How to Avoid Camel Toeing

How to Avoid Camel Toeing in Leggings, shorts and Jeans

Camel toe occurs when your clothing creates a sort of cleavage around your genitalia. For some, the appearance of a camel toe is a source of embarrassment and something they want to avoid and, if it happens, immediately address.

What Is “Camel Toe”?

A "camel toe" or “frontal wedgie” can be seen when your pants are too tight and you can visually see the outline of the lips of your vulva, particularly the labia majora. This makes the outline of your labia majora visible through your clothing. It especially happens with tight jeans and leggings, swimsuits and athletic clothing.

Should You Be Embarrassed By the “Dreaded Camel Toe”?

Just like cleavage, nipples showing through tops, visible panty lines and cellulite, it’s exceptionally personal and individual what you’re comfortable with revealing.


A “camel toe” was once considered a fashion faux pas. But as we relax more about fashion “rules” and about women’s bodies in general, it is now a more personal choice.


Some women have no qualms about the realities of a woman’s body. And indeed many celebrities have recently shared photos of themselves complete with camel toe. Some would say the camel toe is even having a ‘moment’.


However, that doesn’t mean you have to feel the same way. While we don’t think you should ever feel embarrassed by your body, that doesn’t mean you have to feel comfortable or willing to share every last detail. 

Camel Toe Can Have Downsides Besides the Appearance

While the snide commentary about a “camel toe” appearance is usually focused on appearance, sometimes there can be other downsides, like:

Discomfort

If your clothes are causing a camel toe because they are too tight, it might not feel comfortable down there either. You may feel like your leggings or pants are “riding up” or squishing your genitals or giving you a wedgie. If you find yourself constantly tugging your pants down, it’s a reason to do something about it!


Breathability

Again, if camel toe is happening because your clothing is too tight, you may also find that your clothes are too tight to be breathable. This can lead to dampness from crotch sweat and unwanted odor too. 


If you want to stay dry and fresh, look for loose clothing made of natural fabrics, which will allow the air to circulate. Alternatively, look for performance wear that is made of sweat wicking materials and has a cotton gusset to encourage breathability.

Irritation

Discomfort and breathability issues can lead to irritation. Now, we don’t want to be hyperbolic here and say if you have a camel toe you’re going to experience irritation or infection. Sometimes, a camel toe is just natural. But if it’s happening because clothing is tight and you consistently wear too-tight clothes, you might experience further irritation.

6 Ways to Avoid Camel Toes in the First Place When Wearing Leggings

If you’re worried about a camel toe appearance, here are some things to watch out for long before it happens:

1. Make Sure Your Leggings or Yoga Pants Aren’t Too Tight

Apparel that is too tight is more likely to give a camel toe appearance as it hugs your pelvic area. Of course, leggings or yoga pants are actually designed to be tight. So, what’s too tight — how should leggings fit?


Here are some telltale signs your leggings or yoga pants are too tight:

  1. They’re hard to get on. You can’t slide them on without a lot of painstaking wriggling and shimmying. Putting on leggings shouldn’t be like putting on Spanx; they should go on relatively smoothly. 
  2. They fit so tight, they dig in around the waist or crotch. Your leggings shouldn’t leave you with red marks around the waist or crotch, or creating a muffin top or camel toe. Yoga pants should sit snug but comfortably, like a car seatbelt.
  3. They become transparent. Leggings or yoga pants or workout leggings are not supposed to be transparent. One reason they can become transparent is they’re too tight and the fabric is being stretched too thin.

2. Make Sure They’re Not Too Loose Either

But don’t go too far in the other direction either. If your yoga pants or leggings are too loose, there will be excess fabric, which can bunch together around the genitals.



Here are some signs your leggings are too big for you:

  • They slide down. One of the biggest reasons leggings can slide down is because they’re too big for you. Jump around in the changing room and make sure they’re fitting you snugly.
  • They’re baggy. Leggings should be second-skin tight. This means no wrinkles or bagginess. If the leggings hang loose away from your body, they’re not tight enough and you’ve probably gone too big.
  • They don’t feel like a hug. Leggings (especially leggings with compression) should give you a feeling of snug security, or be gently tight. If they just feel ‘there’ but there’s no snugness, they’re probably too big. Remember that they’ll stretch more over time (with wearing and washing etc.) so definitely look for snug to begin with.

Still, a camel toe can happen even if you’re wearing the perfect size. So, if you’ve ruled out sizing, consider the following:

3. Choose Yoga Pants and Leggings Made of Thick Fabric

Yoga pants come in all kinds of materials with all kinds of thickness. Thinner materials will have less of a barrier between your skin and so may “reveal” more than you want to. They can even emphasize the crotch area as the thinner material can easily fold around your labia.


Thick fabric will be more likely to sit on top rather than fold in and create a smooth and seamless material. Increasing your chances of avoiding camel toe is as easy as wearing thick fabrics that won't create friction or movement of the garments.

4. Don’t Go Commando

No judgement if you go commando. But if you do skip underwear, know you’re more likely to have a camel toe. Underwear creates another smoothing barrier between your genitals and your leggings. And if you choose your underwear carefully it can really help address the issue (more on that later).

5. Choose Leggings With a Reinforced Gusset 

Leggings with a reinforced gusset (including leakproof leggings) put extra material around the crotch area. This can be to reduce friction, absorb leaks, cushion the area and just to offer reinforcement where there will be most wear and tear. 


That reinforced gusset will also help eliminate camel toe, not only because of the reinforced material, but also because it usually breaks the front seam (often an oval or diamond shape instead of a straight seam).

6. Note: Your Brazilian May Not Help...

If you remove all (or most of) your pubic hair, you may experience camel toe more as your genitals have less coverage. Again, these are really personal choices and we’re not saying you “should” manage your pubic hair one way or another. But if you choose to remove your pubic hair, it might help to be aware of this possible side effect.

5 Ways to Prevent Camel Toe in Leggings

Okay, so you’re getting dressed - or you’re already dressed - and you notice you have a camel toe situation going on with your pair of leggings. What are your options?

1. Pick the Right Underwear

First, check your underwear. If you’re wearing undies with a center seam or front rise seam, swap them out. Boyshorts, for example, often come with a center seam or front rise seam. This seam can ‘cut’ in such a way that it accentuates your labia. 

Simply changing your underwear can help prevent camel toe. Seamless underwear usually has a thicker fabrics that will protect your genital area from too much exposure. 

2. Try a Panty Liner

If you’re stuck, a panty liner can add another physical barrier to protect you from the camel toe effect. Of course, there’s the added benefit of protection against leaks, whether they’re sweat, blood, discharge or urine.


While this is a great wardrobe malfunction fix, it’s probably not the best long term solution due to the amount of waste you’ll generate. You could think about leakproof underwear or reusable pads.

3. ...Or a Camel Toe Guard

Because we’re all anatomically different, some may experience camel toe more often and easily than others. If it’s something that happens a lot to you, there are an increasing number of products made specifically to address this concern. 


They’re often called “camel toe guards” or “camel toe pads” or “camel toe concealers.” You usually wear these inside your underwear. They are reusable, so you won’t have to handle wasteful panty liners. The only drawback is that these products are mostly sold as “one size fits all” so you may struggle with them feeling right or staying put. 

4. Choose Darker Colors

Light colored leggings and pants will accentuate the pelvic area more, whereas dark colours are generally more forgiving. This isn’t a “solve” per se as a way of tricking the eye.

5. ...Or Patterned Fabrics

Similarly, patterned fabrics will ‘confuse’ the eye and it won’t notice as much going on down there. Again, this doesn’t solve the issue, but it will help disguise it. 


Discover the Right Combination of Things for Your Comfort Level!

As you can see, there are lots of different kinds of things you can do to prevent camel toes in yoga pants. Some of these - like choosing the right size - are just general common sense and best practices for obvious reasons.


Others you might try alone, or in combination with others. It’s really up to you to decide how far you want to go on your anti-camel toe mission.


That said, if you experience a camel toe and it causes you neither physical discomfort nor embarrassment, don’t feel like it’s something you automatically need to “fix”. 


There’s nothing wrong with our bodies. And for too long we’ve been bullied about what could be read as obscene, too promiscuous or just downright embarrassing. If you’re comfortable, confident and happy, don’t let the fashion police get to you!