We absolutely love them. Every single pair we own is incredibly soft. With a robust waistband and Tailor & Circus branding subtly printed on one side, they look functional yet attractive. But …they have a half-life of 3-6 months.
How I found it
I’ve always found my underwear shopping in India to be an uninspiring experience. My pantry wardrobe is a mix of Marks & Spencers 5 pack bikini panties from Myntra, a few Leading Lady pairs for my time of the month, and a cherished few underwears from Uniqlo, picked up whenever I traveled abroad to a country with a Uniqlo store. My functional everyday underwear is to put it simply – very very boring. That changed when I first got my hands on Tailor & Circus underwear for women. I had read about Tailor & Circus in The Hindu – as the first body positive gender-neutral politically correct underwear brand. That’s a lot for underwear. But, it was not till I saw my friend pull it out of her bags one day that my eyes lit up.
Why I love it
Since then I’ve tried every cut of Tailor & Circus underwear available – a bikini, a hipster, a boyshort and a cheeky. I have solid colors and fun prints. Every single pair I own is incredibly soft and I absolutely love them. With a robust waistband with the Tailor & Circus branding subtly printed on one side, they look functional yet attractive. When I wear them for full days, from work to the gym – the underwear feels mostly seamless so there’s no chafing. Compared to other underwear that is made of cotton or polyamide, Tailor & Circus is made of 94% MicroModal – a fabric derived from beech tree pulp, made by only one company in the whole world – Lenzing AG. Does the MicroModal make a difference? I definitely think so.
The moisture wicking properties make these underwear feel dry after a full day’s wear in the tropical heat.
Sizing & Fit
The sizing can be a bit tricky to pin down if you are not inclined to use a tape measure. I tried both the XL and 2XL based on their corresponding UK sizes as their size chart shows and found that they match up and provide a good fit.
Aside from MicroModal being a more breathable fabric, Tailor & Circus also has an anti-microbial finish which they promise lasts for at least 33 washes. Typically, this prevents odors and bacteria from growing when damp. MicroModal is not a material typically used in women’s underwear in India. Jockey introduced it in their men’s line but women’s panties are usually made of cotton, polyamide, and elastane in some combination.
I loved unwrapping the Tailor & Circus package.
It comes in a cute green reusable lingerie bag, and a note was written on recycled bamboo fiber paper. Each underwear comes neatly rolled wrapped in brown paper. They also have free shipping all across India.
But keep in mind…
I spoke to other Tailor & Circus customers and we both found that a few months and many washes later, the underwear material does thin out losing the initial luster that they possessed, but still fit alright. This may be a side effect of the MicroModal material that is thinner than other fabrics typically used to make underwear such as cotton, and rayon. The good housekeeping guide recommends replacing underwear every 6 months to a year. The longevity of Tailor & Circus underwear just about makes it to 6 months.
What you see above is a photo shared by our other tester, Priya – who bought this specific underwear in January 2019 and started using it in February. She approximates she has put it through ~20 machine washes.
In her words, “the waistband looks new. The underwear as such looks really old.”
Also, keep in mind the slightly premium pricing – most women’s underwear are priced between ₹230-260 online. Lacey and novel variants in the market are priced at ₹400-500. Tailor & Circus is priced somewhere in between at ₹349-449 per pair with a 15-20% discount if you buy 3-4 pairs of the same cut.
A final note on sustainability. Is buying Tailor & Circus underwear a more environmentally or sustainable choice? Honestly, there is no straightforward answer to this question. Here’s why:
- ✅ Only one company in the whole world produces MicroModal and the primary constituent wood cellulose is derived through sustainable forestry practices. This is very different from other fabrics developed by multiple companies thus making the entire process less homogenous.
- ❗The same questionable chemicals used in the production of other rayon fabrics are used in the production of MicroModal, so not much of a change there in terms of sustainability and impact on the environment.
Overall, we definitely appreciate Tailor & Circus as an option in the women’s underwear market in India and would continue to buy a few pairs because very simply – it’s very very comfortable. That said, we are in the market for a more economical and long-lasting women’s underwear brand as well. So we’ll keep you posted.