Panties are a kind of underwear. Women's panties are also called knickers. Other names are underpants ("undies"), briefs and smalls.
There are many different shapes and sizes of panties. A common type are bikini panties, which are usually small like a bikini bottom. Bloomers are panties which are more voluminous (~bigger). Panties with a high waistline and are usually thought to be worn by older or more conservative women.
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Knickers in British English only refers to female panties; in American usage the term is also used for a type of male trousers more properly called "breeches".