Like most women of the world, my thighs touch when I walk. It’s not a scandalous thing, or at least it shouldn’t be. Unlike what the media wants you to believe, not everyone is a size 0. In fact, the average size of an America woman in 2019 is between 16-18. So obviously I’m not alone here.
A common problem I face, like many others, is chafing. It’s uncomfortable and awkward and darn-right annoying. No one wants to deal with it, but everyone’s too embarrassed to actually do anything about it. I’ve tried just about everything I could think of to stop it, from wearing shorts under my dresses to various creams that promise to stop the chub-rub—but nothing really worked for me. The shorts would be blatantly obvious under the dresses and the creams would wear off after an hour or so. And who wants to really grab a deodorant-like stick out of their purse, shove it between their thighs, and rub it on in public every few hours? Not me—and trust me, I’ve tried.
There had to be an easy solution to this exceedingly common problem, right? If every person whose thighs touch when they walk stopped wearing skirts or dresses due to chafing, the fashion industry would crumble. So before that reality becomes true, let’s find us thick-thighed ladies a way to survive the summer.
In comes the revolutionary Bandelettes to save the day.
What Bandelettes claim to do
I first found out about Bandelettes about a year ago when I was shopping around online for ways to avoid chub-rub after suffering from yet another excruciating day of dress-wearing. On Amazon, they have 4,000+ 4-star reviews and were featured in a ton of well-known publications. The company does not shy away from body positivity in their campaign which is super refreshing to see. All of their brand photos of women of various sizes strutting their stuff in their underwear or lifting up their dresses, proud as can be.
Bandelettes’ mission is: “We believe everybody and every body deserves to feel comfortable and confident…. With our patented anti-chafing designs, we provide an attractive and discreet solution that prevents irritation and promotes confidence.”
With a catchphrase like that, I was sold. Their goal is to “create comfortable and sexy lingerie that is both practical and beautiful – to help embrace curves and enhance self-confidence”. I was a little nervous to ask my boss to test out lingerie for work, but when I brought it up, she and several other coworkers were extremely eager to know if it was legit or not. So here I am, bravely writing about my thighs, for all of you. You’re welcome.
How I chose which Bandelette designs (and sizes) to test
I decided to test out three of the most popular designs in my skin color: the Dolce, the Onyx, and the Unisex. All of their marketing is around the lace Dolce and Onyx ones but I had my doubts — lace seems uncomfortable in most places, but between your thighs? I couldn’t imagine it would work out too great, so I wanted to compare the popular Dolce Bandelette to the more versatile Unisex one.
The ordering process was actually incredible. A huge problem I face, as do most women I know, is pant sizes. My stomach and my thighs are not the same size, so what may fit perfect around my waist won’t even get past my thighs or vice versa. Since the Bandelettes don’t even involve the waist, the sizes are based on the circumference of your thigh. They have a pretty wide variety of sizes from A (21-22”) to F (31-32”), so if you have a tape measure, just wrap it around the widest part of your thigh and order your size. The company says that if you’re between sizes, they recommend sizing down to avoid slipping. If you don’t have a tape measure, their website also has an Interactive Sizing Guide to help you pick your size that I found to be very accurate.
Did the Bandelettes actually work?
Once I got them at my doorstep, I was super excited to try them on. It fit very true to size for all three of them, which was a pleasant surprise. I tested out the Unisex ones first for a week straight, under dresses and skirts. It took a minute or two to adjust them properly in the morning before putting on my dress to make sure they were in the right place — you want to make sure they cover all the areas where your thighs touch and then make sure the back isn’t rolling down weirdly. But once you have it in place, you’re good to go.
The Unisex is made of a soft microfiber, combined of 82% nylon and 18% spandex. So although the style was more plain and boring, I loved their simplicity. They stayed right in place as I sashayed up and down the stairs, all around the office, and more. It took a few hours to get used to the feeling of thigh bands in general but afterwards, I loved the Unisex bands. A common problem people tend to have with them is that they make a swishing sound as you walk, as the fabric rubs between your thighs. But as most people with thick thighs will tell you, most pants will make that noise when you walk. It comes with ownership of the thigh.
As for the Dolce and Onyx bands, the story is quite different here. At first, I was confused about the difference between the two, so I spoke to the experts — the founders of Bandelettes. “Bandelettes® Onyx bands are slightly shorter than Bandelettes® Dolce bands for those who have tapered thighs or are petite. While Dolce are 6" long, Onyx are about 5.5",” says Rena Abramoff and Julia Abasova, founders of Bandelettes. As for the most popular Bandelettes, Abramoff and Abasova say, “the most popular are Dolce, then second - Onyx lace bands.” The lace bands are their most popular product and are the ones they came up with first as a company, so I was very shocked to find that I, personally, did not like them.
The problem I had with the Dolce and Onyx bands
I wore the Onyx bands next and the whole commute to work (all 45 minutes of it) was me just itching to get to a bathroom so I could readjust them. If you don’t get the bands on at just the right angle, you’re kind of screwed. They’ll started rolling down and feel as though they’re falling — not to mention they won’t help the chafing at all if this occurs. But when I tested the Onyx ones, when they weren’t rolling down on me, they were still causing my inner thighs to chafe! How, you ask? Well the band itself is just lace! All you have is 2 little lace fabrics rubbing up against each other and it hurt so bad. I couldn’t make it through a full day with them on. Thankfully, I thought ahead and around 1pm, I switched back to the Unisex bands that I packed with me and felt immediate relief.
But even with the Unisex bands, you still have to be careful. I cannot stress how much you have to take the time to make sure that the bands are in the right place before you go out into the world from that bathroom — try walking around for a minute and see if it feels ok before you venture out back into public.
Then I tried the lengthier, more popular Dolce lace bands. The Dolce were the better length for me because I’m taller, while someone shorter might prefer the Onyx bands. My day started off alright — the bands stayed in place and my thighs weren’t chafing yet. The bands were kind of uncomfortable — you know because of the lace — but it wasn’t painful. Then after walking around for about an hour, I realized the top of the band was really starting to dig into my thighs, weirdly chafing there. So I tried discreetly adjusting that, which then made them start falling down as I walked and then by the time I got home, my thighs were red and I couldn’t wait to rip them off. So all in all, I do prefer the Dolce lace bands over the Onyx ones, purely for the length difference but the lace bands are just not ideal for someone who walks more than 10 minutes a day.
In conclusion: the Unisex Bandelettes are the only ones that are totally worth it
Have Bandelettes finally answered my prayers about thigh chafing? Honestly, yeah. I mean, some dresses really don’t allow for wearing shorts underneath or else you’ll look way too baggy and those anti-chafing body balms don’t work for me at all. These are a great, discrete fix to a problem we all have. I personally will only continue to use to the Unisex ones because the Dolce and Onyx ones just didn’t do it for me, and as someone who’s been in a commited relationship for many years, I’m not trying to impress anyone with some sexy lace under my dress. Maybe they’ll be good for you though! But if you’re just trying to make it through the day as comfortable and chafe-free as possible, stick with the Unisex Bandelettes.
Whichever way you wind up falling, I hope your thigh problems become a thing of the past and your days of walking like a crab to avoid any further chafing are gone forever. Best of luck in all your sweaty, summer escapades.
Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.