It has been said, by the great thinkers of our time, that the state of our underwear drawer is a direct reflection of the state of our mind. (Just kidding of course! None of the great thinkers actually said that- Though perhaps they should have done…)
A well organised underwear collection saves time dressing, AND you should not even even know you are wearing anything restrictive. Well fitting bras, that do not pinch, pure cotton pants, that do NOT ride and have to be permanently adjusted. Soft, seam free camisoles, in wool/silk mix for winter or cotton/silk for summer. Good underwear can make you feel divine, they are a secret to be revealed only to special people.
Lady Sarah’s steps to underwear perfection
#1. Always Start with a good, old fashioned clear out. Get all the underwear out, make a pile Eliminating anything old or just plain uncomfortable. There is usually an excellent reason, why we avoid wearing something. Letting go is part of the process.
#2. Clean the empty drawer with toxic free cleaners. Ecover is great. I like to put a couple of drops of cedarwood oil in my wardrobe, my sister prefers paper drawer liners. Small compartments are a requirement to keep things tidy, I had my wardrobe custom made with small drawers, but anyone can install inexpensive separators, or use boxes. If one is hoping to keep a sense of order, draw dividers are essential!
#3. Take an inventory. How many pairs of pants and bras does one need? Rumour has it most people hang on, to old misshapen bras for far too long. About two years of regular wear, is their healthy lifespan. Everyone has a different idea of how much is enough, but consider the space you have allocated to store them. If it’s overflowing, you need to cut back, before chaos prevails…
#4. Fold everything. (Yes fold! I actually iron mine, sorry!) and arrange by colour or shape. In my own drawer everything is simple. I mostly wear organic black cotton for the autumn/winter season and pale pink/nude for spring /summer. This degree of austerity, may not suit everyone but it’s best to keep a small, manageable collection and replace as needed. Arrange bras, folded, so cups sit within each other. In my teens and early youth, all my underwear was a jumbled mess in a massive drawer that was too deep to keep tidy. That may also be a valid method, that works for you- but to be honest, glad to have outgrown that phase…
#5. Make a list of what additions you need and visit in person some decent lingerie shops. These things are very personal, you gotta try them on! Go for quality (step away from PRIMARK!) but consider real life requirements. I have, in the past, been seduced, so to speak, into buying pretty, silky underwear that were outrageously impractical, expensive and high maintenance for my lifestyle, so bear that in mind and take the list of what you actually need. You may add frou frou stuff later.. (a little bit of glamour never hurt anyone.)
#6. Once you find a style you like, up the maintenance and look after them with love and a gentle hand. I machine wash, fold and iron cotton knickers in the hot setting (always choose pure cotton gusset, more comfortable & hygienic.) Bras technically should be handwashed, but as I can not possibly be bothered, I machine wash in net bags, with pretty good results. Dryers will significantly shorten the lifespan of your underwear, always hang to dry.
#7. As final note of delight, stuff a scented soap in the draw to keep everything smelling lovely. Review collection next year!
Pat yourself on the back -hello organised underwear drawer and goodbye chaos. I may not have much control about what horrid things go on in the world, but I can organise my knickers god damnit….
send me your photos of fabulously organised real life underwear drawers! real life fashion loungewear post coming up.
What is your favourite organic cotton underwear brand? Bras will generally have at least some synthetic content, do you mind that at all?
More wardrobe maintenance posts:
cashmere knitwear care