Underwear Thesis: Parade Review

My unbiased and unfiltered review of Parade underwear including the bikini and high-rise hipster underwear! tips and tricks from a textile designer and fabric expert to help you be a more informed consumer and better shopper. Full review including washability, inclusivity, fit, sustainability and ethical practices.

Ooooh boy. I have put off publishing this underwear review as long as I could, but it’s time. I need to put on my big girl panties (pun very much intended) and share my unfiltered review of Parade underwear. You might be wondering why I’ve put off this review for so long… and it’s because I was majorly disappointed. I probably should wait until the end of the post to say that, but I just needed to address the elephant in the room! Let’s dig into all of the details about why I did not like Parade’s underwear, shall we?

My Totally Unfiltered Review of Parade Underwear

If you’re new to my Underwear Thesis, I encourage you to read these posts before proceeding:

Please keep in mind that these are my personal opinions of the product. If you love Parade, that’s great! I applaud you! But if you’re on the fence about whether to buy them or not, this is what I think you need to know in order to be an informed consumer.

My unbiased and unfiltered review of Parade underwear including the bikini and high-rise hipster underwear! tips and tricks from a textile designer and fabric expert to help you be a more informed consumer and better shopper. Full review including washability, inclusivity, fit, sustainability and ethical practices.

Styles Tried and Price

  • Favorite Pack — $40 for 5 different styles, unfortunately no longer available to buy this as a set
  • Brief — $9
  • Hip Hugger — $13

Fabric Quality + Details

Grade: A

Parade’s underwear is mostly made of a microfiber fabric and complemented with coordinating mesh inserts. The gusset liner is made of basic cotton, so nothing new or exciting there. For most of the underwear, the fabric content is 85% recycled nylon, and 15% elastane. According to Parade, it was developed by ex-Lululemon product experts and can stretch up to 2x.

I actually remember the day I opened the Parade box because the fabric was SO GOOD. When they say the fabric is buttery soft, they are not joking. The styles I ordered are now called “Re:Play.” They are made of a microfiber fabric (so a synthetic), so it’s cool to the touch and very, very smooth. I loved the stretch, the wide waistband, the perfectly stretchy stitching. Even now that I know that I don’t like this brand’s underwear, I STILL try to wear them because I love the fabric and trim so much.

Manufacturing Quality

Grade: A

These panties are SO WELL MADE. Each style I tried is durable, can stretch without becoming misshapen or popping a thread, and even the mesh is sturdy. The mesh is where I was most curious about the manufacturing quality. It is so hard to get a good quality mesh that is consistent with the quality of other fabric. Parade really delivers on this and I’m impressed.

My unbiased and unfiltered review of Parade underwear including the bikini and high-rise hipster underwear! tips and tricks from a textile designer and fabric expert to help you be a more informed consumer and better shopper. Full review including washability, inclusivity, fit, sustainability and ethical practices.

Ethical Practices and Sustainability

Grade: B

I like that Parade has an entire section of FAQs dedicated to sustainability. According to that, the work with a factory in China that is both Oeko-Tex certified and Sedex certified. This means that the panties are produced with high ethical standards and without weird chemicals. They have also committed to using recycled materials whenever possible. In fact, their recycled nylon is Global Recycle Standard certified, which means that the recycled content is actually confirmed.

In terms of their packaging, I loved that it was compostable with minimal extra packaging. According to their site, the packaging will biodegrade in 300 days in the correct environment.

So with all of that in mind, I am still giving Parade a B because the fabric is still comprised of plastics and can shed microfibers in the wash… as opposed to a cotton panty that can biodegrade on it’s own. Parade does address this and recommends a Guppyfriend washing bag to filter the fibers.

I was also really drawn to Parade because they donate 1% of all orders to Planned Parenthood New York. I love that an underwear brand recognizes the connection between panties, sex education, and accessible sexual health for all.

Recently, Parade launched a line called Universal that touts a clean carbon footprint because they offset every pair. I’m so tempted to order a few pairs to try them out… but at the same time, I am so disappointed in the current styles I have that I can’t bring myself to place the order!

Inclusivity

Grade: A

I truly feel like Parade is one of the best of the best when it comes to showing a variety of body types, skin tones, and people. They offer a size range of XS to 3XL, which is a good starting point. I think there’s opportunity to expand the range into both smaller and larger sizes to be even more inclusive.

Washability

Grade: B-

Aside from the microfiber shedding which we already talked about, the fabric does wash well. These panties are just as smooth and soft as the day I bought them. The elastic however… On 2 of the pairs I have, the elastic has become misshapen and warped. Because it’s so wide, it doesn’t want to go back into place. Instead it’s just scrunched up, which is a bummer.

My unbiased and unfiltered review of Parade underwear including the bikini and high-rise hipster underwear! tips and tricks from a textile designer and fabric expert to help you be a more informed consumer and better shopper. Full review including washability, inclusivity, fit, sustainability and ethical practices.

Fit & Comfort

Grade: D for all styles except the thong, A for the thong

Sigh… and here comes the bad news: I found the fit of EVERY SINGLE STYLE (except for the thong) to be horrible. I am so incredibly disappointed. And I did my due diligence by trying SIX different styles! In two words: wedgie city. Not a single pair of these underwear stayed out of my butt, no matter what I tried. For a minute, I considered double sided tape. And I feel like I honestly should have known because if you look at Parade’s photography, every model’s butt cheek is hanging out. Even for the briefs! I am a person who likes full coverage and for things to stay put. Unfortunately, Parade falls short for me there.

I know it might seem like it’s Opposite Day reading this post… after all, as a sworn thong hater, here I am saying I like the fit of their thong! But I guess it’s an Underwear Thesis miracle. The thong fits exactly as I want it to: high on the hip and firmly lodged up my butt to prevent the dreaded VPL. Now that I officially own two thongs, I guess my collection is complete.

And then there is the mesh. I have so many mixed feelings about it. I love that they are doing fun things with fabric and adding something special to day-to-day panties. But I also personally dislike mesh panels on underwear. You know those days in between grooming sessions? Mesh realllllly doesn’t work for those days and it’s just not an aesthetic that I like.

I hate to say this, but I think the mesh was added as a way to bring sex appeal to the underwear… which immediately makes me think that this underwear was not designed for the wearer, but instead for the viewer. And that’s where my biggest issue lies with Parade. In my Underwear Thesis, I’m on the hunt for daily-wear underwear that is comfortable, fits well, and isn’t designed with my husband’s opinion of my ass in mind. Yes his opinion matters, but that’s why I have lingerie. If I want my butt cheeks to hang out to visually please him, I’m going to wear something from my separate lingerie collection. But on a day-to-day basis, it is entirely untenable to have underwear move around so much and then ultimately end up firmly lodged up my bum.

My unbiased and unfiltered review of Parade underwear including the bikini and high-rise hipster underwear! tips and tricks from a textile designer and fabric expert to help you be a more informed consumer and better shopper. Full review including washability, inclusivity, fit, sustainability and ethical practices.

Overall thoughts

Grade: A if you don’t care about wedgies, D if you are picky about fit

I don’t want to beat a dead horse and rehash the same complaints over and over. The fact is that the fit of these panties is not for me, which is a major bummer because I love everything else that they are doing.

In case you want to read even more Underwear Thesis reviews, here’s what I’ve published in case you’ve missed any:

What do you think of this Parade review?? Leave a comment and let me know!

Photography by Jojotastic.