You may have already spotted the name plastered in the form of stickers around bathrooms in London, but the new underwear brand Underdays went live this week and should be firmly on your radar. Why? Because they promise to solve the 'biggest pain points' we have with our knickers. Founded by Oria Mackenzie and Amelie Salas, previously of Farfetch, the label has launched with three designs for the modern woman.
'Our attitudes have changed completely: we want to dress for ourselves as opposed to satisfying a male gaze and we really care that what we wear underneath delivers on our health and everyday needs', they explain over email.
Underwear has long played a prominent feature in women's popular culture and fashion. There's the obvious Calvin Klein ads, but there's also Miuccia Prada's underwear as outerwear which paved the way for the biting femininity of designers such as Simone Rocha. Despite all the hanky panky, the most memorable underwear scene in Sex and the City may just be Carrie's Dolce & Gabbana bejewelled underwear runway tumble in episode two, season four. In Sofia Coppola's coming of age film The Virgin Suicides (1999), Kirsten Dunst's character is able to defy her mother's strict rules by writing her crush's name in black marker pen on her knickers, reclaiming her sexuality as her own.
Mackenzie and Salas tell me that the 90s Whale Tail trend - think thongs poking out of low slung jeans - has been on their minds as of late. In establishing their own brand, they 'wanted to bring back the spirit of incorporating underwear with fashion. A huge reason why we felt there was a gap in the market was we were tired of having to choose between overly sexualised lingerie or ultra-simple basics that left us feeling uninspired. Why can't we have both style and comfort? The 90s Whale Tail trend was all about women wearing underwear for themselves and having fun whilst they do it, and that's what Underdays is all about.'
When designed with the wearer in mind, underwear is a force to be reckoned with. At Underdays, these knickers are about the woman as an intelligent wearer, rather than as a sexual commodity.
The founders spoke to hundreds of women and others to test out the products before settling on The Everyday, The Workout and The Lingerie, each created in direct response to the feedback they received, covering three main bases for the modern woman's daily life. An itchy panty line doesn't exactly inspire feelings of all-encompassing sexiness, but the fabrics used by Underdays are certified by OEKO-TEX®. In other words there's no harmful substances involved. The Lingerie is made from sheer 'stretch mesh' and silky microfibre and The Workout is created from 84% Q-NOVA® recycled nylon.
'Every design element we have included is based on a real pain point women have with underwear...built to avoid scratchy, unbreathable lace or fabrics that dig in, and instead combine expressive style with comfort', say the brand. Notable attention also went to the gusset of the pants, which they point out is traditionally made too small to do its job in protecting against infection. The Underday's gussets are 2cm bigger than standard, and are made from breathable bamboo rather than cotton. Sizing ranges from XS -XXL, with all styles priced between £16-£22.
When it comes to branding, however, Underdays decided not to plaster their swirling graphic logo across waistbands. 'We wanted to stray away from the standard direct-to-consumer playbook and be bold in our branding and approach, which is a big reason why we selected bright blue as our brand colour over a traditional pastel. Underdays is meant to be for a new generation of underwear shoppers who dress for themselves and this is the attitude we wanted to embody. Our mission is to help women rewrite sexiness on their own terms.'
Shop The Underdays here.