play Out Underwear
Play Out offers underwear with and without pouches, which means that the brand will have something to fit you comfortably regardless of what you have down there. Although they are designed slightly different for comfort, they are not gendered at all, and each style is offered with and without a pouch, so no one is limited to a specific section based on genitals.
Photo courtesy of Pyramid Seven
Based on the idea that anyone along the gender spectrum can menstruate, Pyramid Seven offers gender-affirming styles with leak-resistant features and a space to secure menstrual products. You can wear these pieces even if you don't have a period, though, of course.