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Tomima Talks: New Lingerie Category – Leakproof Panties

Updated: Oct 19, 2022

Hello there,

I was recently shopping for my garden’s go-to snail control product. It came in this really handy plastic container I could quickly open and sprinkle the contents around my coleus and hostas. Well, no more. Now, my favorite product only comes in a recyclable and resealable bag. I’m sure glad I hung on to my old container. And I guess that’s the point.

Reducing our environmental footprint is a global issue, and every industry is searching for ways to contribute solutions. Used lingerie is almost impossible to recycle. So, several lingerie companies are attempting to make their environmental contribution by creating products to reduce the use of disposable feminine hygiene products. Instead of tampons, liners, pads, and adult diapers, the new alternative is crotch-absorbing, leak-protective, breathable panties that can be washed and reused again and again. With more companies making products in this new category, here are some facts and a primer.

Body Fluid Volumes

Yes, for this discussion I need to go there…

Uterus – When it comes to our monthly cycle, here’s the shocking truth about fluid loss. Across the entire length of an average period, the total menstrual fluid leaving our body is less than 3 ounces – 1/3 cup or less. That’s it!

In disbelief, I found research. The National Library of Medicine measured 96 cycles from 28 women between the ages of 24 and 49. The mean cycle was 2.7 oz. The low was .5 oz. The upper 95% percentile came in around 5.5 oz. Age had no association with fluid volume.

Bladder – A woman’s bladder can store up to 500 mL (2.1 cups). Men up to 700 mL (3 cups). However, the sensation of needing to urinate occurs between 200 and 350 mL (around 1 cup).

It is also very common for women to leak urine while laughing, sneezing, coughing, crying, exercising, or heavy lifting. I could not find a definitive liquid discharge quantity associated with any of these.

Curious tip: While doing this research, I learned the best way to completely empty your bladder. Take your time, lean forward, relax, and push out your tummy. If uncertain your bladder is fully empty, perform a hula hoop hip motion, then try again.

Leak Proof Panty Options

The ideal with this new panty category is to offer a normal-looking and comfortably absorbent panty, while freeing you from any worries over leaks or stains on your outer garments. All leak-proof panties have extended-length, multilayer crotch gussets for absorption along with the security of staying dry, odor-free, and having antimicrobial properties.

My all-female buying team was careful in choosing our offering. For example, all felt the inside gusset should be black in color and not look bulky. The absorbency claims were tested for accuracy. The leg edging, too, was reviewed for leak protection. And the outer panty colors offered were carefully chosen to look cohesive. Finally, all were fit tested on live models to confirm their leakproof features were invisible from the outside.

Le Mystere Smooth Shape Leakproof Brief

This smooth and silky, 4-way stretch, matte, microfiber brief by Le Mystere fits beautifully against your body. The extended length and streamlined multilayer gusset provides light to medium absorbency; 2-3 tsp. or up to ½ oz. without adding uncomfortably thick or multi-bulky layers.

Directly against the body, the first layer is a soft black jersey with antibacterial and anti-odor finishing. Beneath is an absorbent, double knit that both attracts liquid and absorbs/holds it to prevent leaks to the outer layer. Clean, bonded leg edges disappear for no-show under clothing.

Sizes: S – XL

Bali Beautifully Confident Brief and Hi-Cut Brief

These two panty silhouettes made in poly spandex microfiber include a flat elastic waistband with a plush lining for comfort and pretty, scalloped flat lace below. Both styles rest at the belly button and are tagless. The full brief provides full rear coverage while the hi-cut style provides moderate rear coverage.

The low bulk 11½” long liner has both odor control and moisture wicking and with no ride-up. Bali classifies these panties as “light leak protection” for life’s minor leaks while keeping you fresh and confident.

Sizes: M-2X or 6-9

Proof Absorbency Panties

This brand, Proof, offers a triple patented line of leak protection panties sold in varying absorbency levels – super light to heavy. Made in a nylon/spandex microfiber, they are comfortable, breathable, antimicrobial and odor fighting. And, their offering includes a variety of panty silhouettes.

As their patents state, their gusset is multilayered. It starts with a wicking material next to your skin, then a moisture absorbing material, a waterproof material, and finally the exterior fabric. All seams are laminated rather than sewn, and the leg edges are turned inward – all to prevent leakage. Looking at our internal images above, you can see that the gusset length increases with absorbency level. As for their fluid capacity, Super Light claims to hold up to 1 tsp., Light up to 2 tsp. (1/3 oz), Moderate up to 6 tsp. (1 oz.), and Heavy up to 8 tsp. (1-1/3 oz.).

Sizes: XS-3X

Hanes Comfort Period 3-Packs

The Hanes offering in this new panty category is 3-packs in either a bikini or a brief, with each silhouette offered in 2 absorbency levels – light or moderate. The body of their light absorbency styles are made in a soft microfiber polyester/spandex knit. Whereas the moderate absorbency styles are made in a soft, breathable 57% cotton stretch. Covered elastic leg openings create a moisture barrier along with preventing ride up.

A 3-layer gusset in the light, and 4-layer gusset in the moderate both perform to wick away moisture, neutralize odor, absorb liquid and protect your outer garments from leaks. All-black liners are to block against stains. Both the brief and bikini styles are tagless and shaped to give full back coverage.

Bikini Sizes: S-2X or 5-9 Brief Sizes: M-3X or 6-10

Just My Size Plus Size Light Leak Brief 3-Pack

This brief 3-pack comes in a great size range from 2X to 7X. With a 9” rise, these soft, comfortable microfiber briefs with 4-way stretch feel silky smooth while providing light leak protection. The back is seamless while being full coverage, and the brief is tagless.

Their 3-layer gusset has a soft knit feel while being absorbent, leak protecting, stain guarding and odor neutralizing. The length of the internal gusset is extra long both in front and back.

Sizes: S – XL

Final Thought…

Confused by many of the swatch names for skin-tone colors? You are not alone. About 5 years ago, major lingerie manufacturers fell victim to organized and highly vocal groups complaining that color names such as skin, tan, nude, and other dermis-sounding names were not “their” skin color. Consequently, these manufacturers scrambled and what arrived were inconsequential names like damask, sandshell, almond, sand, cognac, rosewater, and others. Though well and good you, the customer, are now struggling to figure out what the true color really is, and we have seen a significant uptick in the question: “What color is the nude color?”

As an aid, HerRoom offers a color filter. It lists all the color families as well as the skin-tone colors. It gives you the filter options of Nude (Light), Nude (Medium) and Nude (Dark) to at least give you a better starting point in finding the shade you prefer.


To plunge or not to plunge? Can you spot the difference? If the center panel of a bra sits below the breast apex (horizontal line across nipples), it’s a plunge. This style is designed to be invisible under plunging necklines, while supporting breast tissue to create beautiful, round cleavage.

To learn more about plunge bras, read my Tomima Talk.

Fondly, Tomima Founder & CEO

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