Monday, 2 September 2013

A song of thighs & fire

This summer has been a hot and sticky one. Too hot to wear leggings with everything and WAY too hot for jeans. I do love summery trousers, but at heart I'm a dress wearer and I really have tried everything I can get my hands on to combat chub-rub. I'd like to tell you I'd found a miracle cream or something but no.....
I tried Lanacane years ago. A friend of mine swears by it, but as she is around around about a size 16 I'm pretty sure that her thighs don't cause quite as much friction as my 32 inchers do! Didn't work for me, I'd have to reapply it every 10 minutes or so.
I recently tried Monistat after reading rave reviews of it from other plus size bloggers and their readers. Sadly this didn't work for me either. I tested it out on a grocery shop on a warm day. It was great for the first 20 minutes, but I could feel the sweat starting to ruin the effect quite quickly. Nobody seems to talk about the sweating, but with thighs the size of mine (so close to the lady oven) I get super sweaty between my thighs. Surely I'm not the only woman to leave a fanny shaped patch of steam on a plastic chair, or get an embarrassing crack shaped sweat patch on jersey dresses of a certain colour? I know I'm not because I've seen it on other women! Anyway in my case it seems to be enough to dissolve these miracle gels rather quickly. If I lived in a world were I could freely go legs-a-kimbo every 30 minutes to rub gel on my upper inner thighs then maybe these would work for me (although considering the price of a tiny tube it would cost me a small fortune!) but in the real world I just can't go about my business without some fabric separating my massive thighs!

I know there are many other anti-chafe products on the market, but I just don't want to spend loads of money on things that don't work for me.... having said this I will certainly be taking my tube of moonistat swimming with me the next time I go, as it stopped my thighs sticking when I was walking around the pool before getting in, and there was enough of it left when I got out of the pool to make my departure less sticky!
More recently I have discovered Sloggi basic longs, which are brilliant. Comfy, soft, stretchy cotton in nude, white or black. I can just wear these as knickers, they're great. They go up to a UK size 26. I've got a pair of size 24 but I could easily fit the 22. I think I'll end up with lots of these, they go under EVERYTHING and are almost invisible!
Next up we have the new 'sexy' way to stop the chafe. Above are Bandelettes, which you may have seen other fatsion bloggers talking about. These were even in the guardian a while back.... my boyfriend told me about them (knowing that I chafe like a mofo!) so they were on my radar in a big way. The problem is I know they'll be too short for my chafe-prone areas. They're 6 inches long, and that leaves a few inches above or below on my thighs to rub like mad. I emailed the company and asked if they would consider bringing out a longer length, explaining my predicament. They responded really quickly and politely, but basically they said no, so I took to etsy to search for alternatives.

Step in Thighlettes! These are 8 inches long, and come in a great range of sizes (from a 20 to a 40 inch thigh) so I thought I'd give 'em a go.
SOOO disappointed with these. Length is not quite long enough for me, but the main problem is that there is nothing to keep them up I've got suspenders on in this pic to hold them up. Even stockings have the rubber edging to hold them in place, but these roll up or slide down almost instantly. Sad face.
On to this things I actually use.....

There was a time when my only option was to wear shaping pants under my dresses. They're long enough to stop most of the chaffing, but short enough to wear knee length dresses without being visible. My sister and I are in agreement that the Primark ones are our favorite. Size 20-22 fits a size 24 easily, and they do smooth a bit but they're not mega firm. The best hardcore shapers I have are actually from matalan, so don't worry that spanx are (insanely) expensive, most high street retailers do their own versions now, and they're excellent in my experience! I'd only go firm on a special occasion, the rest of the time I want something I can breath in! Girdles etc are great for the right outfit and under a bodycon dress they smooth me out fantastically. My problems is that I don't always want or need to be smoothed out or sucked in. Sometimes I just want to be comfortable. If I'm at work all day I don't want to be wearing shapers, and getting in / out of them for a pee is such a ball ache!

I've tried 'comfort shorts' before, but they're a bit like ribbed tights, so not only do they itch me like mad, they also don't stop the chafing. In addition to that they have the old double seem at the back light tights, so I couldn't wear anything clingy without them being visible. They don't work for me, but if you get on okay with tights then these are pretty good value. Naturally close sell packs of 2 for £12 here.

A while back, during a discussion about plus sized tights Naomi from Diamonds 'n' Pearls recommended the big bloomer company, and when I asked Georgina from Cupcakes Clothes where she got her tights from, because I've yet to find any good tights that fit me and stop my thighs chafing or itching, her response included the word 'bloomers'. Bloomers. Well that's a word I'd never entered into a search engine before, but wowzers I'm glad I did! I think the big bloomers website extremely badly designed and hard to fathom, but they do sell some things that look promising! The super stretchy seam-free shorts above could be a god send... for me I think they will be too short, but if you like wearing mini dresses these would be ideal! The Big Bloomer Company also sells cotton shorts in two different length, and some of their items go up to a UK46!
I needed something longer though, and I found these bloomers on ebay from Catty b's Lingere store. I really love these, they've been life savers this summer. They're just the right length for me, totally stop the chafing, (sorry to be gross but lets be honest here) absorb the sweat and pull up over my double belly!. I now have 2 pairs of pink ones and one pair of blue. They don't ride down, or up, and they're 100% cotton so are comfy, breathable and not at all itchy. I bloody love them! I wish they came in a bigger range of colours but otherwise these are a great buy. These go under all my maxi and midi dresses.
Last up we have my new favourite discovery to go under tight and short skirts / dresses. These are technically long knickers from Sloggi and at £13.50 a pair they're not exactly cheap, but I don't need loads of pairs so it's fine! These are excellent for pencil skirts (wore them under my comic print skirt last week), and I have them in nude so they're pretty invisible. They are thin cotton so they don't hold you in or shape you at all. I wanted comfort and that's what these give me. They come in nude, black or white and go up to a size 26. I got the 24 first and they're not tight on me so I think the 26 would stretch to a 28 easily. Sloggi also do a more pricey version of these called 'slim long' but they only go up to a size 20 (argh!). You can get Sloggi Basic longs from here.

I think I'm going to give up on miraculous ways to stop chafing and just stick with my bloomers and long leg pants!


  1. PMSL at lady oven! I get a very hot falula as well. I have a pair of those Sloggi long knickers. I wore them on my wedding day. I use a long legged waist shaper from Simply Be under maxi dresses. It has a pee flap at the vag which is quite handy, but I just yank them down to pee anyway. I find the shaper doesn't make me too hot, and of course the Sloggi ones are great too. I can't see the point of wearing various gels when there are long legged undies to stop chub rub. x

  2. I'm so glad I've found your blog! And I'm really grateful for your honesty regarding the chub-rub!
    I don't know about you but I used to dread the horrible "sweaty bum marks" I left on plastic seats at school! Still do...ok...TMI!
    I usually manage with cut off leggings but they do tend to roll up. I was going to give the bandelettes a try but think my money will be spent on the sloggi basic longs!
    Thanks for doing the research for us.
    I've started wearing more dresses since I've discovered your blog. I've also been altering things that aren't quite how I want them.
    At the moment I'm wearing a Joe Browns Dipped Hem dress, except I didn't like the long back (I called it my tail!). So I unpicked the bottom frill,got my mum (Good old Mum!) to chop off the tail,reattach the frill,then hem the bit of material chopped off,and I'm wearing it as a bandana!!
    Thanks Cass!
    And thanks Leah,your comment made me laugh!!

    1. Yey! Both of these comments made me grin from ear to ear! xx

  3. Your title made laugh for a few good minutes! I've never got the whole anti-chafing gel stuff, I just wear cycle shorts. I got a couple of good pairs from Allihalla on etsy, she will do custom sizes and lengths too. I do like the idea of those anti chaff lace bands, but I agree they look way too short for fat legs.

  4. I'm a new reader and I just want to say thank you so much for this! I've loved wearing dresses and skirts more in recent years but sometimes leggings are too warm. I've been using cut off leggings but they tend to roll up, though the ones made of thick tights material (lycra?) do stay in place better. I will definitely try some of these in the future.

    The whole sweat thing used to be a constant embarrassment for me at school. I used to sit on my jumper but then it'd get damp. That's actually why I started wearing *ahem* panty liners at age 15 or 16 because lady sweat used to make my knickers damp and uncomfortable. Still does.

  5. I got these cycle shorts from Amazon - thin cotton, like long leg knicks but a fraction of the cost. Problem I have is being v short they still come to just above my knee - same with the sloggis, I need a petite (short arse) length!