Menstrual May: Dear Kate Nellie Brief Full Review



We are at the last of FIVE period underwear reviews today! If you missed any of the previous reviews, here is a shortlist of links:

Today, I am reviewing the Dear Kate Nellie brief with full lining in a size XL. The size XL is designed for a 44″ to 46″ hip, which I was at the time.


The Nellie brief is part of the full coverage collection, which tends to fit a bit smaller than Dear Kate’s mini lining. If you are between sizes, I recommend sizing up rather than sizing down. That being said, even at a 48″ hip, these briefs can still be worn. When I was a 46″ hip, I found that the leg holes dug in terribly, but the rest of the brief fit well. These briefs have a low-leg style so anyone with large thighs might want to choose a different cut.

The Nellie briefs give full coverage for the bum, coverage up to the waist, and full coverage in the front as well. I would consider this brief style pear or hourglass curve-friendly as they do stretch in the hips while tapering in at the waist. There is no excess fabric at the waist. The material is also soft to the touch, but certainly has that synthetic feel to it.

I cannot measure the upper seam of the Nellie gusset as there is no upper seam! The reinforced lining goes all the way to the top – a very unique design. This does create extra thickness to the underwear, so I am aware that I am wearing special undies when I wear the Nellie. I would say the combination of full coverage and thickness does bother me a smidgen.

At the narrowest point, the gusset does measure 2.5″. This is very conducive to my narrow fem bits. Dear Kate would be my first recommendation for any other women who need a narrower gusset as theirs are the narrowest of all three brands that I have reviewed.

(-2 points for leg holes digging in, -1 for thickness)



The Dear Kate Nellie has a pretty unique feature: the full lining runs all the way from the top waist in the back to the top waist in the front. There are no gusset seams. The full-lining tapers in at the back and front, creating those diagonal seams you see on the underwear. This design prevents spilling over as all blood goes on the full lining, thus totally eliminating my previous issue with gusset seams being too low! Sweet!

Yet, I do find the function of the Nellie brief with full lining is somewhat limited. In actuality, I don’t know how I would best fit these into my cycle. While the underwear is more reinforced than the Dear Kate Ada, they are still only “meant as backup for leaks, so please use in addition to your regular pad/tampon routine if using during your period.” Seriously, if my pad or tampon is leaking so much that a mini-lining period panty doesn’t take care of the spillage, I need a different pad or tampon! Not a thicker, more reinforced brief.

The Nellie could be used on light free-bleed days, but I prefer the Lunapads Selene as it can handle about the same amount of blood, is more comfortable, and the material breaths. For period anticipation, the Dear Kate Ada is truly a gem. For heavy days, nothing beats the protection of the Thinx Hiphuggers. While the Nellie certainly protects better than the Ada, I don’t really have a middle ground where I need more protection than the Ada for cup/tampon/pad backup or less protection than the Thinx Hiphugger for true free-bleeding.

(+2 lining design, +2 protection, +1 gusset width)


Overall, I think the Nellie is overkill for backing up daily menstrual products and under-kill for free-bleeding except on light days. It has this awkward role in my drawer of being the last pair chosen because I’ve been too lazy / bloated / cramping to wash my other period underwear.

**These underwear were purchased by me. The primary link is a $15 off is an affiliate link (so I get a kickback too!).

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