Anyone who knows me (or has listened to me on my podcast) knows that when I'm in Orlando I struggle with something embarrassing. Something that made me so uncomfortable, that have I spent literally hundreds of dollars looking for a solution. Something that I couldn't control. Until recently.
And that thing is my big thighs.
My husband may love them, but for me they have been a source of sweat, chaffing, and that uncomfortable feeling when they touch as I walk. Yuck.
For reference, I am 5'7 and wear a size 8 or medium typically. I really don't consider myself big or thin or skinny or fat. That is with the exception of my legs. Even at my absolute skinniest (before my daughter was born, back when I worked out daily and counted every calorie and was a size 6 or XS, before the dreaded 40), my legs and thighs have always been disproportionately larger.
This meant that buying shorts felt impossible. My waist was smaller. But my thighs were huge. So either I bought shorts in a smaller size that were too tight on my thighs, or I bought a larger size that fit my thighs and were comically huge around my stomach and waist.
Dresses and skirts were also out of the question. Even at my skinniest weight, my thighs touched and stuck together when I walked. And I found it to be one of the most uncomfortable feelings ever.
So combine that with Orlando heat and humidity and walking miles and miles at Disney World, and the rubbing and chaffing became too much.
I've tried lots of products over the years. Things like deodorants and creams for chaffing. And even if by some miracle that stopped the painful chafe, it never lasted more than a couple of hours and it couldn't stop the feeling of skin rubbing on skin, or thighs sticking together. It was awful. And it was embarrassing. I felt like no one else was experiencing this. But the truth is no one else was talking about it.
So when I discovered shorties for women that I could wear under a dress or skirt I was telling everyone who would listen. And over the last several years I have purchased many brands of women's shorts. Literally hundreds of dollars on various brands of shorts that are meant to help prevent all of these awful things.
After testing several brands, I have found my favorites that I think will help anyone who hates chub rub in the parks.
Note that none of the products I picked are meant to be shapewear or suck your thighs or stomach in. My goal is comfortwhen walking around Disney World. And that was my biggest criteria when picking my favorites.
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The funny thing about these being my top pick, is that I was testing out other products that prevent sweating in other places when it occurred to me that my brand new shorties had kept me cooler than literally anything else I had used that trip.
I already owned several other Thigh Society brand shorts, but this specific style was definitely lighter and more comfortable as I navigated the parks. The temperature on the day I wore these to the Magic Kingdom was 93 degrees, and my FitBit had me walking a total of just over 30, 000 steps that day.
Even in that heat and humidity these kept me cool. I noticed that I didn't have the problem I often have at Disney... *gasp* sweaty bottom. I also didn't have any irritation on my thighs, and at no point did my legs get that icky stick.
These are made with 78% nylon, so they are super light. They are more on the sheer side, so you could even wear your regular undies under if you want. I personally didn't ever feel the need to, as these are appropriately lined. But if that makes you more comfortable, you could easily do it with these.
Despite being sheer, I found these to be thick enough to feel comfortable when I was hoping on rides like Tron, where the ride vehicle has you straddling the seat. I felt totally covered. And they felt sturdy. I never worried about ripping them. And even after several washes they have held their shape and kept their softness.
Overall, they were the miracle of my trip that I didn't know I needed!
Not everyone can be number one. But there were some other brands that did well in the Disney World thigh rub test. Here are some of the close seconds:
These shorts from Jockey were close to being great. They will do the trick for the chub rub. The problem for me is the material. These feel denser than some other shorties. Like there is also a goal of "smoothing" me out. Don't get me wrong. I have several items in my closet that help suck me in and smooth me out. But when you are walking tens of thousands of steps in 100% humidity, that is not what you want in your undies. So for me these were good, but not my top option.
These shorts definitely kept me cool. I liked the material, although I will admit there was a *bit* of sweating because these are a tad thicker than my top choice. My real issue though was keeping them where I wanted them. Since they don't offer length options on this brand, I found myself pulling the bottom down. Which then made the waistband move down, causing that to be uncomfortable. I think if I had been able to get these in different lengths they would have been better.
As someone who has spent an unreal amount of time trying different shorts that might give me some relief, I have some thoughts on things to consider if you want to purchase anti-chafe shorts.
Material is Everything
Before you spring to buying a pack of shorts on Amazon just because it's a 3-pack at a crazy low price, be sure to read both the materials used in the shorts, and the reviews. Spandex bike shorts or cotton boy shorts may look like what you want, but I promise for Disney they wont have the feel you want in the heat and humidity of Orlando.
So think about what the product is made of, and what you'll be using it for. The money spent on quality material will be worth it in the end.
Features are Important
I mean this in both a positive and negative way. I once tried a pair that promised they wouldn't budge from my thighs. Turns out that was because they used some sort of rubbery material at the bottom of the leg hole. I may not have had chafed thighs, but I had a painful reaction to the "anti-slip grip" on their shorts.
So make sure you're looking at features like cooling fabrics, stretchy waistbands, etc. Read reviews and double check all product features to be sure you are getting what you want and need.
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See you at the parks,