Before we begin, how awesome is the illustration I’ve used in the banner?! It’s by House Of Wonderland and they have the most adorable collection of stationary, pins and home ware designed to brighten your day and feel better about yourself (and a lot of cute cat things!). There are some super cute and affordable gifts in there which would absolutely make someone’s day/week/month. I remember my friend sent me the Katie Abey Satsuma of Self Care (in pin form) when I was having a really hard time last year, and it was just the most touching and sweet gift that I’ll treasure forever. Spread the love!
Now, for the Chub Rub Club:
I remember being on holiday with my family in Portugal when I was young, and complaining to my mum that I was sunburnt between my thighs. Little did I know they were actually blistering from chafing. I wasn’t an overweight child, and had not hit puberty enough to develop ‘curves’, but my natural body shape meant I was always destined for a life of thigh chafing. Fast forward to 28 year old me, and chub-rub is just a fact of life, as it is for so many men and women, big and small. Wearing leggings, jeans or trousers eradicates the issue for me, but we even get into dangerous territory if I’m wearing a certain length of shorts that you wouldn’t consider to be ‘short shorts’, or a pair of tights that aren’t quite thick enough a knit to stop my thighs from kissing.
With dresses and skirts throughout Autumn and Winter, I’m happy to wear tights. As long as they are a certain thickness of denier, usually 60 or above, I suffer from very limited chafing and only if it’s over a long day in the same outfit. But 60 denier tights are neither comfortable or stylish in spring and summer, so I had to find alternative methods to stop my thighs from making friends. Most of us girls will have tried the old cut-your-leggings-into-shorts method, which is convenient and cheap if you’re buying Primark leggings. For me, this isn’t a very breathable option, and sometimes the shorts will still roll up to expose my chunky upper legs. I prefer investing in something I know will work every time, meaning I never have another day ruined by chub-rub.
Over the last few years, anti-chafing wear has become a kind of underground phenomenon, with many brands jumping on board to offer their solutions. Plus-size brands especially have recognised the need for these essential products. From sports brands to lingerie companies, many have put the research in to produce unique products with their own benefits. If you follow any plus-size blogs, you’ll find at least one review of an anti-chafing product. I’m taking this game to the next level, and graciously providing you with one post dedicated to every anti chafing product I’ve ever tried! This way, I’m hoping you’ll decide which option is better for you, and become more familiar with the brands and their sizing. Although I’m partial to a bit of shape wear for the right outfit, I’m not going to feature any products that have a ‘control’ aspect. This post is purely about chub-rub and it’s remedies.
To start, I wore a plain black pair of knickers so you can tell the difference between the transparencies of the fabrics. As you can see, these briefs are plain cotton and have zero shape support. I also wanted you to see the shape of my thighs and where they touch, so that you can compare them to the shape of your own chafe-prone areas. No airbrushing here! You may also spot Chandler in some photos in his favourite spot on my bed 🙂
Chaffree is the creation of Amanda Whaley, who wanted to match her own needs of anti-chafing wear. The company caters for both men and women, offering briefs, boxers, and longer shorts called knickerboxers. They cater for men from a 28″ to a 54″ waist, and their ladies products range from a UK size 6 up to a UK 36. Today I’ll be focusing on the knickerboxers, which the company kindly sent me to review. You have the choice of black, tan, pale pink and white in these shorts, as well as the option of a 6″ or 8″ leg length, and a mid or high rise waist band. Being able to customize my own comfort shorts was an option I never thought I’d get in my lifetime!
Price: 1 pair of shorts is between £18 – £20, a pack of 3 pairs is £49 – £55 and a bumper pack of 5 pairs will set you back by £81 – £91.
Why the price difference, you ask? Because sadly Chaffree are charging more money for the product if it’s ordered in an L/XL or more (over a UK size 20). This issue has been raised very recently in the ‘Fat Tax’ debate surrounding brands which charge more in plus-sizes for a design than the same one in the non plus-size section. The brands blame the cost on ‘more materials needed’, but this poses the question: Why do you charge the same price for an item in a size 6 that goes up to a size 18? Surely ‘more material’ is needed there too? Alas, this debate continues and I will be putting in my two cents in the not too distant future!
The Chaffree knickerboxers promise to be seamless, stretchy, and latex free. They are made of a lightweight, quick drying material which genuinely feels like a feather-light second skin. This is great for minimalizing sweat on warmer days, and the fabric is also anti bacterial. They are designed to be as comfortable as possible, stretching to accommodate your movement throughout the day and avoiding any kind of friction. Being tall, I went for the longer leg length and the high waist band to avoid any unnecessary tummy rolls. I went for the pale pink option, ‘Blossom’, as I have many pairs of black anti-chafing shorts and thought these would be easier to disguise under paler dresses.
Pros: I adore these shorts. They never roll down at the waist, and have only ever rolled up on the legs when I’ve stood up after being sat down. I just adjust them then get on with my day. They are truly breathable; I don’t feel like they are making me any warmer than I would be if I wasn’t wearing them, though this also means they don’t add an extra layer of warmth on a chilly night out! There are no seams digging into my hips or my gusset, and they move freely with my body.
Cons: These are definitely the more expensive of my selection. I believe they are worth the money now that I’ve tried them, but I understand that it’s a lot for someone to gamble on when they’ve not tried them out. I promise you they will change your thigh’s lives. That being said, you’ll wear them so often that it’s best to buy more than one pair! So be prepared to invest, but you will reap the rewards.
The Big Tights Company
I have several pairs of the amazing hold-ups this company sells, and of course they are famous for their range sizing and fantastic selection of tights. They also provide a choice of anti chafing shorts! The All Woman Anti Chafing Shorts are available in a long or short leg, from a UK size 12 to above a UK size 36, and come in black, nude or white. The short leg comes in a lace edged option, and they’ve recently released an Aztec patterned version too! And lets not forget their main model and all around babe George!
Price: £13.95 for the plain short leg, £17.95 for the lace edge, £16.95 for the long leg and £15.95 for the Aztec
(all designs come with a value pack of option to save money!)
Now the lovely ladies at The Big Tights Company have been very generous with me in the past, and when I reached out to them regarding anti-chafing products they graciously sent me a pair of the long leg shorts in black, as well as the lace trimmed short legs in black & white. They also kindly send me a pair of the Prague Lady Seamed Hold-ups which fitted like a glove and made me feel perfectly wicked, but I got a little too carried away wearing them for the first time and laddered them with a high heel. I was gutted:( I’ll be buying a replacement pair soon, as they are the best fitting hold-ups I’ve ever owned!
The first thing that I thought when I got them out of the packet was ‘wow, these are so soft!’. The fabric is seamless and smooth, not unlike the Chaffree knickerboxers, and feels lightweight even in hot weather. The lace edge shorts didn’t rub or irritate, they just added a nice detail that could be noticeable under a short skirt. I was encouraged to order the 18-22 even though I’m on the large end of the size, and the ladies were right. There was still plenty of stretch once I was in them, and they didn’t feel to tight on any areas. I chose to wear the white lace edged shorts for the first time as a bridesmaid at my friend’s wedding last year, and was greatful for the thin fabric as it was a SCORCHING day!
As I put them on, I noticed that the end of the leg was already dangerously close to the area my thighs begin to chafe. Sure enough, the shorts rode up almost immediately into the wedding ceremony, and I was left fidgeting in my seat to pull them down. They didn’t ride up long enough for me to chafe, but there’s very little movement in a wedding ceremony (which I am grateful of!). I understand that I am a tall woman, but I did expect these shorts to have a little more staying power on my thighs considering that’s what they are made for. I blamed my height for this problem, and went upstairs after the ceremony to change into the long-legged shorts.
Unfortunately, there was another issue. These shorts are not directly marketed as ‘high waisted’, and not many women would have a problem with that. But again, because I am tall, an item needs to be high waisted just to be able to grip my body shape. The shorts are just about high enough when I’m not moving, but as soon as the dancing began, I could feel them inching down my body until they hit my belly and rolled under. My thighs were happy, but my tummy wasn’t! The bridemaid dress disguised this roll, but it was uncomfortable for me and all I could think was ‘why aren’t these high enough for me to tuck into my bra?!’ as that would eradicate the issue! I do believe this wouldn’t have been an issue if I was blessed with a much more curvier bottom like George above, but alas, we don’t all have the same proportions! I’d happily wear these on holiday over my bikini or costume, just to get up and go to the bar or walk down to the beach etc, but I don’t think I could rely on them under clothing as an all-day thigh saver.
Pros: Comfortable, cooling fabric with no seams. These shorts are probably a perfect fit for someone who’s under 5″9, it’s just a shame they didn’t come up high enough on my waist enough to not slip down. They come in designs that are a lot more attractive than Chaffree, with the lace and Aztec options being very popular. Of course, the discount for multiple items is also a bonus!
Cons: Sadly, I personally won’t be getting much use out of these shorts unless I wear a bodysuit over them to keep the waistband flush to my skin. They are not high waisted enough for my liking, and caused more frustration that necessary. There may be a risk of the short leg being too short to prevent parts of your thigh from chafing, so keep this in mind. If the brand came out with a high waisted version in the long leg, I’d be first in the queue!
I’m still a massive fan of The Big Tights Company, and will always be a loyal customer of their holdups, stockings and tights!
I bought my Bandelettes years ago from a UK site called Mish, avoiding the hassle of ordering them from America. These garter-style bands are worn on the upper thigh and shield the areas most prone to chaffing. Created by Julia Abasova and Rena Abramoff, Bandelettes are the sexier option in anti-chafing solutions. They resemble the tops of lacey stockings (although a non-lacy version is available and promoted as unisex) and come in a variety of colours to suit your look. Available for thighs starting at 21″ circumference to 32″, you must ensure you measure correctly to get the perfect fit.
Price: £18.99 for one pair (based on Mish prices and not buying overseas from the Bandelettes site)
Using a high-quality stretch lace, Bandelettes are designed to wrap around your thighs tightly enough to stay put, and let your legs gently brush against eachother as you move. They contain a band of ‘stay-up silicone’ on the top and bottom which clings to your skin without discomfort. The Bandelettes website advises you measure your thigh at it’s widest point, whilst stood up, and without clothing on. I didn’t want the bands to dig in, so I stupidly sized up with my first pair of Bandelettes which resulted in them rolling down due to not being able to grip my leg properly. As soon as I bought my correct size, I knew this product was going to work for me. There are mixed reviews online, however a lot of the negative reviewers have admitted they probably didn’t buy the correct size. Trust your tape measure, and following the sizing rules on the Bandelettes site!
I own a pair of black and nude Bandelettes. Shorts are an effective and reliable option, but they are never going to make you feel as sexy as Bandelettes do. I don’t quite trust them for a long day out after I wore them on holiday in Spain a few years ago and ended up with a little band of chaffing. Personally, I think this was because of the lace itself, and it’s made me want to invest in the plain bands as this would eliminate that issue. But please understand, this was about 7 hours of walking around an old cobbled Spanish town, and I think I got sand in them which will definitely not have helped! Another thing I would point out is that you need to wear these bands very high on the thigh to completely eliminate chafing, which can pose a risk if you prefer to let your pubes go ‘au natural’. When the silicone bands catch one or a few of your hairs, it can be really irritating! Take my advice, you’ll probably want to at least trim.
Pros: Wearing Bandelettes means there is no extra layer around your crotch. This is an absolute blessing when you’re on holiday and you don’t think your body can possibly get any hotter! Of course, they also look sexy, leading a lot of their fans to state they aren’t embarrassed when they have a ‘Marilyn Moment’ and the wind catches their skirt! You can wear Bandelettes for several days in a row without the need for washing as they don’t really get sweaty or smelly due to where they are worn. You can easily hand wash them in a sink though and they will dry for the next day if you prefer them super-fresh!
Cons: Depending on how tapered your leg shape is, these may not work for you. I feel the distribution of fat between your upper and mid thigh is a deciding factor on whether or not you’ll feel comfortable in Bandelettes. I’d advise the lace Bandelettes are more suitable for up to 6 hours wear, and anything more than that would be better suited to the plain Bandelettes. Again, the price may raise some eyebrows, but please remember these are specialist products by an independent, international brand.
These Comfort Shorts used to be my go-to anti-chafe wear in summer. Back when I was more comfortable shopping on the high-street than online, these seemed to be the only option. They are a blend of Polyamide, Cotton and Elastane and although this makes them less breathable in summer, they are a great extra layer in winter. Available in mid rise or high waist and come in black or nude, you have the option to buy a two pack of the mid rise to save yourself some pennies.
Price: £8.00 for mid rise or £10.00 for high waist single pair, £16.00 for a two-pack of mid rise
These shorts have seen me through thick and thin, and I often recommended them to people who I noticed were still buying Primark leggings and cutting them into shorts. They don’t roll up, and grip the leg comfortably to prevent this. They are a very soft and comfortable fabric, and the waistband doesn’t dig in to create extra lumps and bumps. They are the same as the Evans tights sizing, available in a 1 (16-20), 2 (22-26) and 3 (28-32) and I have to say the sizing is very fair, with a lot of stretch to accommodate different shapes.
I believe I’ve only ever owned the mid rise shorts and they’ve still been high enough to tuck into my bra, and I ended up buying them in a size 1 even though I’m a 22 as there is enough stretch for them to fit, but the smaller size did help smooth over my tummy. The pairs I have had over a few years have started to show wear-and-tear on the inner thigh, and the material has actually laddered, rendering them useless for anti-chafing, so they have gone in the bin now after their loyal service to my chub-rub!
Pros: The price. These shorts are a lot more affordable than other anti-chafing wear and will last you a summer. The option of waist line and colour is great, and they are available right up to a UK32. If you find the fit comfortable, you won’t have a problem with these! The sizing is very good and you can double these up as a thermal layer in winter.
Cons: Personally, I find these shorts too warm even when I’m wearing thin lacey knickers underneath. That being said, I’m naturally a very warm person and often complain of being too hot when everyone else is wearing a jumper! I do wear them in winter sometimes under leggings for an extra layer of warmth, if I’m going for a walk. They also have a very prominent seam that runs right through the middle, which can sometimes dig into the tummy and up the gusset, as well as cutting into your bum cheek slightly (see picture above). After wearing the Chaffree shorts, I’d recommend you splash out on those instead of seeing these as a money saving alternative.
There are many topical home remedies to chafing, including the use of talc or body oil, but sadly these options have never worked for me. My thighs touch too often, and rub away any make-shift barrier I’ve tried to put in place. Even the very tops of my inner thighs chafe, and I don’t want to use strong chemicals so close to my lady parts, so I try to avoid the suggestions of using extra-strong stick deodorants.
Lanacane Anti Friction Gel is the most commonly available anti chafing product in the UK. You can easily get hold of it in Boots or Superdrug, which makes it perfect for an emergency should you need it ASAP. This stuff genuinely works for me. After applying a small dab on each thigh and smoothing it in, the non-greasy and non-staining formula dries onto my skin leaving a silky finish which is barely noticeable. But as soon as you begin to walk, you can feel your thighs effortlessly gliding past eachother with zero friction. Hurray!
The product is fragrance free and has never caused me a problem with my lady parts, so I’m happy to use it close to intimate areas. I can honestly say if I apply it for a night out, I only ever need to reapply if I accidentally wipe it away when going to the toilet. Other than that, my thighs stay friction-free and I’m able to stay cool and carefree with no shorts or bands in sight! If I’m wearing it abroad, I do tend to need to reapply due to getting sweaty, and of course getting in and out of a swimming pool will make it a lot less effective. I would definitely go through a tube in a week if I was on holiday and not wearing any form of clothing or material between my thighs.
Pros: Easily available in the UK, and always stocked on the high street. For me, this definitely works, and is a lot more comfortable in hot weather than wearing shorts or bands. Sometimes you just want to feel natural and free!
Cons: This product is priced at £5.99 for a 28g tube. As I’ve said, you will easily go through a tube of this in a week if you wear nothing else between your thighs. This means this product isn’t exactly economical compared to investing in a pair of shorts that will last you a year or more. It’s worth the price for a special occasion if you want to let your thighs be free, but in my eyes, it’s not an affordable long-term solution.
I think I’ve found my perfect anti chafing shorts in the form of the Chaffree Knickerboxers, and I have the option of my Bandelettes for a sexy occasion. The Lanacane gel works for me, but I only use it on special occasions as it’s a waste on holiday due to excessive sweating and swimming.
I’m definitely going to invest in a tube of Body Glide this year after hearing such good reviews from other members of the Chub Rub Club, though I think it’s best getting it on Amazon if you want to find a UK supplier.
Other than what I’ve featured, what’s your go-to anti chafing solution that’s available in the UK?
Do you have an ultimate product your thighs couldn’t live without?
Leave a comment and I can add it to the post!