Pansy x-high rise review

Let’s get one thing clear: This underwear has been on my wish list. I’ve been eyeing it for over a year, but I couldn’t justify buying it without real need. I have previously purchased from Pansy, and I already have a positive view of their products and brand. Their social media and website include dreamy photo shoots and images of models with body hair, which is a refreshingly realistic portrayal of how bodies actually look. Regardless, one good product is not perfect assurance of another good product from a company.

This review is for Pansy x-high rise underwear. I purchased a size L in mauve. I usually wear a dress size 8 or 10, and sizes 8-12 in bottoms. My measurements are:

Waist: 30.5”

Hips: 40.5”

Pansy x-high rise

Price $42

Ethics

The reason I first purchased from Pansy was ethical. Pansy uses organic cotton and spandex from recycled PET, the plastic usually in water bottles. The organic cotton is US grown and their clothes are US made. I love that supporting their brand is supporting US farmers, recycled materials, and a smaller company. As I’ve mentioned before, I often support American made when shopping ethically because it saves work on my part, and supporting small businesses/makers usually means supporting the individuals working in production more directly than buying from a large corporation. People working in the US are protected by a variety of laws regarding overtime, maternity leave, etc. that I feel more comfortable with than unfamiliar variables in other countries, even though the landscape of American labor is imperfect.

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Size range

S-XL

Pansy has four sizes available, but claims these can fit people sizes 2-14. Due to how the sizes of their clothes are described on this size chart, which I would call cryptic even for women’s clothing, it’s hard to suggest measurements for each size. To determine the size I wanted to order, I measured an existing pair of underwear that fit me well and then used those measurements to pick a size. Because I’m used to body measurements, it’s difficult to gauge the true size of their S-XL range. For example, if the waist measurements begin at 26” and end at 34”, the range is small because it only accommodates people within an 8” range. Without information about which approximate body sizes can fit in each size, it’s hard to know if the brand can only fit people within a ten inch range of waist/hip measurements or if the brand can fit a bigger variety of people. The stretch factor of the fabric is something else I cannot account for when it comes to where the sizes are actually topping out since the flat lays only show a few inch difference between sizes despite being advertised as a rather large range (2-16).

While the underwear I ordered is only available in sizing recommended up to size 14, they do have other items available for recommended sizes up to 16. Since most women wear a size 14 and up, it’s reasonable to say that most average American women can wear Pansy’s clothes, which is not true for many ethical clothing brands. Since I fit an L in the underwear and an XL in the bra I purchased from the brand, I wasn’t initially hopeful for size inclusivity. Knowing that my waist measurement is smaller than the average American woman according to the CDC (31.5” vs. 38.7”), it’s hard to feel hopeful about sizes being appropriate for the average woman if I am fitting in at the top end of the size range. In other words, if there’s only one size larger than what I purchased, and that size needs to accommodate 7 more inches of body than the one I purchased, it doesn’t seem likely that it will. It is worth mentioning, however, that they do include people of various body sizes in their products on their social media.

I contacted Pansy about their sizing and they took a different view; they include the flat lay measurements of garments so that people can compare the garments to clothes they already have, and this is thought to be helpful since the garments are made of cotton. I’m assuming because cotton is less stretchy than a material like spandex, it could be better to measure the garments themselves since there may be less wiggle room. Still, measuring garments you already own to buy something new in a different material and cut can cause trouble if you don’t have anything comparable in style, or could lead to purchasing the wrong size. I stand by my original evaluation of their sizing, but it’s fair to acknowledge the thinking behind it anyway. I can’t say the sizing has been an insurmountable barrier to buying their products, since I’ve already done so twice in the past year.

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My final comment on Pansy’s sizing is optimistic and based on information from contacting the company. Size inclusivity is also valuable to the owner, and they’ve made the recent decision to expand their sizing to include XXXL, which would go up to a size 20 and be available at the end of summer 2019. There are also hopes to continue on to 4XL. As of now, it seems the average woman could wear their products, and in the future they will be available on basis of size to even more people, which I absolutely love; being unable to find your size should never be an obstacle to trying to purchase ethically.

Style & Construction

The x-high rise has a pretty simply construction. They are tall, as you’d expect from their name. Around the legs and waist the edges are turned down; there is no visible elastic that could rub against the skin and cause irritation or dig in but here’s plenty of stretch around these edges. The edges are all serged and the side seams are joined nicely with an interlocked stitch. In the crotch there is an extra layer of fabric, as usual, that is serged down and attached on both ends of the extra fabric, and the stitching is visible on the outside like for the side seams. In the back, there is a small tag made of a less stretchy fabric in the same color as the rest of the garment.

Fit

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The underwear hit very high and sit at and above my natural waist. Even though I’m tall, they do bunch a bit around the top when I sit down, so if you’re petite I suspect these underwear would be too tall; don’t worry, the brand carries a regular high rise, too. This pair totally covers the bellybutton and are full coverage on the bottom. The L fits very comfortably, but on my body this size does not fit tightly. If you share my measurements, an L will fit easily without must stretch from the fabric, but if you want something to hold you in, I would suggest M. The underwear feel very sturdy and secure, and aren’t going anywhere as the day goes on. The leg openings sit on the hips like a typical bikini or brief cut underwear, and sit firmly without digging in.

These underwear won’t work with pants, folks. That’s not an issue for me because I generally only wear pants when I go hiking, but if dresses or skirts are a rarity in your wardrobe, I don’t recommend this cut (x-high rise). As you can see here, they far surpass the top of these jeans that hit my natural waist.

Fabric

Pansy underwear is 90/10 organic cotton and spandex from recycled PET, the plastic usually in water bottles. The organic cotton is US grown. While organic fabrics aren’t necessarily better or more sustainable than nonorganic fabrics, being US grown, the fabrics didn’t have to travel overseas to arrive for production. This, coupled with the fact that the fabric supports the use of recycled plastic, makes me love the choice.

This fabric is on the heavy side for underwear, and totally opaque. It has a decent amount of stretch, but still feels very solid because it’s thick. The material doesn’t sacrifice support for softness. It’s smooth and won’t irritate your skin, but not silky. I’m struggling to compare it to any other fabric in particular you might know by feel, except maybe a quality, heavyweight cotton tee shirt.

Pansy offers a variety of colors and this underwear is in mauve, which I had to wait to order so it could be restocked (worth the wait). All of their current offerings are solid colors.

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Customer service & returns

Pansy accepts returns of all new, unworn merchandise within 30 days of purchase, but you are responsible for paying return shipping. I didn’t exchange or return this order, but last year I purchased a full bra from the company and exchanged it for a larger size. While it’s never fun to pay return shipping, it wasn’t that much of a hassle and I’m glad I exchanged for an item that fit better.

I contacted the brand with some questions, and I got a reply within two business days that thoroughly addressed all of my questions. One of the best parts of buying from small brands is that your questions are answered by people directly involved and invested in the products, and that was the case with Pansy.


Would I rebuy?

When I purchased from Pansy this second time, I expected a solid product, and that’s exactly what I got. Their materials are high quality and their products feel and have shown themselves to be durable. When need arises, I will continue buying from this brand. The underwear is comfortable, sturdy and totally to my taste. Like I mentioned at the beginning of the review, I’ve been eyeing this underwear for a year, and even with high expectations I was not disappointed.