What Is The Pocket In Panties For?

A person holds the gusset of a pair of green hemp underwear by WAMA, laying flat on a brown surface.

I love pockets as much as the next girl, but I have to admit there are a few that flummox me. Like that tiny pocket (within a different pocket) in jeans? That flimsy pocket in your fave t-shirt? And, finally, panties. What is the pocket in panties for, seriously?? Some backup cash? Your I.D.?

Yes, these are the things I think about all day. If you can relate, this post discussing why do panties have a pocket is for you! If you’ve also wondered why do we wear underwear, and what your underwear says about you, well, then you are my people.

So, read this post, and you’ll never have to wonder what is the pocket in underwear for ever again! And, spoiler alert, it’s actually important for your health, and goes a long way to making sure you’re wearing breathable underwear.


A woman measures herself as she tries to figure out what size her underwear is.

Shopping for underwear can seem like you need to learn a whole new language. They like to throw a whole bunch of words at ya, like cheekiness and modal and spandex and hipster panties and bikinis and low-rise and high waisted underwear and breathability and gusset…

Hold up. The rest of the words sound at least passably familiar, but what’s a gusset?

When I was buying underwear recently, and actually paying attention to the material of said underwear, I noticed that the gusset was listed separately and used different materials than the rest of the pair.

After a quick Google, I discovered all about gussets. It turns out a gusset is… drumroll please…the name of the underwear pocket! Who. Knew.

A woman in her green bra and underwear pulls the waistband of her underwear away from her hips.

But, what is the gusset for, you may ask?

Good point. The gusset is not actually a pocket, per se, although I suppose it could be used as one, in a pinch. (I’m not recommending this, just to be clear). The gusset is present to give your vagina an extra layer of protection, and an extra layer to absorb moisture so you can better avoid those nasty vag infects. Shudder.

The gusset is also usually made of natural materials like hemp or cotton, which is especially important if the rest of the pair of underwear is not made from these. Hemp and cotton are much more breathable and overall friendlier to your vagina. Wearing undies with a gusset made from natural and breathabe materials helps avoid a sweaty vagina and any nasty build up that can promote an environment for odor and bacteria. Say it with me: EW.

The gusset also provides a soft landing for your lady bits, protecting them from friction that can come from wearing synthetic materials, like lace.


So now we’ve answered the question: why is there a pocket in panties. Since we’ve established that the underwear pocket, aka the gusset, is there for hygiene and comfort reasons, you may be wondering how else you can make sure you stay healthy, and therefore comfy, in your underwear? I got you, boo! Here are 7 other ways to achieve maximum comfort and health from your panties.


A pile of white hemp fabric sits bound by a ribbon on a table.

Like we talked about above, the gusset should definitely be made of a natural fabric like hemp or organic cotton, but it really is best to find underwear that is made entirely of natural fabrics. There are tons to choose from, like hemp, organic cotton, merino wool, and so on.


Hand washing your underwear is definitely the best route when it comes to making your underwear last—but it’s also good for your vagina, too! Especially if you use gentle, eco-friendly laundry detergent. Here’s a refresher on how to hand wash underwear:

  • Plug a (clean) sink and fill it with lukewarm water.
  • Use natural detergent like a good hemp soap to suds up your undies gently.
  • Let them soak for 15 minutes to an hour, then drain and rinse until no more soap remains.
  • Gently squeeze moisture out (without wringing your undies, please!) and hang to dry.


Two diverse women with dark hair model black underwear from WAMA, against a white background.

I know it can be tempting to find one style of underwear and stick with it forever—and I’m not saying this is a bad idea, per se. But maybe try out a few new types here and there, you never know when you’re gonna find a new pair that you love! Plus, certain occasions call for special pairs, if ya know what I’m sayin.


If you’re like me and tend to throw caution to the wind and buy whatever size you think works, well, we should probably stop that habit. Especially when it comes to underwear! Consult that underwear size chart and bust out the measuring tape—so you don’t bust out of anything else. You can make sure a pair of underwear fits well by checking for the following:

  • does the waistband stay put without pinching?
  • do the cheeks feel comfortable and secure?
  • does your crotch feel supported without feeling suffocated?

If you answered 'yes' to all three, you should be good to go!


To truly live your best life in your best underwear, you gotta jettison the old ones. You know the pairs I mean—the ones with holes in the band, the ones that don’t stay up, the ones where the underwear pocket is a whole lot bigger than it used to be (or should be). If you’re wondering what to do with old underwear, here are some sustainable ideas:

  • Compost pairs made from 100% natural fabrics.
  • Donate unused underwear you don't want anymore, and give used pairs to an underwear recycling program.
  • Make DIY patches or plant holders with (unstained) pairs you can't wear anymore.


A woman lays on a bed, wearing black underwear and a white tee, with roses in the forefront.

If I scared you with the word “invest,” never fear! There’s a huge difference between a five dollar pack of panties and a twenty dollar pair—you can buy great pairs of underwear without breaking the bank! Keep an eye out for packs of underwear from your fave brands, as this also gives you a deal.


I’m not sure if this one really needs to be said, but consider this my PSA: change your underwear every day. Every day, ya hear? No amount of gussets in the world can help your special area if you’re re-wearing your underwear and building upon the old build up. Gross.

Of course, if you MUST (like, really really must, in case of emergencies, like you’re stuck in the woods for a few days), go for hemp. It’s naturally antibacterial and can be worn longer than other fabrics without causing issues. But, again, 10/10 do not recommend (unless absolutely necessary).

A woman with long dark hair faces away from the camera, showing her backside, wearing black hemp underwear.

On this same topic, here are a few extra things you can do to keep your vag in tip-top shape:

  • Shower often, but use mild soap, sensitive soap, or just water.

  • Sleep in the buff, at least sometimes.

  • Clean out your underwear drawer once a year, at least. (Here’s some help if you’re wondering how often should you buy new underwear).

  • Avoid douching.

  • Take supplements for vaginal health.

  • Wear a condom when possible.

  • Eat foods that benefit your vagina microbe.

  • Avoid thongs when on your period (unless you have a really good, breathable pair).


Several black pairs of hemp underwear from WAMA are flat on a stool, above a colorful carpet.

Turns out people who design underwear actually do give women’s vaginas a thought, even if sometimes they seem to be designed by men (the same men who asked Sally Ride if she needed 100 tampons for a 7 day trip into space, probably) who really don’t know much about women’s bodies. Still! Who knew that when you asked yourself what is the pocket in panties for, you’d discover that it’s not actually a pocket, but an extra layer of protection for your vagina—from internal and external forces.

Did you already know the answer to the question: what is the pocket in underwear for? Or was your guess wildly wrong? Let me know down in the comments!

Underwear Blog | Hemp Blog | WAMA