I love summer. The sun shines, the skies are blue, and the warm weather makes my soul sing. However, I must admit that for me there is a downside to summer: I dread the onset of the higher temperatures because it means if I wear my beloved leggings I will overheat. I have to make the tricky decision between feeling way too hot and going barelegged, neither of which are a concept I relish.
I have always had large thighs. I can recall that even as a perfectly healthy and of average weight child if I went barelegged I would experience chafing that brought me to tears. A particularly strong memory is when I spent a fun day at the beach with my family, but unfortunately the combination of salt water and sand lead to me developing a rash on my inner thighs that left me in agony for much of the day.
From my early teens, when I started to have more of a say in what I wore, I would almost always go for jeans and trousers rather than skirts and dresses. This continued into adulthood and in fact it was only about four years ago that I wore a dress for the first time and since then I’ve barely worn trousers or jeans. I love pretty dresses and skirts; to me they are so feminine and fun, and they work so well on my curvy figure. But of course wearing skirts and dresses means that I face the same problem I had as when I was that child on the beach: the dreaded chub rub.
As mentioned earlier, I avoid this on most occasions by wearing leggings with pretty much everything. For those rare times when leggings are not appropriate, I call upon my collection of tights. And if it’s too hot for tights, I sometimes wear my Maidenform shapewear shorts. But there are some occasions in the summer when shapewear is the last thing I want to be wearing – it’s no fun trying to peel off those shorts when you’re dying for the loo and it’s even less fun working up a sweat hoiking them back up again afterwards.
So what are the options for ladies who suffer from thigh chafing? This isn’t an issue that is exclusive to plus-size women; it can happen to any woman and sometimes even to men. If you are blessed with large-ish thighs it’s highly likely you will at some point experience your thighs rubbing together and causing friction that can be both painful and uncomfortable.
Thankfully, there are a number of creams and salves that create a barrier on the skin to stop a rash developing. I own Body Glide and Secret Shield, both of which are formulas that look like a stick of deodorant, and although I’ve used them on my feet to stop shoes rubbing I’ve never been brave enough to use them on my thighs.
Another option is shapewear. I own several pairs of shapewear shorts and I favour those with longer legs. I like how they hold me in and of course how they stop my thighs from rubbing together. But there is no escaping the fact that they are pretty hot to wear, and I don’t mean in the sexy way.
Of course tights, stockings, and hold-ups can also work. In the past I’ve worn tights with the legs cut short to act as a barrier between my legs. This actually works quite well but once again tights aren’t the most cool things to wear so it’s not an ideal solution in the summer months.
Thankfully there are such things as anti-chafing shorts available. These are akin to shapewear shorts but they are much lighter to wear and don’t offer any shaping or smoothing effects. Their sole purpose is to solve the issue of chub rub. In recent weeks I’ve read a number of blog reviews of such shorts from a brand called The Big Bloomers Company (also known as The Big Tights Company) and I was absolutely delighted when they offered me the chance to try these shorts out for myself.
Images courtesy of The Big Tights Company
My first quandary, as with all clothing, was which size to go for. The knickers are available in five sizes: 12-16, 18-22, 24-28, 30-34, and 36-40. They run true to size so there is no need to size up. My waist is a very different dress size to my hips so there usually ends up being some sort of compromise. I asked Georgina for sizing advice as she owns some of these shorts and wrote a fab review here, and I ended up going for the 18-22. I suspected they would be big on my waist but I wanted to ensure good bum coverage and a comfortable fit in the leg.
The Big Tights Company sells these shorts in both a short (£12.95 per pair) and a long (£15.95 per pair) leg option. They also come in three colours: black, white, and natural. I asked for the long in natural and in black; when my parcel arrived yesterday I found I had been sent the black in long and the natural in short. I must admit I was initially disappointed but after trying on both pairs I was really pleased because the two lengths give me different options.
For reference I am about 5’4 in height, and the bras I am wearing are the Ewa Michalak S Szykuś and the S Satine, both in 32KK/70KK (which is proving to be a little too small in the cup for me these days).
Both versions of the knickers are made from a very soft and lightweight fabric (93% polyamide and 7% elastane). They are machine washable at 30 degrees and dry very quickly.
The size 18-22 was the right one for me to go for I think, but I did find these shorts very roomy in the waist and it made me wonder if the smaller size, 12-16, might be worth a try at some point. The good news is that these knickers fitted really well everywhere else and despite being roomy in the waist it didn’t cause a problem or make them fall down.
The short leg knickers measure about 42cm in length, and the long legs knickers are about 50cm long. Both have a waist of around 30″ but the waist is very stretchy and could probably stretch another 6-8 inches at least.
I wore these knickers yesterday to take photos and ended up keeping them on all day. It was a very warm day but in these shorts I felt cool and comfortable. They’re ideal for wearing around the house as well as under skirts and dresses; honestly, they really are that comfortable! As they’re made from a very stretchy fabric they are not at all restrictive so they mould to your body shape and remain in place with only minimal adjustment required. They are even stretchy enough to pull the waist up and tuck it into your bra band if wished (this can be a good thing to do on a hot day sometimes!).
The knickers are seamless so it’s not obvious you’re wearing them under clothing. They have a ribbed section on the inner thighs to add a bit of extra support and to increase the longevity of the shorts as this is the area that will get most friction and it’s therefore important that it doesn’t wear away too quickly. There’s also a ribbed cuff around the bottom of each leg to ensure the knickers stay in place and don’t ride up. During the time I wore the shorts yesterday I’m pleased to report that they didn’t move an inch despite lots of running around taking photos and lots of fidgeting!
With the two lengths to choose from, I think I will tend to wear the longer shorts on slightly cooler days and when my skirt is well below the knee. On really hot summer days the shorter knickers will be just the job, and they’re better for wearing with skirts that are a little shorter in length. Overall the longer shorts are my preferred option as they cover more of my legs but the shorter ones will definitely come in handy and get plenty of wear.
It’s important to remember that as these knickers don’t have any shaping properties they are not the right underwear to opt for if you’re looking for something to hold you in, perhaps to wear under a tight dress, for instance. But if you’re simply after some shorts for modesty and/or to prevent chafing, these knickers are the perfect solution. I am attending a christening later today and I will be wearing one of my Collectif Dolores Doll dresses with these shorts underneath. I just haven’t decided yet whether I’ll go for the long or the short leg ones!
I have got so many good things to say about The Big Bloomers Company. Laura has been a delight to work with and she is always very professional. She genuinely cares about her customers and does everything she can to make them happy. She talked to me about how she personally sources all the items she stocks on the website so we as customers can rest assured that the products are all of top quality. I’ve certainly been very impressed with what I’ve seen so far so I strongly recommend this company to you.
If you’d like to read more reviews of The Big Bloomer Company’s anti-chafing knickers then click the links below:
I’d also highly recommend the plus size tights, stockings and hold-ups from The Big Tights Company. You may have noticed them in my recent Cleo bra review, and you’ll see them again in future posts. I’ve finally discovered sexy hosiery that fits my meaty thighs and is incredibly comfortable to wear – win!
UPDATE: After wearing the black long length knickers all day I can confirm that they are brilliant! Today was very hot, with temperatures in the mid to high 20s, but I did not once feel hot because of the shorts. I felt confident and comfortable, and on a few occasions I actually forgot I had these knickers on! They required minimum adjustment during the day and served their purpose to perfection. I shall be getting more of these shorts – has my review tempted you to give them a try?