If one home project you are considering tackling is cleaning/organizing your closet and drawers, I can help from the lingerie editing perspective. Here are my thoughts on how to look at your intimates when sorting into “keep” & “toss” piles.
General thoughts to keep in mind as you sort
Undergarments are less about fashion and more about replenishment. They are the garments you wear & wash far more than any other article of clothing. They need to be replaced to maintain their functionality and fit. Think of them like your toothbrush or mascara – we tend to hold on too long, but once they’re replaced, the only thing we regret is not doing it sooner.
Throwing lingerie out doesn’t have to mean goodbye forever to your favorites. Lingerie is the one clothing category that you can replenish with the same item for years. Unlike that favorite pair of shoes, there’s a very good chance you can replace your favorite underwear with the exact same style (or super similar style); just newer.
Lingerie as a category has made massive improvements to its products in the last 5 years – both in design, manufacturing and fabrication. The new designs are more comfortable, invisible under clothing, have better support and now solve most issues women have complained about for years. I thought jeans were comfortable till I bought my first pair with built-in stretch. It was a game changer. The same holds true with new bras and panties on the market today.
Still love your favorites, but find they’ve been discontinued? My team has worked hard to help you find the best replacement possible. When you search a discontinued style at HerRoom, we do our best to redirect you to an updated alternative. We also maintain HerRoomVintage.com where we store discontinued styles along with their current alternatives.
Bras “wear out” at different rates. It really depends a lot on your cup size. The larger the cup size, the more stress is put on the fabrics and thus they wear out quicker. Here are a few good rules to help you decide whether or not to keep your bra.
Hook adjustment being used – Bras should initially fit you on their loosest hook setting. You then tighten as you continue to wear a bra until you are on the tightest hook setting and the band is starting to feel loose. This is the time to toss.
Front Closure – The downside to a front closure bra is that they wear out faster because there is no adjustability. So, when they start feeling loose in the band, its time for them to go.
Sports bras – Because these bras are washed frequently and work harder to contain breast bounce, they tend to wear out faster. The rule of thumb is that when you buy new workout shoes, you should also need a new sports bra.
Weight fluctuations – Every bra in your drawer should be put on and tested for fit. Take the time to adjust your straps, pull your breast tissue into your cups, and then look at yourself in the mirror. If it no longer fits, let it go.
Rarely worn bras – We all have them; that special bra for a wedding, or to provide support under an unusual neckline. They have hardly been used so you don’t want to throw them away. Well, try it on again. Does it still fit? If it does, is still comfortable, and has not deteriorated hold on to it if you have room and think you might use it again. If not, let it go. That event came and went. So should the bra. True confession: I held onto a red bra in a size now too large for 20 years.
Once you have your “keep” pile, it would be worth comparing it to my checklist of bra essentials to make sure you are not missing an important piece. While you might not need everything on the list, most of these belong in your bra collection. Take the time to fill out your collection now, your future self will thank you.
It’s easy to hold on to panties for years without thinking about tossing them out or replacing them. After all, they’re covered up most of the time and you’re often the only one who sees them. But panty technology has come a long way in recent years. You don’t see elastic sewn on to edges any more. Instead there are laser cut edges, stretchy lace edges, bonded edges – all of which lay flat without creating a VPL line. Also, (and I’m secretly delighted to share this fact) the era of thongs has been on a steep decline in recent years. Boyshorts and fuller briefs have become the new favorites in all age categories. So, have some fun and buy a few new styles and see if you like them, then come back and stock up on the ones you like the best. I created a panty guide, if you’d like to know more about the silhouettes now available.
Writing this, I confess to having lots of shapewear that I too should probably let go. I have broken enough nails squirming into it that I’ve decided to only wear shapewear that is light support – not firm. I’ll wear a biker short under a form-fitting dress when I don’t want any lines and only want to wear one layer of light support shapewear. But, there are women that love wearing it. The test for shapewear is to stretch it to its maximum and see if it bounces back. If it does not, it’s time to let it go.
Socks and pantyhose are small, so it’s easy to let them accumulate without editing. First, make sure you have both pairs of socks. You might want to perform a quick check inside all your shoes; I’ve found the second sock there many times. If you can’t make a pair, the single needs to go – it’s mate won’t be coming back. Next, while wearing a sock or glove on your hand, inspect your pantyhose to see if there are holes or runs. Let these go because runs keep running. Then, go to the waistband and give it a stretch. If it doesn’t bounce back, the pair has deteriorated and is unwearable. For storage, I recommend rolling pantyhose and keeping them next to your socks.
We both know that if you let him, he will wear the same style and brand of underwear he started wearing in High School for the rest of his life. So, my suggestion for a man needing an underwear overhaul is to buy a few styles and let him try them on. Men LOVE anything soft. We happen to have a softness and fabric weight meter on all products over at HisRoom. It looks like this:
So, find something soft, let him put it on, tell him how great he looks in it, and you will have achieved an instant upgrade for him. It’s been my experience that once a man upgrades his underwear, he never goes back.
Here’s wishing you a successful conclusion to your lingerie clean-up project.
Tomima Founder, Owner, & CEO
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