The Plus Size Guide to Wearing Skirts in Summer

Posted by Jen Anderson on

The Plus Size Guide to Wearing Skirts in Summer

Chafing. Chub Rub. Gah - my inner thighs are on fire! Whatever you call it, the struggle is real. Wearing skirts (and dresses) in summer isn't just tricky for plus size women. Most women's thighs rub together. And without pants or tights creating a barrier between our inner thighs, they quickly become a red, irritated mess. It doesn't have to be that way.

Of course we want to go bare legged in warm summer weather. And we also want to walk more than five steps without damaging our bodies. The trick is to add a layer between your thighs that will let you remain cool.


There are several lotions that you can apply to your inner thighs to prevent friction, and therefore chafing. Isn't that a nice and dignified way of saying, "here, rub this stuff on your inner thighs"?

Solid deodorant can do the trick, but there are better solutions. Body Glide is packaged like solid deodorant, and you can just rub it on. Gold Bond has a similar product. Monistat has a gel that works in the same way.


woman wearing a floral print dress
Baby powder can create a barrier and absorb your sweat. Lady Anti-Monkey Butt Powder is made specifically for preventing friction while soothing already-irritated skin. The name isn't dainty, but neither is the problem it solves.


The advantage of these potions is that they're invisible - you can use them while wearing a bathing suit and no one will know. But if you have to walk a lot, you're going to have to reapply this stuff throughout the day, so bring it with you.


I still haven't recovered from bike shorts going out of style over 20 years ago. The fabric was thin enough that I could wear bike shorts under my skirts and dresses. Instead of my inner thighs rubbing together damaging my skin, the inner thigh seams of my shorts rubbed until holes appeared.

There's a better way. Today's anti-chafe shorts don't have inner thigh seams, so they last much longer. I like Undersummers because if they peek out, they're lacy and cute. If you'd prefer a more minimalist, unembellished version, try Thigh Society's anti-chafing slip shorts. Underworks has cotton versions.


woman wearing a floral print dress
Pay attention to length when selecting anti-chafe shorts. Get out a tape measure if you need to. Do your thighs meet all the way to the knee? Do they separate a bit partway down? Not all anti-chafing shorts are knee length, so be sure you get ones that offer the coverage you need.


If you don't want to wear shorts, Bandelettes are bands of fabric that resemble the top of thigh high stockings. Most are made from stretch lace, but there are non-lacy options.

Now You Know the Secret

Learning all this stuff was life changing for me. Life. changing. I became more comfortable in my clothes and started to enjoy summers a lot more. Since this is something that happens to most women, we need to talk about it more openly.

Wearing skirts in summer is a no brainer - it should also be comfortable.

Check out our other posts about plus size style.


Karen, Undersummers has a couple of different waistbands –I find that the ones with a thin elastic waistband stay up better. It could be that they roll down because they’re too big or too small, so you might need to experiment. I don’t have much experience with the other brands, but Undersummers will bend over backwards to get you the right style.

Bandelettes may stay in place better for you if your thigh is the right shape. My thighs are like pork chops –they get a lot thinner all of a sudden about halfway down. Bandelettes won’t stay in place for me because of that, but any other thigh shape is Bandelette-compatible.

—Jen anderson,

I had no idea there were all of these solutions! I wish I’d read this before walking 5 miles in a skirt in Las Vegas this sparing (I was in so much pain by the end of the day).
Question for you, Jen: I have trouble with undergarments rolling down off my belly. I’m looking at some of these linked items but I’m wondering if you can tell me which ones might be best for my needs. Help!

—Karen (formerly kcinnova),

This blog made me laugh. I truly understand the problem. Being a former marching band member, if you think walking is a problem, have thick thighs and try to march. We use to call it jungle crouch rot. I enjoyed the years of the bike shorts. I spend each summer searching for similar replacement. I revert to wearing pantyhose year round. Will be looking for your suggested options.

—Carla robinson,

Thanks so much for this info! Who knew all these great items were available.


Leave a comment